How to Stay Motivated and Finish Your Novel | Erica Wright | Skillshare

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How to Stay Motivated and Finish Your Novel

teacher avatar Erica Wright, Writer & Editor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Define Your Goals


    • 3.

      Create a Routine


    • 4.

      Defeat Distractions


    • 5.

      Remember Your Inspiration


    • 6.

      Face Your Fears


    • 7.

      Acknowledge Weak Spots


    • 8.

      Find Your Support


    • 9.

      Use Your Resources


    • 10.



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About This Class

Do you want to turn your story idea into a complete novel?

In this course, author Erica Wright will show you how to stay motivated during the writing process. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by a lack of time, life responsibilities, or the amount of work required. The good news is—you’re not alone! All writers worry that they will not complete their books. But there are ways to succeed in reaching your goals. Erica breaks down common obstacles as well as how to move past them. By the end, you’ll have the skills you need to tackle your dream project and actually finish it. 

Throughout the course, you’ll learn about:

  • Creating a routine that works for your schedule
  • Identifying distractions and defeating them
  • Finding the models that work best for you
  • Facing down your fears
  • Remembering what inspires you

This class is designed for anyone who wants to write a book. Whether you are working on your first or fifth novel, you can feel more energized. Ready to get started?

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Erica Wright

Writer & Editor



Hi, I'm Erica! My new crime novel Famous in Cedarville received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. I am also the author of three previous novels including The Red Chameleon, which was one of O, The Oprah Magazine's Best Books of Summer 2014. My poetry collections are Instructions for Killing the Jackal and All the Bayou Stories End with Drowned. I'm currently working on a book about snakes for Object Lessons. I am the poetry editor at Guernica Magazine as well as a former editorial board member for Alice James Books. I grew up in Wartrace, TN and now live in Washington, DC with my husband and our dog Penny the Pup.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: welcome to how to stay motivated and finish your novel. If you've clicked on this link, I bet you have a great story idea. Or maybe you've even made significant progress with the manuscript. But you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of work in front of you. The good news is, that's completely normal. All writers I know myself included, have plenty of moments along the way where it just seems impossible. It's not. We're going to talk about some approaches and techniques and a few tricks that can actually help you reach this exciting goal. My name is Erica, right? And I'll be publishing my fourth novel, this fault famous in Cedarville. I've been teaching creative writing for more than a decade now, and I love talking about craft elements. I love talking about character development, imagery settings, but I found a lot of my students have a more fundamental question. They're worried about how they can actually maintain stamina and reach the end up a longer project, and that's why I developed this course. We'll be developing and skills that can really make a difference. We'll talk about how to create a routine that works for you and your schedule, we'll address any distractions that might be a problem as well as how to avoid them. And then, perhaps most importantly, we will talk about any fears that might be holding you back. A lot of what we're talking about is how to take a big goal and actually break it down into smaller, manageable steps so these could be applied to other areas of your lives. If you are thinking about tackling something that's a little intimidating, maybe you want to change careers or maybe you want to go back to school. A lot of these skills can actually help there as well. We really designed this course to be helpful for writers at all levels. So whether you're working on your first foot or your fifth, I'm really happy that you joined us. 2. Define Your Goals: it might seem a little bit odd to start by defining your goal. You already know your primary one, and that's to complete your novel. I would think in that, though, is your sort of big umbrella goal, and you want to consider what's nestled underneath that I would encourage you to spend some time today on self assessment. Consider where you are in the process. Are you at the very beginning, brainstorming phase, thinking about characters and plot and genre, or are you further along? If you're using a traditional structure, maybe you've reached the climax. You're falling action. If you're using a non traditional structure, maybe you know there's a fight scene that's coming up. Whatever it is, think about what you need to accomplish next, then right down that goal somewhere where you're going to see it. Personally, I'm a big fan of paper planners and calendars, so I use pen and paper, but you can also use your phone or computer. The next step is to assign yourself a deadline. So take a look at your schedule for the next few days, the next few weeks, or maybe even a month in advance, and think about how much time you realistically have, And when you can't accomplish this smaller goal that you've set for yourself, then you can probably guess this part right down that deadline as well. If you're using a planner, of course, you can circle it. You can write in what you need to accomplish, or if you're using your phone or computer. You can put a reminder in there while I have you here thinking about goals. I would also encourage you to think about the skills you hope to develop as a writer. Perhaps there are certain areas that come very naturally to you. Maybe you're always at dialogue, but you struggle a little bit with him. A dream. I would encourage you to write down that area You want to improve as well. That way, you want to put a little extra energy into it as you're working on your draft a little bit later in. The scores will also address some specific techniques to help you with those troublesome areas. 