Writing Q&A: Finding Time, Finishing Work, Short Story Markets And What To Do After A First Draft

Here are some questions that have been sent in by readers.

How does one find the time between work, family, and other commitments to write the book one wants to write?

This is one of the most common questions asked, and basically there is only one answer.

There is not enough time to do everything, so what are you going to give up in order to write your book?

I personally went down to working 4 days per week, plus gave up TV ( I do download shows from iTunes but it cuts out watching crap!). I also have very little social life, but am a happy hermit! Here are some more ideas for finding time. Here is a free audio on Beating Procrastination.

What is your inspiration that keeps you moving towards finishing your book? I’ve got lots of “chunks” of text that i need to assemble into a coherent title (or series of titles).

The only thing that can keep you moving is wanting to achieve the goal of writing your book. Much of the ‘assembly’ can be boring but you have to push through that. Persistence and discipline have to be the hallmarks of anyone successful at anything. Here is some more help:

I’ve almost finished my 1st draft, what do I do next?

“Writing a book is rewriting”, I think Michael Crichton said that, but many other writers will say the same thing. The first draft is just the very start, but at least it gives you the rough material to work with. From here, you need to think about the following:

  • Rewriting, editing, proof-reading and rewriting cyclehere is a great post on different types of editing from Self Publishing Review. Whether you are going to submit to an agent, or going down the self-publishing route, you need to go through editing and rewriting to make the book as good as it can be. Yes, you will be sick of it, but it will be a better product. I have hired editors before to get a professional viewpoint.

Short Story markets. For question #–I’m a short story writer and would be interested in doing an anthology.

Here is a post I have written on finding short story markets on twitter. I hope that helps get you started!

Image: Flickr CC Oberazzi

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  1. says

    Great post. Esp. like the “happy hermit” part! In my experience, there’s no such thing as “not having enough time.” We always have time for our priorities. If writing is a priority, it will happen. If it’s not, it won’t. Simple as that.

  2. says

    I have to tell you, you got me at the “happy hermit” moment. I sooo relate to that. My social life isn’t as big and active as it used to be, but damn, I am writing way more than I used to. And that makes me feel better than all those parties and girl nights out.

    I could probably still cut out some of my other activities t find more time for writing… But I do all that in small steps. I’m not in any rush (yet).

    Great post! Thanks for sharing it with us :)

    • says

      glad everyone liked the ‘happy hermit’!
      I also think back to the number of big nights out and wasted weekends with hangovers and wonder what the hell I was doing – guess that is being younger! Twenties are so over-rated! :)

    • says

      Totally with you Livia – TV is such a time suck. We download from iTunes programs we want to watch, so there are no adverts and no temptation, plus you pay for it, so it has to be something worth watching. Having no TV changed my life too.


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