Indie Author Weekly

083: Step-by-step guide for how to fit "writing a book" into your schedule

October 27, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 84
Indie Author Weekly
083: Step-by-step guide for how to fit "writing a book" into your schedule
Chapters
Indie Author Weekly
083: Step-by-step guide for how to fit "writing a book" into your schedule
Oct 27, 2020 Episode 84
Sagan Morrow

This episode of Indie Author Weekly shares a few tips for what you can do to fit writing a book into your busy schedule. I have a step-by-step guide, a 5-step process, for how to do just that. As a productivity strategist, I teach business owners all the time about how to improve time management and productivity… so let’s apply that to your author life.  

First of all, there are 2 key things you need to know about managing your time effectively:  

  1. Good time management is rooted in good energy management. 
  2. Effective time management and awesome productivity skills are not rocket science: anyone can do it! Yes, that includes you. 

I want you to keep these 2 things in mind when you’re trying to fit “writing a book” into your busy schedule.  

Also, remember this: *What* you choose to prioritize isn’t the issue here... it’s *that YOU make the active choice.* It is that you understand that you have the opportunity to prioritize the things that matter to you. If you are serious about writing and publishing a book, it needs to be a priority.  

We all have different backgrounds and things going on in our lives, of course. For myself, I postponed writing novels for YEARS, and I started writing and publishing the Polyamorous Passions series while I was going through a business partnership breakup, going through some of the worst anxiety of my life, and I also have chronic insomnia and nightmare disorder.  

We all have different things in life and business to deal with—it’s not as though you can necessarily drop everything to work on your book, but it does need to be a priority. No matter your background or personal circumstances, I want you to have hope and confidence that you, too, *can* fit a book into your schedule.  

TUNE IN to this episode for a step-by-step process for how to fit “writing a book” into your schedule...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

This episode of Indie Author Weekly shares a few tips for what you can do to fit writing a book into your busy schedule. I have a step-by-step guide, a 5-step process, for how to do just that. As a productivity strategist, I teach business owners all the time about how to improve time management and productivity… so let’s apply that to your author life.  

First of all, there are 2 key things you need to know about managing your time effectively:  

  1. Good time management is rooted in good energy management. 
  2. Effective time management and awesome productivity skills are not rocket science: anyone can do it! Yes, that includes you. 

I want you to keep these 2 things in mind when you’re trying to fit “writing a book” into your busy schedule.  

Also, remember this: *What* you choose to prioritize isn’t the issue here... it’s *that YOU make the active choice.* It is that you understand that you have the opportunity to prioritize the things that matter to you. If you are serious about writing and publishing a book, it needs to be a priority.  

We all have different backgrounds and things going on in our lives, of course. For myself, I postponed writing novels for YEARS, and I started writing and publishing the Polyamorous Passions series while I was going through a business partnership breakup, going through some of the worst anxiety of my life, and I also have chronic insomnia and nightmare disorder.  

We all have different things in life and business to deal with—it’s not as though you can necessarily drop everything to work on your book, but it does need to be a priority. No matter your background or personal circumstances, I want you to have hope and confidence that you, too, *can* fit a book into your schedule.  

TUNE IN to this episode for a step-by-step process for how to fit “writing a book” into your schedule...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives at SaganMorrow.com: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing romantic comedies, and occasionally, business books. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. In this episode, I want to share a few tips for what you can do to fit writing a book into your busy schedule. I have a step-by-step guide, a 5-step process, for how to do just that. As a productivity strategist, I teach business owners all the time about how to improve time management and productivity… so let’s apply that to your author life. 

First of all, there are 2 key things you need to know about managing your time effectively:

  1. Good time management is rooted in good energy management. 
  2. Effective time management and awesome productivity skills are not rocket science: anyone can do it! Yes, that includes you.

I want you to keep these 2 things in mind when you’re trying to fit “writing a book” into your busy schedule.

Also, remember this: *What* you choose to prioritize isn’t the issue here... it’s *that YOU make the active choice.* It is that you understand that you have the opportunity to prioritize the things that matter to you. If you are serious about writing and publishing a book, it needs to be a priority

We all have different backgrounds and things going on in our lives, of course. For myself, I postponed writing novels for YEARS, and I started writing and publishing the Polyamorous Passions series while I was going through a business partnership breakup, going through some of the worst anxiety of my life, and I also have chronic insomnia and nightmare disorder. 

We all have different things in life and business to deal with—it’s not as though you can necessarily drop everything to work on your book, but it does need to be a priority. No matter your background or personal circumstances, I want you to have hope and confidence that you, too, *can* fit a book into your schedule.

