Last post I said that my goals for the next twelve months was to write seven books. But that really wasn’t pushing myself much was it? I’ve now upped that to twelve. So that’s my new goal – one book per month. These books probably won’t be full-sized. More like novella length (20,000-40,000 words).
The only way to achieve a goal as lofty as that, is to have a plan and get writin’.
My first is finished and in editing. I’ll send it to my beta reader on Monday, and if all goes to plan it should be published within the week after that. August book – DONE.
I’ve already started September’s book. 6,000 words in. I’ll make that deadline too. Bam!
How am I achieving this?
I made myself a Production Schedule. And I’m sticking to it.
- August – Book 1 (finished, in editing)
- September – Book 2 (started)
- October – Book 3
and so on …
All books already have titles. All books already have covers. (I went on a bit of a pre-made cover buying spree).
All books just need to be written.
No excuses. I have a schedule now, and damn it, I’m gonna hit it.
Bring on Christmas sales … Oh yeah.
How to Make a Writing Production Schedule
Plan a full twelve months ahead
I suggest making your production schedule twelve months long. Trad publishers have publishing schedules that are years in advance, so twelve months is nothing. Most indie’s don’t think much past the next book. They write something and then get hung up on that books sales. If you have more in the pipeline, one book doesn’t mean so much because you’ll be busy starting the next. That way you can get on with what is going to make the most money – having more product.
Find your writing triggers.
In deciding your schedule for the next twelve months, you need to have an idea of what you are going to write, or you need to have something that will trigger ideas for you, otherwise you’ll finish one book and have no clue what you are writing next. I’ve got full titles and covers ready to go. That’s my trigger.
Your trigger might be a whole 12 book series. Or perhaps a set of characters. Or maybe you like working to titles, too? Work out how best you come up with ideas and use that to your advantage.
I’m slightly obsessed with productivity and finding ways to do things in the shortest amount of time possible. I have to be, since I don’t have the luxury of eight spare hours a day to write. It’s rare that I have peace and quiet at my house.
Two days a week I’ve put my youngest in childcare, and the hours she is away, as well as my older child in school, I spend as much time as I can at the computer. I have roughly five kid-free hours. I spend four of them writing. I’ve been having a lot of success with the pomodoro technique. 25 mins writing, 5 mins rest. Repeat four times. Have a longer break for lunch then go again.
I’ve increased my word count to around 6,000 words in 4 hours doing this. Find out how YOU work best and stick to it.
Will a Production Schedule help you make more money as a writer?
Not directly of course, but if you follow a plan of writing more, two things will happen. One is that you’ll have more product on the market, and the second is that ‘time in seat’ or ‘time writing’ will help improve your writing skills.
I’m firmly of the belief that you get better by writing more. I don’t think you get better by obsessively rewriting the same story over and over (it might make you good at self editing though ;)). But each story you write helps you learn about characters, plotting, pacing and so on.
And I’m also firmly of the belief that the more books you have, the easier it is for people to find you (visibility!) and buy your other work if they like it, and therefore, the more money you’ll make.
Christmas and the new year is the biggest e-book buying season. Have you made plans to get more books out before then? It’s only four months away. Start today, start a production schedule, and get writin’.