Stages of Writing a Book: Post #3 (Writing the Book)

In this video, Janet Syas Nitsick and I discuss the actual writing part of creating the book.  You will have to find your own way of fitting writing into your schedule, but the key is you need to find time to write because if you don’t, the book will never get done.

So you need to explore what system works best for you.  For the busy mom, that might be writing in the midst of interruptions.  For someone with a “day job”, it might be writing during a break or when you’re at home.  Someone else might find it best to write at night, and someone else may write first thing in the morning.

Another factor is what your goal is for the day/week.  Maybe you want to have a daily/weekly word count goal.  Maybe you want to sit down for a certain amount of time each day/week.

Another factor is whether you want to plot our your book, write by the seat of your pants, or a mixture of both.

Also, some people write only one book at a time, and others can write a couple at once.

Find the methods that work best for you and do them.

But the bottom line is you need to write.  There will be days when you don’t feel like it.  Sometimes, you’ll just have to make yourself do it, just as you’d have to make yourself work at a job someone hired you to do. If you’re serious about writing, you need to do it.

Now, there are times when it really just isn’t working.  No matter how much you try, you can’t write.  In cases like this, find something else you can do during that time to be productive.  This could be writing and scheduling blog posts (which is what I’m doing today).  This post won’t go up until May 3, but I’m getting it set up on April 12 on a non-writing day.  Another thing you can do is catch up on your emails, work on your website, come up with a cover idea for your next book, or engage in social media in a meaningful way (meaning, no games or looking at pictures of adorable kittens).  You can do the games and look at pictures when you’re in your “free time”, not during your writing time.  The writing time needs to be dedicated to your business in some way.

Out of curiosity, what is your writing routine like?  Are you writing all throughout the day like I am?  Or do you set aside specific times to write like Janet does?  Do you have word count goals?  Are you a plotter, panster, or a mixture of both?  What methods work best for you?

9 Comments

  1. rosereads says:

    For the last month, I have been try to do just this with mixed results. I sit down to write at least twice a day. In the mornings and when I get home from work. I wrote a lot more this month, but really need to focus more on writing or writing related activities when I am at the desk writing.

    1. I think the focusing is the hardest part. I find it I can get in the zone (so to speak), it comes so easily. But there are those other times when writing feels like your pulling teeth. I wish it was always easy when we sit and write. 🙂

  2. gippyhenry7 says:

    Good article. Since I am (later in life) going for a BS in Criminal Justice and just finished my first suspense crime novel a few months ago, I try to fit time in each week for editing. As for my process beginning my novel (I’m working on the 2nd now), I have a huge canvas chalk board where I lay out all of my characters, names, locations, etc. As a fine artist also, I like visuals for everything. The plot, of course, has been in my head for many months ruminating. Once I study the visuals for awhile, I start writing whenever and wherever I can. When I return each time, I roughly edit and read over what came before and then write again. This seems to work for me. I’m now looking for a professional editor that isn’t too high in the price range before I send my book through BookBaby. The whole process is taking about one and half years (writing the book-8 months). Thanks, and happy writing. Best, Gippy

    1. First of all, I think it’s awesome you’re going for your BS! 😀

      I love how organized you are in the whole writing process. Thank you for taking the time to explain everything you do. This is a great way for people who like to plot out ahead of time to get ideas on what they can do. It’s nice to hear from someone who isn’t a panster like Janet and I are. 🙂

  3. ronfritsch says:

    I write and revise whenever I can. My WIP is always my first priority after only my partner’s health and my own. I never have a time when I don’t want to write. I don’t set any words-per-day or per-month goals. Quantity isn’t important to me. Quality is. The day I sent my last novel off is the day I began the one I’m working on now — and even this moment can’t wait to get back to. Oh, what a lovely next scene I’ve got in mind. My MC doesn’t see it coming.

    1. LOL on your last sentence. I love it those twists we put on the MCs. 😉

      I love your passion for your work. I agree. Making the story the best it can be trumps quantity. I made the mistake last year of pushing myself to write 5,000 words a day, and I never did connect with those three stories, which is a shame because they could have been better if I’d taken the time to slow down and enjoy them. Books are best written when we savor them like we’d savor a glass of fine wine. You don’t want to gulp it all down. You want to take time to enjoy the smell and flavor. Writing is more enjoyable when it’s done the same way. I will never rush another story just to get the next book out.

  4. cav12 says:

    When I’m not at work, I writing in the morning. My head-space is much fresher LOL and in the afternoons I tend to research and spend a little time social networking. Although I must admit that is happening less and less!
    I’ve two ms I’m working on, both books are part of a series and quite different from each other which is great. Writing two different stories is invigorating and keeps my mind more creative.

    1. I hear you! Mornings are a lot easier to write for me, too. I usually get more creative in the evening and late at night, but since my kids have to wake up early for school, I can’t stay up past 10pm. So I don’t even bother writing then anymore. I found mornings through 1pm are best. After that, my brain slows down, and (like you) research and social networking are better to focus on.

      I agree that different stories do a lot to help the creative edge at its peak. It’s why I don’t like to be stuck writing only one particular type of romance. I enjoy doing a variety of them.

      1. cav12 says:

        So nice to read you have a similar writing pattern Ruth 😀

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