Monday, June 11, 2012

43 Ways to NOT Write a Novel

1. Join a Fan Forum.

2. Read a book.

3. Write reviews about that book, detailing all the things you would have done differently.

4. Tweet.

5. Blog.

6. Worry a lot about your Klout score.

7. Join a blogging community.

8. Participate in a blogging community. Be active: on the forums, in the chat line, on other people's blogs...

9. Play with your cat.

10. Play with your kids.

11. Have an actual "job."

12. Nap.

13. Organize your desk drawers.

14. Tag every single person in every single one of your Facebook photos.

15. Untag yourself from all the ugly Facebook photos that your friends tagged you in. 

16. Redesign your blog. You wouldn't want to look unprofessional when you're a New York Times Bestselling Author, now would you?

17. Make crazy lists about things that aren't important.

18. Create a new desktop collage out of pictures of your kids.

19. Research mundane details about your novel's setting.

20. See something interesting on Wikipedia while doing research, and research that instead.

21. Read every single Snark Squad entry.

22. Vlog.

23. Edit your vlog.

24. Upload your vlog to YouTube.

25. Get distracted by YouTube.

26. Discover the Vlog Brothers while on YouTube.

27. Watch every Vlog Brothers video. 

28. Clean your house.

29. Go back through your manuscript and question the validity of every single piece of punctuation aside from the periods.

30. Go back through your manuscript and wonder why the hell you have so many periods. Shouldn't there be exclamation points and such in here?

31. Delete all the exclamation points from your manuscript.

32. Get a snack.

33. Plan all the things you'll buy with your advance when you finally sell your novel.

34. Watch movie trailers. (see: research)

35. Google your title, ensuring that nobody else has it. Or, if somebody else has used it, make sure that their book sounds kinda lame and then decide whether or not you can overshadow them.

36. Change your title.

37. Make outlines for other novels you aren't writing.

38. Fiddle with your query letter.

39. Read in-depth analyses of agents, publishers, contracts, options, self-publishing and e-publishing.

40. Join a writer's forum and discuss the minutia of agents, publishers, contracts, options, self-publishing and e-publishing.

41. Surf around IMDB looking for the perfect actors and actresses to play your characters.

42. Play Fantasy Casting with your friends.

43. Join Pinterest.

What do you think? What are you favorite ways to Not Write A Novel? 


  1. Haha, a great list! Most of these apply to me. For my own list I would have to add: playing the Sims, panicking, long lunches with girlfriends, panicking, and baking cakes...and probably some more panicking...


  3. ALMOST ALL OF THE ABOVE. The only parts I don't do are the ones relating to kids and vlogging. Everything else... yeah. Except I redesign other peoples blogs instead of my own. Come to think of it... I could do with a makeover...


  4. Oy. Why do we do this? Like the professionalism of my blog is going to make the difference between a six figure deal and total anonymity. Look at Suzanne Collins' website... Sheesh.

  5. Ooh... Panicking! That's a good one!

  6. Oh wow. I just googled it and OMG, that is... like something worse than the sites I created on Angelfire in the nineties. Wow. My latest procrastination tool is to merge all my stuff into one easy to manage site. But first I have to clean the bathroom and the kitchen. OH MY GOODNESS I'M EVEN PROCRASTINATING MY PROCRASTINATING. This is not good.

  7. I think everyone should read the Snark Squad entries, but that's just me.

    As for the list I would add "research character names," which mostly means playing around on baby name websites. True story.

  8. Maybe if you find a way to procrastinate the procrastination of your procrastinating, it will come full circle, and be like meta-procrastination, in which you actually accomplish stuff.

  9. Argh! How could I forget this? I spend... too long... doing this for my steampunk story. It was ridiculous. Of course, it was census data reports instead of plain old baby name websites, but still. The point stands.

  10. Ah. This explains why my novel isn't finished, yet. I do most of these things.

  11. Great list. The only thing I would add is making the perfect "Writing Music" playlist. I don't know when I'll do any actual writing but when I do, I will have the most inspiring music EVER playing in the background. *sigh*

  12. hahhaa.. Now this is funny.

  13. hahahaha! Totally sounds like me...I did pretty good for the first 30,000 words....but now I keep thinking of so many other things to do, even though I already know what I'm going to write next.

  14. Oh, my friend, you crack me up. I think I've fallen prey to at least half of those if not more. But, there are good things that come of some of them like Twitter. haha But there has to be a balance for sure. :D

  15. Oh... This true, too. Every story has its own kind of music, so you start over on the playlists every time you start a new kind of story.

  16. And many of them you have to tackle eventually (publishing options, query letters, titles, etc). I love twitter, and the blogging community, but they definitely keep me from doing the writing thing.

  17. Ladygoogoogaga2011June 18, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Sigh, I do everything except 28.....and needless to book