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When you choose to write a novel, you are choosing to commit yourself to a process for a very long time. Staying connected to the reason you are writing it will serve you through the highs and the lows, and it will also help you get deep into the heart of the matter, to discover how you can use your own personal experience to produce the best work that you can.

So, this weekend, as you are resting or doing chores or spending time with your families or friends, mull these questions over. Then, when you have some time to yourself, answer them in writing.

Why this particular story at this particular moment in your life?

What personal connections do you have to it?

What of your own memories and emotional terrain will you be able to use to make it as authentic and emotionally rich as possible?