Monday, January 12, 2015

Have a Schedule Yet? ... Write Already!




We’re a dozen days into the new year and I’m sure you have some writing resolutions all worked out. For me, I’m just trying to stick to a schedule and write consistently

Some of us write at a snail’s pace and others can complete books within a few months of intense writing sessions. If you’re in the hit-and-miss category, here are some tips to keep you moving in the right direction

Create a writing schedule – it’s been said many times before, but it bears repeating. Carve out sacred time each day that belongs to you and is meant to increase your word count and/or help you tidy up that manuscript.

Work with an outline – if that helps to increase your word count. I’ve had sessions where I’ve wasted time staring at the monitor when I could have brainstormed for a few minutes to decide the direction of the next chapter before I sat down to write.

Think about your fans – it’s not unheard of for fans to contact writers through Facebook or via email. One question that’s sure to be asked is ‘when’s the next book coming out?’ That question should help with your forward motion and keep you working on those plots that writers always have going.

Remember you’re building a career – If writing is more to you than a hobby, then you need to have a regular production schedule. In today’s fast-moving world, unless you’re a famous writer, fans won’t sit around waiting for your next book to drop. What’s more likely to happen is that you’ll get lost in the shuffle if you leave it too long before you produce the next book.

Relax and breathe – acknowledge that things don’t always go according to plan and that schedules get derailed. When you’re flung out of the saddle by life and its unscheduled interruptions, don’t despair, just get back to writing as soon as you can.

What are your tips for increasing your productivity in the writing department? Have you settled on a schedule yet for 2015?

29 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those pesky fans!
When I'm writing, it's two-three hours every night no matter what.
Good tips, Joy!

cleemckenzie said...

This year I'm putting Relax and Breathe at the top of my list. I've had five years of running at top speed. This year my words are coming to the page slow and steady. Great tips, J.L.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've used the 'building a career' method of motivation for the past few months. My publisher pushes me because she knows not having too much time between books is key to establishing a reader base.

Stephsco said...

The schedule is so helpful. That's what helped me get serious about my goals, and I still don't write every day. But I know how much I need to write and how long that will take, and work accordingly. I'm going to link back to this post on my blog.

J.L. Campbell said...

Now that's the sort of thing guaranteed to keep you on schedule, Alex.

J.L. Campbell said...

Enjoy the slower pace, Lee. I find that if I do things on time then I can cut back on my frenetic pace.

J.L. Campbell said...

Yes, I'm using that too, Susan. If I don't work with a schedule, I tend to take my time and that's not so good for that fan base.

J.L. Campbell said...

Steph,

Yes, a schedule - even a loose one helps me stay on track. Knowing what works for you and putting it into practice works well.

Fundy Blue said...

What a timely post, JLC! I'm really trying to beat back despair right now. But I will get two solid hours of writing in today! Have a good one!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

A regular production schedule - yes. It's a business. Treat it as such.

Pat Hatt said...

Have to get on the assembly line and pump them out indeed

Peaches Ledwidge said...

"...when’s the next book coming out?" I get that a lot. By the end of this year, I hope to say, "It is out now."

Anne R. Allen said...

JL--A useful reminder that we need to treat writing as a job, no matter how many other jobs we may have. We need to show up at the page and do the work on a regular schedule.

Dot Smith Stewart said...

I finally got serious about writing at the beginning of this new year. Established a schedule based on pages and word count, not time in front of computer (I can spend four hours playing solitaire and checking FB if I'm not careful). So far, I've written at least 5 pages (approximately 1250+ words) every day since Jan. 1. Tomorrow could be challenging, with a doctor's appointment and an evening meeting, but I'll still try to get my 5 pages done. I'm amazed at how quickly I've fallen into this routine! It's great.

Linda Kay said...

Since I can not set aside a time every day, I plan on two days a week (outside my blog, that is) where I am totally devoted to writing. My hubby knows these are my days, and helps me to keep them open.

Dean K Miller said...

I am on a schedule (never a deadline!) with my first two novels of a series (who knew?) that runs into 2016. Lots of room for wiggles and frustration, but it's the first time I've worked with someone to set it down on paper and agree (commit is too scary) to it. So far, so good.

speculationsimpressed said...

I've created a schedule for writing. So far, other things are getting in the way though. I do think this is probably more my fault than fate. I need to get a little tougher on myself about this time for writing to make it work.

Michelle Wallace said...

Thanks for the reminders, Joy, especially the importance to carve out sacred time each day...
You are right. It DOES bear repeating.

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks, Fundy. I'd had a busy couple of days, but I did manage to get some writing done.

J.L. Campbell said...

Wise words, Diane.

J.L. Campbell said...

Staying busy keeps our names out there, Pat.

J.L. Campbell said...

Keeping everything crossed for you, Peaches.

J.L. Campbell said...

So true, Anne. Showing up is the first step to doing what we must.

J.L. Campbell said...

Dot, I couldn't agree with you more. Since late December, I started writing down my word count each day. It helps keep me on track knowing I have to put something down at the end of each day.

J.L. Campbell said...

Your husband's a good guy, Linda and you're serious about what you do. Thumbs up to you!

J.L. Campbell said...

Keep going, Dean. Being on some kind of schedule works wonders to keep us focused.

J.L. Campbell said...

Try and set your schedule around when you know you have a little 'me' time to spare.

J.L. Campbell said...

Got up early this morning and did my thing. Good thing I did, because I haven't gotten in a word beyond what I wrote before 9:00 a.m.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

My next book should have come out last year and it didn't, so I left my publisher. Long story, but I'm scared to death I won't make it happen again without them, yet I'm determined I will. Along the way we really do need to schedule all possibilities while maintaining a strong sense of dignity and self-love. Hence I'm back searching for a new publisher. Thanks, Joy!