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Set a schedule

Why is it that we can come up with ideas to write but it takes us an x amount of years to finish? Can it be that some of us are not persistent enough to see our work completed?

No?

Then maybe the loss of direction or passion delays the finale?

No?

Then it must be the fear of producing a product less than adequate.

No?

Oh…All of the above…gotcha!

Writers are a funny lot. Many of us know what we want our writing to say to our readers because we’ve researched our market and target audience. Then others pick up a pen and write random words, stringing whatever pops in their heads. Both may end up with a superb product because these two methods, although different, fit the style of the writer writing. So before you dump your method to follow someone else’s, try it out first and see if it fits your style. I tried outlining a series once and almost gave up writing that series all together. I am a fly-by-the-edge-of-my-seat writer and it suits me, my thinking and availability. And guess what…

I don’t feel guilty. Some writers have written to me in the past, guilty that they don’t write 5,000 words a day like others, that they write in the morning instead of at night like others… Everyone picks what they can manage, but the most important part is to stick with a schedule as much as possible. I remember exercising and having to go to the gym for a 2 hour workout. I dreaded it. Guess what happened? I quit. At home, my method is to do 15 minute exercises in the morning, afternoon, and early evening and that suits my lifestyle better, and I haven’t quit yet. When the time comes when I can handle more then I’ll add a few more minutes. But I don’t feel quilty and neither should you.

Forget what everyone is doing. Set a writing schedule that fits your lifestyle and add to it when you have more time. Stick to your present circumstances and avoid the mounting guilt because that will affect your writing.

Also remember that the more you write the more enthusiastic you get about finalizing your project. That’s why it’s important to have a set schedule and try to adhere to it.

As soon as you feel your schedule is taunting you, teasing you, causing you to avoid it, change it to suit your present needs. However, to play devil’s advocate here, if you continuously alter and lessen the writing time, your work will stagnate. Avoid changing to a lesser degree but concentrate more on perhaps changing the time of day or night you write.

At times we writers block our creative thinking because we stick with one project and have no clue where we should go next with that manuscript. Put it away and move on to another project. Give that project time to get out of your head and return to it at a later date.

What it boils down to is this:

  1. Set a writing schedule that fits your outside commitments.
  2. Have fun with your writing because you have readers who are depending on you to entertain them

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Comments

  • Donna B. Russell 4 years ago

    Great article. I appreciate what you said about leaving a project for a time, then returning to it w/fresh eyes. After taking two weeks away from my book during the holidays, I'm champing at the bit to get started on revisions today. The break also gave me time to discover the "focus" for a poetry chapbook I want to write, and to set up a schedule that makes room for writing along with my other commitments. Thank you for reminding us that writing styles/schedules are not a "one-size-fits-all" proposition.

  • Jessica Bacon 4 years ago

    Well said! I like that you didn't "okay" excuses, but offered alternatives instead. Great suggestions.

    Lincoln Literature Examiner

  • Cher Green 4 years ago

    Lea,

    Great article. My schedule has been so wacky lately that writing has gotten pushed to the curve. This is not okay with me, and I intend to fix it. Your words here have pushed me that much closer to concentrating on my writing rather than doing other things. A schedule is a must for a writer, without it writing will not happen at all.

  • Lea Schizas 4 years ago

    I have found way too many writers coming up with excuses. We each have the same 24 hours in a day but the difference is how each of us utilizes that time and make our writing happen if you understand what I mean.

    I am involved with so many writing commitments yet my writing moves forward a bit each day. This completes me in the sense I don't feel stagnated and choked.

    I've made it clear to family and friends that between such and such a time I am in the office...PERIOD!! Working out of the house is not easy and boundaries need to be set up in order to succeed.

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