We all know it takes some serious stamina to write a novel. It isn’t only about sticking it out to the end of a story creation either. That’s only the beginning. Then you have scene revisions, beefing up your content and word count, adding and perfecting dialogue, plus round after round after round of edits. You also have to research, read an endless amount of other peoples work throughout as to consistently improve word usage and flow. Wow, sounds exhausting right? Those of us who’ve been there know that it takes some pretty serious stamina to stick it out till the end. Here are some tips that might help in building that stamina.
1. Every morning as you get out of bed think of your final finished product. Keeping your eye on the prize is essential. It helps immensely to maintain a vision of your novel, and not just the book in general either. Picture your title on those best sellers lists. Imagine your readers faces of shock as they devour your words and indulge in your twists and shockers. If you start out every single day with the ultimate goal in mind, then you’ll actually WANT to sit your butt down and work at it. Those mood setting morning thoughts are basically the key to completion. Hold onto that vision. Keep your focus.
2. Manage your time wisely. Building your writing stamina doesn’t happen over night, and it most certainly can’t happen if you don’t MAKE THE TIME for it. Writing a novel is obviously a long term investment of time, but it can only become a reality through several consistent short term investments of time. Pencil your writing time into your daily schedule, and make writing a daily or even weekly habit. Even if you have to find a babysitter one day a week in order to make it possible then do it (your kids deserve all of your attention when they’re with you, and so does your novel. So separating the two might be wise rather than trying to split yourself in two. You wont be doing your kids OR your writing any justice if your distracted from either. If you do get a sitter though, then please oh please don’t do it to often. Never falter on your priorities.)
3. When taking a breather from your novel, write short stories and/or poetry. Sometimes its important to distance yourself from big projects for a week or two. It allows you to return with a fresh prospective. You can’t catch and fix your own flaws if you’re buried in them. It’s kind of like being nose-blind to the smell of your car, or saying ‘like’ and ‘um’ all the time. You just do it and don’t even realize it. When you distance yourself and then return later, you’ll catch so many more things that you’ll want to fix. BUT sometimes its easy get get lazy in writing or out of routine, and then when you return it’s like staring all over. SO, write small things. This will allow you to keep your routine, and it will also help you round out your skills by switching things up and rerouting your thought process.
4. Set achievable short term goals. It’s no big secret that long term goals can never be reached if we don’t set and accomplish short term goals along the way. So do it, right now. Set yourself an achievable goal for each day this week and then DO IT! Not only will you be proud of yourself and feel accomplished, but you will also be excited about doing the same next week, and so on and so on. If you’re a novelist then never ever put off your goal setting.
5. Read best selling books in your genre. Have you ever met a pro ball player who didn’t watch others play the sport he/she loves? Have you ever met an architect that didn’t admire and allow themselves to be inspired by immaculate structures? Reading makes you a better writer, PERIOD, it just does. While you are writing a particular genre, read best sellers in that same genre. It will inspire you, it will give you confidence, it will help you keep your head in the game. Therefore – it WILL assist in building your writers stamina!
GOOD LUCK WRITERS! KEEP AT IT, YOU GOT THIS!!!