“Why should I write a novel?” you ask. You should write a novel because you have a story to tell, and as no one else is you, no one else can write it. A marathon is an excellent comparison. There’s no reason for sweaty hordes to run from Winchester, Massachusetts all the way to downtown Boston every April, but people do it for the changes the marathon works within them.
This second of this hour of this day is the perfect time to start writing your novel. Right now, and I mean it. You start writing today, because now is all you know you’ll have. So when you finish this article, get to writing with a quickness.
You ask, “How am I going to write a novel? Seems hard, and I’m not the creative type.”
Writing a novel is a test of discipline, not of creativity. It is about sitting and putting words into a document until you have 100,000 of them. As such, time management is more important than anything else. It’s finding the time to ask your brain to give you ideas that is the problem. So the first thing you’ll have to do is…
1. Find a consistent time to write.
Now is the perfect time to start your novel, but you won’t have me shouting at you through the internet every day to put your keister in motion. You have to do that yourself, and the most important part of that self-motivation is having a consistent time to write. Find a time where you won’t be interrupted, so your brain can get juicy and you can get work done. I myself get up at 5 AM to write because I know I’ll die one day, and figure I can sleep then. Once you have your time to write, keep writing at that time every day or as close to it as you can, because you’re on a schedule…
2. Write to a schedule.
You discover that you can write every day on your lunch break. Splendiforous! You’re pumping out 500 words a day. Amazing! That means if you keep writing at that pace, you’ll have a whole novel done by sometime in July. By gum, that’s only six months away! You are a mere six months of writing away from having a whole novel completed!
And that is why a schedule is important. Writing a novel can seem as intimidating as trying to get from Los Angeles to New York by crawling, but when you focus only on getting your words written for the day and keep your goal in mind, it becomes vastly easier.
3. Keep to your schedule as best you can.
Life will get in the way of your novel project. You will get sick. You’ll stay out too late. Your boyfriend may leave you (which would be surprising as you two seem to go so well together…) In a tragic irony, your dachshund may be run over by the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.
You need to be disciplined and write to your schedule, but you must also be forgiving. Missing a day, a week, or a month, or a year is no reason to stop. Reconfigure your schedule. Figure out when your novel will be done and get back at it.
Lastly you ask, “What if my novel isn’t any good?”
Well maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But you will know for certain that you are a better writer than when you started out, and even if this novel isn’t any good, your next one will be better. Besides, look at all the apps that exist to aid you in your quest!
Helpful Apps to Keep You on Track
Every good writer needs to keep a notebook. Dragon Dictation is an app that will turn your words into text for when the ideas come but you’re piloting Air Force One and your co-pilot is in the john.
It’s an app that gamefies writing! There is a leaderboard, and rewards and punishments for meeting or not meeting your goal.
Distracted by puppy memes? Freedom is an app that blocks the internet, allowing writers to just plain old write and not worry about wasting writing time reading Penny Arcade.
Let us know about your ideas for novels below!
Feature image is in the public domain.