Here’s the good news. You already have the time you need to write your novel.
Get cracking! Up with a coffee at early light, creating your world, at play before real life kicks in! You’re creating something that will last, and speak for you and your lifetime in one hour a day.
In ninety days from now
Whatever stage you’re at – whether you’ve got no idea for your novel or you’ve got a first draft sitting in a drawer – you’ll have a first draft of your novel in your hands in ninety days’ time.
Our one hour a day method for writing the first draft of your novel is not a gimmick or a sop to busy people. It’s our tried and tested model for getting it done, with fully guided daily practical support and writer coaching.
You need to do 23 times more back-of-mind cogitation than you do writing when you embark upon the hard work of formulating a novel at first draft.
The time between writing sessions is vital and will allow you to go to the page to write with refreshed and renewed purpose.
If you don’t fly off and write yourself out of ideas (and hope), but keep a nice low steady word count in these demanding early days of putting the vital organs of the novel in place, your confidence and skills will build assuredly and you will pick up a nice steady pace and a great working habit.
Continuity: courses, coaching and community
We have seen many people write novels now. Those who do best are those who maintain continuity. Checking in with the novel daily means that even if the one hour is compromised or doesn’t go well, they’re still available for the mystery of the 23 hours.
Even if you’re on holiday, you can find one hour a day for that novel. Get up and enjoy the different venue with a coffee and spend time in your happy place. Say you’ve got no laptop with you? Say you can’t write with others around you? Get out your notebook, muse and mull, list any problems you have with the novel presently and consider some options to treat them. You won’t crack the problem there and then, but you’ll have logged it and your subconscious will draw on all the new information and inspiration of the changed surroundings to make new connections and come up with the goods.
The point is to water that novel daily, wherever you are, to keep it alive in your mind. Doodle, lament, journal, conspire, on the beach, on the loo, but keep that affair with your novel alive and kicking.
It is frightening yet wonderful how consistent the process of writing a novel is for all writers. Once you’re past 10k, the idea is safe. At 30k you’ll experience a sag, our online creative writing courses are structured to push you through. You’ll be nervous on day one, elated by day ten. You’ll no doubt experience a day of doubt, followed by a day of euphoria as judgement is superseded by appetite and ambition and so on. As a community, we share the learning to fast-track writers one by one.
Check in daily
Check in with that novel every day, even if it’s only to make notes. Check into the group and breathe a sigh of relief. It’s not just you who suffers ups and downs, but you will have your eureka moment either in the shower or out walking the dog, possibly even at work. Creativity is combining two things that don’t obviously go together to make something new, and when you’ve got a problem in the novel, you’ll solve it more likely in the 23 hours than the one hour. And you’ll bring 23 hours of thinking to every golden hour you write.
That hour is 24-carat gold.
Get that novel done – sign up!
- We’ll turn you into a novel-writing machine with our book-ended days at The Novelry and full-body immersion in the writing life
- You’ll learn a happy lifelong writing practice
- You’ll have a writing coach at your side who believes in you and your writing. All writers need one person who believes in them. Enjoy one-on-one sessions with editors to get feedback on your novel and avoid pitfalls and bypass one or two drafts
- Get daily guidance based on the natural structure of a novel with lessons by video and text timed to coincide with your writing
- Pain-free plotting with our tools doing the heavy-lifting!
- Worldwide fellowship with other working writers – a dark-hearted bunch of buddies!
- Learn from the great writers and get insights into their techniques
- Get pitched direct to leading literary agencies. Find the right literary agent for you and get your work seen by leading global agents when we recommend you to them.
I get my admin done by noon if I can, and push it out of my mind so I can do some real work. I feel shy of saying this, because to non-writers it sounds so lazy – but if, seven days a week, you can cut out two hours for yourself, when you are undistracted and on-song, you will soon have a book. Unoriginally, I call these “the golden hours.” It doesn’t much matter where I find them, as long as I do. I usually work many hours more. But sometimes I wonder why.
— Hilary Mantel