Tom Hughes has made a commitment. To himself and to you. He’s going to write a whole novel in just one year, while also being a full-time husband, father and business owner. After a lifetime of false-starts, this time he’s getting serious and holding himself accountable.

We all have those creative plans we endlessly put aside… But what happens if you cut the crap and actually commit? Tom’s blogging for VITD to show us just that.

This is a timed blog 

It is currently 4:33pm and I’ll be finishing this blog at 4:50 and immediately hitting publish.

I have a very strict time frame because this is one of my personal keys to success. It is the problem where if I am told that I should design and build something and I’ve two months to do it, chances are we can meet up with about forty-eight hours to go and I’ll just be starting.

It’s part of the way I’m built.

Luckily, though, there’s a shortcut. And that is to enforce on myself a routine of small, very tight deadlines. Inescapable bursts of work. This works for me. 

Part of my real life business is to design websites. I have gone through five years of ups and downs with how to balance web design projects and found that it is a constant source of strain and tension, not only in my own head, but between myself and my wife (who is the other half of the business). It is an ongoing process. I’m only beginning to understand some parts of what is making me tick.

It is difficult to analyse yourself and apply self-development. Harder still to create new habits and to break old ones.


The twin shadows of procrastination and perfectionism are the problem here – they are snapping at my heels all the time. Even the blog you are reading now is not necessarily on time.

I realised that I was using this blog to sidestep responsibilities with planning and writing. So much so, that the blog was largely the output for my month of planning and very little else. I have some sentences of structure laid out and I know the bulk of the story, albeit very roughly, in my head (I’ll write about this in the next blog). 


I’m a believer in Upper Limiting.

Whatever your thought might be on self-development, there are chords struck for each of us by different ideas, and the idea of self-destructive Upper Limiting is a key one for me. This was the original article someone emailed to me a few months back:

I think it might have been one of the reasons for kickstarting this whole thing. Give it a read. Could change your life 😉

Speaking of kickstarting, it is 4:48pm and I am about to skim-proof-read this, then hit publish. After that, today is my first day of writing. It feels exhilarating, scary and confusing all at once.

I’ll be writing for an hour, or 500 words, whichever comes first. I’m nowhere near ready to write any of this and very concerned that I’m going to be a pretty crap writer in the long form of a novel.

But y’know what? There is a single way to find out. So let’s take a step forward.


It’s Day 34 of 365.

Phase two begins.


Find Tom over at One Book One Year and chuck him email at

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