I hear it from writers all the time: “My life is too hectic, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to write.” I can totally relate. I have felt the same way for most of my life. But I discovered that with these 3 simple steps, I could conjure up extra hours in the day, almost with no effort at all.
And they can work for you, too:
1. Make a bold decision. This truly is the first step, and so many writers never do this. You need to tell yourself, in no uncertain terms, that writing a novel is what you want to do. Allow yourself to feel the excitement of setting out on this new journey. Close your eyes, and picture yourself holding your published book in your hands, in as much visual detail as possible. Then ask yourself, how does it feel?
It’s so simple, but it’s amazing what happens when you make this conscious (and bold) decision: it’s like your mind starts buzzing with all sorts of ideas on how to actually make it happen. Goals start setting themselves. Ever heard the term “mind shift”? That’s exactly what this is.
Here’s a good way to decide now that you’re going to get started: Join us in this 10,000-word Writing Challenge (starts October 1st…soon!)
2. Make your novel a priority. What’s important gets done. Ever notice how you never quite get around to things you aren’t very excited about? That’s no coincidence. If something is not a priority, there will be no shortage of reasons that you won’t “get around to it.” A year from now, do you really want to be thinking, I wish I could just get going on my novel? Or would you rather have a published book with your name on it—one that already hit #1 on the ChapterBuzz Charts—and be hard at work on your follow-up book as your readers keep asking you when it’ll be done?
Your familiar refrain of “I’ll write a book someday” stops today. Mark this day on your calendar…as the day you decided to make your novel a priority!
3. Make writing a habit. I learned about the power of habits through my ceiling fan. What? During the summer months, I noticed that the ceiling fan in my bedroom would collect dust. Not just a little dust, but mounds of dust. And since I don’t spend very much time thinking about ceiling fans—and to be fair, who does, really?—it was only every month or so that I would realize the fan blades had become absolutely befouled with all manner of dust, dirt, and grime. Dust bunnies? Ha. I had curated an entire zoo of dust animals. Between perching myself precariously on a folding chair to reach the fan blades, climbing down again, plus all the trips back and forth to the kitchen sink to rinse off my dusting cloth, the entire process took 20 minutes and felt like a cross between my daily workout and a training session for an Ocean’s Eight–style art museum heist.
Then one day I had an aha! moment. If I forced myself to quickly wipe down the fan blades every night before bed, it would save all the hassle, the time, and most importantly, the dread of having to do this major monthly chore. So that’s exactly what I do now: each and every night, I run a damp cloth down each of the fan blades. It only takes a few seconds, and I never have to worry about the next grand opening of the Great Dust Animal Zoo.
The point is: I’ve applied this habit-based approach to my writing, and it works very well, which is one reason I’m able to post so frequently on this blog. Daily writing is a habit for me!
Sitting down to write for an hour, even 30 minutes, each day means you’re making gradual progress on your book. Writing a novel will no longer feel like a herculean task, worthy of dread, that you’ll “get around to some day.”
That’s truly it. Now you’re more than a writer—you’re a magician.
Make the bold decision to get started, make your novel a top priority, get in the habit of writing every day, and just watch as your hectic life bends to your will, and time—out of nowhere—magically appears.