Step Two for a Great New Year of Writing: Set a Writing Schedule

A writing schedule will help get you on track for the new year.

Writers work better with a schedule. You don’t have to be a highly organized person to create a writing schedule. You don’t even have to organize the rest of your life. You simply have to set aside a time to write.

Depending on how hectic your life is, that time may be once a day, three times a week or even once a week. Whatever the schedule is, it should be treated with the same importance that you would give to a class schedule or a job schedule. If you set aside Saturday mornings from eight until noon, then nothing else can occupy that time. Anything short of an emergency needs to be set aside.

The downside of following a writing schedule is that you will have to give up other things. People will find things for you to do instead of write. You’ll swear you were never as popular in your life as you suddenly are on Saturday mornings (or whenever you schedule your time). Remember though, that writing is something you have chosen to do. It is something you want to do. If it isn’t, save yourself the hassle and find something else to fill your time. There are far easier and more relaxing ways to spend your time than writing. If your heart isn’t in it, that’s OK. If you aren’t ready for the commitment, accept that writing isn’t for you, at least at this time, and move on.

If you want to write, set aside the time. An hour a day of writing doesn’t sound like much, but if you are committed and do it at least five days a week, it is enough time to start reaching your goals. Setting aside a full afternoon or evening every week lets you work in a longer block of time, but can be dangerous because a single missed day means that your whole week will be unproductive. Obviously, the more time you can set aside, the more progress you will be able to make.

Scheduling Tips

  • The time you set aside is important. Don’t break your schedule lightly.
  • The more time you can set aside, the greater your productivity will be.
  • Never let yourself miss two scheduled writing times in a row.
  • If you schedule writing as your first event of the day, it will be harder to get distracted.
  • Use all of your writing time, even if you aren’t making much progress. You never know when the breakthrough will come.
  • If you can’t maintain a writing schedule, try to figure out why.
  • Try to keep your writing time as free from distractions as possible. Don’t use the phone. Don’t answer the door. Stick to your writing.

3 thoughts on “Step Two for a Great New Year of Writing: Set a Writing Schedule

  1. I needed to see this today. Just sitting here thinking I wasn’t doing the right thing. I write as soon as I get settled in from work, which is about 30 minutes after I walk in. The focus of my writings right now are in journal form, trying once more as I do every year to track my thoughts, emotions feelings from day to day. Which I know will lead to writing more poetry and pose.

  2. Nice, upbeat recommendations. It’s true about being able to accomplish something by commiting to even just an hour a day. I get up a little early and write for an hour before leaving for work. My significant other isn’t aware that something is competing with our time together. :-) It’s very peaceful and I’m alone with no interruptions. I like your suggestion not to miss more than two sessions in a row. I think that will help me sustain my momentum.

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