Thursday, December 9, 2010

Writing 101: Setting a Writing Schedule

by Brittany Geragotelis
They say that the only thing separating writers from non-writers is actually sitting down at the computer (or if you're old-school, a typewriter or paper and pen) and getting something down on paper. If you're not actually writing, how can you call yourself a writer, right?

So, if you're an aspiring writer—be it novels, poetry, short stories, comic books, etc—the #1 most important thing you're going to need to do is come up with some sort of a writing schedule. Now, I don't know about you, but my life can get busy. I leave my apartment between 7:30-8 am and don't usually get home until 9 pm. Since my days aren't filled with limitless free time, I actually have to schedule in time to write, much like the way you'd fit in a yoga class or that hour of "Glee" you watch.

To do this, you'll need to figure out when you work best. I, personally, can't function all that well in the morning (can you tell I've been writing these in the AM lately?), and my creative juices are flowing best at night, so writing at night for about an hour (usually 10:30-11:30 pm) is what works best for me. No two writers are alike though, and you must figure out when is going to work best for you and your process. Just make sure that whatever time you choose, you'll be able to write at this time on a daily basis.

Next, and this is the important part, you have to actually stick to the schedule! This means, sitting your butt down in the chair, on the floor, or lying down on the couch (this is my choice of writing space) at your designated time every day and actually writing something. Even if what you write isn't a masterpiece, the point is to get into the habit of doing can always go back later and revise and rewrite. The important thing is to get something down on paper.

It might help to give yourself daily goals, such as not stopping until you've written 2 pages a day or sitting down at your computer and writing for an hour before taking a break. Some writers even reward themselves with treats (coffee, chocolate, bathroom breaks) once they've written a certain amount. Whatever you have to do to get yourself to write, go for it!

Just think of it this way: if you write 1 page a day for a month, you'll have 30 pages by the time you're done! 2 pages/day=60 pages/month! 3 pages/day=90 pages/month! At this rate, you'll be an author in no time!



Michelle said...

Yes! Slowly but surely getting things done is a good way to go about it. (Now just leave out those endless months of querying, and we're good. :P)

Sometimes it sucks when you sit down to your scheduled time and nothing comes out. That's the worst.

Melissa said...

Yes, I agree with this. I'm slowly trying to get back into a schedule. I used to write at night, but have been way too exhausted lately. I'm more midafternoon now. Morning doesn't work too well since I often have to leave the house around 6:30 am to get to some area school on time. I like midmorning best, which is what I do when I don't get a sub job for a day (like today).