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.
I’m so excited! My brand new course, called Time Management Blueprint for Writers: Transform Your Life and Finish Your Book, is now available.
This self-paced, comprehensive course will guide you through the process of organizing your life one step at a time so that you can become healthier and happier while boosting your creativity and productivity.
It can feel impossible to balance your dreams with a day job, family responsibilities, household chores, and a never-ending list of distractions all vying for your attention. Everything seems urgent and you’re pulled in too many directions, which can result in fatigue, stress, irritability, and frustration that you lack the time and energy to pursue your passion.
Manage Your Time
Through a series of engaging written lessons and short video tutorials that get straight to the point, you’ll assess your life in four key areas: Electronic Clutter, External Clutter, Internal Clutter, and the logistics of Getting Things Done.
In Time Management Blueprint, we’ll cover:
Tackling email and social media
Organizing your digital files and bookmarks
Automating routine tasks
Decluttering your home and setting up an inspiring work or writing environment
Unwinding, improving focus, and getting into a flow state
Handling distractions and interruptions
Prioritizing, planning, and breaking down goals into manageable steps
Mastering your calendar
Pushing through creative blocks and setbacks
Nailing your writing or work sessions
If you’re ready to stop spinning your wheels and reclaim control, then Time Management Blueprint for Writers: Transform Your Life and Finish Your Book, will give you powerful and practical tools to succeed and find balance.
Many of you know me as a fiction writer and developmental editor. This course is all about editing different aspects of your life. In addition to the lessons and videos, you’ll get extensive cheat sheets recapping all the key points of the course, a workbook, spreadsheets, habit trackers, and more.
The below bonuses are always included with the course.
5-minute meditation – Unwind with the guided meditation, Pressing Pause, contributed by Melanie Steele. This audio is one of her Monday Meditations for the Writer’s Soul.
4 free Trello boards – Start organizing your life with free Trello templates offered by Brit Poe of Thriving Scribes. Brit, creator of the in-depth course Trello 4 Authors, has shared four boards from her paid program. You’ll get her Day Board, Week Board, Year Board, and Goals and Intentions Board.
Writing productivity spreadsheet – Track your word counts with this user-friendly spreadsheet offered by Rahel Wallace, author brand coach and creator of the Indie Author Support: Prosperity Through Community Facebook group.
Start managing your time better so you can be healthier, happier, and more productive. Enroll here!
Since I’m launching a time management for writers course later this spring, productivity is a topic I’m very interested in. Everyone has different strategies to share and different methods that have worked for them, which is why I’m so excited to have Katharine Grubb of 10 Minute Novelists lead a guest workshop in my Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group.
Katharine will be leading the Time Management Mini-Boot Camp: A Crash Course in How to Organize Your Life For More Time To Write on March 26 at 10 am EST. Make sure to request admission to the Shortcuts for Writers: Editing Made Simple group to attend live as the workshop will stream in the group, not on the event page. A replay will be available.
In this live presentation, Katharine will give you practical tips on how to organize your foundational truth, attitudes, people, time, stuff, tools, margins and fails so that you go through your day with order and determination. Through these simple steps you will gain power to be organized and make more time for the people and passions that you love. Your dreams are worth ten minutes, but the rest of your life is worth so much more.
More About Katharine
Katharine Grubb is a poet, novelist, and former homeschooling mom who likes to bake bread, hike the Massachusetts woods and encourage others. She is the author of several books, including Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day and is the founder and CEO of 10 Minute Novelists Facebook community.
Join the Shortcuts for Writers Facebook group here.
I’m so excited to bring you this interview with an extremely inspiring writer and coach, Emma Dhesi, who helps beginner writers find the time and confidence to write their first novel. I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed for an upcoming episode of Emma’s podcast, Turning Readers Into Writers. She also invited me to talk about self-editing during the 20-day August Accelerator event coming up in her Facebook group. (August 2020)
Emma’s motto for beginner writers is: Get Focused. Get Confident. Get Published. Read the interview below to learn more about Emma and how she is helping beginner writers to approach the monumental task of writing a book.
How did you get interested in helping beginner authors to find the time and confidence to write their books? Do you do coaching?
It took me a long time to finish my first novel, over five years in fact. But when I did, it changed everything for me. I suddenly saw myself in a whole new light and realised that if I just put in the time and regular effort I could finish, not just a first draft, but a published novel.
I was so amazed by new capabilities that I knew I had to help other women achieve this as well. It’s all too easy for women to get caught up in the role of mother or wife or worker, especially those in the second half of life. It’s vital to recognise you still have so much to offer. Not just in writing, but in other aspects of your life too. If I’d known five years ago that I’d be doing what I do now, I would have thought you were crazy!
