I started a book on Storybird last year, a murder mystery set in Florida called Even in Dreamland. The book languished for several weeks at the end of the year, but now I’ve hit a rhythm with it. Since the new year started, I’ve been publishing a chapter a week. We’re all different – above all, follow your own path in writing – but here are the habits or ideas that have helped me write regularly in the new year.

Write a few words each day

One of the things working really well for me is that I focus on writing a small amount every day. I try for about 200-300 words a day. This takes me anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

It’s a very small amount of time to spend writing, and even if I don’t feel it, I remind myself – it’s such a tiny amount of writing!

Live with the story and characters when not writing

Though I’m only writing a small amount each day, I spend a lot of time thinking about the story. Over coffee or lunch, I daydream about:

  • what happened in the 300 words I wrote that morning
  • what the characters are like
  • what they must being feeling as they go through the story

Basically, I give space for the story in my imagination throughout the day.

Draft in front of a live audience

I can’t say enough about the rush I get from writing this book on Storybird. As soon as I post a chapter, someone is leaving a heart or comment. I’ve always got a couple readers saying how much they like the story, and occasionally someone will say something in a comment that affects how I see the story as well.

Like a musician or singer riffing off the vibe from a live audience, my writing is carried along on the feel of the crowd around me. I don’t worry about getting the story perfect. That’s what re-writing is for. I’m literally drafting the story in front a live audience.

It’s both encouraging and exhilarating, and I highly recommend writing this way.

How I've been managing to write a chapter a week on my Storybird book