Tag Archives: write

How to Hit a Writing Deadline

Oh, deadlines. The bane of most people’s existences. But, in my opinion, absolutely necessary for a writer if your goal is to publish your book in this lifetime.

Deadlines can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they feel too short and you find yourself putting all of your energy into one project which leads to you neglecting other things. Other times, you may put it off until the last minute and then rush like crazy to get everything done on time.

Either way, when you’re given a deadline (whether it’s self-imposed or imposed by another person), you have to do everything in your power to hit it. So, how do you do this?

Plan Out Your Time

I know. I keep saying this. Because it’s important!

Don’t just wing it and hope for the best. Before you start, plan things out and figure out roughly how much time it’s going to take to knock out this particular book project. Then, spread it out over time and leave yourself some wiggle room in case things change or go wrong. Be diligent, but also be flexible.

I know how many words I can write per hour. So I plan things accordingly, breaking it down by hours per day of writing, then by week, then by month, et cetera. I know in advance how many pages or chapters I plan to accomplish within each time slot.




I acknowledge that not everyone likes the idea of a writing plan (a.k.a. an book outline), as indicated in this earlier guest post by Jennifer D. Foster titled The Ins and Outs of Outlines: Plotters Versus Pantsers. I personally never used an outline for any of my fictional novellas, but I started using one for my non-fiction books and have continued with this ever since. I find myself way more productive when I’m working with a set of plans and deadlines. I keep promises to myself.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

When you plan out your time, stick to the plan.  Make sure you keep your promises to yourself, too. Create a rewards system, if possible, that allows for you to get what you want if you get your job done. Give yourself a cookie. Literally. Whatever helps you to stay on task.

Ask Questions and Get Answers Quickly

If you have a question during your book research, consult Google for an immediate answer instead of spending all day ruminating. The Internet is a great start in terms of helping you find the resources you may need to complete your project. It can also provide you with the citations you’ll need for your bibliography at the back of a non-fiction book. (Just make sure you fact-check the things you’re finding.)

Deadlines can be stressful, but they aren’t the end of the world. Keep these things in mind and you’ll meet your deadlines. Before you know it, you’ll have completed your book! What an accomplishment!

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How to Stick to a Schedule When You Write From Home

When you tell someone you’re a writer who works from home, one of the first comments you might hear is, “Wow, so you can write whenever you want?” Well, yes and no. Despite your best intentions, you may find that it’s difficult to stay on track with your writing. If that’s the case, you may end up working seven days per week or pounding away on your laptop from morning to night, dreaming about the day when you can finally take it easy. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are four tips to try if you feel like you’re writing (or trying to write) 24/7 and getting nothing done.

Set Specific Working Hours

One of the perks of self-employment is that you can work whenever you want. That’s also one of the drawbacks. When you have the freedom to meet a deadline at your convenience, it’s easy to spend the entire day writing. Regain control of your work life by setting specific hours for yourself.

Be practical when you set your hours. If you’re a night owl, don’t schedule yourself a day shift. If you have small children at home, consider working late at night or before the sun rises. You may also find it easier to schedule a split shift, such as four hours for work, four hours for errands and a lunch break, and four more hours of writing. Do what works best for you and your lifestyle, because it will be easier to stick with a schedule that meets your needs.




Take Breaks

When you punch in a time clock outside of your home, you probably never miss a lunch break or 15-minute rest break. That’s not the case for many who write from home. It’s easy to skip breaks because you think you don’t need them or feel like you’re being lazy if you stop writing for a few minutes, but this can take a huge toll on you.

Failing to take a break can cause you to feel burned out. You may start to hate what you’re doing if you never take a moment to do something else. Set an alarm to remind yourself to take regular breaks, and make sure that you actually escape your home office for a bit. Walk around the block, drive down the street to grab a bite to eat, or meet up with friends. Your brain and body will thank you.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions come in different forms from fun Facebook games to uninvited neighbors who never seem to go home. If the Internet is a major distraction for you, try an app like Focus Booster. You can use the app to block social networking sites, YouTube, or even your personal email account when you’re busy with a writing project.

It’s slightly harder to eliminate other distractions, such as chatty family members or neighbours; but it can be done. In fact, if you follow the two steps listed above this one, you may find that it’s easier to prevent these types of distractions. Uninvited guests may be less likely to stop by if they know you have set writing hours and regular break times, and people may stop asking you for rides to the post office or grocery store if they know you’re busy writing your next book.