3. Create a Routine: when considering a routine. I bet you've already heard some advice. Maybe someone is encouraging you to join the 5 a.m. Writers club. Or perhaps you've heard that must write every day. Or maybe you've even heard some word counts run around. You have to write 1000 words a day or 2000 words a day. All of these approaches can definitely be affected, but there's no one right way to finish a novel. However, there probably is an approach that works best for you, and I would encourage you to make some choices. The 1st 1 is going to be deciding between time based goals or word count goals with word count goals. You give yourself a specific number that you'd like to hit every day and again it could be 1000. It could be 500. It could be 2500. You would want to do a little bit of experimenting to see what feels natural to you. The biggest benefit of this is that it applies a little bit of pressure. So you are really trying to reach that small gold you set for yourself every single day, so it could be great for avoiding writer's block, you're gonna force your way through some problems, and also you get a little sense of accomplishment. At the end of every day you get toe. Add those words to your manuscript. This definitely works for a lot of writers, however, on the other side, you also have time based goals, and that's actually what I use with the time based goal. You set yourself an amount that you would like to reach every date, so 30 minutes or an hour, for example. Right now, since I have a little more time for my novels, I am for about three hours every day. What I like about this is that I get to explore a little bit. I get to tap into some creativity. And when I'm stuck, I know that that's actually okay and probably working through some sort of not maybe one that I recognize, or maybe something that I actually don't even see. Yet. It keeps me excited about returning to the page every day. When I was writing my first novel, The Rent Chameleon, I really didn't have a lot of free time. I was teaching more than ever taught before and I was teaching at multiple places. So what that meant was when I left my apartment in the morning. I usually didn't get home until pretty late at night, and I would be completely drained. So when I came up with the idea for this book and I thought, you know what, I really want to write this. But I don't have a lot of time. I decided that I would actually wake up one hour earlier every day, and that would be my hour of writing time. I am not a morning person at all. And the first few days, frankly, the first few weeks were kind of a tough adjustment. But what I found is I was kind of excited. I would get up. I'm still sleepy, but I was gonna I was going to be working on something that mattered to me, and that was really actually a lot of fun. So with these time based goals, you can actually find that you're enjoying the creativity a little bit more as well. Time based versus word count goals are not the only choice that you're going to be making. Another one is set versus flexible scheduling. So again with my first novel, I use a set schedule. I wrote from 7 to 8, more or less Every Monday morning through Friday, I gave myself the weekends to do laundry and grade papers and old those sorts of things. I also think it's always a good idea to at least take one. They ought to kind of refresh or reset a little bit on later books, though my schedule was a little bit more unpredictable, particularly if I'm in promotion mode for a novel, I might be traveling, or I might be writing smaller pieces, essays and things like that. So I have to approach it with a more flexible mindset with a flexible approach. What I try to do is once a week, usually on Sunday night or Monday morning, I'll look over my week and see where I can actually fit in those writing times. And then I put them into my planner. That's an important step. Just as with defining your goals, you wanna put in your writing sessions into the planner. Even it it's only 15 minutes, it seems all itself worth writing down. Those visual reminders are really going to be a nice prompt for you to actually sit down at your desk or sit down at your kitchen table or coffee shop or in your bed. Wherever you right, you're gonna feel a little more motivated. Actually, reach those sessions and you're gonna start to see those words build up. You're gonna start to see the character does develop and you're gonna be excited about your progress. 