Creating a Writing Schedule

When going about our writing, before we do anything, we should have our outlines done or at the least, the idea firmly cemented in our head. With that in mind, the nitty gritty starts to rear its ugly head. I see a lot of people starting to worry already about their word count and if we can do it every single day.

I am not a full-time writer. That is to say that I have a full-time day job, a family, a fur children and a marathon training schedule that takes up six days out of my week. Finding the time to write is hard, but not impossible. At least, not for me, if you make a Writing Schedule. Here are some tips on how to do that and how to stick with it.

  1. Identify when you are most creative and when you have the most time.

For me, this is waking up an hour early or late at night (Late being 9-10 pm). It might be different for you. It might be in the middle of the day when the house is empty and the kids are at school. Block off this hour. Put it on your calendar. Don’t make it an option. This is an appointment and should be treated like one. Let the people in your life know that you are working. I know that it sounds like a dirty word but let that go. Let the people around you know that this is not the time to call, text or try to get your attention. Focus sharpens the mind.

2. Set a time frame.

If this is 30 minutes or two hours you should know just how long you are going to be writing. It also helps for me to break this up into “Writing sprints”. Set your timer for 15-20 minutes, or however, you feel comfortable. Do not stop in that time frame! There are apps like “Forest” that will help you focus on this and turn off all of your phones notifications for this set time.

3. Recap at the End of the day.

At the end of the day, I sit down and post this to the Nanowrimo website and write it down in a calendar that I have in my planner. I printed out stickers especially for this. It makes it impossible to ignore of deluding yourself.

4. Feel the Satisfaction

This goes with the last one but it’s important enough that I feel like it needs its own bullet point. You need to feel accomplished. It will help you keep up the habit. Reward yourself when it is done for the day. Take a long breath and close your notebook or shut your laptop. You did it today. You can do it tomorrow. But right now, you crushed it. Veg out in front of netflix, take your dogs for a nice long walk, cuddle up with some tea. Whatever. Do something not writing related. But ONLY after you’re done.

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