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How to Create a Killer Novel Writing Schedule

Schedule for Long-Term Success

Both experienced and aspiring authors have a rough time creating a sound novel writing schedule for long-term success. Most attempt to work around their daily schedule which may change at will. What ultimately happens is a novelist’s plans for writing will break down.


For a path to success in any field, especially one that dictates scalable income like writing (where you’re not getting paid for working), you’ll need to juggle your budding writing career with a full-time job. If you have a set work schedule as I now do, this isn’t as tough.


But if you’re in the crowd who has an unpredictable work schedule, you’re also in luck because I spent seven years of my life with a work schedule that led me every which way but straight. From a produce clerk to a personal trainer, my schedule changed by the day, sometimes by the hour.


So today, as I venture off into a set schedule of full-time work, I’m going to show you some tips you can utilize to make the most out of your writing schedule.


Trust me, with seven years’ experience battling scheduling curveballs, sliders, and knuckleballs, it’s been one wild ride when writing Northern Knights and my freebie novellas.


One: Stick to a Single Sacred Schedule

Step one, find a time each day during your workdays to write. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a paragraph, a page, or a few pages.


I like the early morning or late evening technique but some of us who work alternating shifts might not have this available. Scheduling your writing time before or after work might be best.


I once had a strange schedule where I often worked split shifts. Here, I was able to write in between my work times, whatever time I had. There were times I’d be finished with my first shift at noon and wouldn’t have any more work until five. Other times, I was finished early and came back to work later on, at sixish.


Some of us who work split shifts may only have a couple hours in between, as I have now with my new set schedule. If your place of work has lockers you can stow your laptop in it and write on your break.


If you’re uncomfortable with bringing your laptop to work, you can always head home and write for an hour if you live nearby.


If no option is available, you can always bring a notebook with you and brainstorm ideas while on a break. What’s cool here is you can do this during even your fifteen-minute breaks.


Two: Use Off-Days

On days you’re off, make writing a priority. You may have obligations but first, treat writing like it’s a second job. Knowing this, you need to act as if writing consists of regular work hours.


If you’re used to say, working in the morning, write in the morning for an hour or so. If you’re an evening worker, do this in the evening.


Plan your off days ahead of schedule and stick to the schedule you’ve given yourself. So, if you’re scheduling your off day to write in the morning, write in the morning and don’t deviate. If someone else tries to throw you a curveball, tell them you have personal commitments.


Whatever you do, DO NOT deviate from your schedule. Unless there’s an emergency, you need to prioritize your writing.


Three: Bring Fun Work to Work

Yep, writing is work but it should be fun work. Even the self-editing process should be fun. So, if you have a nice break in the middle of the day and have a safe space to put your laptop, go ahead and have at it.


And again, if you don’t like taking your laptop to work, just bring a notebook and brainstorm, take notes, map out scenes, outline, still find ways to contribute.


In my old job, I had a schedule where I saw clients but might have an hour or so in between. So, I was able to usually avoid the curveballs, sneak into my office, close the door, and write.


Oh, and if you can get away with this at work, why not give it a shot? Nick Stephenson did this often during his early writing career.


Four: Sacrifice Entertainment

Wait, sacrifice the TV?


Yep! TV, movies, Netflix, everything except your favorite sports team playing. But avoid watching the other games.


And isn’t it ironic to sacrifice entertainment for entertainment you’re creating?


This isn’t much of a trade-off, but people have a tough time doing so. The first thing to do is not just turn off the TV but unplug it.




Obviously we can’t get rid of internet and both Twitter and Facebook can be tempting. As can Pinterest these days.


So, if you just can’t get rid of surfing the internet, why not schedule a five-minute internet break for every twenty-five minutes of writing.


Being an internet junkie myself, I understand the pain. But, by taking five minutes every twenty-five minutes, this will help keep the mind fresh. You can take a break from all the writing and editing cramming your mind for some peace of mind, which does wonders for the mind.


