People often ask me how I have time to write a book. I have a teenaged child, a job, a house and a consulting business. I have written five books, usually within one year per book, in the last seven years.
My writing regime can be explained in one word — discipline. When I am writing my scratchy first draft I write three double spaced pages of prose a day until I have about 50,000 words. Next I take one line from each segment and make up cue cards. I take the cue cards and spread them out on my bed and re-arrange the novel.
I will then type out a very rough synopsis. I then ignore the manuscript for at least two weeks while working on other projects.
I will then spend at least a year editing the manuscript with the assistance of my editing circle.
I will attend workshops on writing, occasionally take on-line editing courses and read books on writing during the year of editing.
I also spend a terrific amount of time reading other mystery writers and true crime stories in newspapers. I would never try to emulate another writer but I find that I truly enjoy reading and it makes me more creative in my own endeavours
Novel writing is a solitary profession and not for people who are too self-critical. I have found that most fans are positive and kind. Once in awhile there will be a fan who didn’t like my work and I try not to take these comments to heart.
My own inner self-critic is more judicious than any reader. As you write your novel — be kind to yourself.
This three-page a day goal is one that works for me. If you embark on the journey of writing three-pages a day and you can’t keep up with it modify your plan to two or one. The most important thing is to have the discipline to continue and eventually you will have a novel that you will be proud of.