Writers in the group! Writing tip for today – If you are serious about one day getting your work published it’s important you work away at trying to figure out how to get a book written in under a year. I’ve come across a lot of aspiring authors who have been working away on their books for 2 or 3 years. They hope to get published one day. But what they haven’t considered–what if tomorrow they sign the contract for that book. Say that book is in a series, so the house is signing a contract for the whole series. The editor is going to say to you….now about book 2…when can you get that to us? And you have to be able to give them a time frame. The longest time frame I’ve heard of is 12 months. Sometimes they want it faster. One of the questions you need to find out about yourself as a writer is — how long does it take you to write a book from start to finish. And when I say finish I’m including editing and polishing in there. How long does it take for you to have a book done that is all bright and shiny that you could hand over to an Editor? If you don’t know it’s time you start working away at finding out.
When you get published you now find yourself under deadlines. For book 2, say you tell them 12 months, now you have a set deadline that you have to meet no matter what. Have you ever had to write under a deadline? Can you create a rocken story with the added pressure? I think it’s important to start to set deadlines for yourself. Ones that you do your darnest to meet as though they are an actual real life publishing deadline. By doing this you get used to working under a set amount of time. You get confidence that you can get the book done in that time frame and you can meet that deadline.
How do you figure out a deadline for yourself? What size book do you plan to write? 50,000 words? 80,000 words? It’s easy enough to take the amount of words you think the book might end up and then divide that into 12. How many words do you have to get done in a month now? Say you are working on an 80,000 word story and you want to get it done in a year. You have to include editing and polishing in there. So let’s say you take 8 months to write the book and that gives you 3 months to edit and polish it. That would mean that you have to write 10,000 words a month for 8 months. That breaks down to 2,500 words a week. If it was me I would throw in a little breathing room and try for 3,000 words a week. That way some weeks you can do a bit more and other weeks a bit less. But no matter what you need to get that 2,500 words done each week!
You might tell me you are busy with school, work, life. That you don’t have enough time to write. That you are waiting for that magical day when you can just sit back and work on writing and do nothing but write as a full time career. But the problem is most writers don’t make enough money to work on writing as a full time career. There are not a lot of James Patterson’s in the world. Most writers make $10,000 or less a year on writing. 90% of my writing friends make less than $3,000 a year writing. Which means most of the writers I know have other jobs or they are lucky enough to be supported by a spouse while they work away on their writing dreams. Work, family, life will always interfere with your writing. You have to find a way to fit the writing into your life. You have to figure out how to hit your page count every week.