Writing schedules should be part of the writing life. To get the most out of yourself, shouldn’t you set times for specific projects or at least goals for pages written? I work on different things every day, but do not have specific times for each blog or article I write. I often wonder how much more work I could get done, if I organized my time better and stuck to a schedule.
Some people are more creative in the mornings as soon as they get up. They feel fresh and aware of everything. Others tend to need more time to wake and come to life. Morning, for them, may come slowly or arrive quite late. Others are night owls and that is when they do the majority of their writing. So while you and I are snoozing, they are writing the next important novel. Does it matter when you write? Is there a time you are most creative or prolific? Well, it seems to me no matter when that time falls, that is when you should write.
Many authors while writing a book set a goal of a specific number of pages or words they will set down before they are done for the day. You will have a finish date you would like to achieve. So you know the end date for this book project. If you decide the approximate number of words your book will probably need then, you can easily decide how many days a week or hours a day you want to work. When decided you will be able to determine how many words a day at that rate will reach your goal.
Many of us work on deadline for an article or other writing project and know what is involved to be ready to meet that deadline. We may delegate some time to just figuring out the angle and what our particular slant will be for this piece. A short piece may not take loads of time to write once everything needed is ready to use. A longer piece may need to be written over a longer period of time. We need to put aside time for any interviews or research that must be done. Scheduling all this in advance is could make or break the article and determine its success. Scheduling will be part of this writing plan.
For poetry and fiction writing, scheduling seems more difficult since you may not always be ready with the ideas or the plots you wish to expand upon. The beginning of those types of writing would be more unpredictable till your idea was fully fleshed out. Once that is decided I imagine the scheduling would be pretty much like every other kind of writing. A book would be subject to the same type of arrangement, working to produce a certain number of words or pages. The schedule also may depend on finishing a scene or just working on dialogue for that day.
Do you set yourself daily or weekly goals? Are you motivated by keeping that schedule or finishing that predetermined amount of writing?
Everyone is different in the way in which they work but most people must have a schedule or goals set in order to accomplish what they wish to finish during each writing session. I would love to get comments on this topic. It is important to establish what the best way is to work for most writers.
We touched briefly in another post on writing rituals that some folks must have to be creative. Some need complete quiet and others need music, usually a calmer variety. Some writers seem to thrive on distractions while for some of us that would mean quitting for the day and losing precious writing time. Whether you must have a coffee pot cooking all day or a pot of teas stepping is certainly a matter of taste. some people feel getting everything ready as part of the writing process is important and cannot write a word until their pencils are all sharpened or all e-mail is answered. Do you use a ritual to get ready to produce?
If you need to have a jar of licorice standing by before you can write or must wear lucky socks like athletes I know, deep down you believe in its help. You must continue with your rituals. I believe this stalling and hesitating gives some of us more time to get our mind clear and thoughts in order before we start.
That being said however, if you spend more time on your rituals and not enough time on the actual writing, you may never reach those important goals. Don’t use scheduling and rituals to delay your actual working.