The Writing Life: Inspiration To Finish Your Novel
Have you ever thought of writing a novel? It’s a lot of hard work, and it can be a daunting task to write 50,000 words or more. But I received excellent advice yesterday.
I was watching a webinar recording my school’s career center had on writing, publishing, and selling a novel. The guest speaker was Joan C. Curtis.
She said something inspiring about writing your novel. I know you hear this advice all the time, but it is said for a reason- Write every day.
Now, I know that may not be inspiring, but I haven’t gotten to that part yet. So, here it is: if you write 500 words a day, you will have a 50,000-word novel in a little over three months. One hundred days. Five hundred may seem like a lot, but really, it is one single-spaced page or two double-spaced ones.
And you don’t have to stop there. If you are inspired and want to write more, go ahead! If you have the time, do it! That will cut down on the time it takes to get your novel finished. Don’t mess with the creative flow when you have it. Just keep going for as long as time and inspiration allow.
After you write your novel, then the challenge of editing it and formatting it comes into play. You must allow part of your time every day to editing and formatting, and to write on a second project.
For me, this is important. I have a lot of things to balance my writing time with:
- I work
- I go to school
- I have a freelance editing business I started with a friend
- I write a blog
- I’m trying to lose weight by exercising every day
- And, I write for Coffee House Writers
That’s a lot to balance. But if I set aside two hours a day for writing, I can get a lot done.
I write about 40 words per minute on the keyboard, especially when inspiration strikes. So it would take me about an hour to write 1,000 words along with editing them. Two hours gives me 2,000 words on any project, edited and (nearly) ready to go. I always try to have time away from my writing after the first initial edit. It gives me a new perspective on my writing, and I often see things I missed on the first edit.
Two thousand words a day covers my Coffee House Writers projects, my blog, and leaves me with around 500 or more words to dedicate to my novel on the days I work on all three. Some days I won’t reach my writing goal. And that is okay. As long as I make an effort to keep writing.
Now, if you don’t type that fast, don’t worry about it. Everyone works at their own pace. If hand-writing it works better for you, then by all means, do that! You must find what works best for you:
- The best time of day to write
- The best way to get rid of distractions (turn off the internet and your phone notifications!)
- The best place and environment to write
- And the best way to be uninterrupted for your writing time
It’s a lot to take in, but you can always change something later if it doesn’t work.
My job schedule changes every week. I work in retail, so I don’t work the same days or hours each week. One night I may work from 2:30 pm to 9:30 pm, and the next day I have to be there by 9:00 am and leave by 5:00 pm. It all depends on when they need cashiers and when they schedule me for. So my free time changes from week to week. So does my writing time. Add to that the list of things I need to balance in my life every day, and some days I don’t write at all. Others, I write 2,000 or more words. It all depends on how much free time I have and my priorities for the day.
Give yourself grace. If you can’t write at all for a few days, that’s fine. But at least attempt to write every day. Find the time, and you will find that the smallest amounts of writing add up when you do it often. You’ll have that novel finished in no time!
Image: Hayley Green