1. It requires a ton of discipline
I have never struggled so much to get myself to actually just sit down and write. When you are studying, you have to work each day because you have impending deadlines, if you are just starting to write your first novel and do not have an agent, you do not have set deadlines. You can try setting deadlines for yourself but I have found that I do not always write the same number of words in each setting and to push myself to meet word counts may mean that the quality of writing is not as good and I just scrap what I have written anyway. Instead, I now set myself to write on certain days and have a minimum word goal I would like to achieve in mind.
2. It can be very lonely
Writing a novel is a solo job. Sure, you can talk to other writers online and speak to your family and friends but when it comes down to it, it is just you, your keyboard and your characters wading your way through. The majority of my writing time is spent thinking and typing, alone. Sometimes this can get lonely, even for an introvert.
3. You get stuck, a lot
When it comes to writing, there are three kinds of people: plotters, who plan their novels step by step, pantsers, who create the story as they go and plantsers, who fall inbetween these, using a mixture of both methods. I am a plantser: I plan the main scenes in my novels and some character outlines but I allow myself to find my way in those scenes. This means that I often get stuck, trying to think of what is going to happen next to get me to the subsequent plot point. Now, even if you are a planner, I can imagine you will still find times when you are stuck, whether that be because your plan does not fit the characters or story anymore, or your brain simply does not want to write. When I get stuck, I can easily leave the novel and not write for a while but I have found the best way to tackle this is to either, take a little break and think of my story whilst I am doing other things or to simply stay there and imagine someone is asking me, ‘what happens next?’.
4. It is magical
There is nothing like creating a world and characters with nothing but your imagination and your fingers, watching them come to life in your minds eye as you type the story into existence. I love the feeling of writing and I would not dream of doing anything else.
So, here is some information from a realistic point of view. Writing is hard: it is a daily struggle to get yourself to write and to keep going but it is so rewarding and I cannot wait for my stories to make their way out into the world and hopefully help some people. So, if you are determined enough, embark and do not look back. You can do it. We all can. Just remember to enjoy the journey.