Monday’s Friend: Candice Gilmer

Today I am pleased to welcome Candice Gilmer to my blog. She’s all set to introduce herself, so I’ll hand you over to her.  Take it away, Candice!

The Writing Schedule
By Candice Gilmer

First off, I’d like to thank Sara for having me here on her blog, I really appreciate getting to take over visit. My name is Candice Gilmer, and I write romance novels, all across the board. From contemporary to paranormal to fairy tale, I love it all. I even have a few sci-fi oriented stories on the far-back burners, bubbling and boiling until I have time to write them. 🙂

I’ve been doing this professionally for about six years and I learned a trick from writer Michelle Pillow. Now, Michelle has been writing a couple years longer than I have, but she’s managed to write 70+ books in approximately that amount of time.

So I had to know how she did it.

Bribing her with coffee and chocolate, she confessed she makes a writing schedule for the year. And me, being a hairdresser who lives by calendars and schedules, it was like a neon light-bulb exploded in my head.

Of course… A schedule. Planning my writing projects out for a year’s time, how brilliant. It may seem daunting, but if you think about it, it really makes things easier. Because when you finish Book A, you know where you’re going next. And because it’s a schedule of the year, maybe you finish Book A, and decide, well, you’re more feeling the idea in Book D. You can go work on Book D, and slip the others down. So they’re fluid, but they’re still schedules.

Making the schedule is really pretty simple. But it does require math, so be warned.

First, and this is by far the most important, figure out how many words you can comfortably write EVERY DAY. (Because that’s the other secret—writing every day or at least five days a week—but if you’re really into the story, you probably wouldn’t want to take any time off)

Let’s say, for easy math, 1,000 words a day is your word count goal. (In manuscript format, that’s about 4 pages)

After that, you make a list of potential projects and estimated word counts. Now, here’s where the math comes in. To figure how many days each book will take is pretty easy, assuming you hit your word count goal, of course.  I always add in one extra week, because sometimes we just can’t get everything done every day like we like, so I give myself a few extra days.

But mostly I operate on the plan to write every single day.

To figure, take the total word count of your book, and divide it by your word count goal for the day:

35,000 total word count / 1,000 words a day = 35 days.

35 days + 7 extra “buffer” days = 42 days or 6 weeks (42/7=6 weeks)

With a weekly writing goal of 7,000 words a week.

(This is how I do it, because I write a little every day.)

If you give yourself weekends off, you’ll figure it like this:

35,000 words / 1,000 words a day = 35 days

35 days / 5 days a week = 7 weeks.

With a weekly writing goal of 5,000 words.

I don’t count a “buffer” in here, because already, two days a week are “off” so if your weekly goal has come up short, you have the weekend to make up the word count.

For me, seeing it broke down like this makes a lot of the projects I work on much less daunting. Also, it gives me a finishing goal to get to. Do I manage to get everything done on my schedule that I planned for the previous year? I haven’t yet, but I’m working on it. Last year, I FILLED my calendar with projects, and only managed to get about half done, but it was my first year with a schedule, too. This year is going much better so far than last year, as far as hitting goals. But that just takes time and practice.

And writing every day.

Can’t forget that tiny little nugget.

Rescuing Rapunzel Blurb:

The Charming Nobles Book 1

Getting Rapunzel out the tower is only half the problem…

Rapunzel longs to live in the world she sees through her window, but more than her tower keeps her trapped. Her mother has taught her obedience without question and filled her with fear. She knows she will never reach the ground. Then Lord Nicolas von Hohburg scales her wall, breaks into her life, and changes everything.

Nick has resigned himself to a life of duty when Rapunzel’s song calls him to her tower. Soon she has his heart wrapped in her lengthy tresses and he can think of nothing else. But his responsibilities and sense of duty threaten to come between them…

Warning: A scheming witch, a damsel in distress and a Charming Noble who just might save the day.

By RESCUING RAPUNZEL in all e-book formats from Lyrical Press here, or for the Kindle here.

Candice Gilmer leads a dangerous double life as a mommy and a writer. In between diaper changes and boo-boo healing, she writes stories usually to the tune of children’s television shows.

Growing up in the Midwest, Candice stays close to her family, especially the ones with basements when the tornadoes come around. She also works as a hairdresser, which she’s done for over fifteen years, and brings her laptop to work so she can write between clients.

When she’s not writing, styling hair and taking care of her family, she gets together with her girlfriends for gossip and coffee while her husband hunts ghosts with Wichita Paranormal Research Society.  All in all, she stays very busy, but really, she wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Well, maybe a little less children’s television. 

Learn more about Candice by visiting her website or her blog.  You can also catch up with her on Facebook, and on Twitter.


6 comments so far

  1. lynncahoon on

    I work full time too – so the idea of doing daily words is gold for me. I have to touch the ms daily to keep me in the characters’ world.

    Sounds like you’ve found your groove.

  2. Candice Gilmer on

    Daily word count goals are essential, I think. Do I hit mine every day? Heck no. But I certainly try 🙂 Though I must admit, I make lofty, big goals for myself–always had eyes bigger than my stomach. 🙂

    But I think you’re on the right track, if you don’t touch it every day, it can become stale, and then it feels like work, and really, who wants to “work” when we can “play.” 🙂

    • Laura Lee Nutt on

      Great advice, Candice. Thanks for sharing.

      Like you, I set big goals and sometimes bite off more than I can chew, but without this, I don’t think I’d get as much done.

      Out of curiosity, how do you calculate days for edits and revisions?

      • Candice Gilmer on

        LOL, actually I don’t calculate them in my schedule. They get done as needed, when I fit them in. If I do nothing but editing/revision, I wind up in a grumpy, yucky mood, so I have to “create new” every day no matter what.

  3. Mae Clair on

    Excellent post, Candice! I’m disciplined when it comes to a writing schedule but do things a little differently. I set 5-6 hours aside each Sunday strictly for writing (barring emergencies of course). As time permits, I’ll also grab an hour or two in the evenings during the week. I never thought of giving myself a daily word count goal but I may give that a try.

    Thanks for sharing. Wishing you much success with Rescuing Rapunzel. It sounds enchanting! 🙂

    • Candice Gilmer on

      Thank you very much Mae, I’m glad the post gave you some ideas. 🙂 Even if you just give yourself a weekly word count goal, it’s still easy to calculate when you will complete your book, which is always good information to know.

      The daily word count goal works for me, simply because I write in short spurts all day long. I am home with my kids during the day, so I may get to work for 30 minutes in one sitting, and an hour later in the day, and then another hour before bedtime.

      Thanks, Rescuing Rapunzel was great fun to write, it’s always fun to dip into fairy tales and put my own spin on them. 🙂 Answer the questions I always wondered–like what happened after she got down.

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