Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scheduling Time to Write

Something many new writers (myself included) forget to do is schedule time to write. If you plan on doing this professionally, you must treat it like a job. Not part time either. Writing is a full time job whether you get paid for it or not. Resting on your laurels will not get you on the NY Times Best-Seller list. (Not a personal goal of mine, but an example).

Now, many of us work day jobs. I work a day job myself, so I do understand the struggle to find the time. But I manage. I try to write 1-4 hours per day, depending on work schedule. If I'm off, I aim for four. That sounds like a lot, but I tend to break it up into two sessions to make sure I'm not in front of the computer for ages, or cramping my hand writing longhand.

Yes, I write both ways.Sometimes it helps get me through when I'm struggling. (So do tape recorders, but we'll cover that in Writer's Block, Myth or Truth). I schedule writing for a time when I know I have few distractions. Being a night owl, and generally working in the evenings, I can sleep late so I work well into the wee hours of the morning.

My schedule tends to look like this:

Midnight/2am - 4-6 am Writing

6-2pm Sleeping

2 - 5 - Morning routine of eating, making lunch

5 - 9 (or 1-9 depending on schedule) Day Job

10- 12/2am Decompressing, emailing, Dinner, Shower, Grocery shopping, Projects

If I have opening shifts, rare, then I switch it up and sleep at night and write during the day. Not a common event these days though.

Scheduling is important. If you give yourself time in your schedule to write you are much more likely to write. Sometimes I turn the digital recorder on when I go on lunch, hop in my car and talk things out. Or I write by hand.

There is time in the day for writing if you want it badly enough. Even during the busy season when I'm at work all day six days a week and come home tired, pissed and covered in glitter, I find time to write. Whether it's a few paragraphs at lunch or a few pages while your kids are napping. You can find the time to write.

So write.

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