Danielle Hanna

Hearth & Homicide Fiction

Rolling Too Fast to Stop

2005-09-05 2078 (640x427)In the wee hours of Monday morning, I finished the edits on my new book, Journaling to Become a Better Writer. The manuscript is officially off my desk and in the hands of beta readers and will be published in December! (For more info and an excerpt, click here: Journaling to Become a Better Writer. Pre-orders are just $.99.)

I would like nothing better than to kick back and take a few days off from writing, but that’s not what I have written on the calendar. November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. NaNoWriMo is a community for writers striving to achieve 50,000 words–a complete novel–in just one month.

Since I spent the first week of November finishing the journaling book, I have all of three weeks left to write my new novel, Mailboat. That comes out to 3,333 words per day. (I’m a full-time writer and generally only write Monday through Friday.)

Between the fact that I don’t enjoy first draft and the fact that I write that draft by hand because the writing turns out less awful … 3,333 is going to be a bit of a stretch. Will I make it? Dunno. But I do know that I’m going to give it one hundred percent.

I’ve known my whole life that I wanted to be a writer. I was so convinced of my calling–and so encouraged by my teachers, readers, and early publishing experiences in theater, newsletters, magazines, etc.–that I decided to jump in with both feet and make this work.

I’ve had people ask me, with genuine concern, “What will you do if it doesn’t work?”

To which I reply, “Try harder.”

Maybe this is a bad thing, maybe I’m just on the fast track to self-destruction, but I simply cannot look into my future and see failure. The way I see it, success as an author depends on just two things: skill as a writer and skill as a marketer. If my books aren’t selling, there are only two possible reasons: My writing isn’t good enough or my marketing isn’t good enough.

Are either of these reasons justification for turning back? No. These are both skills that can be learned and improved upon. If my writing isn’t good enough, I can get the opinions of more critique partners and first readers, hire a professional editor, study up on how-to books, and attend workshops, classes, and conferences. If my marketing isn’t good enough, I can hit the how-to books again, Google specific problems, converse with other authors who are marketing, maybe even hire a consultant to review my marketing strategy.

The bottom line is, this will work.

Another key element in my strategy is simply writing, writing, writing. Even when I don’t feel like writing. I can’t sell books if I don’t have books to sell.

I look into my future and see multiple titles under my name and enough sales every month to earn my living. That goal is so strong in my mind–and, in my opinion, so achievable–that it gets me out of bed every morning and pushing myself, even when I’d rather take a break. My energy feeds off my dream of the future–a future that doesn’t seem horribly far away.

What about you? How confident are you in your ability to accomplish your own dreams? What regrets do you have for the times you didn’t give a hundred percent? What amazing things have you accomplished because you pushed yourself to get there?

The News from My Desk …

Book Cover: Journaling to Become a Better WriterJournaling to Become a Better Writer is officially off my desk and in the hands of beta readers. This book will be LIVE in December! This title explores the many crossovers between keeping a journal and writing a novel, and includes exercises to inspire both your journaling and your novel writing. Pre-orders are available now for just $.99.

Click here for more info and an excerpt: Journaling to Become a Better Writer


  1. Yes, yes, and yes. Thanks for the boost. I finished my second novel yesterday, hooray. My husband asked me this morning what my plans were for today. I said, to write my third. : )

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