Working a weekday grind doesn’t render writing a novel impossible. It may slow it down and encourage superhuman juggling skills, but it is doable. The determined writer needs to carve out a schedule and stick to it. Determined writers are disciplined. Determined writers shrug off social gatherings and down time. Oh sure, slipping off the discipline wagon occurs and is allowed, but one learns quickly that the satisfaction of riding atop the wagon, and especially sitting in the driver’s seat, can be glorious.
I work weekdays, and a weekend now and then, at a job with little wiggle room to fit in the beloved writing. I run a legal non-profit that involves working with nearly 650 lawyers and judges. Sometimes, the day job is mentally grueling, and days dash by without a written word. But then there are the times where words overflow. So how to fit in writing time?
- Determine how important sleep is to you. Sleep or finishing a chapter? Getting up before the day job to write for an hour or more enables us to make big strides toward reaching The End. Every day that sleep wins, we join the rank and file, the proletariat, the automatons who want to write, but don’t. Every day that writing wins, we join the elite, the dream chasers, and ultimately, the dream catchers. The path we take is in our own hands.
- If you can’t write first thing, write during breaks. Many days, I spend my lunch time walking a few blocks to the local library, sitting at a corner table, and doing something, ANYTHING, to progress my second novel. Sometimes, I’ll go through previous chapters and revise. Other times, I’ll plow forward and write a chapter. It gives me enormous satisfaction to experience that thrill of progress, however small.
- Write after work – this is the hardest part for me because I’m often mentally sluggish post day job. Sometimes I’ll review previously written dialogue to ensure it sounds like the character. Other times, I’ll write sentences my characters might say, or words they might use. Again, any little bit of progress toward reaching The End is...progress!
- Weekend writing is where I face the biggest challenge. So much time to slack off and get to writing later rather than sooner. But when I do slack, at the end of the day, my feet drag, my shoulders droop, and regret carves its awful name on my forehead. It’s no fun lamenting on why I wasted time. Instead, it’s better to chain oneself to the desk and work to fill each minute with writing. Don’t wait for the muse to come to you. Go out and capture that muse, reel it in! Show that muse who’s boss. When you do, you’ll find that muse will be waiting for you.
MURDER AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS
She swore she'd never turn into her P.I. father. But that was before she ran over the body.
"A smart caper with a heroine to match." - Kirkus Reviews
"...a delightful twisting maze complete with Hollywood film production, murder and mayhem, and sexy and quirky characters...." Kimberley Troutte, New York Times bestselling author