Ah-the question of the clock! It’s probably not to much of a stretch to assume you’re already busy with a million things, and yet you are driven to add “writing a book” to your schedule. How many people do you know who are attempting to “write a book” but never finish? In the interest of NOT becoming one of “those” people, setting a target date could be exactly what you need to keep you moving forward.
So our first question is- when would you like your book to be completed?
What will be different in your life or business once your book is published?
Is there anything in your life “on hold” until your book is published? Are there closed doors you would like opened, and you believe will be once your book is published?
While this may seem strange to begin at the end, focusing upon the way your life and work will be better AFTER you book is completed will help keep you focused upon the goal and get it written.
Once you have set a target date for completion-along with recognizing the benefits that will accompany the book’s completion and distribution (such as more clients, coordinating with a talk or workshop you’ll be giving, celebration of a work anniversary, etc.), you can work backwards and determine how much writing needs to be done weekly or monthly to reach this deadline.
For example, if your target completion date was 6 months away, you may consider the following timeline:
Month 1: Complete the book outline, set up blank documents and write the book introduction and back cover material.
Month 2:Set up a writing schedule to complete 1 chapter or 2500 words weekly. (however your book is broken up best into smaller segments-the total divided by 20)
Month 3: Continue your writing schedule, while handing off finished sections to a friend or reader as you go, which will help keep you going.
Month 4: Moving ahead, you may find yourself tweaking your daily schedule if some days are more productive than others. Probably a 3-4 day per week writing schedule would be the best so that you have alternate days off.
Month 5: The home stretch!! This month, you should be finishing up the body content of your book.
Month 6: The content may be done, but you will certainly want to read your manuscript yourself for tweaks and changes, as well as have someone else read it as well. If you are writing for a different audience than you own “type”, it would be wonderful if you had a reader who fit your target demographic reading along-even as far back as month 3-who is honest enough to offer suggestions and criticisms where needed.
When you divide your book into a timeline such as this, it becomes instantly more manageable. With your average 200 page book containing about 50,000 words, that divides into about 2,500 (or about 360 words a day, 7 days a week) over 20 weeks. With books on Amazon with titles such as How To Write 5,000 Words Per Hour!, 2,500 words per week is certainly attainable!