The Writing Schedule

My writing schedule is non-existent. This whole semester I’ve been trying to figure out when I could write for at least an hour a day, and I’ll tell you what, I’m starting to think it’s impossible. Part of me wants to say, “School work, who needs it?” But the grade obsessed student in me knows better and thank goodness or I’d fail out of grad school.  Then there is the TAing work, which, I’ll be honest I don’t think is that bad, especially having taught high school. It’s a lot less grading and planning than the high school gig. I am by no means complaining the TAing stuff still needs to be done since it’s preventing me from owing Sallie Mae even more money.

What is my problem? I’m sure a lot of things, but seriously I would love some suggestions about how to establish a writing schedule. I have always been a big fan of schedules. I think a routine, prevents stress attacks, which I know I am prone to, but it also helps keep me organized. Since the fall semester has ended I haven’t really had a routine, and I find myself enforcing one on myself. I’m waking up the same time everyday, running (which I think I love just as much a writing…don’t worry you will hear a lot more about my running obsession and the chronicles of how it has changing my life for the way better), reading for the same amount of time every day, but you know what I haven’t fit in, my freakin’ writing. WHAT THE….?

I would love to hear some ways other writers incorporate their writing into their days. I read or heard a writer say they thought of their writing time as playing and this encouraged them to think of it less as work and more of fun thing, which I think should be considered as fun. I don’t know, maybe there is a reason I’m not incorporating it into my schedule, something dramatic and psychologically rooted. Or maybe I’m just being a bitch and not doing the other kind of work I need to be doing, which is writing.

I will say this blog is helping. I know that I don’t have any kind of posting schedule but I’m trying. I’m trying to write something here everyday, and I think that is a start. My mama always said, “GOALS! GOALS! GOALS!”

So writers out there, if you have schedule how do you incorporate it into the busy day I know you have? I could start rambling about how busy we all are, but that’s an entirely different Springer show.

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5 comments

  1. I have two ideas for you. The first goes like this. You don’t have to choose the same time every day — for instance — 7 am each day. Instead you could choose 7 am on Mondays, and if you had a class on Tuesday mornings — choose 3 pm on Tuesdays, then maybe back to 7 am on Weds. Make it flexible and not something of torture!

    Here’s my second idea, and it only works for some. There could perhaps be a psychological reason, if you are are absolutely protesting writing. It could be that you’re not naturally flowing at the times you have been “assigned” to write. So what if you didn’t have a schedule! Some writers write best when it “comes” to them. Drop the schedule and see what happens. If you see in a few days that it’s not working, gently reschedule some hours back in.

    Right now I am pretty flexible, so I’m going to schedule my hours a little better. But I am not going to schedule something so tight and in stone that it will strangle me. This will take self discipline.

    Meanwhile, each writer will have to come to know themselves — which they need, more self discipline or more room for creativity; more scheduling or more writing when the spirit strikes them. As you learn the style that is best for you, you will see yourself flourish!

    Really think about it, and remember — this is supposed to be freeing and fun, as well as hard work. So work hard, play hard, be creative, have fun! And go have some egg nog or hot cocoa and decorate a Christmas tree! Don’t feel guilty for having fun, you’re allowed! Just come back to your writing…

    Krissy 🙂
    my main blog: Sometimes I Think
    my twitter: http://www.twitter.com/iamkrissy

    1. Thanks for the comment. I’m going to try both of your ideas and I’ll probably write about which works best for me. You’re right about having fun. It’s easy to forget to do when getting caught up in our busy days. I’ve always been and probably always will be go go go. Stopping to have fun might even help get so material. Again thanks.

  2. One thing that helps me is to have the ability to write whenever the mood strikes. For instance, I keep journals by my bed, notebooks by the coffee table and I use my notes feature on my iphone regularly. Even if I only write down ideas or a sentence I don’t want to forget.

    I do this in addition to using the laptop and desktop at home or in my office. It is a pain to transcribe sometimes, but the most important aspect is making sure I write.

    Also, if I find it hard to write about a subject, I tend to overload on the subject by listening to podcasts, reading books or articles, watching films, etc. After a while I am brimming with ideas and insight and can’t help but write.

    One last idea. Sometimes the time spent writing is not as important as how much is completed or the quality that is produced. I finished one of my books (220 pages) by only writing 1 to 3 pages a day before.

    In grad school, I finished my dissertation (writing that is) by commiting to 5 pages a day. Sometimes, I wrote more, sometimes less. But it wasn’t the time I was concerned with as opposed to what I wanted to accomplish.

    1. Thanks so much for the advice. I love the idea of committing to a certain number of pages a day. I believe it is Anne Lamontt who says to write at least 300 words a day.

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