How to Create a Writing Schedule

Writing is one of those activities that we all put off. I can be guilty of it too. But as I’ve always depended on writing for a living, I’ve developed my own self-motivation strategy. Here are some of my tried and tested Good Writing Habits to keep you on track when procrastination beckons.

  1. Diary your writing sessions for one or two weeks ahead. Let these appointments be absolutely unchangeable. Make up your mind you will do nothing else for a pre-specified time
  2. Go somewhere different to write. In the park, the local library or the corner coffee shop. Once you’re there with your notebook or laptop, you’ll want to make the trip worthwhile.
  3. Get to know your best time to be creative. I like to write first thing in the morning preferably at home and in my pyjamas, when I find my brain is wide awake and uncluttered. Other writers prefer the dark of night when the world is asleep, so no distractions.
  4. Allow yourself a five-minute break every 30 or 40 minutes to stretch, walk around or make a cuppa to keep mind and body fresh.
  5. Decide how you will tackle the task. Have a plan and don’t ‘faff’.
  6. Be accountable to a writing buddy.. Fix a time and date to share your work. If you fail, you’ll be letting them down.
  7. Don’t try and ‘discipline’ yourself. Creative writing is not a punishment. Look forward to it as a pleasure.
  8. Join a writing group to help you make writing enjoyable and sociable. Go online to find your nearest group. The Authors’ Marketing organisation has a list.
  9. Write for money if you possibly can. Nothing beats the confidence boost and incentive of cash!
  10. Finally, if you are writing your life experiences, remember this is your project. You can write about whatever you like, in your style and whatever length you like. It doesn’t have to be the length of War and Peace. It doesn’t have to be the standard of William Shakespeare or in the style of Ernest Hemingway. Your family and friends would rather read something short and sweet that you’ve enjoyed writing than see you abandon your project because you couldn’t achieve the high standards you set for yourself