With a little time management, writing a novel can be easier than you think! by Ian Price


My wife and I had planned to host our dream wedding on April 25, 2020. Throughout the entire planning process, the two of us were constantly referencing that one line from the movie ‘Miss Congeniality.

“Not too hot. Not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.”

But when April 25th came, I found myself in a very different situation than what I’d been expecting. A global pandemic had derailed our wedding plans, trapping us inside our home as the world seemed to crumble around us.

At first, I tried to distract myself from the wide amount of unrest we were seeing on the news through my old standby hobby—playing copious amounts of video games. That worked for a while. But after two months of Doom, Titanfall 2, Senua, and WAAAAY too much Rocket League… the habit just wasn’t doing it for me anymore.

So I had a crazy thought. Why not put my old English minor to good use? My wife always goes to bed about an hour before I do. Maybe I could use that time to just listen to techno music while doing some creative writing instead?

So I did that.

And then—one year later—I realized that I’d completed a novel.

Now obviously there’s a bit more to it than that. There were also 9 months of post-production work to run it by beta-readers, proofreaders, and a friendly painter living on the Russia / Kazakhstan border who was willing to create some cover art. I chose to write in the Cyberpunk genre because it seemed like the appropriate place to channel my emotions during a time when our society was being shaken to the core and my only connection to other people was done via digital communication. A relative of mine died from COVID while I was working on the first draft… and channeling that grief into one particular scene of ‘Dystopia’s Edge’ really helped me come to grips with that dark time emotionally.

But the crux of it really can be that simple. By gently nudging a few habits and making some minor changes in how you spend your time—even if it’s just an hour a day—you can accomplish so much more than you previously thought you could.

It all worked out for me and my wife in the end, by the way. We got married and couldn’t be happier. There’s a baby on the way now. I hear that fatherhood has a habit of eating into one’s free time, so I don’t know when I’ll be able to write another novel. But I think I can manage with a little clever planning.

Maybe if I write as a bedtime story for my kid? If it worked for Tolkien with ‘The Hobbit,’ then it just may work for me.

Written by Ian Price

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