This article is part of my series How to FINISH Your First Novel. They are the basis of a book by the same name, which will include expanded versions of the blog posts along with contributions from fellow writers. So if you have something you’d like to add to the conversation, or if there’s something you want to know more about, please leave a comment at the bottom of the post.
So writing a novel is a big commitment. I think we can all agree with that. (Or if you still need convincing, take a look at my post on commitment here.) While deciding to write your novel is a critical step, it’s just a first step towards finishing your book and getting it in front of your legions of eager fans-to-be. What next?
As you can probably guess from the title, your next step is going to be to make space to write.
What? Don’t I have to know what I’m going to write about first? I hear you, rhetorical reader, but I’m going to answer: No, you do not need to know what you’re going to write. Sure, having the kernel of inspiration is important, but the best-laid plans are worthless without space (and time) to actually produce the bit of unparalleled genius rattling around in that oh-so-impressive brain of yours.
(All right, I’m laying it on a little thick but I’m basically getting ready to take a toy away from a toddler on this one.)
Let’s lay this one out very clearly: no matter how good your idea is or how well you are capable of executing that idea, it’s worthless if you are physically incapable of producing that result. This short series of blog posts is all about building the infrastructure of your life necessary to realize your own individual creative genius.
And the first thing you’ll need is space to build the foundation. To this end, I’ll put forward a few different types of space:
It’s worth pointing out that none of these are technically essential, but your work and productivity will suffer without them. And if you don’t have at least at least a little room in your life for scribbling, you’re going to find it nigh impossible to get anything done.
These spaces can exist one at a time or all together. If you are only able to get one of these spaces, that choice will ultimately be yours to make. Or you may think I’m full of shit and decide to do your own thing. If claiming my intellectual inferiority allows you to finally finish that novel you’ve always wanted to write, then I’ll happily take the credit for being the catalyst for your greatness.
So get out there, find some space, and write your damn novel already.
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