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Writing

Want to Write a Book? Here are 3 Must-Ask Questions for Planning Success.

Imagine what it would be like to know exactly when you are going to write your scenes, how many days it will take to finish your first draft, and stop procrastinating once and for all. Imagine having a road map that will take you smoothly from idea to publication, a clear path to the finish line.

The Secret to Being Insanely Productive

Writing Plan

=> Get started today with the Writing Plan Checklist

Ever feel like you’re super busy, wishing for more hours in the day? Yet, at the end of the day or week you wonder what you’ve really gotten accomplished? Yep. I’ve been there all too often, too. It’s the trap of not being intentional about how we use our time, trying to do too many things, not prioritizing, and subsequently losing focus. And in the end, we just feel burnt out.

It’s incredibly frustrating to realize we have a fully packed to-do list yet somehow remain completely unproductive. It’s not that we’re not doing anything. It’s not like we’re sitting in front of the TV or scrolling through Facebook all day (right?). No, it’s just sometimes, without a clearly defined plan in place, we end up spinning our wheels doing busy work instead of productive work that brings us closer to our goals.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s something I wish I had mastered a long, long time ago. It’s a method I use that, I’ll admit, takes some getting used to, but once you do, it’ll be a life-changer.


HOW TO MASTER THE SCHEDULE

The word schedule might sound like a dirty word to some of us. We’re writers, creatives, entrepreneurs. We want freedom. Freedom to work and live the way we want. We don’t want to be tied down to a rigid schedule, right? We thrive on flexibility…to a point.

WHAT IF I TOLD YOU THAT A STRATEGICALLY PLANNED SCHEDULE WILL ACTUALLY FREE UP MORE OF YOUR TIME?

Below I’ll share my system for creating a 90-day plan that has helped me to be more productive and focused. It’s truly been a life-changer and I hope it’ll help you, too!

But before we get to the system, I believe understanding the why of anything is super important for follow-through. If I know why I’m doing something, I’m more likely to remain committed. So here are 6 reasons why creating a writing schedule is beneficial.

  • Provides a clear overall picture of what steps need to be taken in order to reach your goal.

  • Prioritizes tasks that will help you reach your goals faster, helping you to narrow your focus immensely, which allows for greater overall success.

  • Relieves the feeling of overwhelm. You’ll build your writing schedule with an understanding of how much time you need for each step.

  • Breaks down a big goal into steps. Any time you can break a big project or goal down into smaller steps, the ultimate goal won’t feel quite so daunting.

  • Helps you to stay on track. It’s easy to get side-tracked, but having a roadmap to follow enables you to stay the course.

  • Allows you to see roadblocks in advance so you can redirect and re-strategize before the potential issue becomes too big and overwhelming.

=> Get started today with the Writing Plan Checklist


Okay, now that you understand some of the reasons why a writing schedule is important, here’s the system I use to create my 90-day plan.

  1. DEFINE GOALS: Decide what you want to accomplish in 90 days (when writing a book, I use the 90-day planning method found in The Novel Writing Planner). Being specific with your goals is critical to your success as a writer.

  2. DEFINE THE STEPS TO REACH EACH GOAL: Break your goals down into steps. Ask yourself what steps need to be taken to achieve each goal and list them in order.

  3. CREATE TIME BLOCKS: Determine how much time you’ll need for each step and dedicate a block of time to it. These blocks of time will help you to stay focused and stay on task.

Below is an example of my 90-day plan. This big picture overview allows me to set my project goal dates and deadlines. Knowing what these dates are at the start of my project allows me to not only book a slot in advance with my editor, cover designer, and formatter, but also allows me to integrate the marketing process early in the project. 

Writing Plan Timeline

PRO TIPS: 

1 | Many editors book out their schedules weeks and months in advance. If you wait to reserve a slot with your editor until your manuscript is ready for editing, this could delay your book’s release. Determining your goal dates and deadlines at the start of your project allows you to book a slot with your preferred editor that coincides with your 90-day timeline.

2 | Once you’ve determined the steps you need to take to complete your project, you can then break those steps down into specific tasks, which you will then insert into your daily schedule. 

And a few bonus tips:

  • TRACK YOUR TIME: Take a week and track what activities you’re currently spending time on and how much time you’re spending on them. Find out where the time-sucks lie and get rid of them.

    Determine how you feel while completing a writing task. Did you run out of energy quickly while writing in the afternoon? Try writing in the morning and see if you’re able to stay focused longer. This will help you to determine your best and most productive time of the day to get certain tasks done.

  • INCLUDE NON-WRITING RELATED ACTIVITIES: When you create time blocks, be sure to include extra days for unforeseen activities and illness. By adding everything to your schedule (even non-writing related activities), you will be able to see the big picture much more clearly and reduce the risk of falling behind.

  • COMMIT: Stick with it! It will take a while to get used to (trust me, I fought it tooth and nail at first), but in the end, it’ll be totally worth it. I promise!

Now it’s your turn! By being intentional and focusing on what’s actually important rather than what feels urgent at the moment, you’ll quickly reach your goals and find the freedom you were striving for in the first place.

=> Get started today with the Writing Plan Checklist




How to Get Started as a Fiction (or Memoir) Writer

You’ve wanted to write a book forever! Maybe it’s an adventure story, a romance, or even a page-turning thriller. Or maybe it’s a memoir, a slice of life you want to pass on to your kids or grandkids, or an experience that could help another person who’s going through a similar situation. 

The problem is you sit down to write and you just don’t know where to begin. Read more for tips on how to get started as a writer.

The Writer's Guide to Working With an Editor

The Writer's Guide to Working With an Editor

You’ve just finished your first draft. You went through it with a fine-tooth comb, revising and rewriting. Now it’s time to send it off to the editor, but you have no clue what to expect. By the end of this post you’ll know what to expect from the process and feel comfortable working with a professional editor. 

You Can Finish Your First Draft! 4 Ways to Find Time to Write When it Seems There Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day

You Can Finish Your First Draft! 4 Ways to Find Time to Write When it Seems There Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day

Finding time to write can be challenging. If writing isn’t your full-time gig, then you probably find yourself struggling to get words on the paper some days. I know I do! In fact, when I enter my busy season, my fiction writing is the first thing to take a back seat.