Finding a Writing Schedule That Works For You

I'm a stickler--I find advice and try to stick to it, even if it's not working for me. When I decided to get serious about writing, I was told that a writing schedule was the way to go. "You'll develop discipline," experts said. "You'll form habits!"


After creating mutiple schedules and not sticking to them, I finally got to the final stages of The Two Worlds and am ready to self-publish it. How?

I stopped trying to fit myself into a neat little box. Shit happens. Things go awry in life. And feeling as though you should jump off a bridge because you failed to meet a couple of self-imposed deadline is for the birds.

So, I tossed my daily word counts and weekly to-do lists and stuck to basics. Here's my plan for the next few months:

November 2012:

-Publish The Two Worlds (currently in beta land)

The Two Worlds: Jarem's Revenge 

 -Write in November

 -Edit in December

 -Publish in January (Jan. 31)

The Waking Moon (romance novel)

 -Write in December

 -Edit in January

 -Publish in February (Feb. 28)

Here's 3 things that I've learned:

1) Having one broad goal with one target date is the only way I won't have a panic attack every time I open Google Tasks. Panic attacks = procrastination = not getting shit done.  Before, I would make SMART goals and then break them down into steps. From there, I would have multiple task lists. It was insane! I would spend hours crafting these lists that were supposed to make me more efficient when all it was really doing was taking away from my writing. Never again.

2) I know my writing capabilities now. I've been writing actively for about a year now and I know that I can crank out 2,000 words an hour...without really trying. I can also crank out 50,000 words in 30 days (thanks NaNoWriMo!).

3) I know my editing strengths and weaknesses. It took me awhile to figure out how to edit and how long it takes. I tried different methods at different times. Thanks to Tamera Kraft's advice, I finished up The Two Worlds and put it in beta readers' inboxes. This is the method I will be sticking to from now on.

The above schedule probably won't work for many folks. That's ok. Writing is an individual sport, so you can tweak your schedule anyway you like.

What about you? Do you have a writing schedule that works for you?

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