4. Defeat Distractions: next, I'd like to talk about defeating distractions. Let me be clear from beginning. Distractions are not the same as life responsibilities. There will always be times in our lives when we have to take care of an ailing family member. Or perhaps your Children need extra attention. Or maybe you yourself are feeling well. It's OK to take the time that you need to address those real life concerns. Your book will be waiting for you. Distractions, on the other hand, are kind of little gremlins that eat into your reigning time, whether or not you're conscious of it. So a big one, particularly for me, is social media. There are others so as well, perhaps a binge. Watching news programs or binge watching television shows has become a problem for you. Maybe it's video games. Maybe you live with roommates and you're either pulled towards their activities. Or maybe they interrupt you. The good news is that there are ways to approach each of these distractions, and I'm going to go through them one at a time. I'd like to start first by addressing social media, because this is one that can definitely become a distraction for me. if I'm not careful, My sort of simple, straightforward solution is simply the log out of your accounts. You actually might not be aware of how often you're checking them, either on your computer or your phone. But if you lock out after every session, your are going become more aware, you might be surprised you might find that you're visiting these sites a dozen times a day when really once or twice would allow you to participate without actually eating into your writing time. If that's not doing quite enough for you, there are a lot of acts out there that can help with productivity. Productivity, one that I've used is called self control. It's got a little skull as a logo, and it allows you to block access to particular sites for a set amount of time. So when I would do is I would block on new sites that I visited too often, as well as a social media sites, and I allow myself access to any kind of research that might be needing Teoh complete another fun one that's a little less restrictive. It's called Forest and you can upload it on your phone and it draws a little trees for you , and you can build your whole forest until you actually try to use your phone. So that's nice, because it has a kind of a more positive then it's not restrictive, and it's pretty cute. There are a lot of productivity abs out there, though, so you can research and even assign which ones might work best for you approx. It's one of the free ones available. Or maybe you want to spend a few bucks on it. Maybe social Media isn't a problem for you, but you find yourself refreshing the news pretty often. There's a lot going on in the world, and it makes sense to stay abreast of current events. Perhaps it is becoming more of a distraction than actually being useful for you, though. Well, the good news is that you could actually apply some of those techniques that I just mentioned for social media, so you can use some sort of act that will block those sites for you, or, if you have a subscription, you can long out that way, Whenever you reach your sort of 10 free articles for the month, you're gonna be prompted to sign back in every time for the news. I also like giving yourself a designated time. So perhaps in the mornings you want to catch up with what's going on. Have your morning tea or your morning coffee won't do that. But once you turn your attention, Teoh other aspects of your life, that's it. You're fully committed to those other projects. Hopefully, in this case, your novel, I think about news is something we do in the mornings. But perhaps in the evenings you have a problem with binge washing something. So then crunching those Netflix shows can definitely eat into celebrating time as well. I would recommend giving yourself some sort of limit. So say you wanna watch three episodes of the Good place and then do your best to stick with that as well. One of the writers I worked with a little bit of trouble with video games, so he would I believe it was a PlayStation four. I don't know that much about video games, but I believe it was a PlayStation four, and he would just play for hours when he could have been working on his novel, so he actually took it to a friend's house, which I thought was so clever and so simple. And it worked. He finished his novel and it won't say his name, but he actually just signed with an agent. So it's a small step that actually made a very big difference. If you don't live by yourself, people can actually be a distraction as well, sometimes in wonderful ways, but sometimes in ways that are actually preventing you from reaching your goals. What I would recommend is actually telling people in your life that you're working on a project, so sharing your goals with them, you don't have to be brutal about it. You don't have to say I'm not to be disrupted from 7 30 to 8 p.m. At night. Instead, you can just say, Hey, you know what? I'm gonna try to work from 7 30 to 8 every night on my novel, and I bet what you'll find is sometimes they'll actually remind you may be at 7 30 You're sitting on your couch and they say, Hey, didn't you? This is Mr writing time so you can turn those human destructions actually into allies 5. Remember Your Inspiration: Ah, lot of writers I know talk about this funny little phenomenon that happens when they are trying to finish a book. A new idea will occur to them, and they will get their head turned by it and really want to work on whatever that new idea is. And that's actually to be expected. There is a bit of a honeymoon phase, you might say, whenever you're starting a new project. You are excited about the characters excited about this twist you want to include, and then as you start working on it, everything gets a little bit more difficult. That makes