• JT Bird

Writing Tips - My Self Publishing Journey

70,000 words - 250 pages of text....arghhhhhh

If you think of it like that, you're never going to write a novel!! You will inevitably run for the hills, and seek out hobbies much less testing. And i wouldn't blame you.

To be honest, this is what held be back.

Just the thought of typing so many words, creating so many chapters - it put me off.


'The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step'

Set yourself achievable goals - 100 words a day? A page a week? Chapter a month? They don't have to be crazy to start with. Keep it simple till you find your rhythm, till you find a routine. Then gradually adapt those goals if necessary - but make sure they're reasonable. DON'T assume you will pump out a chapter a day - cause it's very unlikely you will, and again it might be offputing to constantly miss your target.

I'm currently working on my second book. The aim is 50,000 words (MG novel).

My only goal is to write for two hours each day, rather than aiming for a word count.

And this works for me. I've got a kid and a wife - but I make sure that for two hours (atleast) every day, I do some writing.

Jimmy - i'm so busy!!! How can I write?! Arghhh maybe I should take up pottery instead!! Or bikram yoga?! Or move to the woods and live out my days in a cabin?!

I'm busy too. I expect we all are. We all have jobs, partners, pets, hostages etc

But if you really want to write a book. If you've got what it takes. YOU FIND A WAY

I do most of my writing late at night, after my wife and child have gone to bed. That gives me two hours of peace to tackle my story without being disturbed (woo bliss).

-Some people write during their lunchbreak.

-Some of us wake up early (tried it - hated it - not gonna happennnn)

-There's wonderful writing retreats out there. Get away for a week/weekend!!

-Journey to work - nothing to stop you writing on the train? the bus? (Avoid this if you travel on a motorbike)

-I work in an office during the day. That doesn't stop me jotting down ideas, inbetween soul destroying meetings etc. Even when i'm at work - i still find time to work on my story, and so should you!! Maybe carry a little notebook in your pocket.

Ohhh but I love procrastinating!!! I'd love to write...but OMG i'm trying to complete Netflix...and I just got a new follower on Twitter #winning

I think this a major problem for new writers, and even experienced writers!! In this day and age there are so many distractions. It's tricky to stay focused. I used to have the same problem - i'd sit down to write and within seconds i'm gawping at Facebook or Wikipedia, or searching for knitwear on Ebay (hey, what's wrong with a turtleneck?!).


Hide it if you have to. Don't keep it in the room, because your weak and you know you'll grab it !! I'm actually proud that I now have the willpower to hide my phone before writing - i've broken the curse!! (everybody cheers and carries me down the road chanting my name).


It's tempting to have something on in the background. But seriously, don't!!

Focus on writing your novel!!

Deep down you know what will happen - you will get hooked on some episode of Meet The Trumps. Fifteen episodes later you've forgotten to eat or take a shower - and you've wasted time that was meant for writing!!


Some people can't write without music. Personally i prefer silence.

If you don't want a few tunes - atleast make it something mellow. No death metal or classic anthems your inclined to sing along to!!

Don't miss your daily goal because you were trying to be Whitney Houston!!

I'm lacking motivation. Maybe I should just sleep or order a burritto. Or sleep, then order a burritto...

Again, this is something we've all struggled with. Even the greatest scribes have had days where it's tough to get in the zone!!

Personally I find fresh air and exercise helps. And a good night's sleep!! (VERY IMPORTANT - how are you going to write if you are tired!!)

I wake up early, walk to the gym (while I walk I think about my book, and picture it being a success!! I even picture myself in tv interviews discussing it!! POSITIVE THOUGHTS!)

Take plenty of deep breaths, really inhale that lovely air (or smog, if you live in London).

Then an hour or so in the gym, good workout, hot shower - and you will come out feeling great!! Big breakfast maybe - nice cuppa coffee (or some weird tumeric latte) - and your ready to roll !!

I also have a power nap, just before i write!! And another one straight after work.

I can't talk highly enough of power naps!!

You maybe thinking mmm Jimmy's a weirdo - but trust me, it works wonders!!

I stick on a ten min relaxing youtube video (ASMR videos for me) and once that finishes, I wake!! Simple!! TRY IT

I think i'm a terrible writer - who's going to read my drivel :(

I'm a comedian, not a writer. How can I possibly write a book? I just write immature jokes. What's the point in trying?! --- I had all these thoughts, and I still do. But it's fine and only natural. You're going to doubt yourself from time to time. But...


I'm not saying i'm the world's greatest writer. I'm still very new, very inexperienced. But I believe in my stories, and I believe if I keep learning, and writing, and reading, and listening to advice- i'll achieve my dreams. You need to keep going!!

Maybe you're first book won't win awards, maybe the second won't sell many copies - but never give up. The best never do. PERSISTENCE is the key to success. You'll get there in the end.

The way i look at it - writing's something i love doing. I'm enjoying the journey, and i'm not heaping any pressure on my shoulders. I'm just going to keep writing and writing and writing until i get where i want to be. I've been a stand-up comedian for ten years - and it probably took nine before I'd say I nailed it :D

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