Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fit Writing into Your Daily Schedule

Do you have a daily schedule?  Do you get up, exercise, shower, eat breakfast, and then go to work? It's important if you're a writer to include in your schedule time to write. To some that might sound silly because, of course, serious writers set time aside to write every day, but you might be surprised by how many would-be writers let everything else come first in their lives.

It's true. And sometimes things in life demand attention over your writing, like paying attention to your children, earning a living, or cooking dinner.

But like the old saying "there's always room for Jell-O" you need to start thinking "there's always time to write" because if you don't set the time aside pretty soon days will turn to weeks which will turn to months and then years where you haven't had time to write.

I've been caught in that trap myself. It's easy to get comfortable there and want to stay, but if you do you're never going to finish your book, you're never going to send that book out in the publishing world, and you're never going to see that wonderful book in print.

Scheduling time to write is something you need to do for yourself if you're going to see your dreams come true. Be diligent and set writing as a goal.

Here's a few suggestions you might try to help you fit writing into your daily schedule.

Keep a notepad or laptop handy.
    Maybe you'll be inspired while cooking dinner and if your laptop is on the counter all you have to do is go over and type out your thoughts while you're waiting for water to boil. You'll be amazed how much you can write in just a few minutes. Keep a little tablet in your purse or hip pocket so when you're running kids to karate class you can write down things you see and experience. You never know when you might need to add something to a scene or character and the notes that you've taken will come in handy.

    Invest in a recorder.
      I had a friend who kept a recorder in her car and she would dictate parts of her story on her drive to work. She was able to write two books that way and both books were published.

      Take pictures.
        You've heard the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words," well maybe not a thousand, but a picture can help you remember something that you want to write about. Taking pictures while on vacation or being with your children can help you remember details that you can use in your work. Even great artists use pictures to paint portraits, so why not writers?

        These are just a few suggestions that might help you become more diligent in adding writing to your daily schedule. What are some things you have done to keep writing as your goal?



        1. With the new year, I started a new writing schedule. Now I write in the mornings before I do anything else. I love it. And I'm so surprised because I'm not a morning person.

        2. Yup, I always keep a notepad handy! There are pens, pencils, and paper in several easy-to-access areas throughout my apartment. :)

        3. Carol,
          I agree with you on this. I always do better writing in the mornings. The creative juices are flowing before the editor in me wakes up. :)

        4. Laura,
          That's great. One time when I was downstairs watching a show with my daughter, I thought of something that would help with a book I was writing and there was no pen handy. I had to run upstairs and find one. Great idea to keep pens and pencils readily available throughout the house. :)

        5. Lovely suggestions! I also keep a word quota for the day and try to get up early and get it done before other things. That way I start the day feeling satisfied and accomplished.

          Thanks, Kathi!

        6. Kathi, I so needed to read this. I just started a new job and have been feeling discouraged at how much time it takes! I love it, but I come home feeling wiped out and not in the mood to write. It's a good reminder to always make a little time - even if it's just on the weekends - to focus on your work, because otherwise your story will never get told. Thank you!

        7. Good advice. My life (probably like everyone else's) is relatively controlled chaos. Finding that time isn't easy, but I'm trying! :)

        8. Hi Kathy,
          I used to have a pretty good writing schedule until we moved and still trying to find my way back to it!

        9. Jackee:
          That's a great idea to keep a word count goal and get it done before you do other things. Thanks for sharing how you make writing part of your daily schedule.

        10. Julie:
          I remember when I had to work and it was difficult to do a daily goal, but on the weekends I was able to make up the time. And I have to admit, sometimes after the kids were in bed and Hubby was watching a game, I'd sneak off and write. There will come a time when you'll be able to write more often. Just hang in there. And you might want to invest in a recorder like my friend. :)

        11. Jemi:
          I like that, "controlled chaos." I've had times like that and remember them well. Hang in there. You're probably doing more than you think you are. :)

        12. Terri:
          Whenever I've had a major change in my life, I've struggled to write as well. I know what your saying. But give it time, you'll soon find your way back to what you love to do. :)

        13. Taking pictures is a great idea. I always find that they inspire me.

        14. Oh, how I struggle with this. I had a writer's group a couple of years ago, and that helped a lot. I need to find one again. :) Thanks for the reminder.

          How long has it been since I stopped by. Things are looking nice on your blog, like you shined it up and put it on display. I like it!

        15. Susan,
          Pictures I've taken while I've gone somewhere to research have helped me immensely. It's amazing how much I've forgotten about a place, but the picture helps to jog my memory so I can write about it.

        16. Michele:
          I'm glad you like the tweaks to my blog. It's still a work in progress.

          I love my writers group. They help my writing a great deal. I hope you can find one that's a good fit for you.



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