Learn how to create a writing schedule that you can stick to. The tips in this video will help you to create a writing schedule that helps you to be productive throughout the week and I’ll provide Google tools that will help to hold you accountable.
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Video Transcript for How To Create A Writing Schedule
Hi, aspiring writers! Writing Coach Stefanie Newell and this is The Life of A Writer channel. Today’s video – How To Create A Writing Schedule. In this video, I help you to create a writing schedule that will help you to be productive and I even provide some Google tools to hold you accountable.
If you want to write a book that helps you to connect with readers and sell more books make sure to subscribe as I post new writing videos every Tuesday!
Back in 2006 when I started writing my very first book, I was working full-time, I was a full-time college student, and my son was just starting high school at the time, so you can only imagine what my schedule looked like. Like you, I had a goal of becoming a published author and I didn’t want my busy schedule to stop me from achieving that. So I created a writing schedule that allowed me to not feel overwhelmed, but to instead be productive. And that’s what I’ll be sharing in today’s video.
To be clear, every writer’s writing schedule will be different as it’s dependent on many different factors including the word count for your genre, the type of book you’re writing, your schedule and your proposed deadline.
Step 1 – Determine your book’s word count
So let’s jump over to my computer and start with step 1 in creating your writing schedule – Determine your book’s word count.
Because every genre has a different word count requirement, you’ll need to research your specific genre.
All you’ll need to do is go to Google and type in your genre and the words “word count.” The search results will provide a range. If you are going the traditional publishing route you’ll want to stick very closely to the range that’s proposed. If you are going the self-publishing route, while you do have more freedom, you’ll still want to fall as close to the range as possible (and especially pay attention to the word count of your competition).
Step 2 – Look at your personal schedule
Step 2 – Look at your schedule and determine how many hours per day/week you can dedicate to writing. This is an area where it’s really important to be realistic. If you know that you have a full-time job, are a parent and have other responsibilities, factor in those responsibilities before coming up with the number of hours you’ll be able to work on your manuscript. This may require you to get up early, write while your kids are asleep or even on your lunch break at work. But again, be realistic!
Let me know in the comments how many hours you plan to write per week. Sharing your goals is a great way to hold yourself accountable.
How To Create A Writing Schedule – Step 3 – Consider the research
Step 3 – Consider how much research you’ll need to do. Every book requires research. However, some books require more research than others. The more informed you are about your book’s subject matter before you begin writing, the easier the writing will be. And of course, this also goes for having a detailed outline. The more detailed your outline, again the easier the writing will be.
Step 4 – Determine when you can write uninterrupted
Step 4 – Determine which days/times you can actually write uninterrupted. Are there days when you’re home alone? Those are great windows of opportunity to write without distraction. Are there holidays, vacations or birthdays where you know you won’t be able to write? Go ahead and mark those days as unavailable in your calendar so that you’ll know realistically what days you have to devote to writing your manuscript.
Step 5 – Determine your proposed completion date
Step 5 – Determine your proposed completion date. While some writers have written books relatively quickly, I recommend giving yourself at least a year to complete your first draft. This will allow you to learn the aspects of writing you’ve yet to master, along with the publishing steps.
Once you’ve taken all of these factors into consideration, you can now create your writing schedule.
Based on your word count, determine how many words you’ll need to write each day or week to complete your book within a year or whatever timeframe you’ve decided on.
How To Create A Writing Schedule – Google Calendar
So let’s go over to Google Calendar and see how you can use this tool to hold yourself accountable.
And if you haven’t already, make sure you grab my Writer’s Checklist that’s linked in the description box where I walk first-time writers step by step through the process of writing their first book. My checklist can work hand in hand with Google Calendar as you can include the steps I’ve provided as tasks to be completed, so you’ll know what aspect you need to work on for your book.
So the first thing you’ll need to do is go to calendar.google.com. Once there make sure you have your calendar, birthdays, reminders and tasks selected. You can also select holidays if you know those are days you’ll be unavailable or perhaps available to write.
Next, you’ll need to create an event, reminder, or task.
If you tap this create button, it will provide you these options.
I suggest using the event option later down the line if you have a book signing, podcast interview, or a book-related event.
The reminder option can be used as a reminder to write. So once you’ve determined the days and hours per week that you can realistically write. You can block those days in your calendar to hold yourself accountable. Google calendar will play a notification sound so I would also recommend downloading the app version as well in case you’re not by your computer.
As I stated before, the task feature can be used to break down the different writing and publishing steps that need to be completed. So using my Writer’s Checklist, for example, the first task would be honing your book idea, which essentially means creating the overall vision for your book. So you can create a task and as steps get completed you can mark those tasks off.
Now that you have a completed writing schedule, it’s time to get started writing. The most important aspect of a writing schedule is staying consistent. While things will undoubtedly come up, it’s important to stick to your writing schedule like any other important event in your calendar. Consistency does two things, it helps you to become a better writer and it helps you to get your book completed.