Creating a Writing Schedule

This coming week I’ll be out of town, teaching at writer’s conferences. I’ll try to keep up with posting but wanted to warn you that I may be sporadic. Speaking of sporadic, we writers can’t afford to be when it comes to our writing.
Writing Tip for Today: A writing schedule may not seem practical or likely if you work a full-time job (and yes that includes motherhood and caregiver-hood). But if you attempt to give your writing time some structure, you may find you’re always trying to steal away for a little more writing.

Be Reasonable. If you have newborn twins and other older kids, as I once did, let’s face it: sleep-deprivation is going to influence a writing schedule. But you may be able to write a bit here and there.  Don’t be overly-ambitious, saying you’ll devote hours when in reality a few minutes will be a luxury. Better to show up for a few minutes than to avoid your writing because you don’t have oodles of time.

  • Begin with Your Passion. A writing week that starts off with boring tasks you almost never enjoy (editing for some, plotting for others–you get the idea) isn’t going to stoke the fire of creativity. I think the first writing session of a week should be the project you like most, the one you’re on fire about. I used to only submit on Fridays–which gave me the first part of the week to pursue serious drafting time.
  • Throw in Accountability. Get a writing partner or a critique group. Try to surround yourself with positive encouragement, good vibes that make you want to run home and work on your stuff. Don’t settle for a mutual admiration society either. You want feedback that helps you begin to master the craft, not scathing rebukes or rosy accolades (although I do like a rosy accolade now and then too). Accountability helps you show up at the keyboard regularly and keeping your BIC (Butt in Chair) helps you gain the practice every writer needs. Get busy!

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.

2 comments on “Creating a Writing Schedule

  1. I like your tip to begin with what inspires you. Its easy to try to get the ‘drudgery’ out of the way, but this might not be the most effective way to approach it. I find a schedule works for me. Otherwise I procrastinate.

    • Tracy, I’m like you–prone to getting the drudgery done first, then play. But I find that I sometimes don’t have the energy left to play so starting with my passion makes me feel better about everything. ~Linda

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