Authoring a book is not an easy endeavor. Setting goals – daily, monthly, and yearly keeps you on track to a finished project and a successful career if that’s what you are after. If you are a short story writer, you might aim for one story per month. Writing a novel may be more difficult so finishing a certain number of pages a day or week could be your goal. Developing good habits, like writing at a certain time or number of hours per day, keeps you productive and gives you the right mind-set for finishing your project. Schedules always change and you need not feel guilty if something comes up and you have to adjust yours. It’s all part of a writer’s world.
Do authors need a detailed outline before starting a novel? It really depends on the author. Some authors may have an outline in their head and can just sit down and start writing or create as they go along, while others find it beneficial to create a story structure beforehand. It gives you the opportunity to break the story down into smaller parts, even chapters, helps to keep your timelines straight, and gives you a direction for your story line. In the end, you might do a little of both since you can change anything necessary to flesh out your story. However your creative process works will be the best roadmap for you.
Life continues to go on around you, which also determines how much work can be done at any one time. For instance, right now we’re having our yard landscaped and the amount of noise can get crazy. Most of that cacophony is provided by two medium-sized dogs who seem to think that their territory is being invaded and that it is their sworn duty to protect us from said invaders. The fact that we invited the crew onto our property makes no sense or difference to our canine protectors, so they continue to do their jobs relentlessly and with a good deal of commotion. It is endearing, but at the same time hard to concentrate on writing.
It’s always going to be something that infringes upon your work time. You just learn to go with the flow and carry on, believing that your goals will be achieved. Aim to make your goals attainable, not so high that it sets you up for failure. Manage your time wisely. Rather than a rigid schedule, be devoted to your writing passion.