Last month, I resolved to create a schedule to organise my writing in 2015. Having a set plan in place for when I write and what I work on is an idea I’ve been mulling over for a few months now. Though I’ve never written to a schedule before, I’ve recently began to appreciate how a more structured approach to creativity might motivate, focus and inspire me.
Writing creatively isn’t an activity that lends itself very well to routine. One week I might feel like writing every evening; the next, I’ll be lucky to jot down a full sentence. Structure and flexibility sound like opposite concepts, but they needn’t be. In this spirit, I’ve come up with a writing schedule I’m excited to put into practice. Here are the mini mantras I factored into the process:
I have a tendency to make lots of promises to myself about my writing. I’ll do 2000 words today! Finish that chapter, or else! When I inevitably fall short of my goals, it stings. There’s really no point setting myself up for defeat unnecessarily, so I’m taking care not to overestimate what I’m actually capable of.
I’m keeping my expectations of myself fairly low, so it feels extra awesome when I blow them out of the water! Exceeding the aims that you set for yourself is undoubtedly a great feeling, and I’m all about good vibes.
When it came to putting together my plan, I played around with ideas for how to split up my time. Should I write on specific, set days of the week, every week? Or should I mix it up? In the end, I resolved to take the pressure off a little by allocating 10 hours per week – 6 over the weekdays and 4 at the weekend, to be split over whichever days I like. A totally doable number, in no sweat circumstances.
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I’m hoping that, by keeping these three guidelines at the forefront of my mind, I can get excited about the bigger writing projects I’ve had holed up in my head for months. I have only the deadlines I set for myself and, thankfully, I’m a pretty laid back master. So, with minimal pressure, reachable goals and realistic expectations, I should have this writing thing down.
Do you write to a schedule? Have any tips for me?