1. Don’t stress about writing.

If you’re not getting the work done, don’t stress about your failures. Don’t worry about whether or not you’re behind schedule. Assess why things fell apart. Reset your deadlines, and begin again.

2. Forget about the ideal time to write. Do what you can, when you can.

Make the most of the gaps in your day. Only have fifteen minutes in the morning? Do a sprint or read over yesterday’s pages. Don’t ignore potential writing windows because you don’t feel 100% into it. Write tired. Write distracted. Write when the opportunity presents itself.

3. Kick timekilling to the curb.

No one’s saying you can’t relax, but stop killing time like you have nothing better to do. Are you actually watching TV, or are you browsing memes on your phone? Are you taking a well-deserved break, or are you firing up your gaming system to grind for something you don’t really need?

4. Make deadlines and hold yourself accountable for hitting them.

Make a plan to write a certain number of hours or words per week. Estimate your weekly potential. Use this number to estimate a completion date. Mark it on the calendar, tell someone, and hit the damn date!

5. Be realistic about your timelines.

So you’ve decided to write every day, huh? What about sick days? What about social obligations? Burnout? Holidays? The longer the project, the more of a buffer you should be building into your timeline. If you don’t know how long it’s going to take you to finish something, be conservative in your estimates. Plan for delays, so that you’re either prepared for them or pleasantly surprised when you hit your deadlines early.