Many authors spend months and months, and sometimes even years, writing their novels. Sometimes, they can knock them out in a matter of weeks, and everyone else hates them for it. It all depends on who you are as a writer, and what you consider your daily writing limits to be. Some people can write 5,000 words a day, while some can only manage 250. But if you want to take part in November’s National Novel Writing Month (Na No Wri Mo for future reference), you’re going to have to buckle down and make it work. Here’s how.
Make it a Habit
You sit your butt in that chair and you write for fifteen, thirty, ninety minutes a day – whatever floats your boat. Or make it so you write a certain amount of words a day, whatever. The average novel is at least 50,000 words, and there are 30 days in November so do the math: that’s about 1,666.66 words a day. If you’re only trucking along with about 250 a day, that’s going to be quite a stretch. To put that into perspective, that’s about 2 and a half pages a day, with only paragraph breaks (Sorry, this isn’t high school, you can’t double space your novel). Sit down every day and make it happen. Get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later to get it done.
Back it Up
The last thing you want, after all that work, is to lose it when your hard drive crashes. We recommend using Google Docs, but you can also save your work to Dropbox or Google Drive if you don’t want to use such a limited, web based app like Google Docs.
Get it Edited
After churning out 50,000 words or so in November, you’re probably going to be pretty burnt out and not want to re-read what you just wrote. Either give it some time (4 to 6 months is how long Stephen King waits!), or hire someone professional to edit it for you (this is more affordable than you’re thinking). If you hire someone, it can get done and even published faster than you ever expected.
Do Something With It!
Don’t just finish a book and let it sit, gathering dust on your hard drive. Print it off, bind it up, and then send it out to agents (or publishers if you already have an agent). Give it to your mom so she knows you finally wrote something, publish it for free online, I don’t care! Just do something with it!
You don’t have to wait for November, either. Make a habit to write every morning and who knows? You could churn out a novel every 2 or 3 months, if you have enough time and a ton of ideas to pull from. That may sound crazy, but think about all the authors out there who seem to publish a new book every 3 or so months – that could be you!