Six months to a published novel

About a year ago, I started the 10k Experiment.

You can read the original blog post here.

The idea was to make a public goal of selling 10,000 copies of my book Your First 1000 Copies in the first year of publication.

The experiment was amazing in so many ways, but the best part about it was bringing you along for the ride.

It was amazing to learn along with you, and to share the ups and downs throughout the entire process.

Now, I’m going to do it again. But it’s not going to be about book sales.

This time, it’s about something much more terrifying to me.

Last May, author and good friend Michael Bunker invited me to write a short story for an anthology he was creating. Each story would be set in the world of his new sci-fi novel Pennsylvania.

I agreed, then quickly regretted it.

While I’ve written some fiction in the past, I’ve never published any of it. In fact, the thought of doing so makes me want to vomit.

And now I had agreed to publish a fiction piece!

The agony immediately set in.

Having blogged for more than a decade, I’ve published millions of words of nonfiction, but not a single word of fiction.

So I put it off. And put it off. And put it off.

Until finally the anthology’s editor, Chris Pourteau, told me I had to write it.

So I did.

I sat down and banged out 5,000 words in a single sitting and fired it off to them.

So far, based on the feedback of a few people who have read it, it’s not horrible.

Which got me thinking.

I had many guidelines for the 10k Experiment.

One of them was that whenever I came up against something that scared me, I made that fear a reason why I should do it, instead of a reason why I shouldn’t.

That’s what prompted me to post articles about dealing with negative criticism, failure and other painful topics.

And as often happens, the momentum created by that one forward-moving action then ran over into other areas of my life.

I began to take risks I normally wouldn’t have taken.

Which leads me here, today, to this article.

< Deep breath > Here it is:

I’m going to publish a full-length novel by March 31, 2015.

I currently have the idea for the novel, but nothing else.

So far there’s no outline. No characters. No chapters written. Nothing.

The final novel will be at least 50,000 words in length, and will be on sale by the end of March, less than six months from now.

What does this mean for you? And why should you care?

I’m going to share the entire process with you.

I’ll share the technical side of the project, including:

  • How I’m getting the writing done
  • The reading and editing process
  • Designing the interior and cover of the book
  • Getting blurbs
  • Launching the book
  • And so on . . .

I’m also going to share the emotional side.

Having worked with hundreds of writers and published my own nonfiction book, I’ve learned that the devil isn’t in the details.

The devil is in our hearts, and he fights us through the entire writing process.

I invite you to travel through this process with me.

Each week, I’ll send out an email with an update on where I am in the process, along with what I’m learning.

I have several goals for this project:

  1. Force myself to cross this off my bucket list
  2. Write a novel people actually want to read
  3. Help you face your own fears and reach your own goals

Most of what I’ve accomplished in my life has been due to watching other people accomplish something I admired, then gaining the courage to do it myself.

I want this process to work that way for you — to inspire you.

If someone like me can write and publish a novel in less than six months, that means you can too.

If you’re not already on our email list, I encourage you to sign up below.

If nothing else, it should be entertaining.

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