Do you feel as if there is never enough time to write? Then you’ll enjoy these valuable time management tips from Daria White, an author, podcaster, and online course creator. Below, Daria shares five ways to discover your author rhythm.
“There’s never enough time!” How many times do we say that as authors? “I would write if I didn’t have XYZ to do” or, “There’s so much going on that I can’t make the time.” It’s understandable. Writing is a skill that needs focus and attention. Whether you’re a fiction or nonfiction author, you need time to organize your thoughts before you type or write it on paper.
What would you say if I told you there was a way to discover your unique writing rhythm? All authors have a unique way of telling a story, but few realize this also pertains to their writing patterns too. There’s a way to expect your word count without the guesswork. You don’t have to wait years to discover it and you don’t have to write 3-4 hours a day. So here are five ways to discover your writer’s rhythm. A system you can use again and again!
I call this “catering your time” to writing. You can create a schedule that fits your life perfectly. No need to compare yourself to another writer. If you can only write in the mornings, do that. Are you a night owl writer? Do that! I recommend printed weekly plan sheets or an app. Fill out everything you do for the week, i.e. job, family, etc., and whatever’s left over is what I call your “time pockets.” Should your schedule change the following week, adjust it as needed. Customize it to fit your lifestyle and write!
# 2: Your Writer Average
What’s your common number? How many words can you typically write in a single session? 1000 words? 300 words? It doesn’t matter as long as you know your number. If you don’t know this, especially if you’re brand new to writing, aim for 500 words in 20-30 minutes. Repeat this 2-3 times and see where you land. For me, I can write 500-1300 in 30-45 minutes. I don’t worry when I sit to write. I know what to expect. You can too and this number is unique to you! Your progress once you know your personal writing average will surprise you.
Some can interchange this term with fast drafting, but you don’t have to sit 3-4 hours writing on your laptop. In fact, once you know your writing average, you can backtrack. For example, you want to write 15K in a week. If you know your writer average is 1,000 words in 30 mins, then all you’d need to do is write 3,000 words for the day. With sprinting, all you need is an hour and a half. Do this for five days and you’ll make your 15K goal! All it takes is breaking down the numbers.
#4 You don’t have to write every day
As you can see in the example above, I used five days instead of the full seven. Whether you write Monday through Friday or Tuesday through Saturday, don’t think you have to write every single day trying to finish your goal. All it takes is strategy. Working the numbers to fit your expectations. Take the breaks when necessary and don’t exhaust yourself. You’re not a lazy writer by resting.
#5: Embrace your true writing process
There will be weeks where you don’t hit your goal, and that’s fine. You may need to take a hiatus to recharge. It’s understandable. Writing is tough, so don’t add unnecessary stress trying to overdo it. When you embrace your unique writing style, nothing can stop you. Knowing your schedule, your average, the times you can sprint, there’s no word count you can’t handle! This is about coming into your own as an author and with persistence, you unleash your writing rhythm!
In conclusion, this goes beyond writing the words, but you, as an author, tapping into your unique writing system. Once it’s discovered, it’s yours and even when you have off days, you don’t have to start from scratch. You can pick up where you left off and keep going! You have a book to finish. It’s time to type “the end” and get it into the hands of eager readers!
If you’d like to learn more about this concept of discovering your true writing process, check out my online course, No Time Writer. New and ambitious authors learn timesaving techniques that bring them confidence, peace, and relief no matter their word counts. They embrace their true author identity, unleash the writer within, so that they can finish their first drafts!
Learn more about No Time Writer today!
More About Daria
Daria White has lived in Texas for most of her life. She disliked reading as a kid. In fact, she almost hated it. However, as she grew up, that all changed. Though she received her degree in healthcare management, Daria kept her writing as a hobby. She meant it to be private and her own way of expressing herself. It never crossed her mind to publish until she was in college. So, she took a chance and self-published. It worked! Starting off as a sweet romance writer first, Daria branched out in 2020 with books in cozy mystery and Christian fiction.
She’s also a podcaster (Writer in the Making) and course creator (WIM Plus 2.0) helping new and ambitious authors gain confidence, peace, relief, using timesaving techniques. Sign up for her author mailing list for additional resources.
Stacy Juba, the founder of Shortcuts for Writers, is a freelance editor and online course creator who teaches authors how to simplify the self-editing process and fit their writing goals into a busy life. Her books include the Storybook Valley chick lit series and the Hockey Rivals young adult sports novels.
Sign up for her free, on-demand masterclass, How to Create Your Editing Game Plan and Fast-Track Your Book: 3 Costly Mistakes to Avoid.