I’m Hiding Out in a Condo to Write My Novel

I decided that I wanted to be a writer when I was sixteen. I was in Pensacola Beach at the time, so, I suppose it’s no surprise that Pensacola has a special place in my heart. I can’t help but be immediately inspired the moment I get there. Something about the water, the people, the salty air that makes me believe I can take on the world.

So at the end of this month, I plan to do exactly that. I’m driving to Pensacola Beach to hole up in a condo for a month to write my novel.

While many famous writers are known for hiding out in a writer’s cabin to flesh out their books, I’ve decided to pull a Hemingway and go to a writer’s condo (he was really more in a villa, right? That's what the Italians told me in Amalfi.). It’s quiet. It’s inspiring. And I’m forced to do nothing but write my novel.

I’m a sucker for simplicity, so when I saw Henry Miller’s daily writing routine, I knew I had to duplicate it somehow.

Here is his famous schedule:


If groggy, type notes and allocate, as stimulus.

If in fine fettle, write.


Work on section in hand, following plan of section scrupulously. No intrusions, no diversions.

Write to finish one section at a time, for good and all. 


See friends. Read in cafés.

Explore unfamiliar sections — on foot if wet, on bicycle if dry.

Write, if in mood, but only on Minor program.

Paint if empty or tired.

Make Notes. Make Charts, Plans. Make corrections of MS.

Note: Allow sufficient time during daylight to make an occasional visit to museums or an occasional sketch or an occasional bike ride. Sketch in cafés and trains and streets. Cut the movies! Library for references once a week.

It’s simple. It’s clear. It’s motivating. It leaves room for the fun stuff. Here’s my schedule, and you can use it too:


Take a brisk walk on the sound side to stretch body and mind

Sip coffee on balcony while reading over last night’s progress

Write 1,000 words in novel before lunchtime


Eat energizing lunch

Take a dip in the pool; read a few chapters in book

Finish strong with total of 2,300 words

Work on business projects like editing, content writing, marketing

*May visit coffee shop to write if morning word count goal is met*


Visit beach for fresh air and more book reading

Plan out tomorrow’s outline

Note: Cut out social media time by deleting Facebook app and replacing with Kindle app. As reward each weekend, visit bookstore or spend the day in Navarre.

Have any of my readers ever written their books in a writer’s cabin? Or condo? Tent? 

Shayla Raquel Bio Photo.jpg

An expert editor, seasoned writer, and author-centric marketer, Shayla Raquel works one-on-one with authors and business owners every day. A lifelong lover of books, she has edited over 300 books and has launched several Amazon bestsellers for her clients. Her award-winning blog teaches new and established authors how to write, publish, and market their books. She is the author of the Pre-Publishing Checklist, The Rotting (in Shivers in the Night), and her novel-in-progress, The Suicide Tree. She lives in Oklahoma with her two dogs, Chanel and Wednesday.