Many people, including new writers, think that being a novelist means having hours of leisure before sitting down and crafting a wonderful novel in a matter of months. This assumption is categorically wrong – being a novelist means writing every day, and the hours of leisure are filled with less leisure and more tasks. In the end, being a novelist takes just as much work as a regular job, if not more sometimes. However, this has not stopped writers and aspiring novelists to waste much of their time. Below, we have shown several such mistakes and why they should be avoided.
1. Working without a schedule
Writers and novelists work from home. We use this term to describe the fact that they can write anywhere and at any hours. Or, they think they can. A novel will be executed in a better way if the writer creates a schedule and delegates hours when he/she will work on it. Being a novelist and crafting novels is not just about waiting for inspiration. Crafting novels does not mean creating tightly woven plots, and stories that revolve around magnificently well-rounded characters. Crafting a novel means using language to tell a story in a style that’s both beautiful and comprehensible for the readers. And that takes skill, and it takes time to develop that skill. Writing when inspiration strikes only and enjoying those hours of assumed leisure will only make sure that your career as a novelist will take longer to build, if at all.
2. Thinking instead of acting
If you find yourself overwhelmed with an idea, a character, or a story, it does not mean that you need to sit down and act on it immediately. You might not be ready to write about it yet. If you sit down in front of your computer, fingers poised over the keyboard, staring at the blank page and still thinking over the idea – then the idea still needs to bloom inside your mind. Do something else instead, and let the idea form completely in your mind. A day, a week, a month later, when you sit down to write about it – you will write it better, faster, and most importantly, you will finish the project. Trying to write at the wrong moment – without an outline, or a plan in your mind – might only hinder your creativity and ensure you will abandon the project after a while, especially if at one point, you realize you had not thought everything through as much as you needed to, and find yourself unable to continue.
The following banner is an affiliate one. That means Writing Tips Oasis receive a small % of the sale if you purchase The Novel Factory, but at no extra cost to you:
3. Creating mountain-high goals
What’s a mountain – high goal? An example is writing a full-fledged novel in a matter of weeks. Can you write a first draft? Yes. But it will be the rawest of drafts, probably riddled not only with spelling and grammar mistakes, but infused with inconsistencies in world building and characterization, as well as plot holes. There are plenty of ways to avoid this. Creating small goals that are easily reachable will make the crafting of the first draft longer – but that time is not wasted. Most often, slowing down decreases the pressure and ensures the time spent has not been wasted. On the other hand, rushing your way through a novel might turn out to be a waste of time – because the rushed first draft might need months, even years of editing and polishing before it can be publishable.
4. Wasting time on social media
Every author needs an online presence today. Most of the author’s fan base will expect him/her to be there. It is easy though, to waste time on social media – one click here and there and hours will pass, and when that starts occurring every day, well, you’ve created a habit that wastes your time, hinders your creativity, and hinders your career. One thing should always be clear – spending time on social media will not help you craft a magnificent novel. Writing, on the other hand, will. Turning writing into a daily habit instead of spending time on social media will make sure your writing skills are improving daily, which will only increase the chances that when your novel is published, it will attract fans and readers.
5. Creating a plateau
Novelists create a plateau when they are not improving upon their craft. When the fourth novel you’ve published resembles the first novel you’ve published (or the first novel that brought you a certain amount of commercial success), you’ve reached a plateau. Many famous novelists talk about the pressure that arises from the expectation that every new novel needs to be better than the previous one. However, this does not need to happen to you. As long as you work daily on your craft, and avoid taking the same paths you’ve taken when you’ve plotted your previous novels, you can ensure that you will not reach a plateau in your career, but keep getting better and better.
Image credit: Pixabay[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.