Write it Down

Yes, write your schedule each week. Either have a nice, big, paper calendar as shown in the featured image at the top of this article or you can go all tech-savvy and use your phone. Also, don’t just schedule it on your calendar, schedule reminders on your phone anyway.


You’re going to find long-term success here if you schedule your time accordingly and keep it uniformed. Yes, it’s tougher for those of us who work jobs with crazy work schedules and even jobs that are demanding and keep us at work for hours on end.


So, write out your schedule ahead of time, stick to it, incorporate what I’ve outlined above and soon you’ll go from stagnation to improvement. And this is the first step in the road to novel writing success.




A Passionate Journey to the Peak

What to Expect When Pursuing Passion

Work away from work. It’s going to take work to make a passion your number one career. Yes, it’s going to be rewarding, but it begins as a second job and it’s going to be a long fight to the top of the apex. You can ask anyone who has taken the journey before and they’re going to give you a long list of Do’s and Do Not’s.
Below are a few do’s and do not’s I’ve experienced since beginning my writer platform two months ago today.


Stick to your Schedule

Make one schedule day in and day out and stick to it. Plan your daily schedule in advance, preferably the night before, and insert your time for pursuing when it’s free. In other words, what may be your “unwinding” or “TV time” is going to become your time for pursuing whatever it is motivating you to find purpose.


Sleep Six Hours a Night

I know, I know, I know, it’s going to be a tough habit to make, but set an alarm clock six hours in advance before falling asleep. If you happen to fall asleep at random, be sure to set an alarm first thing in the morning. Make it a habit.
Why six hours? This will give you eighteen hours each day to do what must be done. We all have to eat, travel, get ready for work, go to work, and run errands, so giving yourself eighteen hours per day will give you ample amounts of time.


Ignore Naysayers

You’re going to face a lot of negative people, especially if you’re a vocal one when it comes to pursuit. It’s okay to be vocal about it, as I’m rather outspoken and stubborn regarding my own pursuits. But, you’re going to face several naysayers, and some may’ve been your friend for a time.
It’s a good time to find out who’s real and who’s fake. The real people will support you day in and day out and you’ll find out who your allies are rather easily. But, you’re going to burn a few bridges.
Because people will enjoy the hardship you’ll face when you’re pursuing. It’s not an easy path, in fact, it’s rocky, jagged, and full of sinkholes. But, we can avoid the rocks and climb out of sinkholes. So, they’re going to talk, but ignore them.


Remember the ‘Why’

Why are you pursuing passion in the first place? Look deep inside yourself, as you’re going to always uncover the why. Why did you begin?
We’re going to have days where we feel depressed, unmotivated, and wondering what possessed us to take this long route to an even greater success. But, when you remember why you began, it’ll get you through the tough days. Tough days will happen and days where you question yourself will happen, but you’re going to get through them by remembering why you began.

Never Give Up

This one may sound like a cliché, but it’s the most important tip I can give, as it’s directly intertwined with All of the Above. Never give up. You’re going to have to accept the fact that you’re going to sleep less, make a schedule, make sacrifices, burn bridges, question yourself, and conjure doomsday scenarios in your mind, but you must remember it’s important that all the elements listed above will come to pass.
Have faith in yourself and trust the process. By trusting the process, we trust ourselves to get to where we’ve always, always, always wanted to be. It’s by no means an easy route, because if it were easy everyone would be doing this in favor of getting normal jobs, making a normal living, and being normal people who have nothing more to do with their life than pay taxes and wait for death to greet them.
But, those like ourselves who look to make an impact in the lives of people we’re never going to meet in person are willing to go that extra mile, because we realize in today’s age of technology, we can and we will reach mass audiences with a message that rivets our minds to the point others must latch onto this message, which we all know is greater than ourselves.
It’s your life to live, and are you going to offer your purpose to a mere few seated around you, or are you going to make an impact through your work? The greatest passions in life impact others, be them inspirational, or simply conveying a message that must be conveyed, an idea to improve the lives of the masses.
Now, go out and make today a winner.

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