How to Create a Writing Schedule | 3 Steps

When you’re ready 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!

Marketing Ideas for Writers Who Hate Marketing

It’s not like I haven’t written about marketing ideas or argued why writers need to pay attention to marketing before but it just seems to keep coming up.

Easy Marketing Ideas for Writers

So here we are again.

By the way, I talk about marketing and give out marketing ideas all the time because I believe in its power to transform people’s careers and businesses.

But what if you’re the type of writer who just wants to write and have people read it? You don’t want to bother with the muss and fuss of marketing. Or maybe you’re the type of writer who thinks marketing means selling out. Are you someone who thinks marketing makes you one of those pushy sales people who alienates friends and family?

Let’s get something straight: marketing doesn’t have to be like that. So when I hear excuses like I’m too busy to do marketing or I don’t need to do marketing or I don’t have the money to invest in marketing I think…you don’t get it. None of those things are valid.

If you’re saying any of these things here’s what you mean: you don’t want to do marketing. Marketing doesn’t have to take a lot of time and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. And it’s fine if you don’t want to do marketing. But don’t expect people to find you. “If you write it they will come” isn’t a thing. It doesn’t work like that.

End of tough love part. Beginning of marketing ideas part.

I wanted to give writers who hate marketing (or are afraid of it) a few easy marketing ideas for easing in. I do hope these help.

  • Learn how to incorporate your writing into casual conversation. There is a way to talk about who you are and what you do without coming across as promotional or insincere. Figure this out and you won’t even realize you’re marketing
  • Focus on the benefits your writing offers others. This is one of those amazing marketing things I love teaching people. Stop talking about YOU and YOUR work. Flip it around and talk about its impact. People don’t care about what you do, they care about the benefit they’ll get from working with you or reading your work
  • Talk about your writing on social media. Consider your social media platforms as places where you can attract new readers. Talk about your writing in a natural way, like you do with your friends, and see who you can inspire

Just a reminder, these days if you’re a writer hoping to become an author, you need to do your own marketing. And you need to do it long before your book comes out. No matter if you’re self-publishing or traditional publishing, you are the driver of the marketing vehicle. If you want to sell books/get an agent/get a book deal/people to read your writing you have to accept marketing as a part of your life.

It's not like I haven't written about marketing ideas or argued why writers need to pay attention to marketing before but it just seems to keep coming up.

Other marketing ideas for writers

Get the Hell Past It by Sarah Beth Moore

Ready for more tough love from Sarah Beth Moore? Because it’s time to Get the Hell Past It and move on with your creative career.

Get the Hell Past It Book Review

If you’ve been on the three-part journey slash stern talking-to that is Moore’s Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain series then you know as well as I do there is a time to be precious and a time to pull up your socks and get to work.

And if you’re wondering which side of the fence Get the Hell Past It falls on…do I really need to answer that?

This 10-chapter read is filled with personal anecdotes, helpful advice and meaningful exercises intended to help us creatives who have failed get up out of the fetal position and start kicking ass and taking names, aka moving past failure.

While reading Get the Hell Past It I jotted some thoughts and/or takeaways

  • Purpose—everyone wants one, does everyone have a purpose? Is “purpose” a big, overarching theme like in a book?
  • Failure—failing does not mean YOU are a failure
  • Freelancing—there’s always the question of how to get started (start). But how?

If you practice discipline and work towards your goal every day, you can’t help but reach success. (72)


Get the Hell Past It: How to Recover from Failure with Grace, Dignity and Possibly Some Cash (Weenie-Proofing the Artistic Brain Book 3) synopsis

What if you could stop the bathtub crying and turn failure into your most powerful weapon?

Let’s be honest. You hate to fail. You wish it would stop.

Well, it won’t.

But you CAN stop being blindsided by it. You can tell it to shove off.

You can win the day—right after losing it.

Yep, it’s a thing. And Get the Hell Past It: How to Recover from Failure with Grace, Dignity and Possibly Some Cash is here to show you how it’s done.

Learn secrets such as:

  • Why the greats actually appreciate failure…and aren’t just lying
  • How to process flubs
  • Why your brain is your greatest enemy…and your greatest tool
  • When to try again (hint: soon!)
  • How to get the support you need from other people and from yourself

…and how your journey can be every bit as cool as a YA hero’s. Wait, did we just go there?

Oh, yes, my friend. We did.

Truth is, failure really and truly can become your greatest asset, if you know how to access it.

