Have you dreamed of writing a novel for longer than you can remember? Why haven’t you written it? What is holding you back? Perhaps it is fear of the unknown. Maybe it is the belief that you don’t have the time. Or it could be that you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. We’ll have a quick talk about each of those factors and more below.
Fear of the Unknown
I have found through connections on the Internet that there are people who procrastinate writing the novel of their dreams simply because they are scared. They don’t know what to expect, so therefore they don’t write. To this I say with a roll of my eyes, get over it. Fear of the unknown is easy to face. Fear of a spider or falling off of a cliff is not so easy. Open your writing software and start writing. No one is going to know you are writing except you. Pound away at your keyboard and pretty soon you will have paragraphs. In no time at all, you will have chapters. Before you know it, you will have a book.
No Time – Maybe One Day
Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of putting things off until “one day.” Today might be your last and every moment is precious. What a tragedy it would be for the world if you denied us the book inside of you because you kept putting off writing it. There is only one person in the entire world capable of writing your story and that is … you.
In today’s busy world it is difficult to find the time to write. However, I challenge you to simply get up a half an hour to one hour earlier each day and spend those precious moments writing. You may only get 250 words out each day, but that’s 250 words you didn’t have before. Try to think of it this way. If the average novel length is 60,000 words, it will take you 240 days to write a novel. That’s eight months. This doesn’t take into account the days you might have a few hours to write and pump out 3,000 words.
If you have the time to post up selfies, chat on Facebook, Tweet 100 times a day, you have time to write. No more excuses.
This is the one excuse I do understand. In the beginning I too was overwhelmed and didn’t know quite where to start. In fact I think it’s the main question I see from new writers most. “Where do I start?”
If this is your question, try writing an outline. You may never use it, but it helps kick start your story. If all you have is a vague middle, write it out in a paragraph. Now add. Keep adding until you have a brief paragraph for each chapter. Remember, a book needs a start, middle and an ending. Don’t worry if you don’t have an ending mapped out yet. It’ll come to you.
Read your outline and let your characters talk to you. Is what you see, what they want? Oftentimes our characters have a different idea of how they want to tell their story. This is normal. Keep at your outline until you feel you can start writing.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Clear your mind. Imagine your character(s). What are they doing? Write it down and let it flow. You will find to your surprise that when you allow the scenes to come to life in your mind, they play like movie scenes. In no time at all you’ll have the scene captured and be able to move on to the next scene.
One final piece of advice, write without distractions. Stay off of Social Media during your daily write times. Avoid household distractions such as TVs, radios, children, etc. And lastly, just write! There’s no excuse not to.
Let me know what you think in comments!