September 26, 2012

How to work 9-to-5 & publish 10,000 words every 2 weeks

This is how my brain feels all the time.
Basically, I make myself crazy.

OK, not totally crazy. Just partly crazy.

I work a 9-to-5 job. So here's my typical weekly schedule of writing and publishing a 10,000-word story every two weeks.

Week 1


  • Leave apt. at 8:30 am. 
  • Ride subway for 20 minutes and read something (on Kindle, of course) or write notes for next story. 
  • Work 9 am to 11 am. 
  • Take 10-minute break and jot more notes for story. 
  • Lunch hour: read on Kindle or write a few more plot notes. Buy food to eat dinner at 4 pm at desk. 
  • After work: Ride subway to gym and -- guess what? -- read Kindle or write notes. If it's fall or winter, I might take a break and knit while on the subway, instead. 
  • After gym: Ride subway home (about 40 minutes) and do more reading, writing and/or knitting. 
  • Get home around 7:45-8 pm: Spend time with husband and cats. 
  • Write until 11 or 11:30 pm.

Same schedule as M/W/F except I don't go to the gym and I come straight home, instead. On those days, I'll either use the extra time to write even more, or I'll cut my writing short to watch something on Netflix with hubby.

By this point, I will usually have about 3,000 words written and the story completely plotted.


  • Get up by 8 am and write for 8 hours, total.
  • Take a break for an hour to go for a walk.
  • Take another break for an hour or two to clean the apt. and go grocery shopping.
  • May go out in the evening, but only if I've hit my word count for the day, which is 3,500 or so.


  • Get up by 8 am and finish drafting story, as long as it takes. 
  • I'm usually done drafting by mid-afternoon Sunday -- another 3,500 words or thereabouts.
  • If I'm really lucky, I'll have finished drafting almost the entire story by the morning, and my husband and I will go to a matinee. Then when I get home, I'll finish writing.

Week 2

See schedule above for working, going to gym, riding subway and so forth (M/W/F gym, T/Th come straight home).

Monday: I don't work on story at all, unless I just can't make myself leave it alone.

Tuesday: Re-read story and begin editing it myself.

Wednesday: Finish editing it myself and give to my editor/reader (my husband, who is also a writer).

Thursday: Proofread.

Friday: Proofread and make cover myself. I use Fotolia and Photoshop. I wish I had more fonts, sigh.

Saturday: Proofread and publish.

Sunday: Day off.

And then we come to Monday, and I start again.

October isn't quite going to work out this way because I'm on vacation the first two weeks. However, I do plan to plot the 4th story of The Pandora Chronicles, so I can write it quickly when we get back.

In case you're wondering, I write everything in a Google doc, so it's always accessible.

In an upcoming post: How I work book promotion into the mix, like writing this blog, tweeting & finding the best places for my upcoming free ebook weekend.

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