It takes a lot of work and a long time to finish a novel. I have heard it gets faster (months rather than years), but it’s still a lot of work. Some days you are overcome with enthusiasm and can write forever. Other days all you want to do is throw the whole thing in. How do you maintain the enthusiasm over the months —years —that it takes?
There are lots of techniques people use to keep writing.
Writing with a partner has to rank as one of the best techniques I know.
Other people join writers’ circles or critiquing groups. The continued stimulation of having to produce for the group keeps them on track, and being around other people who are doing the same things you are (writing a novel) adds extra encouragement.
Deadlines help. If you are lucky enough to have a contract to fulfil and a date to deliver to you might have other stress-related problems, but you definitely have a reason to write. As the famous quote goes, “Nothing concentrates the mind quite so well as a deadline.”
But what if you are a solitary writer, trying to hold down a full-time job, balancing life and family, trying to find time to write. How do you keep writing? How do you maintain the enthusiasm.
Nowadays, many people turn to the internet.
The web is a great tool. It allows you to reach out and talk to other people like yourself. You may be the only person you know writing a novel, but you can find dozens of them online.
How do you find these sites? Here are some suggestions:
- Use a search engine like Google to start with. Search on every logical word you can think of.
- Read blogs like this and follow the links. The links in the blog posts themselves, and the links on the sidebar. That’s how I get many of my favourite sites.
- Look up your favourite authors, see if they have sites, and check out any links they include
- Look up the big book publishing sites. They often have links and forums.
That’s just a start.
This allows you to join the web writing community. The important thing is to not let it take over your life, so that you spend so much time with the community your writing loses out.