1. thelark5
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    thelark5 New Member

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    Does anyone use a writing schedule?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by thelark5, Nov 3, 2010.

    I am interested how everyone here finds time to write. Do you create a schedule? For those that do, do you do it by the hour or by the page? How long or how many pages do you make yourself write? Is that all that you schedule? What about reading about writing, or reading other authors, or practicing any other activity that helps with writing--do you include these things?

    I am trying to create my own writing schedule. I've been toying around with ideas, and I'm looking to see if anyone has any insight into schedule making. I know I will get some responses that say things like, "I write when the spirit tells me too; or I write when I'm feeling a certain emotion". That isn't what I'm looking for. I'm looking for advice and sharing from those who make writing a habit. Not saying there is a problem with people who don't do this, but I'm only searching for other ideas that pertain to this.

    Thanks,

    L
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I write on a schedule for the most part. Each day I usually have a few hours for homework, reading, writing, etc. So if I don't have a lot of homework, I either read or write. My writing ends when I have to go do other stuff, so I don't go by number of words or pages written but rather by how much time I spent writing.
     
  3. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    I would love, LOVE to be more disciplined, and I'm aiming to make a schedule too, or at least set aside some time. When I was younger and, incidentally, less self-conscious about my writing, I used to sit at my old PC at eight o' clock or whenever, and sometimes write till 3am. Sometimes I started earlier or later, or sometimes only did a couple of hours, but evenings were generally writing time. Now I'm at college I fall asleep before anything else... I try to write on the bus, but end up doing knitting instead, I do a bit at college if my other work doesn't appeal, or I try doing some in a cafe - I love that image... but I really think I need another structure, higgledy-piggeldy isn't getting any work done really :/ I would work on time, not pages, as well. The only advice I can give is that, if you have more persistance than me, choose a couple of hours in the day that are fairly quiet, and establish rituals. I always used to wait until I won a game of Solitaire to start writing, to feel like a winner. It used to take maybe an hour, but I wouldn't write until I'd won. Or make a cup of coffee, spin around three times, kiss your lucky underpants... whatever works for you, and good luck!! I'll be back to glean some scheduling tips myself, haha! ;)
     
  4. gilesmaddox
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    gilesmaddox New Member

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    I always have a writing schedule - 10am to 12pm every day - it's only 2 hours, but those two hours of writing keep me focussed. At other times, i am thinking about things like plots or characters but not committing anything to paper - nor do i write notes as that then may stifle new thoughts.

    2 hours a day - don't do more! or you'll break your brain!
     
  5. Gypsy88
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    Gypsy88 Member

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    I'm a big fan of Anne Lamott's short assignments. You can read about it in her book Bird by Bird. That book was a godsend when I had hit this dry patch where I had tons to write but really no discipline to do it and my crazy inner critics had me frozen. I started out small. I set aside 30 minutes every day, sort of like an exercise schedule and would sit at my computer and stare. Yep for 30 minutes. I just couldn't think of anything to write. Now I have worked up to about one hour of focused writing time each day. I do schedule it with myself. Sort of like a date. Sometimes I sit and stare, sometimes all I can get out is an angry letter to myself about how I'm not writing, sometimes one hour turns into 5. It all depends on the day, the duties, and the mood but I do have a schedule. I would recommend the book. It definitely helped me create a schedule that works for me.
     
  6. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    Writing is my day job, so I treat it like one (well, like a lazy one, but I'm getting better). I write for a couple hours in the morning, take a break for lunch and to stretch out, and then write another couple hours in the afternoon, sometimes more like five or six hours. Depends on what I'm trying to get done.

    I've found the best way for me to keep a schedule is to set a word goal for each day, for each week, and for each month. I keep a calendar with my goals written out and broken down so I can see exactly what I need to accomplish.

