As I get my website up and running, I’ve decided to start a blog to track my progress toward my writing goal. It’s currently January 2022 — a new year and a fresh start! This year, my goal is to complete my historical fiction novel and publish it by the fall.
This week, I watched indie author Sarra Cannon’s live stream about creating a writing schedule for the year, via her writer-focused YouTube channel Heart Breathings. I have long admired Sarra Cannon’s dedication to writing and her success as a self-published author.
This live stream was incredibly helpful in getting a grip on what is achievable for me this year. Without planning a realistic schedule, it’s easy to think I can finish, say, a 150,000 word rough draft in just a couple of months — but no. Cannon has you mark off days on the calendar when you know you won’t be writing, and she encourages you to be real about it. I marked off all weekend days, Monday holidays which I will spend with my husband, and up to four personal days per month — plus a holiday or two I know I am taking. She then has you calculate how long it will take you to write your book, broken down into sprints (or time blocks). I’ve decided my goal is to write for four 35-minute sprints per day, four to five days a week. Based on my writing speed, I can finish about 750 words per sprint. However, I am lowering my daily goal from 3,000 words to 2,500 words to be a little more forgiving of myself.
And so, doing all the math, I can expect to finish my rough draft in April. After that, I will spend the summer editing, with the goal of publishing in the fall.
Just writing this makes me excited and slightly terrified! It’s one thing to say you are going to do something, when no one else knows about your goal… but to put it out there in the world, it feels more real. Which is scary. If I were to fail at my goal, I would have to explain myself here. That’s exactly why I’m starting this blog — as a way of holding myself accountable. Besides, keeping a writing diary is a way to motivate myself. Someday, I hope to look back on this and recognize my growth as a writer. It’s a marathon, but I know I can do it.
I’ll share more about my work-in-progress in my next post. Thanks for reading, and I can’t wait to share my stories with you soon!