A lot of folks have asked me how I manage to write as much as I do whilst juggling a day job and a family. Well, here’s the thing. 60k words or 90k words or 20k words for a novel or a novella sounds like one hell of a lot to write and I think a lot of folks get put off by the sheer volume that is mounted in front of them. My kids do exactly same if you put a huge plate of food in front of them. They’ll pick at it, but not eat it all. Of course, if I put a tiny plate of food down in front of them they will eat it all and ask for more, resulting in the big plate getting eaten.
Um, yeah, so, my really life changing advice for writing a novel is to eat like a kid.
No, really. It sounds daft doesn’t it?
Let me show you what I mean in a way that actually has a result.
I want you to sit down and write 200 words. Right now. Don’t think about it.┬áOpen “Word” or grab a pen and write 20 lines of absolute rubbish. Doesn’t matter if it’s dazzling prose, or if its utter trite (Some people say that’s what I write anyway so if it works for me…)
Don’t continue reading until you have done that.
Okay? We now have 200 words on screen or on a piece of toilet paper, or wherever you put it. ┬áHow long did it take you? Ten minutes? Five Minutes? Twenty?
Here’s the fact.
If you do that every day, this time next year you will have written enough for a 300 page novel.
200 x 365 = ┬á73,000 = 300 (ish) page novel.
Or 3 novellas. Or a short novel and a novella.
This is something you have to do every day, including your birthday and Christmas, otherwise you will get out of the habit.
Dealing with the other issue – continuing the novel.
It’s sometimes hard to pick up where you left off. Actually, it’s always hard to jump back into that frame of mind in an instant, and how you are going to do that is by not finishing what you started each day. Yes, ignore all that “Finish what you start” stuff. You’re going to finish what you start by not finishing it every single day.
Leave your writing in mid-sentence / mid-paragraph. Leave it hanging. Try not to leave it sitting there waiting for you on at the start of a new page or a new chapter. If you leave it mid-sentence you will be in a much better place to get into your “writing mind”, because you already knew what you were going to write next, and finishing that sentence or paragraph should be enough to drag you into your writing “place”.
To give you an idea of how writing just a little bit a day can soon add up. This blog is just over 550 words long and it took me five minutes. I don’t blog every day, but if┬áI┬ádid I would have clocked up 200,000+ words every year. or three novels worth (Or ten novellas).
This works for me, working 50+ hours a week, being a husband and a dad. It can also work for you.
So, to follow my own advice I’m going to finish this blog in mid…