If you’re serious about being a writer, you’ve already discovered that writing works better when you do it consistently. The best way to get consistent is to have a schedule. But with our busy lives, this can be easier said than done. Here are a few tips to develop a writing schedule.
1. When do you write best?
Look at times when you’ve been successful with writing before. What time of day works best for your creative juices? Are you a night owl? A morning person? Or do you function best, like me, between 10 am and 2 pm? Do your best to carve out time during these peak times for writing, and you’ll find your output is better in both quantity and quality.
2. What time is available to you?
Sometimes you can’t always spare time for writing during your best times. You might have to look at what time you have. Do you have a chunk of downtime at a certain point of the day? Do you have little 15 minute breaks peppered through your day? Use those times.
3. How will you remember?
It’s all well and good to decide on a good writing time. But when it comes down to it, if you’re anything like me, you’ll arrive at that designated time and completely forget what you planned it for. Make a date in your daytimer, or set a reminder on your phone or computer. Then stick to it. The more consecutive days you keep this date with your keyboard, the more ingrained your writing habit will become.
4. How will you spend your writing time?
Raw output is great thing, and until you get this well established, it’s all you really need to do. But once you’ve got a draft down, you’ll need to set aside some of your writing time for editing and revising. This shouldn’t completely displace your writing time, but you’ll need to spend some of it this way. Then, when you’ve got a polished manuscript ready to go, you’ll need to set aside some time for agent / publisher hunting. Then when you have a book published, you’ll need to set aside time for social media and other marketing. See how this can pile up? If you follow the above steps each time you need to add another level to your writing / publishing process, then you won’t get overwhelmed.
Good luck with your scheduling. Happy writing! 🙂
10 thoughts on “Writer Wednesday: How to Develop a Writing Schedule”
Really great pointers for writing and be consistent – thank you for the reminders 🙂
Glad to help, Donna! 🙂
I’ve found that setting aside a larger chunk of time is best because then I can edit the previous day’s work and dive headlong into what I’m writing next knowing all that preceded it. This avoids continuity errors and gets my manuscript up to rough draft status quicker than going back and editing it all at once.
It’s sort of a time saving behavior more than anything.
Good point, James. I find that helps, too. 🙂
I don’t really have a best time for writing. I do it when I can, but I do have a goal of doing a chapter a day–even in hardcore revisions. As long as I have that chapter a day goal, I don’t necessarily need to organize anything else. But, I’ll admit, it’s very hard to juggle social media and all that, especially with trying to double the efforts that my public relations person would like me to do, along with her efforts. Not to mention that I would like to get my novel turned in to my publisher by ‘X’ date.
I agree with you, Amber. It’s hard to juggle the social media beast along with everything else. Especially when you’re naturally shy like I am. 🙂
I’m not shy at all. It’s more like GOTTA GET THIS NOVEL TURNED IN. GOTTA GET IT TURNED IN!
Great post, I think this is going to help me be more productive.
Thanks, Fred! Glad to help! 🙂