Welcome to my page dedicated to anyone who's always wanted to write a novel, but didn't know where to start. I'll post a tip each day from my book YOUR PERSONAL FICTION-WRITING COACH: 365 Days of Motivation & Tips to Write a Great Book! and then, I want to hear from you:  Like the Personal Fiction-Writing Coach FB page and leave a comment to let me and your fellow writers know if the day's tip or writing exercise resonates with you and your project. Grab your writing pals and send them over, too!

Read this first.

So you want to be a writer? Or maybe you’re already a writer, but can’t seem to get that novel written? Or you’ve written a few books, but the thrill is gone. Is there a trick, you wonder, to writing a great book, or even finishing a so-so book? Why, yes—there are three tricks, actually, that veteran writers like me keep top secret (shhhh!):

  1. Get started already.
  2. Clunk through it.
  3. Find ways not to stop until you get to The End.

The list probably isn’t the romantic, idealistic answer you were hoping for, but I wrote this book with the idea of dispensing daily inspiration to get you to think about your story—and to write. Because I know from experience your motivation will give out before your imagination will. This book is structured to ease you through the life-cycle of creating a full-length novel, from broad stroke advice and self-evaluating questions, to more specific tips when you get to the planning and writing stages. I’ve also included pitfalls to avoid, lessons I’ve learned and techniques to help you manage your writing time.

If you like guarantees, writing isn’t for you. That said, if you write a novel and put it out into the universe, I guarantee you will:

  • Learn a lot about yourself along the way. (Are you funny? Mean? Truthful? Brave?)
  • Be fulfilled in a way only other writers can comprehend. (It’s intoxicating.)
  • Change the world some. (Something that wasn’t there before, suddenly will be.)

And that’s cool. Ready? Let’s do this. ~

This daily serial will run through December 31. Each day's writing tip or exercise will be posted for 24 hours, 4am Eastern to 4am Eastern. Set a reminder on your calendar, fridge, or phone so you don't miss a single day of advice to get your novel finished!  (For general writing advice and to find out how I sold my first book, check out my Writers Q&A page.)

147. Writing anywhere

At different times in the process of finishing your novel, you might need to get creative about finding a place to write or figuring out how to write wherever you happen to be. Sometimes I like to work outside, either at my home, or at the park, etc. The problem with working outside on a backlit laptop is seeing the screen in the sunlight. My solution is to wear a cap with a long bill, like the kind you'd wear on the beach. Just having your eyes shaded will help you better see the computer screen. I’ve even added side panels to my writing visor to block more light and to help keep me focused by eliminating peripheral distractions. Looks a little geeky, but it totally works.

Keep a to-go bag handy with items to help you write away from your home office:  a copy of your synopsis/outline, pad of paper, pen, a portable charger, eye drops, etc. I do much of my writing on the train, in airports, on planes, and in waiting rooms.

In an effort to combine writing with a walking workout, I’ve found a way to write on the treadmill at the gym. I cut a piece of foam core board the depth of my laptop (you might need to layer foam core board to support your laptop), and long enough to safely span the handrails of the treadmill. The board acts as a work surface and positions the keyboard at a good height for me to type. I can walk about 3mph and comfortably keep my hands on the keyboard. I walk for an hour and usually come away with 3-4 new pages. I call it “wrilking.” (Note: Do not try wrilking unless you’re a touch typist and relatively coordinated! And if you do try this at home or at the gym, please be careful and start at a very slow speed.)

Learning to write in any environment will help you eke pages out of what would otherwise be "down" time.

Q:  Have you found ways to multi-task when you write?   Share with other writers on Facebook.

Check back tomorrow for the next tip from
365 Days of Motivation & Tips to Write a Great Book!
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