Okay, now let’s get into a step-by-step process for how to fit “writing a book” into your schedule: 

Step #1: Figure out your author goals.

What exactly do you want to accomplish? A few things to think about here: 

  • Genre
  • Word count (it doesn’t need to be exact, but it’s helpful to have a rough idea in mind)
  • Self-publishing vs traditional publishing
  • Messages or themes of your book
  • Ideal readers
  • Timeframes or deadlines
  • What you want from the experience (e.g. are you publishing it, or writing it for yourself? Do you want to win prizes or make money or reach out to a specific type of reader? And so on)

All of these things will help you with the next steps.

Step #2: Identify your time and energy requirements for your book.

As I mentioned earlier, time and energy are intricately entwined. If you don’t have the energy to write your book—in other words, if you’re too tired to work on your book—then it doesn’t matter how much time you have! You won’t be able to make good progress.

So, when you’re figuring out how much time it will take you to write your book, also do energy estimates. You will likely need a different amount of time and type of energy to write the first draft compared to proofreading the final draft, for example.

If you want help with time management and boosting your energy levels so you aren’t too tired to write your book, then check out Productivity Powerhouse at SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse. I’ll add the link in the show notes.

And again, I have nightmare disorder and chronic insomnia, so I totally get how challenging it can be to write a book when you’re exhausted! This is why understanding your energy levels and learning how to manage your energy can be a total gamechanger.

Step #3: Look at your existing schedule.

Here, you’re identifying what personal and professional commitments you need to take care of, beyond your book. Add those to your schedule *now* so that you can be more realistic about how your book fits into it. 

At this stage, you can also look at what things you will be able to remove from your schedule or postpone or delegate, in order to make your book a priority.

Something I often tell clients in Productivity Powerhouse is that you CAN do a lot of things and be multi-passionate and care about many things in your personal and professional life, but in any given moment, you can only really have one *top* priority. Really looking at where and how your book fits into everything else in your life and business, and how much of a priority it is for you in comparison to other things, is important here.

Step #4: Create an author plan.

You can actually use the concept of a business plan to do this, but for your book writing experience. Based on the previous 3 steps, you’ll now have a good idea of where you have room in your schedule for working on your book. And now, you can organize different plans for outlining, writing, editing, publishing, and marketing the book.

As with a business plan, your author plan is an organic, living document: use it as a tool! Your author plan is a great resource moving forward to understand how your book will unfold. And it’s okay if your author plan changes—give yourself grace. When you have a plan, you can ensure that you are actively working toward making progress as an author. 

For an example of planning ahead like this, I recommend you check out my free Business Planning Retreat Workshop, and apply that concept to mapping out your book plans. You can access that workshop at SaganMorrow.com/retreat

If you want more tips on creating your author plan specifically, email [email protected] and let me know, and I can do an episode on that.

Step #5: Add your book to your schedule

Okay. You have your author plan, you know what the rest of your schedule looks like… now actively put your book into your schedule! Write it into your calendar or task management system so you know what steps of your book you’ll work on, and when to do it. Make a point of including tangible goals, too: for example, a specific word count per day. 

You can grab my word count tracker spreadsheet on the “secret” version of this podcast at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast.

One more note on this step of the process: we all have lots of different things going on in our personal and professional lives, so be realistic and honest with yourself about what you can do. Some people can write a book in 6 weeks, others might take 6 years. There’s no one right way to do it. Every author has their own journey, so it’s important that you stay true to yourself and your unique process. 

Don’t worry about rushing it. This is not a race. Enjoy the journey. Scheduling your book is about ensuring you are staying true to yourself, and actually making that progress that you want to make, so that you don’t let years and years go by of saying “I want to write a book someday” without actually making progress. 

To recap, those steps include…

  1. Figure out your author goals
  2. Identify your time and energy requirements for your book
  3. Look at your existing schedule
  4. Create an author plan
  5. Add your book to your schedule

Get more help with each one of these steps in Productivity Powerhouse — visit SaganMorrow.com/powerhouse to grab it now.

Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it! And you can send me a message on either of those platforms if you have requests for future episode topics, too. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. You can also submit your questions or topic ideas anonymously at SaganMorrow.com/question

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support.

By the way, you can access complete word-for-word transcripts of this episode and all past episodes, plus sample chapters of my romantic comedies and a few other bonuses and goodies, on the “secret” version of this podcast. Get access to all of that at SaganMorrow.com/secretpodcast.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.