Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finding the Time to Write

It’s one of the biggest issues plaguing the writer. Even if you have plenty of time, most writers will discover new things to do to keep themselves from sitting down and writing. Overcoming the fear of writing is the number one obstacle. By writing every day, this will become a thing of the past.

Every writer is different and each will find a different routine that works for him. Some need structure in their day. Others enjoy that spare of the moment writing.

One of two things is necessary to get your butt in that seat. A timed schedule will work best for you structured writers, while a set goal of words or pages may work better for you others. Of course, it is possible to use both.

A timed schedule can be set up relatively easy. You’ll need a scheduling graph, including each hour of the day. First, write in all of your obligations and tasks that have nothing to do with writing. Now look for openings for writing time. You should allow for at least two hour sessions if possible. This will give you time to stare at the blank page, but still enough time to get something wrote.

A set goal should be something of word count or pages done in a week’s time. Find a calendar and set your goals. Sunday would be a good choice. Say you decide upon five pages. You have no obligation of when to write, but by Sunday evening you need five pages wrote. This allows you to use thirty minute sessions, or even three hour sessions, depending upon what you are capable of.

I’m still setting up my routine, but I feel I’m getting close to having one that will work. I’m leaning toward the timed schedule. In this way, my allotted time can be distributed between writing, editing, research, and marketing, depending on what needs to be done at that time. As I move along, the speed of my tasks should also increase allowing more to be done within my set time.

I’d also like to set a goal system in place to up productivity, but this will wait until I have a comfortable routine.

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on developing a routine. I look forward to your comments.


Terry W. Ervin II said...

I guess I am one of those that fits writing in when I can manage. It is a priority, but not a top priority--family and job come first. It's always a balancing act.

But I agree, if you don't make a point of finding a time to write, there won't be any progress.

Anonymous said...

Totally understandable with your job. I'm sure it keeps you busy. And then the family. I'm in the position at the moment, with the post office being so slow, that I may be able to make the scheduling work.

SandyDaley said...

I'm the Queen of putting things off. Finding time, doesn't work for me, because I'll find more excuses not to. I make time to write, after the job, after family cared for. When I leave after eight hours of work, work never follows me. When family is cared for, they know it's time for me to do what I need to do. Some small sacrifices are made with family. They understand, and I don't take advantage of it. Setting up priorities make scheduling a little easier.

Anonymous said...

I'm finding myself somewhere in between at the moment. I've been keeping track of what I do during the day. I'm averaging about 3 hours a day on writing stuff, but this includes critiques, blog, ect. I'm thinking that I'm going to have to start getting up earlier to fit more writing into the quiet time.

MysteryKnitter said...

I have this writing project going, and sometimes I need a break. I am having it at the moment. Life interrupts, and I let it.

Cher Green said...

Life has a way of doing that. I was in full force on a writing project at the beginning of the year. The last three weeks turned into somewhat of a break - now back to work.

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