Keeping Up with My Novel in 10 Minutes a Day

I’ve been working on the same novel for about two years. I also have two small children, one of whom is younger than my novel. I have a full-time job, an active social life, and a number of extracurriculars, hobbies and obligations. I’m busy.

So, it’s hard to keep tabs on my novel sometimes. I’ll take a break from it and then realize a month has passed. After a break, I need to do a lot of catch-up to pick up where I left off, and that means that I’m wasting time that I actually could have spent writing.

My Wonderful Goals App
A screenshot from the My Wonderful Goals app calendar.

I have a new strategy to prevent that. It’s called WORK ON YOUR NOVEL FOR AT LEAST TEN MINUTES PER DAY. And it’s totally working.

The key here is the AT LEAST. Ideally, I should work on it for at least a few hours per week, which I generally do. But, since I spend at least ten minutes on a day hanging out with my novel, I’m not always trying to catch up.

I found a great productivity tool to help me. It’s an iPhone app called My Wonderful Goals, and it reminds me every day that I need to work on my novel. I usually work on it at night, so I have my alarm set to go off at 11PM to ask me whether I worked on my novel yet. If I haven’t, I make sure to get a little noveling done before bed. The app gives me a star on my calendar every day I made my goal. (I only missed one day this month!)

The other way I’ve managed this is to make it really easy to work on my novel. I don’t need to be in my office or in front of my computer or even in a quiet place. I’ve put my entire novel on my iPhone for quick access. When I need to, I can literally work on it in the palm of my hand.

The next step is to add to my daily goal. I think I’ll add WRITE AT LEAST 1,000 WORDS PER WEEK as an additional goal in a month or so. The key is to have attainable goals that will enable me to slowly and steadily get my novel written.

I’m also planning to attempt NaNoWriMo next month by working on my existing manuscript instead of starting a new one. I’m just hammering away one nail at a time, hoping to have this novel built eventually!

So, there’s my productivity tool of the month — what’s yours?


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