Skip to main content

Guest Post: Author Pamela Samuels Young Tells How to Write a Novel Despite Your Day Job

Earlier this year, I reviewed a crime novel called Murder on the Down Low. The author, Pamela Samuels Young, is also a lawyer. So I asked her to share how she is able to find time to write, while also juggling a separate career.

How to Write a Novel Despite Your Day Job

I’m often asked how I’ve managed to write four novels while still practicing law. Simply put, writing is my passion. I love creating characters and stories with lots of unexpected twists and turns. That doesn’t mean it’s been easy. Balancing a demanding day job, my family life and my writing career have required lots of sacrifice and hard work. I’ve done it and you can do it too. Here are my top five tips for writing a novel despite your day job.

1. Prepare a Writing Schedule and Stick to It.

Writing a novel is a daunting venture. You have to commit to making it happen. Plan your writing time the same way you plan your schedule at work. I usually plan my writing schedule for the week on Sunday evenings. Whether you have five hours of writing time or just an hour, plan your writing schedule in advance and stick to it.

2. Outline Your Novel.

You can save a great deal of time by thinking your story through from beginning to end before you start writing. You don’t have to prepare an elaborate outline, just jot down enough to serve as a reliable road map. And don’t worry about hampering your creativity. I’ve never written an outline that’s exactly the same as my final draft. My outline is just the map that gets me going. I always venture off course.

3. Start Writing, Without Rewriting Until You Have a First Draft.

Don’t worry about producing a perfect manuscript the first time around. Just get through a solid first draft of your manuscript. When I start a new book, I make few, if any, revisions along the way. Once I get to the end, then I go back and spend as long as I need (usually a few months) perfecting my prose. The writing is in the rewriting.

4. Use Your Passive Time to Further Your Novel.

Don’t forget that writing a novel also involves thinking about your plot and characters. Even when you’re away from your computer, mull over your story. I often work out plot lines when I’m stuck in traffic on the freeway, in the shower, in the beauty shop or waiting in the doctor’s office.

5. Ask Your Friends and Family for their Support.

Writing is a lonely venture which requires you to be selfish with your time. Share your goals with those closest to you and ask for their support. Also, try to incorporate your family whenever you can. I often write about real places in Los Angeles. Once I’ve completed a solid draft of my manuscript, my husband drives me all over the city to visit the places I’ve described in my book to make sure I’ve described them accurately. It’s always a fun day and it gets him involved in the book.

Remember that writing is a creative process. One size does not fit all. Some of the recommendations above may work for you, some may not. Use those that work and ignore or tweak the ones that don’t so that they fit your needs. Above all, just keep writing!

For more information about Pamela Samuels Young, visit the author's website.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mundie Moms are hosting the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate. To stick with the theme of Independence Day, I'm doing what I did last year for this hop: I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States. It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from Book Depository . The contest ends on Thursday, July 5th at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be notified by e-mail. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a safe and fun holiday! Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway Now check out all of the other giveaways you can enter at the links below!

Leap into Books Giveaway Hop!

This week, I'm participating in the Leap into Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I'm a Reader, Not a Writer . I'm giving away a book of your choice  up to $10 from Book Depository. It's that simple. Just visit  Book Depository and choose any book that is selling for $10 or less. This giveaway is open to international entries as long as Book Depository ships to your address ( click here to check ). The contest ends on Monday, March 5, 2012, at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be picked using Random.org and notified by e-mail. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn. To enter, just leave a comment telling me what book you want to win. Check out all the other participants in the giveaway hop!

Freedom Giveaway Hop

Simply Stacie and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer are hosting the Freedom Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate. To stick with the theme of Independence Day: I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States. It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from the vendor of my choice. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your favorite U.S. author (this doesn't have to be the author of the book you choose if you're the winner). Include your email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only. I've decided to open this up to international entries as long as Book Depository ships to your address. For extra entries: Leave a separate comment if you follow My Book Retre