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Who has the time to write a novel?

Writing a novel is the ultimate fantasy for a writer. Starting with short articles, moving on to larger features and climaxing with one's own magnum opus is the dream of many in the literary field. A blockbuster novel can provide everything that makes a writer happy - fame, satisfaction and money. However, unlike writing short pieces, such as articles or features, writing a novel is a long-term commitment that takes a tremendous investment in effort and time. More importantly, it requires a drive sufficient to see one through long periods - say, a couple of years.

For writers who are juggling the responsibilities of parent and writer, such a commitment may be difficult to sustain over the long run. We do need time to cook, clean the house, pay the bills, attend our son's football finals and perform a seemingly endless number of tasks. How can we make time for a novel in the midst of all this?

The solution is to schedule one's time. First, record the time for your normal, day-to-day activities. Next, proceed to write down the things you have planned to do this week, such as visiting the doctor, taking your family to the movies, etc. Next, check to see what open time slots you have. In the beginning, finding vacant time slots and using them for writing may be difficult. However, mark in your writing times and follow this schedule for a week. You may have to make adjustments by the end of the week. Spending an hour every day for writing should be ideal for the start. You can increase this time if you are able to. Chances are, you may find more time for writing that you had originally thought.

The key to making time for writing the novel is not in finding additional hours, but in sticking to a schedule. It is surprising to see how many people who begin a novel will be unable to complete it. The key to writing novels is to see past the long periods of time that are involved. This is easy if you can see your novel taking shape. When you don't see results from your efforts, you run a risk of losing interest in the endeavor and quitting.

Writing a novel is an extremely rewarding experience. It gives a tremendous sense of achievement and satisfaction. The key to succeeding is in being methodical. You will be surprised at how much you will be able to accomplish.

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