Inspiration to Write

Have you ever felt the urge to write a novel? Feel like you don’t have time for that? Do you think such a large project is too time consuming?

The average person types around 40,000 words in the form of emails each year.

Does knowing that statistic change your mind?

If you’re the frequent emailer of this statistic, you could easily write a novel in a year.

A decent novel is 40,000 to 70,000 words long. 90,000 and more words is professional level. If you’re starting out, you don’t need to aim for professional level. Aim for a moderate amount of words. Aim for that 40 to 70 K. This is a reasonable goal.

Here’s a good way to break that larger goal into smaller goals: write an outline.

Within the outline, break up the action/events into chapters. Make a goal of 20 chapters. If you then make a goal of 2,000 words per chapter, there’s your 40,000 words. Bam!

You may have realized already that you’ll have to do more than one chapter per month to achieve your goal within one year. Wowee zowee, that’s a lot! However, if you start out with two per month, you’ll be in fine shape. Don’t worry too much about it. The main thing will be to maintain any momentum you gain. Things can change in a year. Obstacles can get in your way. You might fall down. Your urge to write may wax and wane. There are as many ways to stop writing as there are reasons to start. Keep your momentum.

Another thing to consider is the time and place. Just like any healthy habit, you’ll need to schedule the time and reserve a location. Possibly you have time during lunch for writing. Maybe you have to block out an hour or four in the evening. Whatever the case, make sure you let others know you have a scheduled time for writing so you’ll have fewer interruptions. Find a specific place where you can either have the stimulation you need or the lack of stimulation, whichever helps you most.

Finally, reward yourself at intervals. If you get four chapters written in the first two months, give yourself some positive motivation. Writing rewards are different for every writer. Some go for chocolate. Others will buy themselves a new pen. Still others will buy themselves a new pair of shoes. Whatever thrills you.

Whatever inspires you—do that.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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