Thursday, January 16, 2020

A schedule for writing?

Sunrise in Custer St Park
photo courtesy of @wyomingflygirl

Way back before I was a starry-eyed writer I thought…well, I thought writing a book was impossible, but I also thought that authors wrote and wrote until the book was done. Oh, what sweet innocence. 

Once I decided to attempt the impossible and write a novel I quickly found out that the book didn’t just pour out in one long chunk. There was a ton of research needed and an even more exorbitant amount of staring off into space required. But the best piece of advice I garnered was Jeffe’s advice to track your writing time

And so….spreadsheets! 

If you’re a new writer, or you have writing-time flexibility but struggle to get words down when you do sit down, I suggest trying out the Jeffe-writing-spreadsheet-method. When I did my first writing-time tracking I was still working full time and alone time with my computer was sporadic, which actually came in handy because I was able to compare all times of the day and night. 

My results: 
Creative brain power peaks between 7-11 AM. 
Editing capabilities are sustainable throughout the afternoon.
Writing after 5 PM…forget about it.  

Who out there is struggling to finish that book while holding down the 9-5? The problem with knowing that I was a morning writer was that I still had the day job M-F. To those authors working full time, I salute you and will send you all the good vibes! It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. Keep going and when you do have opportunities to shut yourself away during your peak writing-times, do it and don’t think twice! There’ll be guilt about taking the time and you’ll miss out on events and family/friends, but it’s part of the sacrifice to the end goal. 

Fast-forward a few years and now I’m blessed to have a spouse that can support our family while I’m a stay-at-home author. He’s incredible and the only reason I’m able to write during my peak hours. And it’s made a huge difference in my daily word counts and consistencies, which veers into writing routine territory. For those who have a flexible writing-schedule, once you know when your brain works best then you can move towards a writing routine. And that, that’s a whole other writing post.