My epic writing schedule is my way of dreaming big. I did quite a few posts on it before I accidentally lost my other blog. Oy. Nightmare. Anyway, I recently redid my epic schedule and thought I’d share it with you. Sure, it’s bound to change. Life gets in the way, often, or other opportunities arise. I think that this new schedule is much more doable and realistic than the last few I made.
Or not. Hee hee.
The reason why I thought I’d write about it is I always wondered starting out how people stayed on track, how writers wrote so damned much, what they did to motivate themselves. There have been times in the past where I didn’t write for months because I didn’t know what to write. I thought I had some sort of defect or something. Then I found the Magic Spreadsheet and my writing was magically transformed. Like for serious.
Now, I’d read a lot of books about writing and they always said that to build a writing habit, you had to write everyday. I tried but couldn’t manage it. Who had something to say every damn day? I didn’t, or so I thought.
The Magic Spreadsheet is a cool motivational tool. It took me from writing sporadically to writing every day without fail. In fact, I’ve written almost two million words over a period of 525 days. That’s amazing, considering before that I’d written only a few words that I hated in over five months. If you want to check out the spreadsheet to see if it would work for you, go to the Facebook group first. There are links to the spreadsheet there. I swear by it but there are a lot of blank boxes of people who signed up and then don’t use it.
If you aren’t a writer who writes every day (and it’s okay if you aren’t) then how do you stay focused on the long goal? My recommendation is to write out a dream calendar, full of all the writing you want to get done. Dream big: this is a fantasy schedule, what you’d do if all the stars were aligned properly and the world colluded to bring you the best luck ever to get all the things done. What would it look like? Let yourself get excited. This is a little like vision boarding, only with dates on a calendar. Heck, if you wanted to create pictures to go along with it, do it. Make it as real as possible. Where do you see your writing going?
Once you’re done dreaming (it’s fun, trust me) then you need to figure out how you’re going to get there. I think that part is as fun as the dreaming, but I’m totes a weirdo.
There are things you’ll need to know ahead of time, before you start writing out your schedule. You’re going to need to know what your target word count is for each project you’re working on. (You may be only working on one and that’s cool. I have the need to skip around in my worlds; it keeps me from getting fed up or bored with the writing.) You’ll want a calendar (you can print off a simple one from Word) and you’ll want to use a pencil. You also need to think about how fast you type and how much time you have every day to devote to your writing.
Here’s a few months’ worth of my schedule. Again, some things might change and I might fall behind a little, but I’m going to try my damndest to keep on track because in order to write the new things, I must finish what I’ve already started.
Some of my word count goals:
Short story collection: 40,000 words (21,791 now, approx 18,000 remaining)
Airship story: 60,000 (22,491 now, approx 37,500 remaining)
HW2: 30,000 (17,173 now, approx 17,800 remaining)
Hot Ride: 60,000 (49,527 now, approx 10,500 remaining)
HW3: 35,000 (28,137 now, approx 7000 remaining)
Sunday 21: Short story collection: 2000 words, Airship story: 2000 words, Hell Wrecker 2: 2000 words.
Work Monday 22: Airship story: 1000 words, HW2: 1000 words, Revise Demon’s Cradle: One hour
Tuesday 23: Airship story: 1000 words, Short story: 1000 words, HW2: 1000, Revise DC: One hour
Work Wednesday 24: Repeat 22nd
Thursday 25: Repeat 23rd
Work Friday 26: Repeat 22nd
Saturday 27: Short story: 2000 words, Airship: 1000 words, HW2 1000 words, Revise DC: One hour
Sunday 28: Repeat 27th
Work Monday 29: Short story: 1000, HW2: 1000
Work Tuesday 30: Repeat 29th
Work Wednesday 31: HW2: 1000 words, Short story: 1000 words, Finish up revisions on DC and send to Lorri
Thursday 1: HW2: 2000 words, Short story: 3000 words
Friday 2: Short story: 3000 words, HW2: 2000 (Done!!)
Saturday 3: Short story: 5000, HW 2: revise
Sunday 4: Repeat: 3rd
Work Monday 5: Short story: 2000, DC: edits, HW 2: revise
Work Tuesday 6: Short story: 2000 (Done!!), HW2: Revise, DC: edits
Work Wednesday 7: Airship: 2000, HW2: Revise, DC: edits
Work Thursday 8: Airship: 2000, HW2: send to reader, DC: edits
Work Friday 9: Airship: 2000, DC: edits
Saturday 10: Airship: 4000, DC: edits
Sunday 11: Repeat: 10th
Work Monday 12: Short story: edits, Airship: 2000
Work Tuesday 13: Repeat 12th
Work Wednesday 14: Repeat 12th
Work Thursday 15: Short story: edits, Airship: 2000, DC: final read-through and edits
Work Friday 16: Short story: edits, Airship: 2000, DC: final read-through and edits
Saturday 17: Airship: 3000, DC: format for Kindle & CreateSpace/upload
Sunday 18: Airship: 3000 (Done!!!), Format The Bazaar Bundle (three book deal)/upload
Work Monday 19: Hot Ride: 1000, HW3: 1000, HW2Edits
Work Tuesday 20: Repeat: 19th
Work Wednesday 21: Pub DC!!, Pub Bazaar Bundle!!, HR: 1000, HW3: 1000
Work Thursday 22: Repeat: 19th
Work Friday 23: HR: Repeat: 19th
Saturday 24: HR: 2000, HW3: 2000
Sunday 25: HR: 2000 (Done!!!), HW3: 2000 (Done!!!)
Work Monday 26: HW4: 2000, HW2: edit
Work Tuesday 27: Repeat: 26th, Short Story Collection: Pubbed!!!
Work Wednesday 28: HW 4: 2000, HW2 final read-thru
Work Thursday 29: Repeat 28th
Work Friday 30: HW4: 2000
Saturday 31: HW 4: 4000, HW2 format/upload
That’s the last bit of December and all of January there. I have my schedule laid out for the whole year. It makes it easier for me to see all the parts. Even when I did it the first time, there were things I forgot: making time for revisions, edits, read-throughs by beta readers, etc…That’s why it’s good to take it as a guide and motivational tool, rather than a “laid in stone” deal.
If you don’t like making schedules, make a list of books you want to write. Figure out what your nightly, weekly, or monthly word count goals are or page count if word count bothers you. The point is to give yourself some direction. Then you aim yourself out of your cannon and hope you hit your target! (Don’t forget to wear your helmet. 🙂 )