Writing for a Living: A Successful Author’s Daily Plan

successful writer working

Writing for a Living: A Daily Plan

Writing for a Living: My Day

In September 2021, I was able to quit my job with the National Weather Service and pursue writing as a full-time venture. As I’ve mentioned in previous writings, I put out a novel every 50-65 days. Other authors who are comparing their progress to mine often ask me how I do it and what my everyday writing routine looks like.

This article will explain the process—from the steps taken before I sit at my desk to getting those last scenes down on paper. If you’re ready to step up your writing career, read on! But remember, you need to put in the effort; there’s no skimping on hard work.

No Excuses

Welcome to my writing room, a place where excuses aren’t tolerated. Every time I post my results and the amount of work it took me to achieve success, I get plenty of pushback. “That’s great,” people say, “but I don’t have the time.”

What they don’t know is I earned six figures as an author while holding down a full-time job, being married and raising twins, and caring for three dogs, I found a way to manage my time. In addition to getting my writing done, I learned how to market and advertise my books and remained healthy by exercising.

If you want something bad enough, you’ll make the time. Cutting out a few hours from your HBO or ESPN watching can give you time to work on your craft and create books your readers love. It’s up to you to find your own motivation.

The Schedule

My goal is to finish writing before lunchtime so I don’t have the job hanging over my head all day. With a good night’s sleep, I’m usually awake and ready to write an hour after I wake up. Before that, I feed the dogs and get in a quick workout.

My favorite way of boosting stamina and focus is drinking a smoothie made of protein, organic greens, beetroot powder, frozen fruit, and ginger. During wintertime, I carry a few logs inside for the woodstove. For inspiration and motivation, sometimes I listen to an audiobook for a few minutes while replying to messages from readers.

Time to Write

Every time I start a new novel, I jot down story beats for each chapter in a digital document. This way, I have a clear idea of where the story is headed, but also enough breathing space for when inspiration strikes. When it comes time to write, I load up my notes and scan them before setting a timer for fifteen minutes. During that time, it’s pure writing with no distractions.

My goal is to hit 340 words per sprint; by the end of five sprints I can rack up 1700 words. To complete my manuscript in 38 days, I need only repeat this process every day while taking breaks as necessary.

Edit My Manuscript

Every day, my writing must be finished by noon. Then, it’s time to edit.

Some authors, like Stephen King, recommend taking a break for several weeks before editing their work. At the other end of the spectrum, Dean Koontz prefers to edit the last chapter written on the same day.

I personally side with Koontz and find satisfaction in having a nearly-finished draft by bedtime. My editing process begins by reviewing my most recent chapter. I correct mistakes, trim extra words, and make the story flow smoothly.

Afterwards, I use ProWritingAid (for which I have a lifetime subscription) to detect remaining errors as well as check style tips and overused words.

To finish, I copy and paste the chapter into a voice synthesis program that reads the text aloud to me—an oft-overlooked step which reveals issues that were missed in previous checks. Listening to an emotionless robot read my story is monotonous, but it works.

The Business Side of Writing

With a newly edited chapter in the bag, I can spend the remainder of my afternoon and evening with my family and pets. However, there is still important work to be done. If you’re looking to make it as an author, you have to dedicate time to the business.

This kind of admin work could include checking advertisement results or creating new ads, giving specifications for covers to a designer, arranging editing and proofreading services, responding to reader emails, formatting audio books, and anything else that needs tending to. When I’m all caught up on tasks, I also use this spare time to write articles for my website.

Don’t overlook the importance of taking care of these duties. Dedicating yourself to your literary career will set you apart from the competition.

That’s my day. If that sounds like too much , consider that I was able to produce over $500,000 in revenue in 2022 and recorded a total profit of more than $360,000—all within three hours of daily work.

Put in the effort. Your writing success is worth it.

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