A Little Bit At A Time

Making resolutions isn’t hard. No, really, it’s easy to say you’re going to lose weight or finish that book. The hard part is the “how.”

If you’repocket watches like me, you feel overwhelmed by the daunting task ahead. I mean, how many “regular” people do you know that have written a book? Not to say there’s anything, well, unique about authors. (Hmmm, I think I’ll save THAT subject for another blog.) But telling a story that is over three hundred pages takes perseverance, as well as a great imagination. So, how do we make it happen?

Some authors can just spew the story onto the computer, then hone their manuscript. I envy them. I’m a “pantser,” but writing a book in a short period of time doesn’t work for me. Lately, I’ve discovered the best way for me to get something accomplished is the “little bit at a time” method.

If I try to do anything that is a big project: clean the closets, wash the windows, work on my book.  I find myself thinking, “I’ll just hold off until I have several hours.” Who am I kidding-extra hours with nothing to do?

So, I’m trying to retrain my thinking. I look at even small segments of time as valuable. Can I do a few dishes while I’m waiting for the car to warm up? I may not be in my story enough to create in the twenty minutes while dinner’s baking, but what about editing? These days, I even take advantage of commercials during my favorite TV shows. (Shhh, don’t tell the advertisers I don’t watch them.)

There are so many “productivity stealers.” How about all that wasted time waiting in the checkout at the grocery store? It’s a great opportunity to think through character names or figure out plot twists. In fact, most of the books I “read” these days are audio books which I listen to in the car as I go back and forth to work. That was a whole hour of time I didn’t utilize, but now I get to enjoy stories and keep up with what’s being written in our industry.

woman runningMy husband likes to say we all have twenty-four hours, and he’s right.  I’m trying not to waste the small moments so I can get my books done that much sooner. Whatever you want to accomplish in life can be done in bite size pieces.

Do any of you write your books “a little bit at a time?”


About Dawn Ireland

When I'm not writing historical romance, I'm practicing my harp, gardening, singing, acting, wood carving... Okay, you get the idea, I love to create.
This entry was posted in Dawn's Offering, Soul Mate Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Little Bit At A Time

  1. Dawn, thanks so much for this “permission”! I do the same thing as you did: always saying, “I can’t open my WIP now. I only have 20 minutes.”
    But I think your advice is fantastic, even though, yes, sometimes that isn’t quite enough time to get “into” the story. In reading through the last several pages I’ve written though, I sometimes get a brain spark that smolders in my brain long after I’ve walked away. Fodder for the next time I sit down at the keyboard.
    Thanks for this thoughtful post!

  2. While I was working two, sometimes three jobs, I promised myself one hour a day to write. Lunch hour was a big help: I’d fit in thirty minutes of writing and thirty minutes of walking, then eat my salad at my desk afterwards. Most evenings I could scrounge half an hour to write. Some days the “hour” was four chunks of 15 minutes, but I kept my promise. Within a year, I had a finished novel and a contract from Soul Mate to publish it! That was the first of the Lakeside Porches romances, and since then the series had grown to four books. It can work if you make the commitment and stick with it!

    • Dawn Ireland says:

      And I think I’m busy! Wow! That’s amazing. Mmmm, I wonder if I could get up an hour earlier and add that to my writing time? I don’t think it’s too late to make a resolution.

  3. You can totally be a writer on a hour a day, 4 days/week. If you get to the point where you can write 500 words in an hour, that’s 100,000 words a year–a thick, meaty novel. I like your suggestions of mulling over what happens next in the grocery line (I find that walking and driving are my best times, but whatever works). Well done, Dawn.

    • Dawn Ireland says:

      Thanks for the encouragement. I don’t always write 500 words in an hour, but I do what I can. Scary to say, my mind seems to work best on those pesky plot issues when I’m doing something else. All of a sudden I’ll say, “Oh, it’s his brother who’s causing the problems.” I love writing because in many ways it’s like reading your own story. That’s why I’m a panster. If I took time to write everything out, I’d miss the “discovery.”

  4. It’s funny, I find I’ve eliminated almost all free time, no matter what I’m doing I’m writing. If it’s not on the actual page, then it’s in my head, plotting, creating, considering “what if’s”, etc. I can’t tell you how often my family ask me something and I don’t hear them or acknowledge them. They’ve learned to keep asking until I return to the planet and present. I guess it’s just all or nothing with me.
    Thanks for sharing,

    Writing as Belle Ami
    The One (The Only One) #1
    The One & More (The Only One) #2
    Coming 2016 – One More Time is Not Enough (The Only One) #3
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/belle.ami.96?fref=ts
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  5. Dawn Ireland says:

    I’m laughing because my family has the same problem. I know I frustrate them. I don’t think they mind when I keep my revelations to myself, but I keep wanting to share. “Sweetheart, do you know what I just figured out?” Wait for it. Eyes roll and a sigh breaks the silence.

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