1. SAHMWriter
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    SAHMWriter New Member

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    How do you schedule your writing and discipline yourself to work?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by SAHMWriter, Jun 24, 2013.

    Do you have a set time of day or an amount of time or pages per day? How do you schedule yourself so you aren't sitting there thinking you need to be doing something else?

    I really try to set myself a daily goal of time so that even if I only get one page done, I have two hours work done. I find as I get into the routine it gets easier to handle.
     
  2. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Thanks to my job, I have long periods of time off. It is during these times that I generally write. When I don't have time off, I wait for my wife to pass out, and then write. When she's awake I'm too tempted to bounce ideas off of her. Once i get barreling into a story, I find myself wanting to devote longer hours to it. I don't set a limit though, because sometimes you'll find yourself more productive than at other times.
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write when everybody's in bed, usually from about 11 and finish when I can't see the screen anymore. The last 500 words is usually crap but I'll fix it tomorrow night.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Easy for me, I'm self employed and I'd rather write than work. My problem is forcing myself to work (she said staring at the stack of unsent invoices on the desk).

    But when I can't get any words on the page I shift into research mode. I also go on and off the forum for brief interruptions. It's strange but writing is brain tiring, while posting here is like working a jigsaw puzzle, sort of not brain stressing.
     
  5. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    I can never seem to stick to a schedule of writing, especially when mine is always so busy and unpredictable.
    So I try to write for at least an hour a day whenever I get the chance, sometimes, if I have the time, that hour turns into two or three (or more). I'm starting to get where I'm carrying paper with me all the time and a pencil so that anytime I get an idea or the urge to write, I just write. It seems to work out a bit better, though the writing may not be the best.
     
  6. michaelj
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    michaelj Senior Member

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    It depends if I have any time and I'm in the mood. Some days I am more in the mood to write than other days.
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I don't have a set amount of pages or words to write per day, but I do get on with it. Just realise that if you really want to write and want to do it as a career or a serious hobby, you've got to realise that there is nothing more important than your writing, to a point.
     
  8. CyberFD
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    CyberFD Member

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    I shoot for 1K words a day, but I'm not disappointed if I don't make it. As long as I like what I've written and have a substantial amount
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nope... never have... i just start writing whenever i have something to write and keep writing till i finish it, or need to eat/sleep...

    i don't... never see that as a problem, since i live alone and have no other demands on my time...
     
  10. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I do my writing in the bathroom during a health treatment that I do every night and I do my editing in the weekends because none of the t.v. shows I like to watch are Not on during the weekends.
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The answer to this question - and it's one that gets posted from time to time - really depends on three things: 1) the level of commitment of the writer; 2) the degree of distractibility of the writer and 3) outside influences. It is quite possible (I speak from experience) to have high levels of both #1 and #2, and a high amount of #2 can often combine with a largely negative #3 to snuff anything that remains of #1, but not always.

    When I first started writing seriously (that is, pursuing my goal of writing a publishable novel), my two children were not yet in their teens, our issues regarding them were numerous, and I was trying to balance addressing their needs while both pursuing a fairly demanding corporate career while at the same time supporting my wife as she returned to the workforce as a teacher of children with special needs. Now, if you take the above as a kind of algorithm, you would assume that my commitment would have been snuffed. But it wasn't. Writing for me was therapy, and like erebh above, I would wait until everyone was in bed, sacrificing sleep for the chance to write.

    At the same time, there were many occasions where I just couldn't make the time to write. In those cases, I never pushed myself. I've never been convinced that the word budget method was particularly worthwhile (I first read it posited by Joseph Wambaugh of The Onion Field fame, who said he forced himself to write 1,500 words per day no matter what). But, again, it comes down to what works for you.
     
  12. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    I try, I really do. I set time aside sometimes but I never seem to get any writing done in that time. I usually work best when I'm free from the constraints of work or school and have a good half day to sit down and try and punch some stuff out. Right now, I'm in my self-allocated writing time and I'm on here. I tend to write more productively at night or when I'm alone at home during the day.
     
  13. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Every weekend, I look forward to writing. I enjoy it so much, I crave it when I have to take a break to edit. No writing or reading of the book, for one month. Then back to edit.

    I am a writing junky. There is no need to schedule :) But I'm also single which makes "finding time" to do it a breeze!
     
  14. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I wrote my first piece, it was a novel and I was so into it that I was basically obsessed until it was done. It just so happened that part of that time was over the Christmas holidays, and our plans were thrown out the window because of an injury my Dad experienced. It was very cold and we had some snow. My husband was off of work for the holiday and our whole family basically had a extraordinarily lazy week. I got a lot of writing done then. Since then, I've written more stories with those characters, but now I am in editing mode and that is harder than the initial writing.

