Alternatives To Writing A Book

By on March 19, 2018

Many of us start out by knowing that we have something inside us, a burning desire to put our thoughts down on paper, to express ourselves through stories, through our words.

The natural choice seems to be to write a novel. This is the ultimate goal, and sometimes it feels as though writing a novel is the only way to be a successful writer.

The problem is that writing a novel is hard. It’s time-consuming, challenging and we all know that there are very slim chances that we will get our books out there, published and read by many people.

Perhaps it is time that writers considered the alternatives to writing a book? It’s silly that novel writing seems like the be all and end all when there are so many more options out there. Could it be that writers put too many of their hopes and dreams into writing their books, when, if they had stopped and thought about what they wanted to achieve, it might be that an alternative avenue is better for them?

But what are the alternatives to novel writing that we can consider? Let’s take a look at some of them.

Writing a play

Whether for the stage or the radio, there are plenty of opportunities to try your hand at play-writing. Imagine actors realising your vision on the stage! Or writing the next popular radio drama! This could be a fantastic and creative alternative to writing a book.

Writing a blog

Many authors write blogs anyway but tend to try and juggle these with their book writing work. Perhaps it’s time to focus your attention on your blog entirely? Imagine what it could be if you put all your effort into it, and wrote about whatever you wanted? Blog writing can be a great way to boost your profile and make money too!

Short stories

Instead of the mammoth task of writing a book, why not consider writing a short story collection? Writing great short stories requires real skill and is always good practice if you do go on to write a novel later.


Have you ever considered trying to write a poetry collection? While being a novelist doesn’t necessarily translate to being good at poetry it could be an exciting side project or alternative. Writing poetry can be very cathartic, can help you tap into your emotions and learn how to be smart with language - all great skills for any writer!


Of course, there is also always the option of writing articles as a freelance writer! While this may not fulfil your creative needs as much as fiction writing would, freelance writing can be a great way to keep practising, and if you write about your passions you are sure to enjoy it, as well as potentially make some money too!

Film or TV scripts

Why not set your sights sky high and try to write something for the big screen? Or the next popular TV sitcom? There are plenty of opportunities out there to write scripts, and you might just end up making a hit!

There is no reason why you can’t put as much creativity and emotion, and as much of your heart and soul into writing any of the above as you can with a novel. Being a writer doesn’t mean you have to write a book. So perhaps we should all start thinking differently, experimenting with other projects and seeing if maybe we can’t find more success and more satisfaction by turning our attention to writing different things.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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