Pick up this quick tutorial on changing your mindset FOREVER today.

Seriously, let go of the pain and shame, and start rocking at life INSTANTLY. Get the book NOW!

Ready for more tough love from Sarah Beth Moore? Because it's time to Get the Hell Past It and move on with your creative career.

Other reviews

Little Women (2018) Movie Review

Imagine the Little Women you read (and loved) as a child set in modern-day times. Instead of Mr. March being deployed to the Civil War he’s…deployed overseas. Instead of Beth becoming sick with scarlet fever and recovering she’s…sick with cancer and goes into remission. Instead of Amy moving to France and marrying Laurie she…moves to France, becomes a crazy-successful painter and hooks up with Laurie. And instead of Jo moving to New York City to allow Laurie and Beth to fall in love (and ends up falling in love herself) she…moves to New York City in search of a book deal (and ends up falling in love herself).

Little Women Review Header

So, basically Little Women (the 2018 version) is amazing and although it sticks pretty true to the original story there are enough modernizing tweaks to make the experience the teeniest bit surprising amidst the nostalgic heart bursting and eyes brimming with tears. The. Whole. Movie.

I loved the re-telling and re-imagining of this classic story and I can’t wait to read the book again. In fact, the whole way through the film I was thinking how much I needed to read Little Women again. And Little Men. And Jo’s Boys. And the others.

Even 150 years after it was written, the story holds up. The love between sisters is timeless—no matter how different they are, theirs is an impenetrable bond.

“I could never love anyone as I love my sisters.” Louisa May Alcott

On September 28, 2018 Little Women releases in theatres everywhere.


So, basically Little Women (the 2018 version) is amazing and although it sticks pretty true to the original story there are enough modernizing tweaks to make the experience the teeniest bit surprising amidst the nostalgic heart bursting and eyes brimming with tears. The. Whole. Movie.

Little Women synopsis

Sisters—and dreams—are unique in their ability to inspire, encourage and change the world. For 150 years, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has motivated women of all ages to dream together and celebrate family. Coming to theatres for the first time, a modern retelling of Little Women brings a new generation together with their mothers, sisters and friends.

From girls playing in the attic to women living with purpose, the March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—are committed to always supporting each other. Yet, growing up sometimes means growing apart. An aspiring writer, Jo leaves for New York determined to publish a novel. In the wake of rejected draft upon draft, her editor challenges Jo to write about something more interesting—her family. When tragedy brings the sisters back home, sticking together takes on new meaning. As Jo comforts her sick sister, Beth asks for one thing: a story. Jo knows the perfect one…by heart.

On the 150th anniversary of the beloved classic, Little Women, the first-ever modern retelling, brings the same sisters to a new generation to celebrate dreams, family and unconditional love in theatres September 28.

Other movie reviews

Benefits of Having a Literary Agent

A literary agent represents writers and authors and is equal parts opportunity finder, deal negotiator and career advisor. While it’s not required to have a literary agent to get a traditional book deal, most writers recommend having one.

Since they’re up-to-date with the latest book publishing trends and have in-depth market knowledge, literary agents are positioned to handle the business end of writing—allowing you to focus on the writing end of writing.

Benefits of Having a Literary Agent

I met an author who told me how he got a book deal without an agent. I’m glad to meet someone who had a positive publishing experience this way but I have questions. Why did he skip this step? What made him want to pursue traditional publishing on his own? Would he do it again for his next book?

Here are a few ways having a literary agent benefits a writer

Legitimate agents work on commission so they don’t get paid unless you do. Talk about common interests! You can rest assured they have your best interests at heart.

Literary agents have a strong knowledge of the publishing business and have access to major publishing houses. They know they right people working in the right places and can get those doors open quicker than you can.

They read a lot and know what sells. Literary agents know good writing, they know the market and they know what editors are looking for. They know what you need to do to get a book deal.

Think of a literary agent as a connector. They connect authors with the appropriate publisher, negotiate the best deals possible and mediate any issues between the writer and editor that may arise during the book publishing process.

If you want a literary agent take some time researching the different ones out there and make a list of ones you think are a good fit for you and your writing. You find a literary agent through querying your book. While there aren’t really “types” of literary agents they all have different areas of expertise and preferred genre.

it's not required to have a literary agent to get a traditional book deal

Obtaining a literary agent isn’t necessary if you’re self-publishing a book. You may consider hiring a publicist or business coach, but these are different roles than what a literary agent plays.

Other posts you’ll find helpful