I’m often asked what my writing schedule is like. Do I write in the morning? The evening? Do I drink tea and eat chocolate for inspiration? Play music? Have a stand up desk?
I’ve been writing for more than seventeen years now and my process has adapted many times over. During that time span, I’ve written full time, part time and quit entirely. I’ve gotten up early in the morning, I’ve gone to the park or a coffee shop and spent a lot of time in the library. I spent so much time on my couch, I had a me-shaped crater worn into it. Now, I have a new couch!
As my personal life has changed, I’ve adapted my writing schedule accordingly. Sometimes well. Sometimes not so well. The past year has brought another new habit. One which I’m really enjoying.
I currently work full time outside of the house. I went back to work full time three years ago, but prior to that I had two part time jobs, so, it was almost full time. Regardless, it has taken me a long time to figure out how to work 32 - 40 hours a week and keep my writing career moving forward. Finally, I have learned to schedule in my writing time through time off of work.
I do the standard writing on the weekends, but for long ‘binge’ writing I schedule a day off of work. I’ve been trying to do one a month – preferably when my husband isn’t around so that I don’t have to stop and socialize with him, or cook or even really eat! I tack it onto a weekend so that I have three days focused solely on my work in progress.
I also write while on vacation. This is me and my dog, Ellie, last summer finishing up The Making of a Master on our camping trip. This year we spent a week in remote Northeastern Oregon where I made sure to get more words into my latest W.I.P. as well.
I’ve always said that writing is like being a mother in that you can’t “turn it off.” No matter where you go, your writer brain is working. It’s true at work, too, where I can’t do anything to satisfy or even capture the thoughts that skitter through my writer brain while I’m paying bills or buying ingredients, so taking the time to remove myself from all the distractions has really helped to focus my work on a forward path. Now I know I’m going to have most Saturday or Sunday mornings and one complete three day weekend a month. And vacation writing is bonus!
I’m making good progress on the second book in my Trickstering series. The book is far bigger than I thought it would be, so I’m going to have to figure out what to do with that, but the first step is getting the first draft completed and by scheduling the time in, I’m getting it done.
What have you had to adapt in order to keep it in your life? Exercise? Book club? Drop me a comment or email and let me know.