3 Tips for Staying on Track While Writing a Novel

Writing a novel is hard work.

Here are three tips for staying on track during a writing challenge:

Tip #1: Ditch perfectionism.

First drafts aren’t supposed to be perfect. Give yourself permission to take risks, try new things, and explore. So what if your sentences are clunky, your plot a bit bumpy. Keep writing. Keep moving forward. There’s plenty of time during the 60-Day Edit to fix what’s broken in the first draft.

Tip #2: Manage time wisely.

Novels don’t write themselves, and they certainly don’t get written overnight. Take a moment to perform a time management audit, paying close attention to the many activities you perform throughout the day that is not writing.

Yes, of course, we all need to tend to deadlines, responsibilities, and obligations in our lives, but if you find you’re spending a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, video games, and the like, perhaps modify how you spend your time so that novel can get written.

Tip #3: Manage the Middle.

Having difficulty staying on track because you’re facing the daunting task of writing the middle of your novel? Consider using tools like index cards and sticky notes to help you plot your way through the murky middle of your book. Twists, turns, merging storylines, and reversals are often easier to manage if you sketch them out on a piece of paper before sitting down to write them. Consider color coding a few index cards, matching color to character or color to subplot, whatever makes the management of the middle more effective.

Stay on track while writing your novel.

Ditch perfectionism. Manage time wisely. Manage the middle.

Good luck!

Julie Valerie

Julie Valerie

85K Writing Challenge: Embracing the writing life by advancing the practice of productive writing from the first word to the first reader.

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