sense, because when you're starting a brand new book, you haven't created any rules for yourself. You could actually do whatever you want, But with every decision that you make, every character you introduce, every setting you select, you're actually creating these rules for yourself that you have to follow. So it makes sense that a lot of people get stuck, perhaps in what's called that murky middle that middle phase where you can't quite see the finish Yet If any of this spot sounds a little bit familiar, I want to talk about what I think of as really my favorite technique or favorite approach for moving forward. And that is remembering the joy of writing, remembering what brought you to this place. What brought you to this project or brought you to a rating career in general? First, I'd like for you to think about the story that you're working on right now. What is it that you love the most about that one? Is it the characters that you're writing? Interruption? Really good villain. A really good antagonised been here and join exploring the setting. Perhaps you picked a place that you want slid and you you love and you want to recreate it in your pages. Or maybe you're reading about where you are right now and you're seeing it in a brand new way. When I worked when I was working on my last novel, Famous in Cedar, though really, the character is kept bringing me back. I knew that I wanted to write about someone who wasn't quite fitting into a small town. I'm from a very small rule location about roughly 500 people, and I was always really interested in the people there who were doing something out of the ordinary. So there was a woman who raise bees, for example on. And there was a man who restored antiques. And he was a bit of an inspiration for the primary character of my novel. So that's what kept me coming back. Even when I was feeling stuck. I like spending time with these people that were populating the pages. So I reminded myself of that. And I hold that you could do the same for your own novel. What aspect of it is really exciting to you and remembering that could actually be a way to move forward. Similarly, I would encourage you to think about what draws you to writing in general. What is it that excites you about this forum? Do you enjoy exploring social issues in this creative format? Do you like the research aspect of it? Are there times whenever you get lost in the process, you love those moments that feel like meditation. I would think about that as well. That could really help you actually get back to your desk and remember this positive feelings that you have and sort of try to get rid of the sluggishness that could descend on all of us during the writing process. My last piece of advice is really more of a trick than a technique, but those strikes can always be helpful. If I'm really having a hard time getting to my morning writing sessions, what I will actually do is let myself read for about 10 to 15 minutes before a start. So when I get up in the morning and get my cup of tea, I know I don't have to start writing right away. Instead, actually kind of ghetto lose myself in a story. I am much more motivated than I get right down to it, and I think that that is active reading. So it's not really the loss of any time, particularly if you're reading in your genres. You're really things that you like. If you are working on a novel, I bet that you love to read them, so this could be just kind of a again, a trick. It's not really a technique, but it's a way to kind of shake things up and get you started. Another one is simply changing your writing location. Writing in a coffee shop or writing in your local library could be a nice way to stay motivated. You don't feel a little bit fresh, but sometimes simply moving from your desk, your kitchen table or possible moving outside for an hour, all these airways to just feel a little bit more refreshed. And when we're feeling positive, we're going to transfer that positive energy into whatever we're working on, I said that was my last piece of advice in this category, but actually have one more, which is the reminder to celebrate any small successes along the way. Sometimes we get so focused on you know what I really want to get to where I'm clearing Agents are really want this book just to be published, and we can forget that. Actually, there's a lot to be proud of in your progress. Finishing a new chapter could be a good, good place to stop and give yourself a pat on the back. Being proud of that first trap. Absolutely. Finishing the first draft is a huge accomplishment. You don't have to rush right through into revising if you are revising, making that tricky scene in the middle. Actually, work deserves kind of a moment. Give yourself thumbs up, give yourself that powder in the bag and be proud that you're actually moving forward. I hope along the way you're taking time to feel out your own plan for success, the worksheet that's associated with this course. So if you haven't already, pause in the course and take a look at the lessons and make sure you're filling in. Your answer is there. When you get to the end, you can say that sheet onto your computer printed out. If you're able to e mail it to yourself, that could also keep you on track. 