I Fear I’ll Never Publish a Book

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This month’s question:  Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?



I’ve participated in NaNo nearly every year since 2008, and I will do so again this year.   I won twice, first time in 2008, which was the most complete first (and only) draft I’ve written.   It’s an apocalypse-science fiction story I titled Hope Falls.  It’s to be the first book in a series.  I believe it has promise only that…

It’s still sitting on my hard drive (have a binder with printed pages as well–somewhere).

I love to see it published.

Why haven’t I done it yet?  I mean, it’s only been NINE years.

Honestly, the editing/revision part scares the crap out of me.

Shorter works I can handle.  Just not sure how I’d handle a book-length editing process.

I feel like a wuss.

A coward.

And I’m worried.  Really worried.  If I’m this frighten over one manuscript why would it be any different with another?

Am I a lost cause?  Can I break this rut I’m in?

I’m a published writer in that I have short fiction and poetry published in multiple zines (both online and print).  My next goal is to be a published author.

I fear that dream may never come true.




  1. It took me a couple of decades to get my first book out into the world. The second book has only taken about five year thus far (it’s not actually out yet, so I suppose there’s still time for it to catch up to the first…). So, I figure the third will be shorter still. Novels are time-consuming, and we all write/edit at difference paces. You’re not a lost cause.


  2. It took me several years and several drafts to edit and revise one of my past NaNo projects–and by the time I published it, it was a novella, told from a completely different character’s POV, and had a totally different storyline.

    Feel your project out and take your time.


  3. You’re no wuss. I, too, have a completed first draft NaNo novel that has sat, untouched, in the bottom drawer of my writing desk. Like you, I am afraid to even look at it. My hope is that, eventually, I will. But at this point in my writing life/career, I feel it’s more important for me to keep looking forward toward new projects than to look backward at old ones. Good luck, and happy writing to you. Thanks for the honesty in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Me too, Carrie. Me too. I’ve had short stories etc published all over the place but I just can’t get that novel in a fit state to submit. I did my Nano 50,000 words in 2015 but the thing was nowhere near finished. I finished it later, but I’m still editing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had a story and poem published a long, long time ago. I haven’t submitted anything since. I have an unhealthy fear of failure. I excuse it with various excuses. But the truth is that I have to put myself out there. I have a bunch of short stories that, with polishing, I can submit to a magazine or enter into a contest. In doing so, I’m allowing myself to fall on my face and get rejected. But it’s the only way I will build the confidence I need to be a better writer. It takes perseverance. It takes an iron will. I believe you have both. Your dream will happen.


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