Finding Time To Write

Rob Parnell
4 min readFeb 29, 2024

I have a novel to get out. You might remember I told you about it during its creation. It’s called “HERESY” and it’s basically, to all intents and purposes, done. Finished. Just need a final proof/copy-edit to make sure there are no glaring errors and no embarrassing typos. Then formatting the text for publishing. Done the cover too. Mostly.

I guess you can tell, in reality I’m a long way from completing the novel but I kid myself there’s not long to go — mainly to make myself feel better!

Fact is, finding enough time to edit, proof, and polish a novel is probably the hardest part of book writing for me. Especially if you’re a busy boy. I usually like to fit things like writing in between other duties like making a daily TikTok video, watering the garden, sorting out my Academy admin, making lunch and beverages, eating, washing up, tidying and hoovering, walking the dog, rehearsing music for upcoming shows and squeezing in my daily swim. Now, I know you’re probably thinking I’m complaining about nothing, but I just feel I don’t have enough time for everything…

The obvious answer is probably to employ more technical people. But the trouble is I’m a hands on, won’t let go, kind of person. I end up checking every word someone edits, thereby undermining their work, and paying for something I’m already doing.

I guess I could pay someone to garden, cook, clean house, walk the dog etc. But to be honest, I don’t like having people round here, especially not strangers. Plus, we’re so cut off I’m not sure many people would want to work here.

Is there a more practical solution?

The truth is I found the time to write the novel, all 100,000 words of it so, in theory, I could apply some of the time creation techniques I learned there.

Trouble was, when I finished the novel, I replaced the writing time with TikTok, Instagram posting, and newsletter creation. Now, whenever I have free time, my attention moves to writing articles and blog posts, which, though I love doing them, takes up all my time. I feel like I’m doing something important but the editing hours have disappeared.

It’s funny, posting a daily TikTok video about the writing process seemed like a good idea a couple of months ago. Since then I’ve learned that any kind of “influencer” status is achieved only through 24/7 commitment . A sixty-second video can take anything from twenty minutes to six hours to complete, upload, and post. Doing that every day is a irksome undertaking. The good thing is that my TikTok following is growing consistently — which was the idea and will hopefully reap more rewards in the future, though what they might be remains a mystery as yet.

Social media is like life. You think it must be important because everyone else is so heavily involved in doing it but perhaps it’s not. Perhaps it’s so ephemeral as to be pointless, simply a banal way for everyone to pass their time. We’ll see.

Sometimes I wonder where all the Internet Gurus went. When I started out you couldn’t move online without bumping into an internet marketing guru. They were all basically writers who had found a niche where you could talk about yourself and get rich selling your ideas. They were everywhere back in the noughties and on the whole were nice, helpful, even inspirational people. I spoke to a lot of them at various times. Now, I don’t know where they’ve all gone.

Even the writing gurus have disappeared too. I can think of maybe half a dozen still working but a decade ago there were literally hundreds. I know because I used to do joint ventures with them. Now, nothing like that is possible. Most have drifted away because having an online presence is just so expensive nowadays.

Even the education platforms are challenged. Interestingly I got an email from Udemy the other day. Greg Brown, the CEO, explained how they need to keep more of the money they make from the courses they sell, to keep Udemy going. They are the biggest education provider online, but clearly they’re struggling. They apparently tried economizing and sacking people. But still they need more money. But. Surely they must know they wouldn’t have ANY money if it wasn’t for the course creators. The teachers, the people doing all the work. They say they’re proud they pay out 200 million a year to instructors, but now they want to keep half of it. I’m sure they do. For their shareholders no doubt, and the venture capitalists they owe money to.

I shouldn’t complain. Companies like Udemy and Amazon still pay me royalties and I’m happy writing, living my busy life, only having writer’s problems.

Because that’s what it’s all about, right?

Get to where you need to be and be happy when you’re there.

Complaining I don’t have enough time to do what I love is, after all, cowardly and inappropriate. Many people have awful lives and I should be ashamed that my biggest problem is not having enough time to put out another novel.

Thanks for listening. And forgive me, I shall try to right my ways. And simply…

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell’s Writing Academy

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Rob Parnell

Bestselling Author and Owner of Rob Parnell’s Writing Academy