how to navigate writing a novel (with a full time job)

As I’ve begun the writing process again (it’s been a hell of a long time too!), I’ve been reminded of all of the little things that make writing a novel difficult. So, I decided to write a post on how to navigate writing a novel with a full time job.

I mean, let’s face it. We aren’t all stay-at-home moms. Some of us have to have a job in order to survive. And until we hit the bestsellers list and sign a huge (ok, decent) contract with a publisher, we’re going to keep that job.

Writing is something we do because we love it. But it’s hard to do it all.

Set a Schedule

The first thing that should be done? Set a schedule and follow it.

Treating this hobby as a second job might sound like something that would ruin “the fun of it”, but it’s one of the surefire ways to ensure that the writing gets done.

I feel as though I’m fortunate enough to (sometimes) have two hours between arriving at home and Adam’s arrival. I take this time to write, research, or brainstorm.

Doing this every day will help ensure that I make some kind of progress.

Celebrate the Little Things

The next thing we need to do? Celebrate!

I wrote 2ooo words one weekend. That’s a great thing to accomplish! I’m 2k more words than I was before and the characters that have been living in the corners of my mind are able to roam around a bit.

Even though I wanted to get to 5k, I made progress. I didn’t hit a deadline but tried to be proud of what I’d done. Even if it was hard to feel that pride in the moment, I’m proud now.

Reminding ourselves that any amount of progress is, indeed, progress…well, is difficult. But we have to keep reminding ourselves. Each and every time we write. Every day, if we have to.

It’s part of that whole growth mindset craze, I guess.

No matter how much you do, even if it’s just pinpointing the appearance of a character or plotting the end of book 10, you did something. You’re on your way to accomplishing your dream.

Listen to Your Mind

And not just to the characters. I mean inspiration, motivation, abilities.

If your mind is drifting off to that Facebook post you read earlier, it probably isn’t time to write. But, of course, there are some things that might help with that lack of concentration.

I will listen to music that inspires me, take a minute to “daydream” a scene, or scroll through the inspo I pinned.

Writing is hard work but it’s worth it. If there’s a set schedule, stick to it. Don’t forget that any progress is progress. It might not be the best paragraph or scene – but that’s what edits are for.

Take Breaks

Yes, I just stated that a schedule should be created – and it still should – but you should also know when it’s time to take a break.

We also have to live life.

I haven’t written in two weeks. How could I do that if I set a schedule?

I know when I have to focus on the moment – on my life at work or my life with Adam. We had some Halloween things to do. It was fun. And when I get back to that writing schedule, the work that I produce will be better for it.

So, for those that write, what are some tips that you have? Comment below!

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