*Nonfiction* AND *Fiction*

Omg, a combined post! Go, teamwork!

This week, your challenge is to create a schedule for when you’ll finish writing the various parts of your book. There are two ways to do this. I recommend using both.

1. By topic. Look at your book outline. Divide it into 31 sections. Write one section each week. (The BIYC schedule has you finishing your first draft in October. This gives you 33 weeks of writing, minus the two “catch up” weeks.)

2. By word count:

Your book should be as long as it needs to be. But in general, a fictional book will have around 80,000 words, while a nonfiction book will run about 40,000 to 50,000. These aren’t hard and fast rules, and your book may be significantly longer or significantly shorter than that, but if you’re aiming to write something standard for the market, those are decent word-count targets.

While I recommend using your outline of topics to help ensure you complete your book on time, it’s also a good idea to have a word count goal for each week. This provides a quantifiable target and works well for people who need a way to feel “done” for the day.

To reach those approximate word counts above, fiction authors will need to write 360 words each day, or 2,500 words each week. Nonfiction authors will need to write 225 words a day, or 1,575 words per week.

Before you freak out, let me show you what 360 words per day looks like:

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This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like.

This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like.

This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what 360 words looks like. This is what.

***

That’s only three paragraphs for fiction writers, and nonfiction writers only need to write the equivalent of the first two. You can write that amount in twenty minutes if you’re focused. Writing requires self-discipline, so setting a daily word count goal will help you forge that characteristic. Of course you can write twice this much every other day, or do all of it over the weekend, or write half as much twice a day…whatever works for you. Ensuring that you write a certain amount every week is the key to completing your book in a year.

If you’re having trouble getting started on a section and you don’t know what to say, relax. Stop worrying about phrasing your sentences the right way. Stop worrying about making it sound good. Stop worrying about coming across as intelligent, witty, profound, or dramatic. Just write. Say exactly what you want to convey, no matter how cheesy, clunky, or banal it sounds. You can edit it later. Right now is for writing.

So go, write your books, and share your questions and experiences in the comments!

*This Week’s Word Count*
Nonfiction: 3,175
Your book is twice as long as: The Declaration of Independence

Fiction: 5,020
Your book is as long as: The Constitution of the United States (not counting the amendments)

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