6. Face Your Fears: I wanted to talk about the joys of writing about the inspiration for your projects before turning our attention. Teoh slightly more sensitive topic and that is facing any fears that might be holding you back. Every writer that I've ever met from the beginning stages of their careers to block bluster successes has some insecurity or some anxiety that makes it a little bit difficult toe work on a project. I remember hearing about a very popular writer or someone whose books have been turned into a major motion pictures saying that when she sat down to write her next book, she really had a hard time because she was always afraid of living up to the height. So you're definitely not alone. We're going to be talking about what I think of is the three biggest fears, how they might be holding you back as well as how to move past them. The 1st 1 is fear finishing the manuscript. The 2nd 1 is fear of finding any readers for that manuscript. So publishing in sub capacity and then the 3rd 1 is finding your readers but receiving bad reviews. So readers not actually liking your project. Let's go through those one at a time. Let's up first about this fear of not finishing the project. That actually might be why you clicked on this course in general. And if you're here, that actually means that you were working on something that matters to you. So we all have ideas that we should think of in the middle of the night. Or maybe while we're on our commute, that seems kind of fun. And then we kind of forget about it in a few days. That's probably not the idea that's gonna lead to a full book. But if you care about your project enough to actually listen to a course like this or go out and ask for advice for someone or to purchase a bug, this probably is the right project for you. And I would recommend seeing it through, even if it takes you longer than expected. There's something here that matters to you, and because it does, you're going to find a way to succeed. Really, all the lessons that I compiled for you relate to this big field, not finishing a project, So try to help some of these techniques and tricks. They probably won't all work for you, but you will find some that are going to make this process a lot easier. The next year I'd like to talk about is this idea of finishing the project but not being able to find an agent not being able to find a publisher or not feeling comfortable with self publishing. This, of course, is also a concern. However. What I would encourage you to think about is finishing a manuscript in itself is actually a huge accomplishment. You wouldn't tell someone who had finished a marathon, but not come in first or second place that they failed in some way. This is still something to be proud of, and there a lot of things could happen in the future. Perhaps this first novel is really just a learning experience. I have what's called a drawer monster or what I call in your monster. It's a manuscript that I will never show anyone. It is the length of a book, but it doesn't actually work as a bug. But I learned so much about plot from that one, and it's really what has allowed me to go on and published books, and I am proud of. I also know writers who have circled back to their first books, so maybe they go on to publish their second or third, and they take that one. They take that drawer monster out of the drawer, and they see if they can revise using what they learned in the process, or maybe getting some feedback from professionals that they met along the way. Another fear is what readers will think of what you produce. You put so much time into a manuscript, and now you have to let go of it and let other people read it. This is definitely one that I still struggle with. I definitely worry about reviews aside mentioned before of a new book coming out in a few months and will definitely be days when my stomach is in knots. However, justice in life that everyone is going to like you and not everyone is going to like your book, and that's actually OK. If you've written the kind of book that you like to read, if you've written a book that you're proud of, that's enough and you want to actually try to stay away from as much as you can. There's good reads and Amazon notes that might start coming in one kind of funny little dragon. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it, but it helps me so much. I am going to share it with us. I'm going to share this with the public is I'll actually take a look at the bad reviews for novels that I absolutely love. So I'll look at a novel that I think it's near perfect and I will pull up. It's bad, good reads reviews, and it really to me just kind of puts things into perspective. I don't believe those that reviews. I believe my own feelings about the book. And so I know that some of this bad reviews that might roll in for my own work are really just personal preference. And they don't have anything to do with the quality that I'm producing. And they definitely don't have anything to do with me personally. So my books are separate from me, and when I read a review, that's maybe not so flattering. I have to remind myself of that as well, all just part of being a professional writer. And the good news is that the morning published, The thicker Your skin will become in a very natural way, and in fact, that's also a good idea for way. You should be sending out smaller pieces along the way even while you're working on a novel . So sitting out the short story sitting at your Palm, sitting out article queries all that actually a really nice reminder that rejections a religious part of writing life. They come and they go, and some of those objections will eventually be acceptances or raise nice rave reviews for your work. I hope to take a moment to look at the corresponding section about fears on our work. She All of these categories could be helpful, but this