Writing a Book: Schedule your writing time

Jun 19, 2014 | Writing A Book

So much to do, so little time

I’ve never had a client with nothing to do but write the book that would enhance their career. They all had tons to do, including work and home life and a little recreation. There were also those little emergencies that you can’t plan for, but which always happen. Finding time to write the book was a big challenge.

Why not take a block of time off to write?

You may think that the answer is simple, just take some time off and write the book. That does work for some people, but most people find it very hard to do.

Taking a few days to write can work in two specific situations. It works well for that zero draft where you write straight through without worrying about more research or continuity or getting the details right. In fact, I often recommend that a client do just that: get away and get it all out.

Taking a few days also works well for that final write-through before you turn the work over to a professional editor. I’ve finished the final drafts of books in a friend’s trailer at a ski resort, another friend’s cabin on the Russian River, and several hotel rooms.

Four hours a week dedicated to the book

For most people, a steady half-day every week working on the book is a good place to start. It’s enough that you can get significant work done, but not so much that you can’t handle the rest of life. Don’t just assume that those hours will open up for you automatically or easily.

Schedule your time or you will lose it

Schedule your four hours (or whatever) every week when you lay out your schedule. Some people set the same time every week and then move it as necessary. Others make it the first thing they schedule every week. Do what works for you.

Scheduling time to write your book is making an appointment with your future.