Did you create a schedule for your writing?
I envy writers who have schedules.
You know, the type who can sit down every single day at the same time and write?
Joe Lansdale writes every weekday from 9 to noon. Nora Roberts is an 8-hour a day writer. Cindi Madsen writes every morning and every afternoon.
I know some writers who are so strict in their writing schedules that only visits to the ER prevent them from breaking into writing time. And then, that’s reserved only for the kids.
If a limb is falling off.
And it can’t be patched with duck tape.
If only I could be so OCD … I mean, focused.
Understanding my innate lack of schedule keeping, I happily skipped into the Pikes Peak Writers Workshop, Write Your Heart Out, and listened to author J.T. Evans discuss Stolen Moments. Talk about OCD, this guy takes the cake. But not in the traditional I-scheduled-nine-to-noon-as-writing time kind of way.
- He writes anywhere and everywhere, all day long. And he keeps track of it.
- Apparently, every single year (making concessions for a Leap Year), each of us is granted 8,736 hours of time.
- In only 10 hours a week, Evans cranked out a book and 15 short stories in one year.
- This with a full-time, regular, day job, a wife and a young son.
- So how did he do it? Honestly, by being a writing hound. Every itty bitty bit of downtime was spent writing or thinking about writing or editing.
I agree with him that unless you are a full-time writer who can pay the bills with your writing, you must find the flexibility, determination, ingenuity and grit to find writing time and to keep writing.
You’ve got to create a schedule that you can stick to.
Here are TEN of his tips for maximizing your writing time and finding stolen moments:
One – Always carry something to write on (notebook, tablet) and because you just never know
Two – Steal ideas by people watching and conversation hijacking
Three – Instead of driving somewhere to eat lunch, bring it with you and take lunch time to write
Four – During commute: listen to music or podcasts that inspires you for stories and then scribble them down after the ride
Five – Appointments? Take your notebook
Six – Car maintenance: take your props; Doctor’s visits: take your props; Meetings that don’t start on time: take your props
Seven – Treat it like it’s a job: If you don’t show up, you get in trouble (like having to delete half your manuscript and start over! )
Eight – Reward yourself if you make the meeting (snacks, pennies in a jar)
Nine – Use outside locations: Panera Bread, coffee house, back patio furniture
Ten – Turn off your phone!
BONUS – KILL THE INTERNET! No Facebook, No Instagram, No Research, No Email
Create a schedule and stick to it!