Many of us dream of the day we can sit at home and write uninterrupted to our heart's content. Unfortunately, we have school, work, and households to manage and take care of. Yet, it is possible to research, write, edit, and publish your novel while handling everything else in your life.
- Set a Time: When are you most creative? If you're a morning person, try to wake up an hour earlier each day to write. If you're a night owl, set aside an hour each night when everyone is asleep or otherwise occupied. If you manage a busy household, make sure you talk to your family and ask them to be respectful of the time you've set aside to write. Once you set aside your block of time, be consistent.
- Prioritize: Do you have a deadline for your novel? My goal is to finish writing my novel by December 1st of this year. I have a hectic life, so to reach that goal, I'm aware of the fact that some things will have to get pushed aside. Does this require missing your child's talent show, or skipping a date with your significant other? No, but is it possible to stay off social media for a while or watch a favorite TV show later in the week? Make the time you've set aside count.
- Set Goals: Speaking of deadlines, I recommend setting bi-monthly or quarterly goals for yourself. This gives you manageable chunks of time to work with. Suppose you decide to write for an hour a day in the mornings and you have a monthly goal of 10,000 words. If one Thursday you're feeling creative and you crank out 4,000 words you won't feel as guilty that weekend if something comes up and you can't write. Your ultimate goal will be to publish a novel, but by setting small goals, like writing 10,000 words a month, writing a blog post over lunch, or scheduling a cover designer in the month of May, you'll feel like you're making progress with your novel, even with a small writing window.
- Be Realistic: Life happens. You're going to get sick, your kids are going to be sick, your boss is going to demand you work crazy hours, and some days you just aren't going to feel like writing. It's okay! Take a break, regroup, and when you're ready, jump back in. The key is to not give up and to have faith in yourself.
Have any other tips to share for writers with busy lives? Leave a comment down below or tweet me a tip on Twitter. Let me know if any of these ideas have worked for you in the past, or if you plan to try them when Nanowrimo starts in November. Can't wait to hear from you!