I just began writing a book, an 85,000-word book. It needs to be finished by the end of November. That’s a lot of words in a short amount of time.
I made a schedule. I will write Monday through Friday and edit on Saturday. With a few exceptions, I need to write 1,750 words a day to make this work. So far, so good.
If I had been faced with this project five years ago, I would have laughed at how unrealistic that would have been for me to do. I would have turned it down without hesitating. But now this seems feasible; it is realistic that I can write that many words a day. The only question is: How well will I fair at keeping this pace up every day until after Thanksgiving? Again, so far so good.
What has changed between five years ago and now? Quite simply, I have ramped up my writing.
I went from haphazard blogging to blogging regularly. I then moved from blogging regularly to writing every day, if only for a few minutes. Next, I upped the goal to write for one hour each weekday. Then I added Saturdays and later Sundays, too. Writing for an hour every day, eventually became two.
More recently I changed the goal to write at least a thousand words each weekday, and then I began adding additional time to write more. I wondered if I could devote my entire morning to writing and handle my job in the afternoons. It looks like I can.
Along the way, I have found my writing voice, learned so much about the art and craft, and have improved. Yes, I have written other books, but this is my first with such an aggressive deadline.
Fortunately, I have been in training for five years. I am ready for the challenge.
Each writer has a different path, a different situation, and a different schedule. You are likely at a different point in your writing. Don’t compare yourself to me. Whether you are ahead of me or behind, comparison accomplishes nothing good. Only compare yourself to you. Strive to write, to learn, and to improve. Then you will be ready when the opportunity comes to you.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.