As I approach the end of my first novel this year I'm getting a lot of questions on how I do it so I thought I'd share my secrets with you. Many of you already know I carry a notebook everywhere I go and write everything long hand first, then I enter it later in my computer. This gives me the freedom to be able to write anywhere, any time. I write on the way to work (don't worry, I car pool), I write on my breaks at work, and whenever I find a free moment at home. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve though.
First I set a big goal such as, finish this book in six months. Your goal doesn't have to have such a tight timeline but it should have a time that you plan to have the novel completed. After that I take a guess at how long I think my novel is going to be. Based on that I figure out how many pages I have to write a day to reach my goal in time. Those pages become my secondary goal. It's is usually three pages a day. Again, your goal doesn't have to be nearly that much. The important thing is that you have a goal.
There is a key to reaching your writing goals, something you must do otherwise you risk never reaching them. This won't be easy for many of you because it isn't within a writer's nature. Are you ready to commit to it? Okay, here it is: allow yourself to write a rough draft. If you try to perfect your novel every step of the way it will take years to write and the process with frustrate you nearly to death. Get that first draft done from start to finish without a single edit. I give you permission. Once you're finished with it you can go back and put it through the ringer, but you must write it first.
Join us this Thursday at 6:00pm PT on the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter to discuss the topic farther and to get that much needed support for finishing your novel!