I’m doing Nanowrimo this year, here's my profile. For those who don't know, Nanowrimo is about writing at least 50,000 words of a novel during November. I loved doing it in 2013, and the novel I wrote then is being published by Love Lane Books as The Guardian Angel in 2015. This year for Nanowrimo I’m writing Kev’s third book in the spinoff series from Best Friends Perfect, I’m calling the series Kev Friends Perfect.
This may sound quite daunting. But with just fifteen minutes a day over a year, you too can write your own novel.
Anyway...I’m often asked how I find time to write with real life, a day job, socialising etc. People have children, elderly relatives to look after, dinners to make, housework to do, cars to get serviced, washing machines to get repaired. It’s life. It happens. If you’re a writer waiting for a week or a day when none of that happens, you’ll be waiting a long long time. The secret is using little bits of time, which I’ll explain later.
Also, I don’t find writing a chore. I find writing a release and an escape from the stresses and strains of real life. If I’m really tired and can’t continue with my work in progress or dive into some serious content edits, I’ll write a blog post, or maybe some poetry, or some post it note planning, anything writing related really. I love it all. I do the stuff needing full concentration (first drafting, edits) for when I’m fresh and not tired. For this I get up an hour or so earlier than I need to.
How to write a novel in fifteen minutes a day
I write a diary every day. It’s one of those A5 page per day ones. I normally write a full page each day about what I’ve done, what I’ve thought, what I’m worrying about at the time. I also write about what I’m writing, how that’s going etc. 2014 is the first year I’ve kept a proper record of how many word I’m writing each week. I wanted to work out how many words I write in my diary too. It’s about 240 words per day. An average of six words per line over 40 lines. So 240 words x 356 days a year = 87,600 words a year in my dairy. That’s about the same as an average length novel. It takes me about fifteen minutes each night to write that, which isn’t that fast, it’s 1000 words an hour, and includes thinking and reflecting time. I am strict about allowing myself that time every night, and it doesn’t feel like a chore, I enjoy downloading and writing by hand every day.
This is because a little bit multiplied by a lot of days = a lot
If you carve out fifteen minutes a day to write it would result in an average length novel in a year. Write it on your phone in notes if you have to. Write it in email drafts. Write it on paper with a pencil. You could buy a one page per day diary and write a page of your story on a page of the diary, so you’re filling a page every day. When you’ve filled the page of the diary, you can stop, leave it until the next day. It would get you into the habit of writing regularly, small amounts each day. By the end of the year you’d have filled the diary with a novel. Your novel.
If you gave yourself half an hour a day, you’d write it in six months, then could have six months to self edit, send to beta readers, edit again, and submit to publishers.
OK, so you might like to plan your novel – I plan mine, but you don’t have to, plenty of authors just dive in and write. Even if you have to plan you can do that in blocks of fifteen minutes or half an hour.
All this, alongside real life in all its many facets. Pretty amazing isn’t it?
This is because a little multiplied by a lot = a lot.
Who can’t find fifteen minutes to themselves each day?
Until next time,
Liam Livings xx