- It can take years to write a novel.
- Writing a novel doesn’t happen overnight.
- Take advantage of small blocks of time.
- Writing a novel is a journey.
- Focus on your overall progress.
It Can Take Years to Write a Novel
It took three years for Tobias Klausmann – who I interviewed in Episode #4 – to draft the third novel of his “Slingshot” series. He kept a graph of his progress, which I think is a great visual to illustrate what it really takes to craft a well-written and character-driven novel.
Writing a Novel Doesn’t Happen Overnight
This is real proof that nothing happens overnight, whether it’s success or a change of our habits. Everything we produce as writers – or as a creative in general – takes time, focus and energy.
Many of us have sat down to write a novel and thought: “I’m going to write every day and finish this in a few months.” We set aside entire weekends to focus on nothing but our craft, only to find twenty or thirty minutes – if that – to press ahead on our project.
Take Advantage of Small Blocks of Time
However, remember that you don’t need 8 hours to be productive. You can make progress on your novel in small chunks of time.
Tobias provided another graph showing the number of “commits” or writing sessions he needed complete the draft. Over the course of three years, he sat down almost 900 times to work on the novel. In Episode #4, he talks about the importance of writing daily, even if only for a few minutes. Eventually, you will finish the book.
Writing a Novel is a Journey
Don’t let the task of writing become a daunting experience. Remember that it’s a journey. Your writing is going to take you somewhere. You’re going to learn something about yourself. In Episode #3, Andrew Hope talks about the importance of connecting with yourself and being honest with who you are in your writing.
Writing isn’t “I have an idea, now I’ll just write it down,” but “I have an idea, I’ll start writing and see where it takes me.”
Focus On Your Overall Progress
It can be easy to get discouraged when we look at our writing progress and see we’ve only written a few hundred words in the past few days. It is much for gratifying to look at the past year and realize we’ve written thousands of words and that good progress has been made. Every words written is one more than you had before.
Whatever project you’re working on, remember that you’re not alone and there are many other writers out there doing exactly what you’re doing: connecting with themselves through their writing craft.