    I'd say build up to regular writing if you need to. Choose a goal that is well within your means (500 words a day or whatever you are comfortable with) and then try to build a writing "streak", ie make it a habit for at least three weeks where you make the time to hit that goal every single day no matter what. Then see if it was too easy, and add to it as necessary. Pay attention to your habits, your fears, and your energy levels and you'll find a schedule and tempo that work for you :)
    Hope that helps!
     
  7. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I work better with deadlines then a schedule, but you can use that tool almost the same way, braking the writing into really small deadlines.

    "500 words before I allow myself any breakefast."
     
  8. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have a schedule, but I know I must write at some point during the day. Generally in the middle of the afternoon when I've got nothing else to do, if it's a weekend or quiet day... by now I've been writing so long that I just automatically can do it now. I've got enough discipline now that not really setting aside certain time consciously doesn't negate my ability to write. And late, after dinner through to about 2am, I'll find time. These are the times when I'm just too tired, distracted, or not in the mood to do anything else, and I know that and start writing. :p

    However, if I'm having a busy or unusually structured day, I will be like, "Right, Melly. You can write on the train, and when you're waiting here, and you probably won't actually be that tired when you get in so you can do a bit more then..." - not really a schedule so much as looking ahead for the times in a day when I'll have either the down time or the free time to write.
     
  9. Tessie
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    Tessie Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't use a writing schedule at all. I'm lucky if I get to write when I want to. But do what you think is best for you. I generally check out a fiction or nonfiction book here or there, but this is for personal entertainment. It's best that you create your own voice. No one can take it from you anyway. Um, as for scheduling advice, I think you should pick out a quiet part of the day to write. I use to write a lot at night. It helped me to remain uninterrupted. Besides that, the amount of hours or pages invested is up to you. I've found that 1,700 words is a moderate and enjoyable amount for myself, since nanowrimo has begun. :) Hope this helps.
     
  10. Axo Non Roadkill
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    Axo Non Roadkill Member

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    I write whenever I have ideas, or when I think I might get one any minute, I'll stare at the screen stupid until I either call it a day or start writing. Whenever. Though I make more time to write when I should be doing other important things. It's like escapism or something. So no schedules.

    About reading about writing... I almost never do. Not because I'm overconfident but because I have ADHD and focusing on a complicated text that is all black little specks on white, is torture to me. Reading AND comprehending can be a rough task for me. Demands too much concentration. You'll never see me reading a manual.
     
  11. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Having a regular minimum is a good idea to keep you motivated, I do most of my best writing between 2am and 6am.

    I can't remember where I read it, but basically if you're aiming for 50,000 words then 500 a day will take a bit longer than 3 months, 1000 a day will take just under 2, 2000 a day (my personal target) will get you done in less than 1.

    That being said, don't force yourself if you're finding it hard to move the project along: Instead maybe consider writing exercised to help get you out of your rut.
     
  12. Goosefish
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    Goosefish New Member

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    I also don't write on schedule. If I have assignments I do them. Deadlines are important. Without question I have attention problems. Walks on the beach are vital.
     
  13. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Well I'm a fast writer, through my english is not that great. I can type up to 68 words a minute, writing with paper and pen. I can write up to 45 a minutes. I type a lot faster then I write. But anyways, I used to write on one which I don't much anymore. Because I'm far to busy to keep one with one. I used to write a hour or more right before bed, but the next morning I would read it. I would luaghed at my mistake, because I would write until I'm tired so there I would make a lot of mistakes.

    I would write in the morning, after you had your coffee so you up and moving. But I'm not a big morning person so I write when I have the time and when I feel like it.
    It took me about 4 minutes to write this.
     
  14. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everyone sets their own and stage of writing may determine the amount written - at the beginning and end of a project I may write the same passage forty times - or write ten words. When I am in a flow, know the story and I am in dirty first draft stage I can write 2,000 words + in an hour. However I will also spend months editing a final draft - I will write a few hundred during that time and probably delete hundreds more. 50,000 words is around 1667 words a day.

    My goal because of the stage I am at is around 4,000 words a day.
     

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