one might be the most important. Think about anything that might be holding you back, as well as how to move past it and face those fears. You don't have to get rid of them. You just have to find a way to work with them a za little bit, Gilbert says. Make sure fears in the back seat and not in the front. Fiddling with the radio 7. Acknowledge Weak Spots: Understandably, the facing your fear module in this course has the most material. So I'm going Teoh, be a little bit sneaking and talk about something related at the beginning of this new lesson. Basically another problem that can occur. Another fear that happens pretty often is self doubt. So you are chugging along. You are enjoying your story, and suddenly this voice from nowhere in your head says that it's not good enough or you're not good enough. And you really want to be able to tune out that critic. It really is just a voice that's saying that if we don't try, we can't fail. So it's It's not really a helpful boys to pay attention. Teoh on the other can. It can't actually be useful to think about any weak spots that you might have in your writing so that you can improve them. This lesson is called acknowledging your weak spots, but I also encourage you to think about your strength. Take a moment today to write down anything that you feel proud of in your work. It could be your story idea could be a particular character, Or maybe there is a craft element that comes naturally to you. Have you love writing imagery or you are really great at dialogue. Whatever it is, make sure to acknowledge those as well. Then you can think about any craft elements that might need some extra attention. So again, we want to turn out that negative voice there had. The one that said tells us that we can't do it or that we're not good enough. But we also want to be honest about any areas that are simply not a natural fit for our writing style. For me, I had a couple. So one was definitely timelines to try mentioned in a previous lesson. So I would have banks open on Sundays would have my characters doing way too much in 24 hour periods. Another one, though. Waas dialogue, which I was that was a little bit funny because I love plays. They love watching movies, but for me it just didn't have a natural affinity for it. So either the dialogue would sound natural, but it would be boring or be really interesting, but didn't seem believable. So I was having a hard time and I actually took a couple of playwriting courses and I didn't improve immediately, but I learned so much from my peers who wanted to pursue writing for the theatre and learned so much from the instructors. But I still actually read every article that I find on improving dialogue. There are, thankfully, a lot, so there's a lot of resource is out there. I like the ones on Reader's Digest. I think those a really great and you could sign up for a sculpture class and screenwriting playwriting, if that is something that you struggle with as well. But my acknowledging that weak spot I was able to put in some extra effort and extra attention into, and now when I'm writing and still aware of it, I still I don't want to sort of get to overly confident. But it is coming more naturally to me because it puts the time. So what why do in this module is think about this areas that maybe you would like to practice a little bit more and then you can seek out some resource is to help circling back to fears this is going to have an added benefit of actually helping you quell those doubts so you can tell that voice in your head. Hey, I'm working on. I'm getting better so you can go ahead and leave me alone for a while. Let me actually work on this project. That means something to me that it really want to finish. 8. Find Your Support: it's difficult to tackle any major goal without a support system, and I want to talk about three different possibilities. You can use all three or one. But whatever it is, remember that there is help out there available to you. I'd like to talk about the usefulness of role models. The usefulness appears as well as any friends or family members. Let's stop first about role models. If you're dealing with some sort of extra challenge in your life, perhaps you have a 60 hour work week. Or maybe you're the parent of young Children. There are plenty of writers out there who have managed to make it work. So keep in mind that even on those days when it seems like it might be impossible, it's not. Let's not first about being a writer and a parent. So many of my friends had young Children, and they will acknowledge that it's definitely difficult. They have less energy, and of course, they have less time. However, what they often tell me is that they make the most of the writing sessions, so they only have 15 minutes in the morning, For example, they really make those 15 minutes count and in fact, the more that they use them, the better they get. I know one writer in particular who started writing on her cell phone, and she had never done that before. But it allowed her to take notes in those rare free moments that she had, and she was able to complete some projects that way. My favorite example is the poet Marie Pond. So who was single mother for a good many years? And she would always make the goal for herself to write one line of poetry before going to bed each night. And to make yourself do that, even if she was really exhausted. So some night should write one line and she would fall asleep, and other times she would begin. She would become inspired and went right for longer periods of time. I think this could