Creating a Writing Schedule

New classes, same subjects: I love my job! As a way of getting students to begin thinking of themselves as “pro writers,” I ask them to reorganize their attitudes as well as their desks. What’s a reasonable writing schedule?
Writing Tip for Today: Your writing schedule will depend on the “season” of your life. Whether you have a day job, a gaggle of children to care for or you’re working on a college degree, these endeavors obviously drain a lot of your time. And published writers have deadlines to meet, meaning they’re crazy-busy at times. Yet it IS possible to create a writing schedule and stick to it. Here are a few thoughts on writing schedules at all stages of your writing journey:

  • Be Reasonable. Like a lot of New Year’s resolutions, sticking to a writing schedule might be more difficult if you aren’t realistic. Lose 50 lbs in two weeks? Unlikely. Similarly, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure by giving yourself extreme writing schedules that are too rigorous to keep. Begin with a look at your present schedule. See if there are any 15 minute to one hour blocks in your day which aren’t crowded. If this isn’t doable, get up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later. I know of a woman who wrote and published books despite her busy schedule as a pediatrician and mother to seven children. Yes, she got up at 4AM, but she really wanted to write.
  • Be Passionate. Like the pediatrician, you’ll be more apt to stick to your writing schedule if you are passionate about writing. That novel you’ve been telling your friends about for ten years won’t write itself. And really, if you’re talking but none of the words make it to a page, it’s technically not writing.
  • Be Flexible. You may get sick, the kids may be underfoot during School Break, your day job or school workload may suddenly balloon. On most days, treat the schedule seriously and get your BIC (Butt In Chair). Yet, as you make your writing schedule, understand there WILL be times when you can’t keep your appointment with your keyboard. Grab a yellow pad or laptop and head for the park, pool or rec center. Write while you sit in waiting rooms, sneak in a few words if you’re a passenger and not the driver on a lengthy car trip. If the challenge is too steep, let the schedule go for now and read a good book. HAPPY Writing, and HAPPY EASTER/Passover to all my writing friends!

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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