W. Somerset Maugham apparently once said: “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”

After 7 years of intensive research I can now announce their discovery:

1. Get up before you are fully awake and don’t worry about your brain. It will be fine in about 20 minutes. 

2. It is OK to write your novel whilst doing your day job, as long as no one is actually asking you to do anything.

3. Time spent watching TV with your partner still counts as ‘together time’, even if you are asleep.