Today I’d like to talk about writing schedules
Now, I’m a firm believer that not only is everyone different, but the ebb and flow of our lives changes over time too, so whatever schedule is going to work for you is going to be different than what works for me, and that’s too will be different over time. Nonetheless I think it’s worth going over some of my thoughts and experience of different schedules as I can safely say over the last 8-9 years I’ve tried them all with varying success.
First up! First thing in the morning
I’ve been having good success with this strategy this week (here’s hoping I can keep this up). My take on it is you really want to write first thing perhaps only allowing a cup of Oj or coffee.
- You can get writing done before other needs of the day take over (especially if you have a family and/or busy life)
- The rest of the day is not spend procrastinating or feeling guilty
- One really has to talk themselves into just sitting down to write. I was on the verge of turning my router off or putting the computer onto aeroplane mode the night before
- You really need to have steady sleep patterns and get early nights, otherwise you’ll be too blurry
- There simply isn’t always time to spare in modern life. I jump up around 6am to have time to get ~500 words done
Last thing at night
I think this is a pretty common writing time for people. Whether because its the first quiet opportunity of the day, or whether procrastination has had its wicked way. This used to be my common time pre-child, but not only has he recently settled into a good sleep routine that allows his Dad to stay up independently, I tend to find the tasks of the day take their toll and my mental energy levels are trash. Nonetheless:
- There is a sort of sense of having plenty of time to get writing done, after all you can just write further into the night if you’re inspired
- I’ve mentioned procrastination a few times but sometimes its good to have a day of getting psyched up to write
- It’s usually a pretty quiet time to get writing sorted
- Easy to get tired at the end of the day and just Netflix and Sloth
- If you have a life you’ll often find your writing time interrupted by other activities
The ‘whenever I get a spare moment’
This is something that I could only really maintain when I was younger (both as a person and a writer) and honestly just thought I needed to get my novel written so I could get it published and never work again. Suffice to say it takes a lot of motivation to pick up your project where-ever and whenever you have a spare moment.
- You get a lot of words down at a fast rate
- Momentum is preserved
- Hard to maintain
- Sometimes quality suffers
Any other regular scheduled writing time:
All pros, no cons.
Just kidding. Scheduling a regular writing time is a great approach, my main problem with that was always getting life not to schedule things at the same time!
I’m sure there are many other ways to schedule writing. One that I have yet to organize myself to do is regular cafe sitting. I probably can’t afford the amount of treats I’d by myself but strategies like that have a lot of advantages because trying to write at home can be very distracting with all the other potential bits and pieces that need to get done.
I think I also have to compose a separate post about what sort of goals/benchmarks are best to use because I have also over the years used many yardsticks (i.e. wordcount versus timed writing sessions)
What sort of schedules you do use?
Also how do you balance different projects? (i.e. for me the better I schedule my writing, the less I end up blogging etc!)