Reward Productivity

No matter how much you love your career, there will be days when you just don’t feel like being productive. You’ve probably outgrown star stickers and pencil toppers, but you can improve motivation by rewarding yourself in other ways.

Start by setting small, easy-to-achieve goals, such as, “I will write for 30 minutes and then spend five minutes watching motivational YouTube videos.” (Or whatever works for you, of course!) As your focus increases, you can change your hourly goals to daily goals, like, “I can order pizza tonight if I finish writing these two pages by 4 PM.” You can even set weekly goals, like, “I will buy a new pair of jogging shoes if I meet all of my deadlines on time this week.”

Working from home can be rewarding for writers, but it can also be difficult. Eliminate distractions and stick to a regular schedule by trying the four tips above. Good luck with your book!

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More Writing Hours Versus More Productivity

We all know those people who spend every waking moment at the office. We admire them and their efforts, and we imagine they must be getting so much more done than everyone else. Sure, sometimes this is true; but other times it’s just a matter of poor time management. More writing hours don’t necessarily equal more productivity or progress. Compact, focused work is just as (if not more) effective in the long run.

I try to get my writing done in small, but controlled bursts. Instead of spending my entire day sitting at a desk or sitting at a coffee shop, I schedule my work time and break time, then stick to it. I set and meet my own deadlines.




When I’m writing, I’m focused on writing. When I’m on a break, I don’t think about writing; I just relax and enjoy the break. Not only does this help me to get more done, but it helps prevent the feeling of overwhelm that comes from trying to do too much at once, and it also helps to prevent exhaustion.

Exhausting yourself can give you an immediate gain; but, over the long-term, it’s also bound to lead to unhealthy fatigue and resentment. That’s not what you want. What you’re after is an achievable routine that is customized to your life and your schedule so you can easily stick to it. Do this, and you’ll have that book written—and published!—before you know it!

More tips on how to stick to a schedule when you work from home and how to meet a writing deadline will follow this week. Stay tuned.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Where Do I Even Begin Writing My Book?

As you sit down to write your book, you may be thinking, “Where do I even begin?” Well, there’s no right or wrong way to begin. For me, every one of my books was a little bit different. They all came to me in their own unique ways.

Sometimes, I’ll receive just a simple concept in my mind. I write it down, set it aside, and then I wait until the next thought comes along to further strengthen that vision. As each new thought arrives, I do the same until there’s enough substance to begin piecing together the first concrete outline of the whole book into point form. Basically, when this is the way a book comes to me, I know I must be patient with it. Let it grow at its own rate. It will come together eventually. It always does.

Other times, I’ll receive the end of a book first. The final chapter will already be a crystal-clear vision in and of itself, so then all I have to do is go back to the beginning and write to that end. Fill in the blanks.

My first fictional novel, A Letter to My Son, took me around ten years to complete. In hindsight, the majority of that time was spent procrastinating rather than writing due to fear of the unknown. I didn’t see that clear path ahead of me. I didn’t know how to get published and wasn’t all that sure it would ever happen, so I felt no strong sense of urgency to finish the book. Then, one year, I experienced a life-changing event that had me questioning myself and my life purpose. It was the catalyst that motivated me to finish my book once and for all—to find a way to publish it—to keep that promise to myself. Once I found that resolve, all the information and resources I needed to publish the book found me. And I did it! (Smiling.) What a proud moment!




Each book that followed came a little easier simply because I knew the process ahead of me. Isn’t that the way life is? The first time you try anything is always the hardest. But, if you push through that initial fear and prove to yourself that it’s possible, it does get easier. Needless to say, my second book, A Letter to My Daughter, took me only two months to write. My third book, 11:11, took me around six months. I’ve also since released three more non-fiction guides to help writers and authors navigate the business aspects of book publishing, sales, and marketing. I’ve produced an ebook series to help online marketers earn passive income from ebooks: Book Publishing Shortcuts for Online Marketers. And I’ve produce another ebook series titled T-Shaped Marketing for Authors that teaches all kinds of online marketing techniques authors can use to boost their ranking on eCommerce sites like Amazon and Kobo.

When I was younger, writing was more a pastime than a career aspiration, so I only wrote when the mood hit me. After my first book was published, and I became a little more serious about things, I found a structure that seems to work very well for me to this day. Lately, with the help of this structure, I’ve been publishing a new book once every four to six weeks. It’s possible!

I hope learning this little bit of information about my personal journey as a writer will inspire you to finish writing (and eventually publish!) your own book. You can also find many more sources of inspiration and education on this blog to help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Good luck!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.