As you all know, I have been working on my novel for over four years now. I started this blog in 2018 during the second draft. I intend to self-publish in the first half of 2020. Since the time to send my baby out into the world is drawing close, it has me thinking (among a million other things) about how long it took, and asking a question: how long should writing a novel take from beginning to end?
This is a question not easily answered. Writing a book is certainly fun but no cake walk. There’s the first draft where you become hopelessly enamored of your story and write on pure passion, the second draft where you see the myriad flaws in your romance, and usually a third or, you know, sixteenth draft in which you reconcile the first two states and make peace with them. Then, there’s the designing and marketing phase, which isn’t writing, but is every bit as serious and important as the actual writing.
How long is all this supposed to take? There’s no real answer to that. Everyone has their opinions, of course, and everyone works at a different pace. If you have to do any significant research for your book, as I have had to, that can also slow you down. So can procrastination, perfectionism, and all the other tiny incidents that make up the game of life.
As I aim for publication in early to mid 2020, that makes five years of work for this project. I personally feel that is too long and for my next novel, I will aim to complete all drafts and publish within three years or less. The story is percolating within me now, and I intend to start outlining soon, to avoid any sort of writer’s block. Taking several years on end also heightens the possibility of burnout, another notorious writer’s enemy we all should strive to avoid.
If you are a writer, nail down exactly how long you wish to spend with your book and try to stick to your deadline. Your audience will thank you. 🙂
Scientific studies have shown that time is considered the most valuable commodity. Time is indeed precious and as our world grows increasingly complex and competitive it can be hard to establish boundaries and set priorities. Lack of time is one of the most commonly cited difficulties amongst writers.
Making time to write is obviously of utmost importance to anyone who aspires to become a successful and hopefully professional writer. Carving out writing time, however, can be tricky. If you are struggling with this important step, here are a few ideas to consider:
- Take It Seriously — Like Work
A lot of people have this silly idea that writing is easy, that it’s really not even work. Anyone who has ever made a serious effort at writing knows that is a fallacy. Though writing can be enjoyable, it takes time and effort to see any good results. Treat writing as though it truly is a job. In other words, when you are writing, you are busy and cannot be expected to do anything else unless there is some sort of emergency and the writing MUST get done.
- Set Up A Writing Schedule
With most jobs, workers are obliged to follow some sort of schedule. Many writers have found that scheduling writing time helps them to actually get the work done and create a good habit. Pick a time (or at least a time of the day or week) when you can devote yourself to writing. It may be a couple of hours or only fifteen minutes, but every little bit helps and you will soon see results!
- Set Priorities
If you are serious about turning your passion into a profession, you need to set priorities. Priorities often mean sacrifices of some sort. This might mean that instead of three nights out and about with friends, you will only have two or even one if you are really pressed for time. It can be difficult, but there is no shortcut to success –and if you want it badly enough, you will do what needs to be done.What are your thoughts on making time for your writing? How have you managed to sneak writing time into a busy life?