Indie Author Weekly

133: 5 tips for writing a book with a busy schedule

October 12, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 134
Indie Author Weekly
133: 5 tips for writing a book with a busy schedule
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered about how to write a book when you have a BUSY schedule? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!  

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to get 5 powerful tips for incorporating writing a book into your busy schedule—including real-life example for how your host Sagan Morrow has reworked her schedule...  

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Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and the behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow (or @Saganlives on Twitter & Instagram), and I’m an anti-hustle productivity strategist and an author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, have you ever wondered about how to incorporate writing a book into your schedule? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

But first, don’t miss an episode: You can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to share a follow-up from last week, Episode 132, where I mentioned that I was doing a solo business planning retreat to get things organized and sorted out with my business.

I’m a very multi-passionate person, so my business includes a) my work as an anti-hustle Productivity Strategist & Success Coach, b) my romantic comedy novels, and c) freelance writing. The freelance writing component, at this point, is really just for one retainer client that I’ve worked with for years. I don’t actively promote my freelance writing services, and generally when prospects ask me about my freelancing services, I redirect them elsewhere. That’s not what I want my business to focus on anymore, so I’m not really taking on any new freelance writing work. If a super cool, very aligned project came up, then I might! But I’m not looking to grow that area of my business.

As such, this business planning retreat was really about working out three things: 

  1. How to make more room for writing books, 
  2. How I want to streamline my productivity coaching services and e-courses (and best serve those clients),
  3. How I can incorporate ongoing professional development and continuing education for myself in an easy way.

I’m all about simplifying things and making things as easy and enjoyable as possible, in life and business. I love taking “imperfect” action, in very intentional and strategic ways. Business retreats can help organize all of that! If you’re curious to learn more about how a retreat can serve you and your plans & projects, grab my free workshop at SaganMorrow.com/retreat — link is in the show notes.

This past year, I’ve focused a ton on the growth aspect of my business, and I’ve done a lot of continuing education, professional and personal development, and upleveling of my productivity coaching services and e-courses. 

At this point, I want to continue doing that, but in a more streamlined, efficient, and, dare I say, productive, way—to ensure that writing my romantic comedy novels actually happens on an ongoing and much more consistent basis. 

A crucial part of my business retreat was organizing a new schedule and outlining a new routine for myself. I’ll be implementing it and no doubt tweaking as needed in the coming weeks, but it feels fantastic to have SOMETHING to work off of!

Again, as I mentioned last week in Episode 132 with my life update, everything’s been very much in upheaval, since I moved to a new city and bought a new condo etc. Get all those details in Episode 132, here on the Indie Author Weekly podcast. With all of that stuff happening, I haven’t had a proper routine or schedule in literally months, and my brain has NOT liked that, from a business standpoint.

Don’t get me wrong—I accomplished a lot these past few months! But the inside of my head felt like it was just in complete chaos. Having a schedule and routine and plan really calms me and gives me so much clarity. I love that. 

So! During my business retreat last week, I planned out business goals and tasks for the next two weeks, including specific days when I’ll be working on my current romcom. I have a plan in place for researching and potentially pitching an agent for this book (I’ll keep you posted if I go that route and how that unfolds!). 

Personally, my learning style and productivity style mean that I need lots of “down time.” I like extended breaks and time away from the computer so I can reflect and recharge. As such, I’ve blocked off my calendar so that I’m back to an official four-day workweek, with Fridays being my CEO days for review, planning, and continuing education. Weekends are for reading books and maybe writing, if I’m in the mood for it. Mornings will be reserved for creative work—especially, and specifically, for working on my romcoms—and afternoons will be for other types of business and administrative tasks, for my Growth Department and Operations Department.

Sidebar: If you’re curious about how I organize my business into departments etc, you can learn more about that in my free productivity training, 3 Steps to 10x Your Productivity, at SaganMorrow.com/training — link is in the show notes. End of sidebar!

This whole exercise has felt so good. It makes a huge difference to break down big projects—like writing and publishing a book—into smaller pieces, so that we can tangibly see how we’ll achieve that goal.

In the process of planning out my schedule, I’ve leaned very heavily on my learning style and energy management, too. The time of day that we have more creative energy is important to take into consideration for the time of day that we engage in creative projects, and that will be totally different from one person to the next. Don’t just copy and paste my schedule! Customize it to your unique personality and lifestyle. 

To recap, if you’re also trying to incorporate writing into your own schedule, then here are my recommendations, as a productivity strategist & success coach: 

  1. Do a retreat to figure out what you want, why you want it, when you want it, and how you’ll achieve it.
  2. Identify your learning style, productivity style, and energy management to connect that back to your creative projects.
  3. Break down big projects—for example, writing a book—into more manageable, daily tasks—for example, like I have in my schedule, “rework chapter 3,” etc.
  4. Map everything out on your calendar, or poster paper, or however you prefer to plan ahead and schedule tasks.
  5. Actually USE the strategies and plans you’ve created. They’re no good if they gather dust in a drawer. Refer to them, take action on them, and adjust them as needed.

Again, if you want support with this stuff, then I’d recommend you grab my free training, 3 Steps to 10x Your Productivity. It dives deeper into these areas. Get access to that at SaganMorrow.com/training — link is in the show notes. 

So there you have it! That’s what I’ve done recently to integrate writing into my schedule, and how you can do the same. I’ll keep you posted on how my plans go, of course, and the progress I make with my current romcom. Stay tuned for that in the coming weeks!

All right. That, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly. As always, you can access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support. 

Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.