How to Create a Writing Schedule | 3 Steps

Let’s say you want to write a book and you know the genre and how many words it will be, your next step is to create a writing schedule.

Create a Writing Schedule

A lot of people skip this step and launch into writing their book. And I get it, you’re enthusiastic. You want to dive right in. Whee! But if you are serious about finishing your book (not just starting) then take a minute to create a writing schedule. You won’t regret it.

I’m skipping past a couple important pieces of the book writing process, researching and outlining. Make sure you also build in time for this but know it’s not part of the book writing part—it’s extra.

How to create a writing schedule

When you create a writing schedule you’re building a strategy to ensure writing becomes integrated into your lifestyle so you reach your larger goals. This strategy prepares you for days you don’t feel like writing or for illness or for whatever else life throws at you.

Step one: decide when you want to complete your first draft. Your first draft won’t be your final product, but getting this first draft done is one of the biggest steps in the book-writing process. Pick a specific date and write it down.

Step two: Figure out how many words per day you can write. You’ll hear about people who can write thousands of words per day and expect you can do the same. Don’t assume. The average amount of words you can write per day or in one sitting is different for everyone so learn what works best for you and build your schedule around it. Once you know this number, write it down.

Step three: Build a realistic writing schedule. To write a book you need blocks of focused time. How much do you have available? What do you need to put in place to protect it? When you make time to write in your day-to-day schedule there’s a much better chance of it happening. So make time. Block it out in your calendar. Put it in your schedule. Say you’re unavailable during writing time. And make sure it’s sustainable so you stick with it.

Want these tips for yourself? Download the printable below.

Once you have your end date, your average daily word count and your writing schedule decided it’s time to work backwards. Start with the end in mind and break up your book into monthly, then weekly, then daily goals. Build in time for the unexpected—remember, we’re working with reality here and life happens even when we’re writing a book.

By taking time to create a writing schedule you change your internal dialogue from “Someday I’ll write a book,” to “By THIS DATE I’ll write a book.” That’s a huge difference. And by breaking down this massive project into small, daily steps, it won’t be so overwhelming. Each day you’ll sit at your writing station with purpose and you’ll write. And by your deadline, if you’ve planned it well, you’ll finish your book.

By taking time to create a writing schedule you change your internal dialogue from "Someday I'll write a book," to "By THIS DATE I'll write a book." That's a huge difference.

Create strategies so you stick to your schedule. There will be days you don’t feel like writing. Find ways to write anyway.

This training is part of the Writer’s Breakfast Workshops happening October 13 and October 27, 2018. Join in!