today’s topic is how to write a novel when you’ve little or no spare time available to actually get the writing done. It’s a question that keeps coming up in discussions within the writing community.
I’m no wizard, timelord nor expert when it comes to finding the time, but I can explain how I manage to write a novel while working a 60-72hr week, drive a 2hr commute everyday, spend time with my wife, children and grandchildren, all while renovating a coastal cottage.
Even though its a hectic and wild schedule to keep to, I still find the time to write between 2k to 3k words a day and occasionally creep the numbers above 5k. And here’s how:
Over the years I’ve developed a technique of typing prose in short but wild bursts. Little and often, even a 2 minute tapping at the keyboard can produce a good sentence or paragraph. The trick is to keep your laptop/keyboard/notepad close and recognise when you’ve got those precious few minutes. Each burst is another step closer and they soon add up. I wrote Eversong (137k word adventure) on an old Blackberry phone and it took less than 10 months.
I’m not saying it’s easy, and at first it might feel impossible – but with a little practice and perseverance you’ll have your novel written before you know it.
Whether you’re a plotter or pantster you can do this. Try to remain focused during those crazy minutes and try not to edit until you’ve typed The End.
And if you don’t believe you can write in short bursts, just think of all those text messages/ messenger conversations / social media posts you’ve done across the last few months. If you add the amount of words you’ve created, you might find you’ve written a novel’s worth.
I recently finished writing my latest book ‘The Night Fae’ within 4 months using this technique.
I hope that helps – as I said, it works for me.
Good luck guys and happy writing – and if you’re new to my work, subscribe to my newsletter and get a free copy of Eversong: https://mailchi.mp./72e14c490faf/acsalter
All the best, stay safe and have a happy Halloween 🎃🦇👻