Working Out a Writing Schedule by Allison Symes

Image Credit:  Images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos.

Having any writing schedule is not everyone’s cup of Darjeeling (with posh biscuits from smart tin) but they can be useful. 

The important thing is to build in flexibility so you’re not thrown when life, next door’s cat, a visiting alien from Planet Zygog, or various daily matters get in your writing way. That happens to us all (though I’ve yet to meet the alien. I suspect that’s a matter of time as it’s probably stuck in traffic). 
I’ve learned to accept what doesn’t get done one day can be done on another.  I know - revolutionary thought, not! It’s taken me a while to reach this point. So maybe it’s revolutionary for me! 

A notebook and pen for when those ideas come at awkward times is a good idea. This never happens at night for me. My head hits the pillow and I’m asleep. Still there are plenty of awkward times to go around when I bless Post-It notes or when I can’t get to Evernote on my phone quickly enough. 

I find the earlier days of the week are bad for anything much, writing wise. As I want to keep a good foot in the camps of flash fiction/short stories, and blogging, over a week, I pencil in what I can do and when.

I use odd pockets of time (when I have five minutes before I go out) to draft title ideas, promising opening lines etc, and then I review these when at my desk again. When travelling I use Evernote to jot down ideas for blogs, stories, and flash. 

The biggest advantage to planning my writing is to ensure (a) I get things done and (b) to spot where I need to increase my output. It is only as I look back over what was done I can plan my next week’s writing effectively.

A schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone. That was for the Ten Commandments. But having a schedule at all, no matter how rough, can give you a foundation for your writing week. I find that reassuring. I like to know what I am writing on what day. I try to avoid writing up to a deadline. I like to be in early with blogs etc. Whoever invented scheduling blogs, tweets etc., thanks!

Knowing what I’m writing on what day gives me something to look forward to with my daily creative session and helps me make the most of it. I don’t want to waste time working out what I’m writing. I want to hit the ground running when at my desk (now there’s a mixed metaphor for you or seriously impressive gymnastics from me - you decide!). 

It is a question of working out what is best for you. Especially if you’re writing the equivalent of the long distance marathon, the novel, working out what you can do and when may well help you be more productive. I’ve found that to be the case for the shorter forms of writing.


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