Tom Schreck: The One-Hour-A-Day Novelist.

We are pleased as punch to announced a new feature! Tom Schreck will be writing about writing and being a working author. Tom is a swell guy with good hair and fine novels.

The One-Hour-A-Day Novelist

 I love writing mysteries and thrillers and I’m proud to say that my fifth novel in five years comes out in July.

I have a 40-hour-a-week day job as the director of communications for a program for people with disabilities. I teach college two nights a week for three hours for two semesters a year. About once a month I travel to work as a professional boxing judge. Last year I wrote about ten freelance magazine articles and over 100 blogs.

People often say thing s like “How do you do it?”, “Where do you find the energy!” and “Boy, you’re swell!”

When I hear these things I like to shrug my shoulders, feign self-effacement and say something like:

“Aw shucks, it really is nothing. It’s no big deal.”

Then people tell me I’m far too modest.

I’m not modest. Ask my wife.

Writing a novel by devoting an hour a day is 100% doable. But—and this is a significant “but”—there’s a strategy to it that makes it possible.

This blog is about that strategy. If you’ve wanted to write but have always told yourself you’ll do it when you retire, go on sabbatical, when you get that four-month vacation and after the Powerball hits, this blog might help.

The keys to this process involve writing practices, discipline and psychological self-help. Let’s take a look at each of these.

Writing Practices

Maybe you’ve read every single book about writing. You’re an outliner or you just go with the flow–whatever. The problem is the ff’in book never seems to get written.

Many books on novel writing miss the boat because they’re written for people who have big chunks of the day to write. Writing in an hour a day takes a different practice. Some of that means skipping the mental warmups, knowing how to pick up and leave off and how to structure your plot so it lends itself to an hour a day.


I’m not talking about G.-Gordon-Liddy-eat-a-rat to conquer your fear discipline. I’m talking more about Woody-Allen-90%-of-life-is-showing-up discipline. Gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to write sucks and it results in shitty writing.

Finding the balance of making yourself sit down and type and enjoying it is huge and it involves developing the right habits. We’ll talk about that here a lot.


Writing isn’t exactly the same thing as Seal Team 6 when it comes to risk-taking but it is scary. Almost all of the fear in writing is ego driven and is centered around self- talk like “What if I suck eggs?” “What if people think I’m an ff’in jackass?” and “What if I write this and no one wants to rep it, publish it or read it?”

Those thoughts can be paralyzing. We’ll chat about ignoring them.

I must admit there’s a hesitancy to admitting I don’t spend 26 hours a day in my oak paneled office sipping some esoteric tea and smoking Cuban cigars while Hemingway’s muse vaporizes under the locked two-ton door to my den of brilliance.

It’s more romantic to think of the tortured writer with the bloody forehead concentrating harder than Lindsay Lohan at a spelling bee to eek out four words in an hour but, alas, that ain’t me.

This will be about a real writing process.

And how to do it in an hour a day.

Tom Schreck writes the Duffy Dombrowski Mysteries and his newest release THE VEGAS KNOCKOUT, will be available on May 15. Visit www.tomschreck.comand “like” his fan page on Facebook at for a chance to win a Kindle Fire.