Romance Author University: Butt in Chair by Russell Nohelty
Sit your butt down and don’t get up until you finish
People ask me all the time for my best writing advice, and it’s very simple. Glue yourself to your seat until you write at least 1,000 words in a day.
“But what if I have to pee?” and “What is something comes up that needs my immediate attention?” are the two biggest responses to that question, and my answer is always the same:
“Then you need to write faster.”
Every morning while I’m in the process of writing (meaning first draft or revision), I sit down at my computer first thing and start futzing around with email and other stuff. However, in my mind I know that I’m just delaying the inevitable, because once I sit my butt in the chair I can’t get up for any reason until I write 1,000 words.
This is the exact strategy I used for my new book Spaceship Broken, Needs Repairs, about a boy who escapes his physically abusive father, meets a homeless alien, and helps rebuild her ship so she can get off the planet. Check out the fruits of my labor here.
Using this strategy, I was able to crank out this 60,000-word book in less than two months, and finish five rounds of revisions in another three.
It’s not easy to employ this strategy. Sometimes I would write 1,000 words in 10 minutes. Sometimes it took4 hours. It just depended on the day, but my body knows by now that there’s nothing that will pull me out of that chair until I am done.
Why is this so effective for newer writers? Because the biggest problem new writers have is the fear of starting their book. When you start a book, there are 80,000-100,000 more words to go. That’s daunting for anybody, even me.
Frankly, if I didn’t glue my butt to the seat who knows if anything would ever get done. By giving myself a reward (I can get up out of my seat), when I’ve performed a small task (writing 1,000 words) it helps motivate me to finish instead of putting it off forever.
On top of that, chunking up my writing into 1,000 word sections makes me realize the task isn’t impossible. Now, instead of 100,000 words, it’s just writing 1,000 words one hundred times.
Now, some people just can’t do 1,000 words in a day, and that’s fine. For them I say to pick a different number. 250 words or 500 words or something they can manage, and work toward that. But it’s so important to have a goal and a reward for hitting that goal.
At the end of the day, even if you can only get 250 words out a day by gluing your butt to the chair, you can still finish your 100,000-word novel in 400 days, which is just a little over a year.
Anybody should be able to do 250 words in a day. I mean that’s less than a long Facebook post.
Spaceship Broken, Needs Repairs
Sammy's had a tough life. His father is abusive. His mother is an alcoholic. He developed pulmonary fibrosis from asbestos and need an oxygen tank to breath.
His family is poor and getting poorer.
One day his mother's had enough and steal him away to a life on the run. She'd rather be a fugitive than subject Sammy to his father's rage.
It doesn't take long for life on the run with a sick child to catch up to her. In order to keep Sammy alive she has no choice but to move in with her emotionally abusive grandfather.
Sammy just wants a normal life. He just wants to get along, but when he meets a homeless alien that all changes. Now, he has to help her fix her ship and get off the planet.
This is a book about families, broken homes, and the power of friendship. Whether you enjoy whimsy, dark humor, or coming of age stories, there is something for you inside these pages.
Russell Nohelty is a writer, publisher, and consultant. He is the publisher of Wannabe Press and its main author. Russell likes to write genre fiction with deep character studies. He’s sadistic with his characters, putting them in the worst situations and watching them claw their way back up, just to kick them back into the abyss again. Russell started his career writing comics, and now writes novels and children’s books as well.