Ah—the question of the clock! You are probably busy with a million things already, and yet you are driven to add “writing a book” to your schedule. Good for you! Is there a “best time” to write? And how can you make this work?
Your first question should be—when would you like your book to be completed? While it may seem strange to begin at the end, there are several reasons why it is best to consider the end date first in setting a writing schedule and timeline:
- We all seem to take as much time as we are allotted in order to accomplish something, so by setting an end time, you are more likely to complete your project. If I know that guests will be arriving at my home in 15 minutes, it is amazing how much cleaning I can accomplish in such a short period of time!
- How many people are “writing a book” but never finish? In the interest of NOT becoming one of “those” people, setting a target date will keep you moving forward.
Once you have set a target date for completion, you can work backward and determine how much writing needs to be done weekly or monthly to reach this deadline. For example, if your target completion date is 6 months away, and your average 200 page book contains about 50,000 words, that divides into about 2,500 word per week over 20 weeks.
Next, create a writing schedule. Think about this—who is more likely to exercise—someone who merely “wants” to, or someone who actually schedules and signs up for a class? Be sure to put your writing—along with your writing goals—right onto your calendar to be sure that you don’t schedule other activities at that same time. Also, seeing it there on your calendar will help prepare your mind for writing in advance, as you will see it approaching and will prepare your thoughts—even subconsciously.
Life will always manage to get in the way, so if writing a book is a priority to you, be sure to prioritize it in your life and your schedule. Set aside blocks of time, let family members know that a closed-door means “do not disturb,” and don’t let anything—perhaps barring illness or serious emergencies—get in the way of attaining your goal.
Some writers are “morning people” and others hit their stride as the sun sets. There truly is NO right answer, but you certainly want to find what works best—both for your schedule as well as your biorhythms—and stick to it. One step, one page at a time, you’re on your way to writing your book!