How to find time to write a novel, with help from Stephen King

I prefer reading to writing.

That’s only natural. It’s easier and more enjoyable to read. Someone else has done all the hard work and you just lap it up and enjoy.

No wonder my favourite moment of the day is curling up on my armchair with my kindle, preferably by the fireplace, with a cup of tea or hot chocolate 🙂



I work full time. I’m a wife, mother and grandmother, and I’ve managed to read over ten books in January. Nevertheless, as much as I love it, I have to stop reading so much because my time is limited, and I need find time to write, too.

Following Stephen King’s advice;
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

In his marvelous book, On Writing, (you can read some of the main points he makes in this article), King recommends writing a minimum of a thousand words, six days a week.

That’s between two and four hours a day, depending on how much you can write in an hour, which for me at least, depends on how much has been planned, handwritten, and thought out, before I start hitting the keyboard.

This cannot be done without setting specific goals, which King strongly recommends. (For more invaluable quotes taken on the craft of writing, check out Goodreads).

In any case, I’m going to strictly limit the amount of time I spend reading to no more than two hours a day, preferably just before bedtime, when my energy levels are lowest and I can indulge in a relatively passive activity.

I also need to log onto Facebook and Twitter, and write blog posts and read other blogs, because I enjoy it, and because it has become part of my writer’s life.

Again, I need to limit social media time to Twitter and Facebook thirty minutes twice a day, and reading and interacting with other blogs and bloggers, an hour a day.

That means I’ll spend the rest of my free time, which should be at least another three hours a day, finishing my second novel, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall.

I’ll have to sort out how I find the time to write my blog posts, too! Weekends perhaps?

In any case, I promise myself not to cut down on my writing time. I’ll have to sacrifice reading, social media, and other leisure time activities. Never writing.

King considers that the first draft should not take longer than three months.

I absolutely agree, even though I haven’t managed to get very far in the last six months! Oh yes, it’s all planned, and parts are written, but I need to get it together with lots of hard work.

Finally, I’ll take his last bit of advice: The only way to write is by writing one word at a time.

So be it! I’ll write one word at a time nonstop for two months until it’s finished. I’m giving myself two months instead of three because I’ve already had six months of planning, scribbling, and procrastinating!

My deadline is 29th March.

Wish me luck!

How do you find time to write?