Support yourself while writing a novel

How authors support their writing dreams June 11, by Alan Rinzler A few aspiring authors get to stay home and write all day.

Support yourself while writing a novel

Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and download free character development worksheets! James Scott Bell March 29, There are a lot of ways not to do something. Like the new boat owner a few years ago who was filling up his pleasure craft with fuel for that first time out. Only he mistook the tube meant to hold fishing poles for the gas tank.

After completing his work he started up the engine. The gas fumes ignited and blew the boat owner into the sky. He came down in the drink and was rescued, but the boat was a goner.

Character Worksheets

You can be just as creative in finding ways not to write your novel. With a little thought and not much effort, you can easily devise methods to prevent yourself from actually finishing a book—or finishing a book that has a chance to sell. This guest post is by James Scott Bell.

Follow him on Twitter jamesscottbell. Go to your favorite writing spot with your laptop or pad.

Figure out how to get Alan on your side

Perhaps your location of choice is a Starbucks. Sit down with a cup of coffee and hold it with both hands. Do not put your fingers anywhere near the keyboard.

Glance out a window if one is available. Wait for a skein of geese flying in V formation. If no window is available, simply observe the other patrons and make sure they can see your expression of other-worldly concentration.

You are waiting for inspiration. It must come from on high and fill you like fire.

support yourself while writing a novel

Until then, do not write a word. Tell yourself this will relax your mind so inspiration can pour in. Of course, those who think it wise to finish their novels do things backwards. They do things like this: Establish a writing quota. The quota is based not on how much time they spend thinking about writing, but on how many words they get down.

Some do a daily quota, others do it by the week. But they figure out what they can comfortably get done and set a quota about 10 percent above that as a goal. By looking at what they wrote the day before, they get back into the flow of their story.

And one day they look up and see a finished manuscript.

support yourself while writing a novel

They have lost sight of how not to write a novel.And yes, while it is always a good strategy to have several books out there, it’s also possible to write a book that sells so well, you can live off it. It’s (almost) happened to me. You can also create products based off the book to further diversify and increase your chances of living off your writing.

A few years back, I attended Donald Mass’s Writing the Breakout Novel workshop, where he recommended allowing your character to be heroic in some small way in the first chapter. In the opening pages, what will “wow” your reader?

You say: so if you're going to do this, you have to think about how you're going to support yourself. I tell my students about journalism, about other kinds of writing, about crowdfunding, about.

To help readers learn to ask questions before, during, and after reading, think aloud the next time you are reading a book, article, or set of directions. Write each question on a post-it note and stick it on the text you have the question about.

What a lovely story. Follow your professor’s suggestions and get those good poems published. Write more poems, since that form seems to be your primary creative outlet. And if you ever do write that novel, the poetry you’ve written is great training, since every sentence of your longer form narrative will need to be as carefully crafted.

You can be just as creative in finding ways not to write your novel. With a little thought and not much effort, you can easily devise methods to prevent yourself from actually finishing a book—or finishing a book that has a chance to sell.

National Novel Writing Month