    I have two kids, one of whom is in pre-school. He goes to school 3 days a week, and the daily varying schedules make it very difficult to get a lot of writing done. I really need a big chunk of time to get serious writing work done, and when I don't have that, I can't really write. I see the benefit of saying one needs to write X number of words every day or spend some period of time on writing, but for me, it just doesn't work. Right now I'm focusing on short stories, but I need to write those in one sitting -- I don't usually do a lot of editing. Once I start a story, I have to finish it. I can't take a break -- I tend to write in roughly 3,000 word chunks, whether that's a SS or a scene in a novel. So, I need at least a couple hours of uninterrupted time.

    Now that it's summer and the schedule has so much variation, I'm not counting on being able to write much other than a couple short stories this summer. I plan to start seriously revising my m/s in September when my older son goes back to school and my preschooler starts school 5 days a week. I don't know whether I'll try to spend a couple hours each day or devote one or two days entirely to the m/s. I'll have to see how it plays out. In the meantime, I at least do something related to writing every day -- critique other stories, go back through my old stories for bringing to a critique night at a live writers group I found, read through a writer's magazine or a book about writing, etc.
     
  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I usually write very early in the morning. I'm retired now, so it's easier, but I did the same before I retired.

    I go to bed early at night, usually no later than 9pm unless it's a special occasion. I'm up very early (4.30am), a coffee, then a long walk outdoors, then back in and start writing. All this happens before I need to speak to anybody or anybody speaks to me. I can usually order this time well, because people don't tend to ring my doorbell or phone me at 6am!

    My biggest problem (I'm writing another novel) is getting the time to visualise. I need to visualise a scene before I write it. I mean REALLY see it, hear the voices as they speak the dialogue, etc, see where the characters are standing, how they move, what's going on around them, etc.

    I get good flashes while I'm walking, but I get quite snarky during the day when I'm in the middle of what probably looks like a dwam to other people, but is actually creative daydreaming ...and my poor husband or somebody else starts yakking at me about potatoes or something else ...and phut, the scene is GONE! Ach well, all part of the process, I suppose.

    And ...what GingerCoffee said, too. Fill in gaps with research and then visit you good people here on the forum!
     
  16. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I fit it in when I can. If I don't make it a priority, the writing and associated tasks won't get accomplished.
     
  17. Kathrin Doelle
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    Kathrin Doelle New Member

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    In the good old days I used to go to bed and read for an hour or so before going to sleep.

    Then I bought a laptop. Now I go to bed and write for an hour or so before going to sleep.

    It does make a massive difference, believe you me! Plus, an hour a day or so doesn't result in a mental overload, either.
     
  18. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    I only write when deadlines are approaching.

    So I have no need to discipline myself. I HAVE to write or die.
     
  19. u.v.ray
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    u.v.ray Member

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    I don't have to force myself. It's just something I have to do.

    I tend to be up about 5am most mornings to write. I keep a notebook by my bed and frequently wake in the night to write ideas down. I carry the notebook with me everywhere. I am constantly writing in my head.

    I wrote my forthcoming novella Spiral Out (22,000 words) in 4 weeks -- that was writing 10 hours a day, most days.

    With writing, I wish I could switch off. But I can't. There is no respite. There are no holidays. It's a terminal disease.
     
  20. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i seem to be at a stage where work is draining all feasible writing creativity out of me, and im continually knackered too, which doesnt help, im hoping to take my laptop round my nans to at least do some form of writing of an evening there. i think the change in scene will help
     
  21. Oroboros
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    Oroboros New Member

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    What I try to do is spend at least one hour to two hours daily on my projects - be it writing the outline, fashioning the dialogue, editing the word choice, or shaping up the pencils and nailing them with inks.

    That way, there's always progress, even when I run into a dead end or a difficult problem in one area of the project. :)
     
  22. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    2 hours is plenty of time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  23. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    I write between the hours of 8:30 and 4, five days a week. I take two short breaks and one long break that's supposed to be for lunch (but I usually end up napping). In this time I write 3000 to 5000 words. This is NOT negotiable. Writing books is my job, regardless of whether I'm in the mood or feeling creative. I wasn't in the mood yesterday. Too bad for me. I still got 4700 words written. I write just as well, regardless of my mood.

    Of course, this isn't a schedule that works for anyone who needs a day job. Writing is my job. When I first decided to make writing my job (back before I had 2 kids to support all on my own), I sat down for 6 hours when I got home from work. I wrote then, usually about 3000 words. Because I wanted to see my name (or my pseudonym) splashed across the cover of a book, this was also not negotiable. Didn't matter if I had a bad day at work. I still did it. This doesn't work for anyone who isn't willing to sacrifice everything to get that book finished and well polished.

    I guess it comes down to what you want and why you're writing.
     
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  24. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    leighann excellent comments..... I'm diggin your attitude.
     
  25. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    On weekends, I sit down at the computer and start. I don't stop until I either get to 5,000 words or, having gone farther, am too exhausted to continue. I'm addicted to the writing process. Once I start it is more of a problem to STOP! I'll write from 7AM until 11PM and then collapse in a twitching pile, in bed and sleep like the dead until morning when I start all over.

    The weirdest thing is that I can't WAIT to write more, no matter how much I beat the crap out of myself the day before.
     
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