I returned home after Thanksgiving with family in Kentucky to a house that was a mess. It wasn’t a surprise – we’d left a day earlier than planned and I had intended to use that extra day to clean. For a couple of days, I just sat there, overwhelmed by the mess and hoping that some industrious cleaning elves might arrive. Needless to say, they didn’t. So the other day, I took two hours to clean the kitchen. And yesterday, two more hours for the bathroom. Going one room at a time, I’m able to tackle this job that seemed so massive initially.
I think the same lesson can be applied to writing a novel. I know many people who are interested in writing, but they’ve never made it past chapter one, or perhaps the first 20,000 words. For many (even me!) part of the stumbling block is the magnitude of it all. Few of us have written anything novel-length. So here’s 2-part my advice: 1) take it one step at a time and 2) stick to a schedule.
Take your novel one step at a time: decide to write a scene or certain amount of words per day. Then stick to that schedule, because momentum helps! And just like I want my house to be completely clean one day in the not-too-distant future, you want your novel to be complete in the not-too-distant future. Because you’ll get better ideas, and you’ll write a better novel the second time and (I hate to be the bearer of bad news) because the hard part begins when the first draft is finished!
Good luck and happy writing!