Random Inspirations

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Productive Writing: 5 Tips to Writing 1 Novella per Month

on September 15, 2014

Woohoo! Last Friday, I finished writing my last Amish ebook (for a while, anyway), Amish Awakening (The Finale): Rebekah and Braeden’s Book. With a word count hovering around 23,000, this novella is approaching novel territory, in keeping with my trend toward longer ebooks as I’ve advanced through my three Amish series. The Amish Hearts books were short novellas (60-70 pages on Amazon) as I introduced the twins at the beginning of their Rumspringa. In the Amish in College series, the twins and their friends Hannah and Samuel explored deeper growing-up issues, and the length of the novellas grew accordingly–up to 80-90 pages on Amazon. And finally, the books of the Amish Couples series range from 102-121 pages on Amazon.

The funny thing is, I’ve stuck to my one book a month release quota for an entire year, but the books have grown in length. Much of this might be due to practice and increased efficiency as I’ve transitioned from my life of pharmacist to full-time writer, and I’m excited to share my experiences with you!

books

Here are 5 foolproof tips to writing 1 novella per month, brought to you by someone who knows 😉

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice – The best way to increase your efficiency as a writer is by practicing every day. As we become acclimated to the routine of writing regularly, the words just seem to flow more easily.
  2. Have a Standing Appointment With Your Editor –As soon as I submit my manuscript to my editor, I schedule the date to submit my next one–in exactly one month. This deadline keeps me on track and creates a sense of accountability. Regardless of how busy my month is with travel and other engagements, I’ve never missed a deadline, and sometimes I even finish early. The key is piecing the writing into your month as a whole, and if you must skip a few of your normal work days, you must create the time to make them up later.
  3. Know Your Best Writing Time – Are you a morning, afternoon, evening, or late-night writer? This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself, because your writing “golden hour” (or hours) will be the time at which you’re most productive and inspired. I happen to write best in the mid to late morning and early afternoon, and this is the time when I write the bulk of my novellas.
  4. Set Up Daily and Weekly Writing Quotas – I find it helpful to target a number of chapters that I would like to complete per day and per week. My minimum quota is 10 chapters per week, but when I’m feeling really creative or in the zone, I’ll sometimes write 4 or 5 chapters per day. Bonus!
  5. Take Break Days – Mental health breaks are crucial to stay productive on your on-days and to find inspiration. Make sure you fit them in!

Writers out there, what tips help you to be more productive? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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