According to the ‘countdown’ app on my phone, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is currently 10 ½ days away. With this, somewhat terrifying, news in mind, I would like to take some time today and discuss the idea of scheduling your writing.
Some people swear by their schedules and lists, every detail of their days plotted down to the second, including their writing time. Other people prefer to fly by the seat of their pants, no schedules, no lists, and no chains binding them into anything. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle, so let me ask you do you, either as a rule or merely around the month of November, schedule a certain block of time for your writing?
I have three friends who do a schedule, but go about it in a way uniquely theirs. The first uses her lunch and coffee breaks at work to write out whatever idea have been floating around her brain whilst she does paperwork, this way she is able to write while the ideas are still reasonably fresh and has a little more free time in the evenings during NaNo.
Friend number two enjoys late night writing after her four children are asleep. I’m never sure how she keeps her ideas and inspirations straight and sensible in her mind, but she somehow pulls it all together.
Finally, my father (a minister) schedules part of his work day for writing. As a minister, the research and writings that he does help him with his sermons and campus ministries, and leaves time for his family when he comes home. I, on the other hand, have a daily ‘to-do’ list that includes three items which rarely change. 1) Dance with the Monkey (my daughter), 2) Work on Dragons (my book series), and 3) Work on a Blog.
Sadly, there is almost no semblance of a schedule in my life because it seems to always happen that as soon as I plan it out, something happens to disrupt that part of my day. As long as I get my writing done at some point each day, I’m happy. (Although the disruptive nature of my schedule will probably be much more frustrating in 11 days!)
However you write, whenever you write, I encourage you to keep it up! If your busy schedule is an issue, try penciling yourself in for even as little as ten minutes a day, set a timer and let yourself burst out with whatever story has been lurking behind your eyes. Hire a babysitter or use naptimes to write, then teach the kids to clean when they wake up so that you don’t feel guilty about spacing out on chores.
Carry a tape recorder or use the app on your phone to quickly get out ideas and lines that pop into your head, you can always listen, transcribe, and edit them later.
Most of all, just make sure to take the time to WRITE. Not because of NaNo, deadlines, school, friends, or family, but because YOU want and need to write.
Good luck Authors! Have a Blessed day and, as my friends at writing.com would say, Write ON!!