I never realized how hard it is to write consistently when you have other things taking you away from your computer, but now I’m in that place. I haven’t so much of edited my current WIP in the last several weeks. I just keep running out of time -- more like wasting time.
Anyway, I was thinking about how I had to work out some writing time for myself when I came across a blog on Pinterest. The post is on blog.janicehardy.com titled Scheduling for Writing Success.
The author, Shanna Swendson, says, “I’ve found that scheduling is one of the best ways to find more writing time. This applies whether you’re trying to fit writing around a full-time job or writing full-time.”
She said, if you make the decision in advance to write at a certain time, when that time comes, you don’t need to decide between several activities, but rather just between whether or not you will do as you promised yourself you would do.
She also says, “Organizational and productivity gurus suggest that you don’t even make a to-do list. You make a schedule of when, exactly, you’re going to do those things and you’re more likely to get them done.”
She also said, “I resisted keeping a schedule for non-working hours because I value my free time, but I found that I had much happier and more productive weekends when I scheduled them.”
She went on to say by scheduling her free time she was making conscious choices of what to do with her time, she was doing more things she truly enjoyed (as in not just writing) during her weekends.
She did say to schedule breaks into it, and even mentioned doing her schedule in half hour increments, even if what she’s doing wouldn’t take a half hour, so when something comes along to throw her schedule off, she has time built in to catch up. But she also says to schedule bathroom breaks. Okay, I’m not going that far, my bladder is in control there, sorry.
However, she has a point about goal setting and actually getting things done.
I can tell myself all I want I will write on a given day, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to let little things, like playing games, surfing the web, or watching TV get in the way of writing. But if I have writing scheduled, well, so far, I’m only writing when I a normally write to do my share of the blog.
Though I do think it will help me, because today, I have actually put my phone aside to write, because it was on my schedule. Then again, my schedule got changed a couple of times.
Monday, I scheduled writing time. Didn’t manage it. I should have, once I finally got home, but I was tired. I took a nap then my sister-in-law needed some help, and I’m afraid I spent too much time over there. Tuesday was off to a bad start when my sister-in-law called saying she needed to go to the emergency room. I hadn’t managed to get breakfast yet.
Don’t worry, no broken bones, just badly bruised.
But I was about fifteen minutes late for my mission assignment at the book scanning center (without stopping for lunch). Thankfully they understood me being late. Unfortunately, the site was down. I couldn’t do my job.
Time to change my schedule, again.
Sometimes life just gets in the way. You have to be able to adjust.
In this case, the book scanning center had to adjust when I work this week.
Actually, there was a lot of rescheduling happening, because last Tuesday, I’d forgotten I had an appointment on Monday morning (which had been scheduled 3 months ago) and I didn’t have time to go to the center before my appointment, so I ended up being about an hour and half late. Now normally, me being able to make that time up would be impossible since I normally volunteer at the visitor’s center Monday afternoons, but I had taken the place of a fellow who couldn’t do his shift on Friday, so he was taking my shift on Monday.
Meaning, I was able to make up the time. I just got home later than normal. I already mentioned the rest.
Anyway, I’m working harder at setting my schedule, but well, I couldn’t help all those wrenches which got thrown into the works so far this week. Maybe I should pat myself on the back for turning the time I should have been at the book scanning center into writing time.
Happy writing everyone!