After many methods of figuring out how I can keep on track for writing my book, I have finally figured out a formula that works best for me! In this post I will explain the steps I took in order to figure out the writing schedule that worked best for me, which will help you create your own!
Being in a Writing Environment/Mood
Don’t get me wrong, it helps to be in a writing mood. I believed that the best content came from when I was craving to write, so I didn’t pick up my laptop until I had an urge to write. However, I didn’t get much done with this technique. I realize now that that mindset is rare for me and I actually crave writing a lot more than I realized.
I would not write for days and then become irritated at myself for not writing my desired amount for the day I missed. It was largely a downward spiral of being irritated at myself for not writing and then being upset that I spent another day just writing for hours on end with no good content.
Instead, I dedicated my freetime to writing. I have a bad habit of scrolling through social media to see content from fandoms that I have already seen before. So when I found myself lying around and prepared to fangirl over the latest Demon Slayer chapter, I flipped out my laptop and started writing instead.
I prepared my screensaver to be the map to my fictional world so I am able to quickly enter the mindset of the world. Instead of reading content of other fictional characters, I dedicated that time to my characters.
So find a time-consuming habit that you would be better off without and trade it in for writing. Even if it is a little bit of time everyday, you will be able to crop out the bad in your life and replace it with something that will benefit you greatly.
The Dreadful Word Count
Once I started writing consistently on my book, I implemented a word count system to allow me to see the progress I was making on my book. Keeping a word count after every edit will help you tremendously because it will promote a mindset that is influenced by positive feedback. However, make it reasonable because it will quickly turn negative if the goal is unattainable. I learned this lesson the hard way.
I have a projected deadline for my book and in order to reach the closest one possible, I made a goal of 500 words a day. While this worked for the first few days, thanks to adding a journal checkbox for the goal, I quickly was consumed with dread when I started to become overwhelmed with this goal. I would skip one day and would feel awful that I was not sticking to my goal. Even though the reason for skipping writing was simply because other things came up in my schedule because I am a part-time customer service worker and a university student!
So after a few weeks of feeling like I was falling behind my schedule, I made a new goal for my work. I decided that by the end of the week, I was to write an average of 500 words a day (3,500 words total). This means that I could simply write 250 words one day and then make up the rest by the end of the week. Having this flexibility allowed me to focus on my social life while still completing the necessary writing to publish my book on time.
A Word Count Goal
Yes, my weekly goal is 3,500 words, but what is this compared to my overall goal? After looking at the word count of some of my favorite novels, I established a goal of 100,000 words. Here are some of those famous young adult books and their word count:
- Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – 111,215 words
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – 131,080 words
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – 110,055 words
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – 114,550 words
- Entice (Embrace) by Jessica Shirvington – 99,615 words
I chose these books because they started with a central problem that then blossomed into a broader issue with time to wrap up the issue and end with a seed for a new book. I envision this same time frame for my novel because only allowing myself room for one problem makes a boring book. So with this goal in mind, I have high ambitions which I am flexible with.
Planning What to Write
The first novel I attempted to write was meticulously planned and I believe that is what led to my depleting interest in it. By planning out every detail, I allowed no room for growth of my characters or for them to make their own decision. I also worked so hard on the details that when I was writing, it felt unnatural and not how I envisioned it.
When I started this novel, I had an end goal and a plot line-that was it. The character names, their personality, the environment, and the story line have written themselves. By writing this way, the character are natural and encounter new adventures that even surprise me.
In the end, writing should be fun and not a chore. If you write something that isn’t fun for you, it won’t be for anyone else. These characters are living a life separate from yours so let them write it as you go.
Have fun writing my fellow authors!