If writing a novel were easy, everyone would be a novelist. It's not, not because it requires some extraordinary talent to do, what it takes is something we all have the capacity to develop. Writing a novel takes commitment - real commitment- day in and day out commitment. If you've found this blog, I'm going to assume you are ready to make the commitment and not just begin a novel, but finish one. The five steps are really really simple, but there is simply no way around them. And if you follw them, and stay committed to following them, you will finish your novel.
1. Find a space. Find a room of your own is the best writing advice I've ever gotten. It seems like a really simple thing, but it's easier said than done. If you don't have an entire room you can lay claim to for a few hours a day, find a space. It can be a table or desk or even a lap desk snuggled into your favorite loveseat. The only requirements is that it's clutter-free and close to an outlet. Once you designate it, mark it and defend it with your life.
2. Find a time. Writing is a completely voluntary act. It's like anything else that's completely unnecessary, YOU have to make the time. Designate a specific time every day for your writing. That means if you have to write it in your calendar, set an alarm on your phone, or announce it from the hill tops, do it. Once you designate your daily writing time, defend it with your life.
3. Designate daily word goals. Setting daily words goals is one of the best ways to make writing a habit. Some prefer to designate a certain amount of time, but I'm an expert at wasting time, so that doesn't give me the best results. Don't set yourself up for failure by setting a 10,000 word a day goal. You wouldn't run a marathon before a 5K, would you? Setting an attainable goal will help you actually keep that goal. Start out with 250 words and increase it as necessary. Once you set the goal, defend it with your life.
4. Sit down and write. Now that you have your clutter-free space, pre-scheduled time, and attainable word count goals, guess what? It's time to sit your ass down and write something. Don't self-edit. Don't judge. Just write your words.
5. Forgive yourself if you miss a day. Life happens. Even when you've prioritized your writing, sometimes things come up that can not be avoided. If you miss a day, it's okay. Forgive yourself. Harboring guilt over not writing just leads to more not writing. Don't let that derail you. If you miss a day or two, simply double your word count on a another day. You got this.