How to set a writing time frame

Let’s get into the nitty gritty. Exactly how you’re going to write your book.

As any good marketer knows, you have to make your marketing goals and objectives specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Things can get pretty out of hand if they’re not. Putting your sub-goals, or your baby steps into these categories will help keep you motivated and help you determine what you have to do next.

Let‘s look at each marker individually.

Be Specific – This is where you need to get into the nuts and bolts of what your book is going to be about. It’s okay to say you want to write a book, but let’s break it down a little more. I want to write a contemporary romance novel in six months that will be 50,000 words. I will aim to put one hour a day into this book (when you have worked up to one hour a day. If you’re doing fifteen minutes, take the time into consideration).

Be Measurable – I need to write five hundred words a day in one hour. This will leave time for writing first draft, then one hour a day to use as editing. Do a progress check and adjust as necessary. You might find that you count your progression in terms of how many words you write, rather than time spent. (At the beginning I would lean towards time spent on writing. Even if its fifty words one day and twenty the next.)

Be Attainable – When you write out your goal on you piece of paper, you are already making it attainable. However, if you’re starting out, try not to make your book into a Lord of the Rings saga. Make your baby-steps reachable. Meaning you can find time to write fifteen minutes a day, or write 500 words a day.

Be Realistic – this goes hand in hand with wanting to write a Lord of the Rings type saga. You might start with a short story first. Be realistic in what you can achieve with your skill of writing. Don’t try for too hard a book for your first book as you’ll lose motivation. Make it something you’re capable of doing. You will have to be honest with yourself with this point.

Have a Timeline – I don’t know about you, but ticking boxes, well, ticks my box. I feel great when I have accomplished a writing task, be it my writing time each day, to that big tick when you’ve finished your book. The point is that you need to know what you have to achieve each day. If you do your fifteen minutes a day, a task may be to finish chapter one and then you can move to chapter two. This gives you checkpoints to mark things off as and when they need to be done to keep your momentum going forwards.

Make yourself a daily list of what you’re going to write about. This might be about a conversation your characters are going to have, a plot point you want to hone, a change of pace you’re going to start. Each point builds on the last.

I have created a downloadable pdf titled ‘Set Your Smart Goals’, for you to answer these questions. Keep them handy so you can remind yourself of them every day.

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