How to Be a Writer (Part II): writing on a busy schedule

Do you find yourself staying up late at night to finish your daily word count? Then, this is the post for you. Find out some quick, cheap, and easy-to-implement ideas on how to save time, so you can actually write during the day. How to be a Writer: Writing on a Busy Schedule // Writing AbbyYou’re a student. Maybe you’ve got a job. You’ve definitely got chores. Are you struggling to schedule time for writing in your hectic day? Do you find yourself staying up late at night to finish your daily word count?

Then this post is for you.

You guys know how much I like organization and planning. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times — organization will set you free. So, let’s look at some ways that we can incorporate organization to help us carve more writing time out of our schedule.

GET A PLANNER

Seriously, these things are awesome. It can be an app, a regular planner, or just a binder full of printables. The purpose of a planner is to make sure that you know when, where, and what goes on in your day. This will make your time an effective asset, and you can see how much free time you have in your day.

Good thing to have.

SCHEDULE & COMPLETE

Again, another “seriously” moment. Just set a time for it to get done and then get it done. Put in place a zero tolerance policy in your schedule. You’ll be a happier writer because of it.

How does this affect your writing, you ask? Well, if you finish your tasks on time, hopefully, your schedule will be open for more writing. Simple, right? ‘Cause it is!

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE WRITING

All you pantsers out there, don’t hate me yet. Hear me out on this one.

You’ve got a limited time-frame. Don’t spend that time staring at a blank screen with a blank mind. (Or worse, a screen filled with words, but a blank mind.) Plan out your writing session beforehand, and those situations — poof! Gone with the wind. Your writing plan doesn’t have to be a detailed, blow-by-blow account of your next scene. It can be a one-sentence prompt, a single word, or even a doodle.

All you need is something to inspire you.

But, don’t think that you can keep all that awesome writing-planning stuff inside your head. If you’re one of those people who can remember things like an elephant, congratulations! If you’re not, well, you’re not alone. So, write down your outline. That way, you’ll have a reference for your writing session.

SET A TIMER

If you have a lot of projects going, (and who doesn’t?), setting a timer will help you keep track of the time you’re spending. And how much time you have left. Getting so wrapped up in a project that you lose track of time is not a good thing when you have several projects going.

So, set a timer for 15 or 30 minutes. Once that time is up, switch to another project. Rinse. Repeat.

This method also keeps you from getting bored. That’s a good thing, right?

WRITE everywhere

With the wide availability of mobile devices, and since writers have such ingenuity, you can write anywhere. Take advantage of this. Write anywhere and everywhere.

Write during lunch. Write while you wait in line, write while you’re watching television, and write while you’re a passenger in a car. You can use a mini-notebook, an app on your phone, or a bunch of napkins.

Just write.


So, how do you write on a busy schedule?

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8 thoughts on “How to Be a Writer (Part II): writing on a busy schedule

  1. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing! Your tips are great.
    I’ll have to agree with you on that. Write whenever you can wherever you can. It will really help open up free time for you to do other things. That time you’re doing nothing waiting in line, got to work early, finished your homework, all of those small amounts of time quickly add up. You’ll be finished before you know it.
    Planning is key. If you don’t know what you’re going to write about at least a few days in advance, then it may seem forced. It’ll give you more excitement to be thinking about your points, etc. in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You wrote a great expansion on those points, Taylor. Planning is such an important facet to writing, even if it’s just a one-word outline. If you’re low on time, why waste it?

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Taylor!

      Like

  2. I do love planning and organizing, and every time I seem to find an article like this is when I need it. My desk is cluttered right now, my mind even worse. I have a schedule of things to write and just can’t get motivated. I’m feeling good after reading this, though. 😉 Going to go change the pace for a bit and come back to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Organizing and planning make me happy, too, and I love writing about them in any capacity. I’m glad you stumbled upon this article.

      I understand how you’re feeling. It’s happened to every writer at least once. Here are a few of my favorite motivation tactics/ideas/random stuff:

      Get yourself a writing buddy. Tell him how many words you wrote today. The guilt/elation is great motivation. (You can totally email me, too.)

      Create a need to write. What do you want from writing? Do you want to be published, earn money, or do you just want to write 100 words today? Work towards that goal.

      Reward yourself. When you meet your writing goal, reward yourself. Buy a little trinket, or (my personal favorite) snatch a piece of candy. Build up positive associations with writing.

      If you need a schedule, this is a great one. You tell it what you want, and the program will spit out a schedule. Pacemaker: http://pacemaker.press/

      Take a break. If writing is getting you down, don’t torture yourself. Take a day, week, or a month off. It’s okay. You can get back to it when you’re recharged.

      I’m glad this post made you feel better! I hope you’re able to start writing again soon.
      –Abby

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