Are you one of those people who says ‘I’d love to write a book one day, but I don’t have the time’?
by Rhoda Baxter
First, let’s break down the task. Most novels are about 70,000 words long. That’s a lot of words.
It would be almost impossible to write that in one day. You could dedicate a week to it and get it done, but we’ve already established that time is a limiting factor. So, let’s spread it over more days. 70,000 is 70 days of writing 1,000 words a day.
Or 140 days of 500 words a day. Or even 280 days writing 250 words a day. Two hundred and fifty words is easy, right?
After all, I’ve written over 100 just to get to this point. So you can write 250 words a day. Now that we’ve agreed on 250 words, we need to find an hour or so to get those words down.
The good news is that you can easily write more 250 words in an hour. The bad news is that you’ll probably have to write about 1,500 words to make sure you have 250 usable ones.
So what next? Well, just make sure you do you 250 words every day. If you can’t manage every day, try four days a week. Any less than that, and you risk straying off and not finishing the book. You don’t have an hour each day? Here are 10 ways how to make time:
1. Make writing a priority
When you say you don’t have time to write – you actually mean ‘I have other things I’d rather do with my time than write’. Making the mental shift to believe that writing is important is a major step towards finding more time.
2. Stop watching TV
I don’t mean stop watching it entirely. There are, after all, essentials – The Big Bang Theory and Dr Who for me. Everything else will have to wait until it comes out on DVD.
If you have young children who distract you, wait until they’re watching something and use that time to write. You know you won’t be disturbed for 30 minutes. That’s gold dust.
3. Get up earlier
This is a trick that emerged out of creativity research, and that I first heard about from another I’m told this works. I’ve never tried it because I have trouble with anything earlier than 6am. Early morning people also claim that creativity flows better early in the morning.
4. Go to bed later
As above, but at the other end of the day. I do this. If you fall asleep, just delete all the bits that say fffow;elklrkje;lja before you start writing the next day!
5) Turn off the internet
Wait, wait. Calm down. Breathe. I don’t mean permanently. Just for an hour or so during you “writing time.” It’s amazing how much you can get done if you don’t have the excuse of ”research” or “just quickly checking my email.”
6) Make up an hour, 15 minutes at a time
This is something I was taught by my old Physics teacher. He suggested that a full hour was hard to find, but four lots of 15 minutes wasn’t. This is also a good way of getting pesky things that you have been putting off done. Set a timer for 15 minutes, then get that editing done.
7) Steal time from your social life
8) Do your preparation beforehand
9) Put your phone on answerphone
10) This one’s my dream – go on a writing retreat (cue inspirational music).
Brief Bio: Rhoda writes smart contemporary romantic comedy for Choc Lit Ltd. She likes to write about people who make her laugh.
Her latest book Please Release Me was published by Choc Lit in September. Rhoda will donate 50% of the royalties from Please Release Me to Martin House Children’s Hospice.
Find out more on www.rhodabaxter.com or get in touch via Twitter @rhodabaxter