easily be translated into fiction as well. Give yourself a gold, writing one sentence a day or one sentence before bed and see if sometimes that one sentence actually extends to a full paragraph or maybe even a little bit more. If you're someone with a particularly challenging work schedule, you might look for writers who have written with those very demanding jobs. I remember hearing about one writer in particular, believes in London, who would write off this morning commutes so he would do the best he could do. You get a seat on the train and then you wrote his entire manuscript in those, I think, 30 minute periods on the weight and work. And then on the way back you can also find models for how you want to write. So I thought you have heard the debate between chancers versus plotters. So people who free right basically a first draft versus ones who work with meticulous outline. Ah, lot of people I know kind of do. A hybrid approach will have a flexible out high. Or they will just kind of have a general sense of the chronology of events or what they want the climax to be. All these models could work. I would encourage you to find the one that you feel comfortable using. It can also be helpful to see with those big name writers. See what your favorite writers recommend. Walter Mosley. He suggests writing every day. So even if you just have a few minutes kind of getting into that routine could be very helpful. I mentioned Marie Pon. So was one of my favorite examples. Stephen King has that very popular book on writing, which I I confess I haven't read. But many of my students love it, and he has those kind of word count holes, I believe, which could be very helpful. My understanding is it also has a lot of great kind of concrete craft tips. In that book. My Angelou has going that well known but beautiful quotation about trying, even when the rating is not happening like you wanted to you. Even when you don't like what's happening on the page, just keep trying, and that will push through. Finally, if you have supported people in your own life, friends and family members be sure to mention to them that you're writing a novel. You don't have to tell everyone, but just a few select people that you know will encourage you and ask about the book and root for you to you 16 and hey, we're also reading for you here. So go ahead and fill out your work sheets when you get to the end of this course, and you created your plan for success. Still free to share it with your classmates 9. Use Your Resources: in addition to human support, there are a lot of resource is available to you that you can also take advantage of. I'd like to start with technology, even though, as I've invest in previous lessons, I don't use a lot of tech myself. In fact, for my last two books, I have hand written my first drafts, and then I transfer everything over two pages, which came with My Mac. However, I do find a couple of productivity abs to be useful. I like self control as well as forest. A lot of writers. I find that Scrivener is really great for helping them organize a longer project. And there are a lot of other options out there for help with thinking about how to be a professional writer. There are a lot of great websites that will go over the ins and outs of this sometimes bewildering business. I'm a big fan of drink. Jane Friedman's site. I visited at least once a month, I would say, and I've definitely reread several of her articles, including the one on writing the synopsis. But she has. She has Resource is on how to find an agent on how to write a query letter, things to look for if you are hiring a publicist, so just a lot of great practical advice there. In a similar vein, I like the Poets and Writers website at the very top of their their home page screen. You'll see all of these wonderful categories that can help you with things like finding places to submit your work or even finding a writing community. Finally, there are a lot of books out there that could help you with this process. You can request him from her library or pick them up from your local independent bookstore , and I'll just mention a few. The 1st 1 is the year you write a novel by Walter Mosley. This is, of course, written by someone who is a veteran of the industry, really shares a lot of his purchase and techniques. I really like the plot whisper, and specifically the plot was for workbook by Martha Older son. And a lot of my students have found outlining your novel by KTM Whalen to be a very useful book as well. Basically, there's an embarrassment of riches out there, so something's not working for you. That's okay. Put it aside and see if a different crop book or a different website might have the help and advice that you were looking for. 10. Conclusion: I wanted to thank you so much for joining us on this course. If you made it all the way here to the end that I have no doubt that you can finish your novel. It can definitely seem like a daunting process. But what an exciting endeavor. And I want to congratulate you on taking your own writing seriously, the doctor, about defining goals, defeating distractions, overcoming fears and taking advantage of support and resource is it's okay. I'm not. Every lesson works for you. You can take all this information and adapted in a way that feels natural, and that helps you succeed. I would encourage you to fill out any of the work sheet steps that you might have missed along the way, so that you have a complete plan for success. And I hope that you'll share that with me at all of your fellow classmates. Thanks to get