So you’re ready to begin your story. You’ve found your genre; you know what’s selling; you have fleshed out your novel idea, and you’re ready to write your great and successful book! But it’s not yet time to start writing. The next step is creating a writing plan.
A writing plan is a way to keep you going when the going gets tough. It’s a way to keep you on the “straight and narrow” as you start off on your writing adventure. It is all too easy to let your daily word count slip when you hit a roadblock or when life just gets too busy. There are innumerable temptations and distractions that will try to keep you from writing. However, giving in to these temptations is a mistake because as it’s always the way in life—once you give in an inch, you give a mile.
We at HotGhostWriter are here to help! This article will guide you in sorting out your writing plan and help you:
- Create a daily routine
- Determine your word count and other goals
- Set deadlines that get your book done
Create a Daily Routine
It sounds dreamy and nice to sit with a pen in your hand and stare out the window and wait for the beautiful first words to hit you. But that’s not the way good authors and successful authors do it. They just simply write, and they do it every day. Writing a book—especially writing as your main revenue stream—is not for the faint of heart.
Plan a time to write each day
Not everyone is a morning person. Pick a time that works for you, whether it’s getting up at 5 a.m. to start writing before you have to deal with your family or head to another job, or creating an afternoon or evening time to work. The key is to set aside your time and then stick to it. You won’t get anywhere if you keep compromising on your writing time. Even a little writing per day is better than nothing. Treat it as you going to work like anyone else. It’s your time.
Find a good place to write
Writing is very fun, but it can also take a lot out of you, because it’s tough work. Find a place to write that calms you, helps you to focus, or maybe even inspires you. As for me, I often work from home because I find it a quiet, safe space, but I do like to mix it up by heading out to a restaurant or a cafe. I find the busyness of the surroundings helpful for focus. Not only that, but it gives me a chance to see real life in action! Find what works for you. You are more likely to want to sit down to write if you have a nice space in which to do it.
Discover a routine that helps you work smoothly
It took me a lot of time to find a working routine that helped me to be most effective, but now I’ve almost got it down pat. Try a few things out, but get into a routine you know you’ll stick to. Maybe you get up, have a little reading time, then exercise, and then get into your writing. Or perhaps, you wait until everyone heads to bed, then pour yourself a glass of wine, and get to work. Whatever it is, find something that works for you. It seems obvious, but that’s the only way you’re going to achieve the kind of progress you want.
Use the routines of famous writers to help guide you
Everyone’s different, so you’re not tied to anyone else’s routines, but it can be very helpful to see what benefits or has benefitted very successful authors! Some write every day; some keep the exact same routine. Some wrote out a list of commandments to live and work by as a writer, but my favorite was this quote from the very famous author Khaled Hosseini: “You have to write whether you like it or not.” That’s right. So find a routine that gets you to write even when you don’t really feel like (which may be a lot!).
Make Daily Word Count and Other Goals
Let’s say you plan to write a full-length novel around 80,000 words. Seeing that word count as a whole can be daunting, so it’s easier to break it down into bite size chunks. Not only do you get a sense of accomplishment each day as you make your goals, but you will progress slowly and surely, and you have bite-size pieces to edit as you start new the next day.
I love focusing on word count as opposed to the length of time that I’m writing. For example, let’s say that I know I need to get through 5,000 words that day. I have a very clear goal that I can measure. Once the count is down, I cross it off my list, and then I leave the editing for the next day. It really helps me to progress quicker than if I had no word count plan at all.
At HotGhostWriter, we operate using milestones that break the book down into chunks. That way, writers can complete daily word count goals in order to achieve the milestone when it’s due!
However if you’re working on your own, not everyone is the same. Think about other writing goals that you have. Make them clear and specific. Perhaps you want to get through a particular scene that day or deal with a certain character’s description. Or perhaps you have a certain amount of chapters you want to finish up in a day. These types of goals may be easier for you to focus on rather than word count; however, word count can really anchor you to your overall goal: finishing the book!
How to Remove Distractions When Writing
Many people say they can’t be authors because they don’t have the discipline to set their own deadlines and fulfill them. But you do. You are an author, and you can use self-discipline to guide your writing and keep away from those pesky distractions that keep you from your progress! Of course, finding a good place to write and work is one way to keep those distractions at bay.
A good way to remove distractions is to let the people in your household know that it’s your work time. Some of you may be using your writing as a side business, and to be honest, even if it’s your full business, often people don’t think that it’s work, especially if you work from home. They may come into your study at all hours, distracting you from your progress. Find a time and a space that people know is sacred. It’s your time to get your work done, and you won’t get it done if people are adding to your stress and distractions.
Try turning off your cell phone or laying it across the room. A lot of the reason people become distracted during their writing time is because when their ideas stall, they reach for their phone. And don't open any browsers on your computer with social media! You'll get sucked into an endless cycle of scrolling!
Another way to stay motivated and on the straight and narrow is to keep yourself accountable: announce your goals to others! That way, you can’t “get away with” not doing the work you need to do. It helps to have someone know what you’re trying to do! You can even ask a friend or a loved one to check in with you on your progress.
Having a plan about your writing process is essential to getting your book done and sent out. So many people let it linger in the background because there are no goals, no deadlines, and they haven’t found a routine. Create a writing plan to give you the motivation you need and help you achieve the progress you deserve!
For more help, take a look at these resources:
If you are interested in letting someone else handle the work for you of writing your book, send your ideas, your plans, etc. to HotGhostWriter! One of our talented ghostwriters will worry about deadlines and daily writing for you, and you’ll end up with a beautiful, polished manuscript!|