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How To Write A Novel as A College Student

Almost every time I’m asked to share a fun fact about myself, I say that I’m writing a novel. This disclosure earns a variety of responses. “Wow, that’s so cool!” “Can I read it when you finish?” “What’s it about?” “I wish I could do that!” You can, and you should.

While at college, students tend to put many hobbies and dreams on hold. We are all just so busy trying to cram time to study, work at a job or internship, do extracurriculars, hang out with friends, eat, and sleep into our already hectic schedule of classes. But we don’t have to live this way.

The main obstacle I have for writing my novel as a college student is time. To be honest, first semester freshman year I barely worked on the novel I had started in high school. I felt guilty like I was disappointing everyone who wanted to read it, but I was really only disappointing myself. I always gave myself the excuse that I was too busy.

Being “too busy” isn’t a matter of schedule and conflicts, but a matter of priorities. If you want to write a novel, make it a priority. If it’s important enough to you, you’ll find the time.

My trick for making time for my novel is putting a designated block of time for writing into my schedule and treating that block of time as if it’s a class. Unless I have an emergency, I make sure I’m in my room ready to write at that time every week. I figure that if I work on my novel for at least two hours a week, I’ll be productive but it’s manageable.

If you dream of someday writing a novel, make someday today. Beside managing time, don’t wait for inspiration or to come up with the perfect idea. The nature of writing is that it’s imperfect. No matter how much you edit sentences or tweak the plotline, there’s no right answer to writing a novel.

Passion and dedication are all you really need to write a novel and they go hand in hand. The world needs your story. People deserve to read your words and your words deserve to be written down and read. Don’t wait to graduate or to have “free time,” because if you do, you’re never going to start. Happy writing!


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Alexandra Kallfelz is a senior studying journalism at Boston University. Besides writing, Alexandra's passions include color guard, travel, Netflix, music, and Disney. She is a pure-blood New Englander and a dog fanatic.
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