It can be hard to figure out how to create a writing routine in today’s hectic world. There are always errands that need to be run, family that needs to be seen, cleaning that needs to be done and relaxing that we have to squeeze in somewhere. It can be even more difficult to fit writing into your crazy schedule, but it is important to create a somewhat-regular writing schedule. Writing every day keeps your creativity flowing and helps you improve your craft. Even if you can only fit in 30 minutes, if that half-hour is 100% dedicated to writing, it will be enough.
The best way to begin setting a writing schedule is to identify and pinpoint your most creative time of the day. If it is first thing in the morning, then you must dedicate some of it to writing. If it is late at night (shout out to my fellow night owls!), then you should find some spare time then. Finding your most creative time will ensure productivity, or quality over quantity.
It would be beneficial to make an attempt at mapping out your week ahead of time. Things may change throughout the week but at least you will have some idea of when you might be free. Fill any holes in your schedule with writing. If you have a few open spots in one day, even better; fill them all with writing just in case something comes up and you have to skip a writing session.
Try to schedule writing around your known potential distractions. Write when your kids are at school, when you know you will not be getting many phone calls or, hey, even when you know there is nothing good on TV…I don’t judge. The fewer distractions you have, the better you will write! Oh, and make sure you are writing in your designated writing space so you are in the perfect environment to keep you creative.
As a writer you should ALWAYS carry a notebook around with you. Write down any of those wonderful ideas you have as soon as they come to you. Doing this will not only prevent you from getting angry when you can’t seem to remember that amazing idea you had when you were at dinner, but it will also take tons of pressure off of your scheduled writing time. When you sit down to write, you will already have all of your ideas written down, ready to go.
Set goals to reach by the end of the day or the end of the week. Whether the goal is to spend five hours writing by the end of the week, have 3,000 words by the end of the day or a chapter by the end of the month, setting a goal will help you stay focused and force you to carve out the necessary time to achieve your goal.
Remember that sometimes it is okay to skip a day when necessary. Pushing your self too hard will likely result in some not-so-great writing. It is also going to require some trial and error to get into a writing routine that will work for you and when you finally do, it is going to take some getting used to. Don’t force it but keep writing!
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Writestream Publishing contributor Kristyn Fetterman. Need help with writing and the independent publishing process? Contact Writestream Publishing to schedule your no-obligation phone consultation today.