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Making time to write

August 26, 2012

Over the past few weeks things have been busy for me, and I haven’t been able to devote as much time to writing and posting on my blog as I’d like. Sitting here today, slowly cooling cup of coffee in hand, I figured it would be the right time to explain how I’ve found the time to do all this.
One of the first questions I get from anyone who learns that I published a book (other than asking why I’m still working-love the enthusiasm but best-sellerdom is still just a dream) is how did you do that? I could never write a book. I can’t believe you wrote this WHOLE book! Well, the first thing you should know is that I’m no different than you. Anyone who puts their mind to it, who truly dedicates themselves to writing a novel, even if they have the literary talent of a chipmunk, can do it. It’s simply a matter of deciding that you’re going to write a hundred thousand or so coherent words, and then sitting in front of a computer or grabbing a legal pad and WRITING.

If you want to be an author, you have to write. It’s that simple. Thinking about writing, reading successful author’s blog posts about writing, scanning the best-seller lists for story ideas, talking about writing, those are all important aspects in becoming successful, but none will get your manuscript finished. You actually have to write the damn thing at some point, and like everything else, that takes time. Time that could be spent in front of the television, at the gym, out at happy hour, or sleeping. An author has to make a conscious decision to plop their butt down and write before they can ever think about watching the royalty checks roll in.

But I’m busy. I’m tired. Football is on and I’ve got to go get bombed with my buddies. All valid excuses, but excuses all, and that won’t cut it. Only you can make the decision to spend a few hours or minutes each day making progress towards that ultimate goal.

THE END.

Based on my experience, I’ve found that the best way to ensure you, as an author, spend a bit of your scarce free time each day writing, is to make a schedule. When you’re sitting at work, plowing through another article on CNN, take a break and plot out the rest of your day. Say you have to go running after work. That’s fine. Mentally prepare yourself to run, come home and eat, then sit in front of the computer and pound that keyboard until you’ve put 1,000 new words into the manuscript. Or if your evenings are full, make the (ungodly) decision to get up an hour earlier, brew a fresh cup, and bang out 500 words. Setting aside time (coupled with a reasonable word total goal) will do wonders for your progress.

Now, I’m not saying it will be easy. Nothing worth doing is. If you’ve made the decision to write, to finally get that novel that’s been brewing inside your head out there, then you have to sacrifice. But don’t do so in vain. Don’t simply spin your wheels, getting nowhere. Lay out a plan of action and move forward. For me, it’s setting aside a specific time and working until I hit a certain number of words on paper that has allowed me to do this. If that works for you, great. If not, figure out what does and stick to your plan.

Ok, that’s enough preaching for one day. Two new interviews regarding my first novel have been posted recently, and you can find them here and here.

If you made it this far, I hope your head hasn’t bounced off the keyboard yet. And thanks for stopping by.

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From → Interviews, Writing

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