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How to Create A Writing Schedule For Your Book

writing schedule for your bookOnce you’ve Visioned your book, written its Purpose and created a Working Table of Contents, you’re ready to figure out exactly when you’re actually going to get your book written. You need a writing schedule for your book.

Even if you’re able to treat writing your book as a full-time job, your life will be easier if you actually make an appointment with yourself to write every day and put it on your calendar.

Of course most people don’t have the luxury of being able to work on their book as a full-time occupation. If you’ve got a full-time job or even a part-time job – if you’re raising children, keeping a spouse happy, or any and all of the things that constitute a normal busy life these days, you’ll have figure out to figure out, maybe even carve out, your writing schedule.

Look at your calendar

I’m assuming you have a pretty accurate calendar of what you’re supposed to do each day. If you don’t you may want to set one up now. I use Google calendar a lot – it’s free and although not perfect does allow me to share it with others. I find it works pretty well.

Looking at your calendar see if you can tell when you’ve got some free time. It may be early in the morning before the rest of your household wakes up, or late in the evening after everyone else that. That counts. Lunch hours count too, and if your job allows you to get work like this done on your book, that’s fine.

Set a goal

There are two general ways to set a book writing goal. One popular way is X number of words or pages a day. If it’s pages decide if they’re going to be single or double spaced, or if you’re going to write five or 10 pages my hand on a yellow legal tablet.

The other way is to decide how many hours you’re going to write a day. I write for a living and can rarely get more than three or four hours of good writing done in a day. You’ll have to discover what your limits are.

If you’ve not done much writing yet, you’ll have to experiment. Figure out which hour a day or even 30 minutes a day you’ll spend working on your book, and after three or four days of giving it a go see how many words you create or how many pages.

Make appointments with yourself

Once you’ve determined the writing schedule for your book it really helps to make appointments with yourself. Literally schedule the book writing time on your calendar or however you keep track of what you’re going to do during any given workday.

To get started, just schedule your writing time for a week. At the end of that week notice whether you kept those appointments or not if you did, good for you. Continue.

If, however, you didn’t keep the appointments or didn’t keep all of them rather than beat yourself up see if you can figure out what happened. If there were legitimate reasons like success in the family or emergencies go ahead and schedule the next week. But if the reasons are sort of vague double check and see if you need to change the schedule.

Obviously if you’re keeping your appointments you also need to be writing during them. But for the moment I want to concentrate on setting up a writing schedule for your book.

Expect changes

Keep experimenting until you get a regular schedule going and you’re beginning to make progress on your book. Don’t get discouraged when life intervenes. Although the schedule does help you with the discipline of writing it’s not inviolate. If you discover you need to change it along the way by all means do so.

Getting a book written does take discipline.  A book is a big writing project that requires a certain amount of attention. It’s quite possible you’ll discover you don’t have time to write the book right now. If you’re sure you don’t have time then set it aside until you do. Just be honest with yourself.

Writing a book can be one of the most frustrating and satisfying things a person can ever do.

What problems have you had getting your book written?


There’s no cost to you to  join my All About Books email list and find out more about getting your book written.

Write well and often,





{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Good advice, Anne! My problem in getting my writing done is that I have to steal time. I have a day job and 4 kids with active schedules, plus a husband who is supportive, but who doesn’t get home until after 7pm most nights and works one full weekend a month. I can get a few minutes here and there to write, but if I really want to be productive, I need a few hours of solid time. It will take me an hour sometimes to get warmed up and really on a roll.

    I like your idea of putting it on the calendar. If I schedule it like an appointment and treat it as such, then maybe I can train myself to carve out the time I need. After all, I have to make time for doctor appointments and meetings, why shouldn’t I put the same priority on my writing?
    Lynn recently posted..Sweet Reads: Fighting Diabetes One Romance at a TimeMy Profile

    • Hi Lynn, yes – if you schedule even 30 minutes and keep to it you’ll find it takes less and less time to ‘get warmed up.’ And you’re right, it is about training yourself. Let us know how it goes.

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