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How to find time to write your novel

Advanced techniques for writers

A whole novel? Seriously?!

How on earth do you find time to write your novel, amongst all the other things going on in your life? A whole novel seems overwhelming. You might be confused about how to structure it or how to start. If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel – or you started one and lost your novel writing mojo – read on.

Separate challenges

I don’t know if you noticed, but there are several things happening at once in that introductory paragraph (and you could probably add more to the list):

  • lots of things in your life,
  • managing your time,
  • overwhelm, confusion and loss of mojo,
  • needing to know about structure,
  • needing to know how to start

It helps to treat each of these as separate challenges. Here’s a top tip for each one. If you would like a tip for a specific challenge you’re facing, drop it in the comments below and I’ll reply with some thoughts.

Five tips for finding time to write your novel

  1. You do have enough time. Try the kettle test if you don’t believe me.
  2. Want more on time management for writers? You’ve come to the right place. Check out this blog post.
  3. Overwhelmed by the thought of writing a whole book? Know why you want to write a novel – it will keep you motivated. Jot down some ideas in a notebook over coffee. And break the whole task down into smaller chunks. You’re not writing 80,000 words, you’re writing 1,000 words 80 times.
  4. You don’t need to know how to structure a novel before you start writing, but when you get to that stage, try this.
  5. You don’t need an idea before you start writing. Here’s why. You can get started by using writing prompts or coming up with your own writing games. Take a look at my post called What’s in a writing prompt? for more.

More soon. Until then, happy writing,


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