Last month I posted
and pondered and decided I needed to have a writing schedule. Without one I was whittling away at my writing time and procrastinating instead of actually working on what I needed to.
This is my third week since I made the decision to try and get 35 hours of writing and writing-related work in each week. That’s 7 hours a day if averaged out over 5 days.
The first week was hard. I was unused to spending so much time on my writing and couldn’t figure out how to fit in with the rest of my life. Last week went great, but by the end of the week I was exhausted.
This week is going the best so far and if all goes according to plan I won’t crash this weekend.
I am having so much fun
knowing when I sit down that I don’t have to rush and try to get my words on paper as fast as possible. Sitting and purposely capturing the emotions and feelings I want to convey and turning them into words has been getting easier without the pressure. (I’m currently working on When Life Hands You Lymes
which is a rather difficult and exciting book for me.)
|My very messy and scribble-filled tracking chart
As far as a schedule goes? I actually don’t have one. Instead I’ve been tracking what I spend my time on. Keeping a written record is the kind of thing that floats my boat. Using a stop-watch (from my phone), a pad of paper and whatever pen is handy seriously improves my life by leaps. I thrive on tracking, lists and goals.
My target is to get three hours in before lunch time, but with my other job that doesn’t always work. Then I try to get at least two hours in during the afternoon and I finish up my time after supper. Recently I’ve been spending my morning hours with all the work that isn’t writing my actual book. Blogs, emails, blog tweaking, etc… Then I focus my energy the rest of the day on plotting, researching, writing and brainstorming. It’s been working out really well for me.
One thing I’ve done that has helped motivate me is placing a strict ban on all fiction reading until I’ve gotten at least two hours of writing-related work accomplished. I have the habit of quickly grabbing a page of a story I’m reading while going from task to task. Waiting for tea water to boil? Read a page. Eating breakfast? Read another page. Walking down the stairs? Yep, read yet another page. My restriction has made me eager to get the first two hours of writing behind me as early as possible.
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What about you? Do you have a similar tracking method in your life? What are some of the tricks you use to accomplish more? I’d be delighted to hear from you!