One Thing You Need to Do If You Want to Write a Novel


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu might as well have been describing the process of writing a novel when he penned the famous saying. An incredibly rare and extremely talented writer and typist would walk away with a completed, 300-page manuscript in a single sitting.

Breaking your novel down into smaller, manageable mini-goals is much more practical. This is especially true as we write a novel while working a full-time career, caring for family members and trying to find the perfect balance between living in one world while writing about another.

Developing Daily Goals

When you first decide to write a novel, you probably already have some of the basic components in mind. Your setting, plot, characters, dialogue and point of view are ready to expand into a full-fledged novel.

You also think of the length you want for your finished novel. Say, for example, you want your opus to reach 50,000 words. By breaking down the amount you write over a period of days, you stay on track and compose your novel’s last line several weeks into the future.

Even if you aren’t sure about the length of your finished story, setting a daily goal serves many important purposes. A realistic goal is around 750 words each day. Most people find that this takes them about an hour to write.

  • Tracking the number of words you write each day gives you extra motivation. The positive pressure that comes from watching your word count increase so quickly sparks
    a fresh burst of creative energy and excitement each time you write.
  • If you have an overall goal for your finished novel, you can see the date you should complete your novel if you dedicate a block of time each day.
  • A word count goal holds you accountable, even if only to yourself. You visualize what you should to complete on any given day. That gives you extra motivation to complete your novel.

Use a daily calendar or a program like Wordslingr’s Daily Writing Goals feature. Log in and enter your word count goal for each day. For example, set a goal of 750 words Monday through Thursday, 500 words on Friday and take the weekend off during Saturday and Sunday.

Along the way, this software encourages you to keep going. If you meet your goal, you receive a congratulatory email the next morning. If not, Wordslingr motivates you to make up the lost words and keep working, one step at a time, through the exciting journey of writing your novel.