How Long Should You Take To Finish Your Novel?
When I think about the writing process, I think about snack casualties, tweeting, and a lot of keyboard tapping. Writing a novel is a lot of hard work, and it alternates between being difficult and easy. Really, we think we torture our characters, but it’s the other way around.
The Importance of Momentum
When I started to get serious about writing I read many books on how to write. I remember one talked about people who say they’ve been working on a novel for years. The author of that book explained that people who say that don’t work on a novel for years. They work on it occasionally and that’s why it takes them years. If you write every day or a few chapters in a week, then it cannot take you years to write unless you are a turtle who suffers from narcolepsy. Unfortunately, I myself didn’t regularly work on one of my novels and I hated it. Why? Because characters will start to spend time outside your head and you lose your grip on them. When you’re not paying attention, the emergency exit can be found quite easily.
Life, You’re In The Way
In an ideal world, I didn’t have to go to work and I could spend all day writing and kicking ass like Stephen King does. Unfortunately, I have to work around a schedule and so do you, probably. That’s okay. It just means you’ve got to find a time that works for you. Perhaps the best time for you is every evening for about fifteen minutes. Or maybe only in the weekend and then writing out two chapters a day. Whatever it is, find it and do it. It’s all about balance. If you’re going to get published, you’ll have to work with deadlines. Best to get used to it now. Set yourself a deadline and make a schedule. Include snacks.
If all else fails, use a writing tool. If you want to knock out a few words in a short amount of time, I recommend Write or Die. It’s easy to use the desktop version, which is free. (Whoohoo.) It really helps me get into the groove and it’s especially nice if you don’t have a lot of time and want to make the most of it. Characters, get ready to suffer a lot in a short amount of time.
That novel wants to be written and you want to write it. Write it as soon as possible, but you decide what that is for you. So find your way and do it. If writing becomes a chore, what’s the point? When you create a schedule that makes you productive, you’ll write that novel in no time and have fun doing it. Let me know what works for you!