8 Easy Things To Do BEFORE You Start Your Novel

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1. Buy a timer and place it next to you as you write. This will help you keep track of how long you’ve been working—and how much time you have to go.

2. Place a “Do Not Disturb” note on your office door when you’re writing, if you don’t live alone.

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This text excerpted from 90 Days to Your Novel
(WD Books, Dec. 2010), by Sarah Domet, whose
fiction and nonfiction appears or is forthcoming in
New Delta Review, Quarterly West, Cincinnati
Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Potomac Review,
Harpur Palate, and Many Mountains Moving.
See her author website here.

3. Turn your phone to silent and don’t check it—or better yet, turn it off.

4. If you work on a computer, log off from the Internet. This way you won’t be tempted to peek at your e-mail or procrastinate by checking the weather.

5. Try to write at the same time every day, if possible. Doing so will help you foster a good writing habit.

6. Avoid too much television watching during the next few months. Instead, read some novels. Good ideas are often generated from reading and are seldom generated from Must-See TV.

7. Use the buddy system. If you know a friend, a group of friends, or even a writing group comprised of individuals who want to write a novel, take the 90-day challenge together. You can reinforce each other, commiserate, inspire, complain, and help each other over those difficult writing slumps. Writing is a solitary enterprise, but talking about writing isn’t.

8. Remember to have fun! You’re about to take those first teetering, yet exhilarating steps toward writing your novel. Embrace the challenge.

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