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How To Create A Writing Schedule That Works For You

Is it just me, or does time seem to be at a premium these days?

Even though we have exactly the same amount of time as Einstein, Aristotle, and Marie Curie, we just don’t seem to be as productive.

In a perverse twist of fate, even though we have more technology serving us and taking away some of our more tedious tasks, we still don’t have time to get everything on our to-do list accomplished. We work more and seem to be less productive.

It’s time to get organized. It’s time to create a writing schedule.

Make an Editorial Calendar

Pull out one of those giant calendars from Office Depot (or use a Google Calendar to sync with your smartphone). Start putting your deadlines in red on the calendar and then place the calendar somewhere next to your writing zone. Consider these deadlines sacred; the world will stop if you don’t make them.

If you don’t have a deadline, get one. Writers wither without deadlines. –> Click to tweet

Once all the deadlines are on the calendar page, see if there are any recurring themes within the articles. If there are, consider making that your theme for the month. This will not work in every scenario, but if a theme appears, take advantage of it. Think of it as the foundation of the platform you are developing that month.

Creating an editorial calendar may take a few hours, but it will save you time in the end.

Tweetables:

  • If you don’t have a deadline, get one. Writers wither without deadlines. – Click to tweet.
  • When is your brain most alive? Write then. – Click to tweet.
  • How to create a writing schedule that works…for you! – Click to tweet.
  • When you are writing similar articles, write them around the same time on your writing schedule. – Click to tweet.
  • Be intentional about making time because there is no perfect time to write. – Click to tweet.
  • Everyone has a magic formula that they swear by. That’s great if it works for them. – Click to tweet.

Block Time

When is your brain the most alive? Is it early in the morning? Late at night? Carve out time to devote to your craft.

Your writing schedule needs to be planned out in advanced. Be intentional about making time because there is no perfect time to write. If you wait for the magic moment, you will die without having finished a manuscript. You will always have to fight for your writing time. A professional writer is the one who knows the worth of their writing and lets it take priority over distractions.

If you need more encouragement as a writer, start reading Jeff Goins. His blog posts will energize you (and your writing!).

Cluster Posts

If you find that you are writing similar articles, write them around the same time on your writing schedule.

Instead of having to fully develop multiple ideas, you can dig deeply into one and let it take multiple directions. This will allow your thoughts to be well-formed, leading to better articles and a shorter writing time. We all want that.

If you are writing a novel based in a certain historical period (and you are already doing the research), why not take that knowledge and blitz write some posts and articles? Once you have them written, you can schedule them to be published in the future.

The bottom line is to find a writing schedule that works for you.

Everyone has a magic formula that they swear by. That’s great if it works for them. For Jim Woods, that means getting up at 5 AM. For other writers, it means staying up until the wee hours of the morning.

What does it mean for you? You are the only one who can answer that question. If you have tips, leave them in the comments!

About Caitlin Muir

Caitlin Muir knows the power of social media first hand. She's on the editorial team of The Social Media Club, which connects media makers from around the world to promote media literacy, industry standards, and ethical behavior. She blogs about faith, love, and social media at CaitlinMuir.com.

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7 Responses to How To Create A Writing Schedule That Works For You

  1. My best tip is to START EARLY. I try to write all my blog posts one to two days before I put them up. When the deadline isn’t breathing down my neck I feel more relaxed and more able to produce.

    • Caitlin Muir #

      That’s a great practice. I have to start early – in the morning!

  2. Juggling both a novel and a blog (caterpickles) requires constant and mindful balancing of my priorities. Caterpickles is easy and fun to write. The novel is hard. Some days all I want to do is write the easy stuff. And it’s very tempting on those days to say, “well at least I wrote SOMETHING” when all I did was crank out a couple of blog posts. But if I do that every day, I’ll never figure out if I’m any good at this novel-writing gig.

    So to keep the easy blog writing from consuming all of my writing time, I write my blog posts in batches in the evenings, and schedule them in advance. Because I’m not at my best writing wise in the evenings, I’ve also loosely defined the types of blog posts I generate for any given day — book, movie, music and/or product reviews for Thursdays, short funny stories on Saturdays, crazy questions my Five-Year-Old asks about the world on Mondays, exploring the world with a Five-Year-Old on Tuesdays, etc. I’ve also given myself permission NOT to have a post every day (very important).

    Getting the blog posts into some sort of structured schedule time & work wise helps me reserve my best writing time (my mornings) for the work that matters most to me in the long-run — finishing my first novel — and keeps the blog from taking over my entire life.

    • Caitlin Muir #

      It sounds like you have things down to a nice rhythm!

  3. I came across your post when reading one by Shaney Lee from January 7th.

    I started blogging several months ago and found it very enjoyable – so enjoyable that I preferred to do that rather than the consistent writing on my book.

    Starting this year, I cut my blog posts from 3/wk to 2/wk, Monday and Thursday.
    I set aside a one-hour block every day to work on a post. That allows me to develop my ideas more clearly and concisely and I’m not panicked to get it done at the last minute.

    For now, I’ve set aside a two-hour block for writing on my book. I hope that time will increase as I become more committed to it.

    My most important step has been to allow flexibility in scheduling my writing times by the clock. Sometimes my thoughts focus on my book and my two hours fall in the morning. I blog later. Sometimes it’s switched around. I stick to the time durations but not necessarily to a hard and fast time. This is working for me now as I’m learning the discipline of writing.

  4. I am NOT a morning person. But devote that time to marketing, emails, and the like. I then go to work, I coordinate at after school program, come home and write at night with no distractions and feel like I can write however long it takes. I seem to get a second wind about eight at night. Nice article, I think we are all different and need to do what works best for us individually. My mind doesn’t even wake up until ten!

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  1. Schedule…or Never Make It | Editing Addict - February 26, 2014

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