A lot of people linger on the romanticism of writing a novel. They fantastise about what it must be like for people to sit down and write in cafés and then become bestsellers, like J.K. Rowling. The truth is: It's not easy. It is possible.
Comparisons with epic bestsellers aside (which no one wants to venture into) if you want to write a novel and you have an idea, there is nothing to stop you doing so, except yourself.
"I could never do it. I suck at writing."
Everyone's first draft is far from polished but if you are in love with your idea and you have a good story, it cannot suck. It may be unrefined but you can always develop it and polish it in rewrites and edits later.
So many people are timid of even trying because they are afraid that what they write will be nowhere near perfect. The truth is, the best novels you have read probably had a lot of suckage in the early drafting stages. It may not seem true but all authors are human and magical perfect books don't just pop out into the universe.
"I don't have the time to write a novel."
Everyone can find a bit of time in their day to slot in some writing. There are plenty of authors who are parents who have to look after their kids and can't get any writing in until those children are in bed, asleep…which is not an easy task.
The same goes for people's jobs, schooling and other priorities. It may seem like a chore to try and fit in writing on top of it but it's not. The reason is, that if you love your story and are excited to work on it, it will feel more like an escape and an exploration of creativity than an extra workload.
Also, everyone needs to slot in time for writing, no matter how much they have to do day-to-day. A person with no job, no kids, no schooling and no responsibilities will not get anything done if they don't sit themselves down to write.
"I'm thinking about writing a novel. One day. I have an idea."
That's great! Don't do it one day, though. Do it now. Writing a novel is not like instant coffee (although caffeine can help with the process) it is more like making a fine wine. It takes time and effort and practice before you have the desired skills and product.
The mind thrives with so many thoughts and ideas. Creativity is a jumble and romantically it seems that it should be kept that way…but it can't be. It needs to have a little organisation and priority.
I am very bad with organisation. I have that "one day" problem, too. I have never been able to organise my room and make it into the creative area I want it to be. I have had several rooms too, moving around over the years. I have fantasised and failed about perfection over and over again. My room is not a creative disorganisation. It's just a mess.
Writing a novel is just like organising and decorating a room. It might seem like a chore at first and you fantasise about the perfection you want to achieve and the "one day" factor but it seems like a lot of hard work and effort and you never quite get around to doing it, even though the end result would be so satisfying and something you know you know you want.
So, write that novel. Start brainstorming and organising your plot but don't linger too long on the fantasy. Buckle down and get to it. I know you can write that story in your head.
Best of luck with your novelling ventures! I'm off to turn my room into a creative – and far less messy – wonderland.