Creating a Writing Schedule
Writing is an interesting thing. If you write for fun or write for a deadline we all have one thing in common – finding the time to write. Creating a writing schedule will help you prioritize your writing and finally finish that first draft.
Writing is my passion. I love making up characters, scenarios and worlds. I come across a name and get weirdly excited because I can envision the character that goes along with it. However, all this happens in my head and I never get to actually writing the words down. Do you struggle with this?
Are you currently in a writing rut?
Creating a writing schedule is so important to focus your energy! Every day you wake up, getting ready for work, eat breakfast, go to work, complain about work, come home, make dinner and watch a couple Netflix shows before bed only to do it all over again the next night. Now if you have children in there my hat goes off to you, you rock! Kids take time and energy that I personally don’t understand just yet but my time will come.
As for writing, we all have 24 hours in our day. Everyone divides there days up differently depending on their responsibilities and commitments but we all have a 24 hour window to accomplish something that will make us one step closer to our dreams. Sometimes the days blur together and a couple months have gone by with the word document or notebook page is still blank.
Now let’s break down the options of when we can fit time in our day to write. Of course, this will be different for everyone which is why this writing schedule is easily adaptable to any lifestyle.
Okay, so this might sound really unfortunate to those people who love to sleep in but if you wake up half an hour to an hour earlier you can get in some writing time. I am one of those people who IS a morning person! *gasp* I would rather start my day early and get as much done in the morning, so I have time to relax in the evenings.
Writing first thing in the morning is helpful because you are awake and ready to start the day. Nothing has occurred to put you in a bad mood (unless waking up early does, then this option isn’t for you.)
If you only have 30 minutes to write I suggest that you free write or get into the habit of jotting down at least three plot ideas or scenes the night before. That way in the morning you aren’t spending your window of writing trying to figure out what to write.
I get up an hour before I start work to write as much as I can. This way I feel accomplished because I already started my daily word count goal. Also, when I finish writing in the morning I jot down a list of three things I can write about later so I don’t cut off my flow and forget about the wonderful things my imagination was conjuring up.
Now if you have a ridiculously busy morning going to the gym, getting the kids to school or a long commute to work then let’s try another time of day.
Depending on where you work you are allowed to take a break for at least 30 minutes to an hour. I thankfully work from home, so I can close my work computer and open my personal computer for quick writing session.
Now, working from home has been a new transition that never had the luxury of doing before.
So how did I write at work during my lunch break?
I used to write in my notes app on my cell phone. Now this might not be the most in depth and intricate scene but at least I was still writing something down.
How many times do you open Facebook during your lunch break wishing there was more to scroll through? Nobody actually talks in the lunch room these days so don’t worry about being anti-social, everyone else is on their phone but you can choose to be productive with your time.
Even better is if you can leave your work building and sit down at a café where you can’t be distracted by coworkers. You are entitled to your lunch break don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
Now if you do not have that long of lunch or the thought of using your phone to write is a little off putting then let’s move on to the next possible option.
After Work/ Before Dinner
Next time slot would be after work is over and before making dinner. This depends when you get off work and if you have to commute home. I get off of work an hour before my boyfriend, so I have the house to myself for about forty-five minutes until I start to make dinner.
Now, if you sit in front of a computer all day and the last thing you want to do is sit in front of your other computer to write – I completely understand! I work in front of two screens for over 9 hours a day and my eyes get tired.
If you can’t look at screen any longer get a notebook and free write. I have a love hate relationship with hand writing because then you have to transcribe it back into a word document but that should not prevent you from writing – just another excuse I tell myself.
Power through the excuses!
Even if you write one sentence down. That is a sentence that can grow into another idea, another scene and eventually you will have an entire chapter. Even if your writing window is used for outlining that is okay too just as long as you are not avoiding your manuscript.
After Dinner / Before Bed
The last time I can squeeze in a few more paragraphs is before bed. Now how many of you sit down in front of the TV and watch a couple of shows before bed?
I used to calculate how many Netflix episodes I could fit in before I absolutely need to get into bed. I didn’t even realize I was sitting on my couch, zoning out for a few hours (maybe 5).
Yes, it was relaxing, mind dumbing and I could unwind after a day of work, but it was not helping be further myself towards by goals.
Let’s say you eat dinner at 6pm and go to bed around 10pm – that is a four-hour window that you can choose what to do with. Once again all you momma’s and dad’s out there who have to wrangling the kids into bed – you are doing great and I understand your four-hour window is about four minutes but there is always a way.
It is all about perspective!
Now you have four different windows to consider when it comes to making your writing schedule. You need to take a look at your day to day and see where you can fit your writing window in.
Take a piece of paper and write down everything you did yesterday or last week. Ideally try to follow your habits for a seven day period so you can see which weekdays are the best for you. Once you have that tracked and written down see where in your schedule you can adjust or change things.
It might be difficult at first and you might look at your schedule now and claim you are far to busy to write but we all now that it is an EXCUSE!
There is time in your day and your week to write. Repeat this to yourself three times!
For those of you who aren’t small window writers aka want more than an hour to write at a time, you can pick a full day to write. One of your days off sit down at 8am and write until lunch or go to a coffee shop and write for five hours. Your writing schedule needs to be achievable and will eventually fit seamless in your life that not writing will feel weird.
Now there are pros and cons to all of these options and you could make excuses to why these won’t work for you but that is the non-writer, Netflix loving voice inside your head talking. If you serious about your writing, creating a writing schedule is the best thing you can do!
You have the time in your day to write but you just need to find it and then make it a priority.
Let me know in the comments below when the best time for you to write is?