I don’t do one-to-one coaching but do offer group coaching. I strongly believe in having a safe and supportive community and do my best to offer this to all my students. I have an online resource called How To Write Your Novel – A Proven 4 Step Guide For Busy Beginners Who Want To Write Their First Novel. Applications are closed for the moment, but I will be opening it again in the future.
Tell us about your blog. What are some examples of posts you have published?
My blog is aimed specifically at beginner writers. My audience has told me that they struggle most with finding the time to write and building their confidence. Much of my content helps students find ways to find that time and grow their confidence via shared experiences as well as techniques they can try. For example, I’m a big believer in scheduling your writing time. In my experience, if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t get done!
In addition, I help with aspects of craft, introduce people to debut authors and share resources that have helped me in my writing journey.
Popular blog posts include Show Don’t Tell, How To Finish Writing Your Novel and How Long Should Your Chapter Be?
Tell us about your free cheat sheet on 30+ ways to find time to write? How can people get it?
Because finding time to write is something a lot of my students struggle with, I have a free guide called 30 Top Tips To Find Time To Write. It’s aimed at busy people who need to fit their writing time in around their existing commitments. It’s not always possible to sit down for a whole hour or two in one sitting. Instead, a lot of us need to fit our writing in when we can.
It was Elizabeth Kostava who inspired me when she said she had to write what she could when she could. This guide is full of practical and simple ways that you can slot writing sessions into your week. You can get a copy of it by going to www.emmadhesi.com/30TopTips.
How long have you been doing the Turning Readers Into Writers Podcast? What is your goal with the podcast?
I mentioned earlier that writing a novel changed my life in many ways, not least that it made me see I could do much more than I ever thought. Launching a podcast is one of those things. It’s new on the block as my first episode went live in March this year.
It too is aimed at beginner writers. I cover the same topics as I do in my blog but offer it here in audio form so that it can be listened to on the go. Again, I interview debut authors and experts in their field; for example editors and other writing coaches. If you are a debut author, and would like to chat with me about your writing process and how you balance writing and your day to day life, I’d love to hear from you. I think it’s so valuable for new writers to hear how other people work. It opens up new ideas about how a creative life can be incorporated into a professional life.
You also have a Facebook group for beginner writers. What are some of the things that you discuss in the group?
It’s free to join and we discuss all sorts in there. It’s a safe community for people to ask questions whether that be on mindset or craft. Members gain not only moral support and encouragement but benefit from a weekly Live Q&A session and visiting guest experts. We recently had Marjorie J McDonald come in and talk to us about how to write for children, as well as storytelling expert Blake Morris on how to structure a story.
You have a big event going on in August. What do you have planned?
August Accelerator is a 20-day event throughout August 2020 during which I have invited a number of experts to come into my Facebook group, Turning Readers Into Writers, to talk all things writing! Not only do I have guests speaking about, amongst other things, How To Write Romance, Non-Fiction and a Series, guests will also be discussing how you can use manifestation or tarot cards in your creative life. And of course we will discuss how you can manage imposter syndrome and procrastination as well as how writing can help maintain balanced mental health.
It’s going to be a wonderful month and I’m really looking forward to hearing what all my experts have to say. If you’d like to come in and listen to any of the talks and conversations, you can do so by going to the Facebook group, Turning Readers Into Writers. The videos will be streamed live and replays will be available for a limited time only.
Is there anything else you wanted to get across?
I cannot emphasise enough how Doable it is to write your first manuscript. With consistency and realistic expectation of what you can achieve in a given time period, there’s no reason you can’t finish your first draft. If it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, I urge you to, at the very least, finish your first draft. Then you will know once and for all whether it’s something that lights your heart or isn’t what you expected.
Novel writing should be challenging but it should also be fun and I also encourage your readers to see writing as an opportunity to be curious about the world. It’s hard to do, I know, but try to enjoy the journey as well as the finished product.
More About Emma Dhesi
Emma Dhesi writes women’s fiction. She began writing seriously while a stay-at-home mum with three pre-school children. By changing her mindset, being consistent and developing confidence, Emma has gone from having a collection of handwritten notes to a fully written, edited and published novel. Having experienced first-hand how writing changes lives, Emma now helps beginner writers find the time and confidence to write their first novel.
30 Top Tips to Find Time to Write
The Day She Came Home – Nicola left her husband Ross, and son Sam, to begin a new life on a remote Scottish island. She thought she’d left her childhood and her old life behind her, but the desire to reconnect is too strong. She must find a way to get a second chance.
Ross can’t move on with his life until he knows what happened to his wife. When she turns up out of the blue and asks for a second chance, he’s not sure he can forgive her. Stephen and Mary are devastated when their long-lost daughter returns and accuses them of the most horrific crimes. But as Stephen always said, no one would believe her. When family secrets are brought to the surface everyone is forced to face their past. Can they forgive and forget? Would you take her back? The Day She Came Home is the first in a series of contemporary family dramas.
Buy it on Amazon.