Is one of your new year’s resolutions for 2024 to write a novel? If you’re still considering whether perhaps this should be one of your resolutions, we’ve put together a short list of reasons why you should and shouldn’t write a novel this year. Have a read, and see what resonates with you!

Why you should: Writing a novel is a task that will challenge you in ways you never expected. The commitment, persistence and resourcefulness required to write a novel-length manuscript are in a league of their own. If you achieve this, you win bragging rights forever.

Why you shouldn’t: All that commitment and persistence translates into time. Writing a novel will take up so much of your spare time that something else has to give – whether it’s your social life or the laundry. What are you willing to sacrifice for your novel?

Why you should: Novel-writing will give you opportunities for endless creativity. You get to invent people. You get to give them thoughts and feelings, actions and motivations – you can create an entire new world for them to live in, if you wish. There are no limits to what your imagination can conjure up. The buzz that you will get from this is really something else.

Why you shouldn’t: It is immensely difficult to make the words on the paper accurately reflect the people, places and events you picture in your mind. You will endlessly agonise over plot, characters, the best word to use to describe a raincloud – you name it. Your story will not let you rest until it’s complete, and perfect.

Why you should: The creative writing community is like no other. Diving into the world of novel-writing can connect you with other writers, leading to wonderful new friendships with others who totally ‘get’ what it’s like to be immersed in your own world, creating characters and weaving stories, and who will support you every step of the way to realise your writing dreams.

Why you shouldn’t: Writing is often a solitary endeavour. Even with the support of your writer friends, making real progress on your novel and keeping that word count growing will require you to shut off all distractions, focus only on the story in your head, and keep writing. No one but you can write your novel.

We can’t tell you whether or not you should write a novel this year. What we can tell you is that writing a novel is both incredibly hard work, and incredibly rewarding, in so many ways. We can also support you on your novel-writing journey. And whether you are ready to novel in 2024, we’re glad you’re here and part of the Writers’ Café community!