Stickin’ With It (Getting Your Novel Written)

I get it. I get it more than I have at any other time in my life.

How hard it is to get a book finished, that is.

I’ve always written through life’s ups and downs. But even in the worst of it, I was able to put in 6-8 (or more) hours of hardcore writing a day.

These days?

Between a roof that leaks and showers that leaks, dishes, an epileptic dog that needs meds, cooking, shopping, dishes, caring for two aging parents, dishes, laundry, mowing, dishes, linoleum floor-laying, ceiling repair, dishes, bill paying (did I mention the never-ending pile of DISHES???), I know how the world can suck all the hours out of your day.

I don’t have the same luxury of uninterrupted writing time, not like I did when I was younger.

So here’s what I have been doing:

Writing at night. Most of my stuff’s written between the hours of, say, seven and ten. I get some additional work done in spurts during the day, as well. But this is my time to sprint. Figure out when your best sprinting sessions can take place (and where).

Planning ahead of time. I can make far more of the time I do have if I know ahead of time what I’m going to write.

Don’t sweat not having some new release every 2.4 seconds. The indie world especially seems to think that the key to success is about ten releases a year. Okay, not really–mostly, I see indie experts advocating four new releases. Which is still a ton of work. Seriously. And while it is true that the more books you have available, the more you’re going to sell, it doesn’t help anything to release books you’re not happy with. And I’m not just talking about the reviews and your Amazon star rating. I’m talking about how you personally feel about your work. Release what you believe in and what you’re proud of.

Don’t let fatigue let you move the finish line. There are times, when you are on the seventeenth draft, that you just want to call it done. Don’t do it. Don’t claim you’re at the finish line when you know that line should still be about another ten miles down the road. Again–feel proud of your work.

I mean, most things in life take about three times longer to finish than you think they will. That’s frustrating. But if you don’t keep at it, if you let the frustration take over, you never get there at all. Better to release a book a month or two later than expected than to give up and never release it.

And seriously–those of you who work from home can agree with me when I say, What is the deal with all the dishes??????

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