If you don’t already make time to blog, or to blog your book, on a consistent basis, the first thing you need to do if you want to participate in National Book Blogging Month (NaBoBloMo) is to make time to blog. Most writers say they don’t blog because they don’t have enough time. If you’ve heard yourself saying this, I bet you have more time than you think—or realize.
We all have to work around real time constraints, but I bet you can find time to blog if you really want to do so. “Lack-of-time” tends to serve as a great excuse and usually means you really don’t want to make blogging or blogging your book a priority.
Find time to Blog
To find time to blog, start by doing two things:
- Stop complaining. This just perpetuates a belief that you have no time to blog and uses energy complaining instead of finding a solution to the problem.
- Find a solution. Use the time you would normally spend complaining about lack of time to blog instead to examine your schedule for small windows to write for even 10 or 15 minutes.
Next, take a look at your weekly or monthly schedule. Where in your schedule are there small or larger periods when you create time to blog? Where can you find some minutes or hours, such as while your children nap or have a play date, when you normally watch a television show, by arising a half hour earlier or going to bed an hour later, or by while commuting.
Now, calculate how much time you could gain if you implemented each of the “found blogging moments” or strategies. This is the amount of time you actually have per day, week or month to blog.
Prioritize and Organize Your Time
To ensure you follow through on your plan, you must make blogging a priority. That means you have to put blogging, or writing, periods on your to-do list and calendar. Then you have to actually complete the “task” at an appointed time.
Everyone works differently. I like to-do lists. I use a mind map to create my daily, weekly and monthly to-do list, and I typically run through my list by both priority and interest level. That means that sometimes the writing doesn’t happen until late in the day if that’s when my interest in writing peaks or when the time to devote to writing opens up.
If I have certain blog posts that must get done, are working on a challenge like the one posed by NaBoBloMo, or have some other deadline, those posts or writing projects take precedence. They become a top priority. I don’t go to bed until they are done—or posted, which is why I never miss a blog deadline.
Schedule Your Writing Periods
Many people like to use their calendar to actually schedule blogging periods. You may prefer finding a regular period every day or week when you know you have availability to write. Maybe first thing in the morning works for you, or at lunch time, or for three hours in the afternoon, for example. Possibly, you only have weekends for blogging, and they you schedule all your posts for the week. You would then put “writing” on your Saturday and Sunday afternoon calendar as a two-hour activity.
You might have a schedule that changes every day. In this case, it becomes extremely important to use your calendar to block out blogging time. This is the only way you will get it done.
Know How Much Time to Schedule
In all cases, you need to know how much time you to spend blogging each day, week or month. You may only have a certain amount of time available. This means you only can work with that. If, however, you want to blog for two hours per day, you need to schedule that time on your calendar.
To blog a short book in during NaBoBloMo, you have to know how many blog posts you need to write in 30 days. Determine how many posts you need to write to complete the book, assuming they will each be 500 words. (You might write longer posts or shorter posts, but be sure they are at least 300 words long.) Then determine how often you need to publish those posts to complete the book by the end of April. Now you need to schedule time to write the necessary number of blog posts per week to meet your goal of completing the book by the end of April. (Apply this same process to planning out the needed time to blog a longer book as well.)
It’s also good to know how fast you write. I write between 750 and 1,000 words per hour. If I have a 50,000 word book to blog in five months, I could easily figure out how many one-hour writing periods I need to schedule to blog the first draft of the book. (I would need to take into account the material I need to write but that I am not publishing on the blog.)
I usually recommend scheduling in extra time in case you get behind and need to catch up. This simply can be some additional writing sessions placed on your calendar, an extra weekend devoted to the project, or some longer-than-usual sessions that allow you to produce more words or pages. This is especially important when you work in a short time frame like that required for NaBoBloMo.
The only way you will blog a book in a month—or in a year—is if you create the time to blog, make blogging a priority, schedule your writing blocks, and sit down and blog. That’s really the only way you will ever get your book written, whether you blog it or write it in a more traditional manner.
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