How to Write a Novel in Three Months

Don’t try this at home (plus thoughts on process)

Hoang Samuelson
7 min readMay 31, 2022
Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

As I write this, it’s been almost two months since I last wrote for this newsletter1 and almost three weeks since I finished a 90,000 draft of my novel.

Whew.

I’m still trying to grapple with what I did. Is it crazy to write a book in such a short time? Yes. Was I tired? Absolutely. Did I regret it? Not at all. In fact, I wish I had started sooner. As my husband said, “Some people just dream about writing a book, but you actually did it.”

Making the decision to write a book was a big first step for me.

If you knew me in my twenties, you’d know that I was not certain about wanting to be a writer. Most of what I did was read other people’s writing — blogs, mainly. I read mommy bloggers, food bloggers, interiors & lifestyle bloggers, basically people who were out there “doing it,” seemingly having a ball. I never thought about actually bucking down and taking writing seriously, to work on my craft. Words were what I cared about, and yet…I did not show it on the page. That’s because I had no idea how to make it as a writer. So I didn’t try.

In my family (and culture), you don’t make a living as a writer or any kind of creative professional. That is just a fact. The only person…

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Hoang Samuelson

Features Editor @ Chowhound. Former lead editor @BooknBrunch.com. Writer of food, family and fiction. Based in Portland, OR. More at hoangsamuelson.com