“I don’t have time to write a book“ is one of the most common complaints I hear from budding authors. And by budding authors, I mean people who want to write a book but just haven’t got around to doing it yet.
A lack of time to write is therefore the number one block that people have when writing a book. But I will also let you into a little secret – it is one of the easiest blocks to overcome. We overcome it very simply by creating a writing schedule!
Why do we need a schedule?
A writing schedule is absolutely essential for writers in all genres and niches. For some people it can be very informal and for others, who maybe have other jobs or businesses already, a more formal schedule is the best way to ensure productivity. For coaches or business owners, a schedule for writing your book can mean the difference between actually finishing your book or it staying as simply a pipe dream.
Lack of time or lack of schedule?
I would therefore argue that ‘no time to write’ is not really the issue. The issue is actually this lack of a proper writing schedule. In other words, a lack of planning and goal setting and not really placing importance on what you want to achieve – writing a book! By scheduling your writing time, you place importance on writing and you then take action and make it happen.
Regular writing is important
Writing is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. The more you use a muscle, the stronger it gets. Therefore, the more you write, the better your writing gets. By better this could be that you write more words each week, or you are able to get into your flow quicker or even that your sentence structure and ‘voice’ improves. As a writer myself, I find that the more I write (even when I don’t feel like it), the more efficient my writing is and the easier it is to complete projects I am working on.
How much writing should I do each week?
This depends on how much time you have to give to it and what your target word count for your book is. This of course also depends on how quickly you write. When I work with clients, we look at their weekly schedule, assess how long their book should be, set a deadline for when we want the first draft completed and schedule accordingly. Even 30-60 minutes per day will give you great progress. In fact if you did one hour a day, regularly for several months you would have a lot of writing completed. The point of a schedule is to make writing a habit and something you do every week without fail. For example, my current writing goal for one book that I am writing is 5,000 words per week – roughly five hours of writing.
How do I create a schedule?
However you want! Create a schedule in any form of calendar or diary that you use for any of your other work tasks and projects. The important thing is to commit a particular day and time and literally block that time out as if you were in a meeting or with a client. Other people must know that they cannot get hold of you… This is uninterrupted writing time.
Leave room for maneuver…
As a creative person, sometimes it just doesn’t happen for me. I sit in front of a blank screen for ages and what I want to say seems like hard work and it just doesn’t happen. I therefore stop and do something else instead – usually something creative that I enjoy doing. Or I just stop what I am doing and make a cup of tea (how very English of me). I then return to the laptop at a later time or date. On the flip side, sometimes it’s all just happening – I get on a roll and words come out easily. If I get to the end of my allotted writing slot do I stop? Absolutely not! I just crack on through what I am doing and go with this flow.
As you can see this means that sometimes my schedule doesn’t go to plan but if I have had a good day I might give myself a rest the next time I have a slot or work for less time. As long as I get my weekly word count complete, I am a happy bunny. So give yourself room for maneuver in your schedule as well.
If you need help with planning a writing schedule, please book in a free book planning skype call with me by clicking on the link below.
This accesses my calendar where you can select the time and date that suits you. We can then discuss your book idea and see whether we can create an achievable plan for getting it finished.
Happy writing everyone!