Updated: Apr 25, 2020
I can hardly believe I actually managed it. Three drafts in twelve months, each draft like layers in a painting, adding texture and color to the story that once existed only in my mind.
I can't write, I have a houseful of kids.
I can't write, I have to make money at a real job!
I can't write, I don't have the time.
I said all those things. I felt all those things. I would have to wait until my four kids were grown. Wait until I was financially secure and could take months off to create a masterpiece. Then I would put on a cozy sweater and a pot of coffee, hide away in my book-lined office with a cozy cat in my lap, and a flower on the windowsill. The words would flow from my fingertips onto the glossy keys of my laptop.
Well, that's not how it worked out for me. (Well, I did have a cat to curl up in my lap!)
So how did I manage it? I'll tell you, but you're not going to like it.
First, I had to WANT it. Really, REALLY want it, deep inside.
Then it took a whole lot of sacrifice and work!
I'm no expert, but I would like to share with you how I managed to get my story on paper.
These are practical steps to get you started on writing YOUR book within the next year! (I know you can do it!)
Make an Outline!
I know, I know, that sounds tedious and boring when you're eager to get in there and create, but if you're on a time crunch you don't have time to mess around with a scene that's not going to work in the long run. My own outline was fairly loose, but I know where the characters are going, what obstacles will get in their way, and where they will end up. I've heard that some writers even write the last chapter first!
Make at least basic character notes
I never filled out a long character-creation form (there's a hundred of them on Pinterest) but it IS useful to have ages, birthdays, basic appearance, last names, family members, and other details that you want to keep straight. You can go ahead and write their goals, dreams, favorite foods, and all that if you like. I was able to keep most of those juicy details in my head.
Do your research, and record your sources
It is so crucial to record notes on where you found your information. Keep URL's, book sources, and the page numbers of that interesting fact. You're likely going to fact check later, and it's frustrating when you can't find where you read that little tidbit and begin to think you made it all up. (Experience talking here!)