Are you thinking about writing a novel? Maybe it’s just an idea for one, or perhaps you’re committed to finally putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and getting it done. Well, before you jump into the world of writing, it might be helpful to get some facts together that tell you precisely what you’re getting into.

Writing a novel is definitely worth it. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve created something entirely new, not just rewritten what other people have done. You’ll be able to share your story with readers all across the world (if you’re at all famous) and earn from it.

Read on for more insights into how to tell when a novel is worth writing and helpful tips for writing your first draft.

When Is It Worth It To Write a Novel?

Ideally, it’s worth it to write a novel if you have an idea that’s good enough for someone to be interested in reading it beyond your friends and family members. If you’ve already got an idea that you know has the potential to reach a mass market and appeal to a wide audience, go ahead and write it.

How Do You Know if Your Idea for a Novel Is Good Enough To Be Published?

A novel is good enough to be published if it has one or more of these traits:

  • It’s not too niche.
  • It has the potential to become part of a series.
  • It has a unique voice or interesting twist.
  • Readers have been clamoring for it from other authors.

Suppose you’re basing your novel on existing work, such as a popular book, film, TV show, or comic-book character. 

It might be worthwhile to consider that even though this idea might be trendy, it’s not necessarily the idea itself that is popular; it’s the characters or world another author created.

How Much Time Does It Take To Write a Novel?

Writing a novel can seem like an incredibly daunting task. If you’re entering this industry with little knowledge of how long it takes to get something published, it may seem like the task is impossible to complete.

On average, it takes six months to a year to write a novel if you’re doing it full-time. This is assuming that you already have an established writing routine and have been writing for several months.

If this applies to you, then great! However, if not, take time to establish your routine before you start, enroll in a course on writing novels if you need to, and don’t rush the process.

It’s not about how long it takes you (after all, even if it takes two years, why should that matter?), but whether the finished product is high-quality and well-written.

How Much Money Does It Cost To Publish a Book?

If you’re thinking about self-publishing your book, several costs come with it – primarily for an editor and cover designer.

The cost of publishing a book can run anywhere from $2,000-$5,000, depending on what type of editing you choose, what kind of cover designer you use, or how many people are involved in the design process.

The Pros and Cons of Writing and Publishing Your Novel

If you go through with the self-publishing route, there are several benefits to this approach. 

You’ll retain 100% of your rights, so you can sell the book for as long as you want, in any country you wish to.

You’ll be able to share your novel with friends and family without having to wait on a publisher to decide that they like it enough to publish it.

In a nutshell, the pros of self-publishing include:

  • Complete control over the book.
  • A huge sense of accomplishment.
  • You get to show it to your friends and family without having to wait on an agent or publisher.

So, what are the disadvantages of writing and publishing your novel?

Any author will tell you that you’ll be doing most of the work yourself when you go the self-publishing route. 

You’ll also probably find that you don’t make much money off the novel unless it gets picked up by a publisher or becomes popular post-publication.

In summary, the cons of self-publishing include:

  • You have to do more of the work yourself.
  • You’re unlikely to get rich off your book unless you’re an established author.
  • It can take years for your book to generate enough income to be self-sufficient.

So, Is Writing a Novel Worth It? 

Writing a novel is worth it If you love to write. However, if it’s not something that you enjoy or get satisfaction from (in other words, if it’s torturous for you), perhaps writing isn’t the best choice of career path.

The most important thing is to start with a story you want to tell and write it in the best way possible. Write often, be proud of what you’ve written, and most importantly, have fun doing it.

Tips for Getting Started on Your First Draft

If you’ve decided to write your story, here are some guidelines to help you overcome writer’s block:

  • Make sure you have enough time to write. Many writers need several hours a day to complete their first draft. If you’re working on your book and another job, the timeline can easily extend into months or years.
  • Set yourself a word count goal each day and make sure you meet it. If not, then try to finish a little ahead of schedule, so you have some wiggle room.
  • Remember that first drafts aren’t supposed to be perfect. Stop whenever you feel like taking a break and go back later to edit it.
  • Reward yourself after you finish writing the first draft, too! Go to a movie, buy that new video game, or treat yourself to a spa day. Make sure you give yourself time and space before getting back into the swing of things.

Here’s a video provides practical tips on how to write an award-winning novel:

Also, I recommend that you read this Save the Cat! Writes a Novel (available on Amazon.com). The author describes 15 crucial plot points of a successful story, making the book a worthwhile companion to any writer who wants to write an intriguing, captivating novel.

Conclusion

Writing a novel is definitely worth it if that’s your dream career path. If you want to write a book but are unsure whether or not it’s worth it because you’re uncertain about your abilities, don’t worry too much about it.

Just sit down and write the story you want to tell and get started. Once you’ve written the first draft, find someone who can give feedback on your novel so that you know how good of a job you’re actually doing with your writing and whether or not it’s worth continuing. 

Sources

Categories: Fiction

Ol Adams

Letter Review is currently edited by Ol Adams, who is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, casual academic, and guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Ol Adams has had short stories published in leading literary journals such as Overland, Southerly, Seizure, and TEXT. Ol has had novels long listed for major awards such as the KYDUMA, has received government funding to produce plays from Create NSW and screenplays from Screen NSW, and has performed / produced professional work at major theatrical venues such as the Sydney Opera House.