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Make Time to Write Your Novel
Writing a novel is not easy. It requires a great deal of commitment, and the demands of life, such as earning a living and caring for a family, can easily get in the way. To overcome the constraints on your time, you need to transform your writing desires into time management habits that promote writing.
Although earning a living is necessary and important, the trick to having time to write is not in finding the time, but in making the time. You are never going to find time. There are only so many minutes in a day. You are not going to find an extra hour like you would find a five dollar bill in the laundry. But you can make time by making writing time a priority. It starts with little things. Do not tell yourself, “I will get some writing done after I wash the dishes.” Instead decide to wash the dishes after you have done some writing. Why do you think the stereotypical image of a writer is a rumpled person with out-of-fashion glasses in a cluttered unkempt study?
A great way to make time is to cut back or eliminate television viewing. Television is a notorious time waster and has little value as an activity. Less desirable is the likelihood that you may have to restrict your social life in order to write a novel. Going out less and seeing friends less will provide you with more time to yourself.
After adjusting your attitude about making time instead of the futile attempt to find time, you should start to set goals. A reasonable goal would be to commit to writing at least two days a week. Even if you only averaged an hour and a half of writing each day, at two days a week, this would add up to 78 hours of writing in six months time. A great deal can be accomplished with 78 hours worth of effort. Setting higher work goals such as writing five days a week or even every day would be even more effective. Attaining higher goals will become easier as you become more engrossed in your writing project.
For early birds, getting up an hour earlier and writing before going to a job is an effective writing method because it can allow you to write before being wearied and distracted by your job. It will also let you feel like you have begun each day doing what you really want to do. Conversely, you could also commit to writing for an hour before going to bed. Then you could end each day feeling like you accomplished what you truly wanted to do.
While setting aside time for writing, you also need to daydream about your book. One of the most difficult and necessary parts of writing a novel is making time for daydreaming, but this is valuable time in which you will work out the plot, characters, and dialogue. Time to daydream often eludes busy people. Sitting on the couch or porch and staring thoughtfully into space undisturbed are luxuries. As difficult as it is, daydreaming needs to occur in addition to the time you have prepared for writing.
Ideally, writing your novel will be a pleasure for you. It will be hard work as well, but you need to enjoy it. Writing should be an entertaining, creative, and recreational activity for you. This will make it much easier for you to make time for writing.
Although I have warned that truly committing to writing your novel will likely cut into social activities, it should not mean that they are eliminated entirely. Sometimes you should accept that invitation to lunch or a movie, no matter how deeply obsessed you are with your book, because it is good to take a break from your work too. As Stephen King so painfully demonstrated in “The Shining” all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And Stephen King would know about writing a novel, so take the advice.
About the Author: Tracy Falbe is the author of the well-reviewed fantasy fiction series The Rys Chronicles that she spent many years writing and developing while finishing college and then working full time.