Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Schedules

Jennifer tackles her writing schedule...

First I’d like to thank Ana for taking “Sex,” because that makes it so much less embarrassing for me. ;)

Do you have a writing schedule? Forget about being a plotter or a pantser, organized or disorganized; do you write at a regularly scheduled time or in a particular place? Do you try for a word or page count? Do you approach your writing as a job or a hobby?

Writing is my job. I may not make a lot of money at it, certainly not enough to support my family, or myself but it’s what I do. I take it seriously and I devote a portion of each day to it. While I’d love to say that I’m so inspired, I can write anywhere or anytime, the truth is, life gets in the way. My brain fills up with details, stressors and random thoughts, often leaving little room for my creativity to kick in. But this is my job, and therefore, no matter what is going on, I sit down daily and write.

Yesterday, I think I wrote 68 words. Embarrassing, but that’s 68 less that I have to write today. Hopefully today I’ll be more productive. But had I said to myself, “Forget it, don’t bother,” I would have opened the door to treating this less as a job and more as a hobby, doing it when I feel like it.

I’ve spoken before about participating in my local writer’s chapter version of NaNoWriMo. It was great for discipline. I knew that every day I needed to write a certain amount of words, and I prioritized writing ahead of most things. These days, I have other things that often take precedence, but I still sit down daily and bang out some words. Usually it’s between 500-1000. Sometimes they come easy, other times less so. They may not be great words, but they’re words. I’ll fix them when I go back and edit. But I’m trying to keep up the momentum.

I tend to have a basic schedule to my day. I get the kids out the door, walk the dog and get ready for the day. I do whatever social media/blogging has to be done that day. I run a few errands. Then I sit down and write until the kids come home. Sometimes life gets in the way. Yesterday I had a funeral to attend for a colleague, hence the 68 words. Today I hope to get more done.

Although I have an office with a desk, I like to move around a bit, so I’ll go from my dining room table to my family room sofa to my desk. On nice days, I’ll sit outside on my deck. Some places make the words flow easier, others are less effective.

My goal is to finish my current WIP by the end of this month. I’m behind, so I don’t think I’ll make it, but you never know!



15 comments:

  1. 68 words is better than no words, Jen. As they say, youcan't edit a blank page!
    I could probably write more if my muse, like me, wasn't such a night owl! I might write blogs etc during the day, but my creative juices don't start flowing until the evening, and then I can be up until 1am and sometimes even later!

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    1. See, I used to be a night owl, and then I got tired. :) So now I write midday, which for the moment seems to be working for me.

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    2. I've always been a night owl, right from when I used to reach my books under the bedcovers when I was a child!

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  2. My discipline is to sit down at my desk each day once I have finished my household chores. Sometimes the muse flows, sometimes it doesn't, but I feel lost without my writing. I work five days a week and sometimes take 'time off' when other things get in the way. But it has been my life for so many years now that I would feel lost without it. It doesn't really matter what time of day any of us write as long as we do it for pleasure and it doesn't become a chore.

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    1. Our schedules are similar, Margaret, only our timezone is different. :)

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    2. I envy your self-discipline, Margaret. Makes me feel very lazy in comparison!

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  3. Most mornings I get up at 5 am and try to write for two hours. I steal time at work when things are quiet. Evenings are harder to write--my brain is more tired, my hubby wants attention, grandkids want to come and play with the baby kittens.
    Writing is something I still do around the work that pays bills, but i dream of a day when writing is a revenue stream.

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    1. I'm envious of your discipline, Ana. I can't function that early in the morning!

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    2. Anything I wrote at 5am would be complete gibberish! Even If I was awake, my brain wouldn't be!

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    3. Ana, I used to write at work as well in the early days.

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  4. Last winter, out of the blue, I started waking up early. After a week or two of not being able to go back go sleep, I decided my muse was offering an opportunity. It was up to me to seize it.

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    1. If my muse woke me at 5am, I'd slap her face :-)

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  5. Any progress is progress. Sixty-eight words is great!

    I consider my writing a hobby. I have a full-time job/career that I love, and while I love writing too (most of the time!), it definitely takes a back seat when I have other deadlines to meet.

    With my last book, I wrote on a schedule each night. I'd sit down after I took a shower while the hubby took his and wrote. I tried that again with my WIP, but it didn't work as well. Other things got in the way. It's a busy time of year at school as things are winding down. I'm hoping to return to a bit more of a routine once summer vacation hits.

    I, too, have a desk with a computer, but I find my muse flows if I migrate. I love sitting outside on the front porch, patio, or by the pond with my lap top. Even moving from the couch to the chair or other places around the house sometimes can get the words going if I'm stuck. My lap top was the best investment I ever made as a writer.

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    1. Sounds like you've found something that works for you, Debra.

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