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How To Write An Efficient Writing Schedule? - Mastering Arts and Charts

A writing schedule is one of the most important things that a writer can create for themselves.

Most writers tend to write at random times that they can find, but with a schedule, writing becomes more professional, and it becomes more proficient. Add how to write consistently to your writing schedule, and you will be off.

So, how do you create a writing schedule?

In order to create a writing schedule, you must select a series of days, not dates, where you are often free from work. Then select a series of time slots where you are free and finally, create a routine for those time sessions. Writing schedules need to aim for being as quantitative (long) as possible, while also being as productive as possible.

To writing schedule as long as possible, you will need to add numerous days in the work, while also trying to increase the hours spent writing. To make them productive, you will need to use the 5 step structure to maximize productivity.

A bit of a mouthful, but better than usual. Before we can get to exactly how you can implement these, it is important that you first learn to understand what a writing schedule is.

Table of Contents

    What Is A Writing Schedule?

    A writing schedule is the specific time period that you set apart to write.

    It is important to distinguish a writing schedule, from a writing habit, and a writing routine.

    A writing routine is the steps you usually take as you sit and write. A writing habit is the tugging feeling pushing you to write. Finally, a writing schedule instead is the time period where you can feel your writing habit, and do your writing routine.

    When you start a writing schedule, you will get benefit that. For example:

    How To Create A Writing Schedule?

    1. Set the Proper Days For Your Writing Schedule

    The first step to setting a writing schedule is choosing the days you intend to write on.

    You are not going to be finding days to work. Instead, you are going to create them. Grab a calendar, and look for days of the week you are not working as much. Then, choose those days.

    The more frequent the days, the more likely this will become a habit for you.

    However, don’t choose all the days, as this will backfire and you will begin to resent the whole process of writing, and you will burn out. So to avoid burning out, I suggest you leave out 2-3 days of the week.

    EXTRA TIP: It can happen that you will finish all your days, yet you will still find yourself craving to work. I beg you, brethren, do not work.

    Use those resting days, and if you feel like really working, then just decrease the resting days to a single week. But never go a week without a single rest day.

    2. Set the Proper Times

    The second step would be choosing the perfect times to work.

    This is something I covered in my finding time to write article, but the key here is, you want to find a proper time to work. No, you need to make it.

    In order to do this, you need to clear your day, the way you clear a dinner table. When your dinner table is dirty, you identify everything that is on the table. Plates, spices, food, and spoons.

    Then, you place them all in their rightful place; the sink, the cabinet, the fridge, in your bed. Finally, you fix you the table and place the things that can’t be moved in a proper place; vases etc.

    That’s how you make time.

    You identify what you spend your day doing. To do this, i suggest downloading an app. Personally, I use appblock, because it gives me not only what I do, but how long I do it, and a daily/weekly comparison, which is awesome.

    When that is complete, I then arrange the activities.

    I entirely remove the useless ones that I do, such as Instagram, YouTube, chrome etc. Then, the ones I have no choice but to do, I arrange into other parts of the day.

    Usually around afternoon, when I am most energetic. This means, I open up the morning, and the night time to write.

    Use this technique, and you will create time for yourself to write to.

    3. Set the Proper Plan for your writing schedule

    The third tp to creating a writing schedule is coming up with the proper plan for what you will do the following day.

    This one is something you will need to do every night before you go to sleep.

    You will need to write down a basic goal of what you wish to achieve with your writing the following day. You can summarize it with something like, ‘Complete the elevator scene’, or ‘finish the outline’.

    This planning part is just so you know what you will do during your writing time so that it can be more productive. The first 2 advise were focused on creating time, and increasing your writing time as much as possible (which is why you chose days instead of dates).

    This one is about increasing the productivity during the writing sessions.

    4. Set Procrastination Measures

    The fourth step to creating a writing schedule is to create measures to deal with your procrastination.

    All procrastination looks the same.

    You decide you have something to do, but you don’t do it. This is because of 2 reasons. 1, you do not have a specific time when to do it, only a day. This leads to you pushing it and not feeling guilty. A measure to stop this is just choose a specific time.

    However, this one is not going to be your problem, as mentioned in step 2. Since you’ve selected what time you will write in, you have nothing to procrastinate about.

    The second reason people procrastinate is by pushing the time forward. They tell themselves they just need to do a few more minutes of this simple easy thing. To avoid this, make your goal simple.

    You are just going to sit on your writing space.

    That’s it. Just tell yourself that at 09:00 I will sit at my writing space. It is important you write this down, and write a block next to it so you can check if you’ve done it or not.

    When you do finally sit on your writing spot, trust me, the other steps will ick in automatically.

    5. Set Distraction Measures

    The fifth thing you need to do to create a writing schedule is to set distraction measures.

    Again, this is a productive measure.

    When you have finally managed to sit down at your work space, you need to make sure that you do not get distracted. By now, you should have the information on what you spend most of your time doing.

    Basically, your body will do what takes the least amount of resistance.

    So if you want to do harder things, make then easier to do then the easier, distracting, useless things. So, if you usually spend your time on your phone -social media, YouTube, Instagram, playing games, whatever it is- try make it harder to reach your phone, compared to reaching your laptop.

    This can be done by physically distancing yourself from the distraction, and bringing what you want to do closer. Leave your phone in the car, then you can focus on your laptop, which is hopefully on your work space.

    If you can’t physically distance yourself from it, then distance yourself from it electronically. Use Appblock to block the app away, and create a password that you will not learn. Instead just save it on your notepad. Then use the apps you need to help you.

    6. Set Directions For Your Writing Schedule

    The sixth thing you can do to create a writing schedule is to create detailed directions on what you will write.

    This is another productive tip.

    The next step is one you can take to make sure that your writing is even easier. In the previous step, you wrote down the goal of the day. The plan. Now, you need to take that plan, and cut it into pieces.

    If your plan is to write an elevator scene, now is where you write that scene out into sentence long acts. ‘Allen tries to cook lunch, but realizes there’s no Brocolli’ ‘she goes to the elevator, and sees Mike is there’ ‘They remain silent awkwardly’ ‘She tries to make small talk’ ‘He gets to the meat and potatoes’. ETC.

    Make sure you give each chunk its own number, or alphabet. This will be relevant when we get to the kickstarting method.

    7 Set Motivation In Your Writing Schedule

    The seventh thing to create a writing schedule is to make sure that you have the proper motivating mechanisms.

    Now you have your day, your time, your plan, your procrastination detergent, and your clear directions.

    Sometimes, you can find that you are not motivated to write still. This happened to me once. And only once. Because I discovered three ways of motivating; desire to gain, desire to do, and fear of failure.

    So an hour before your time to write begins, sit down, and expose yourself to content of this nature. A motivation with a desire to gain is a motivation that comes from a place of wanting. It can be surface level, such as wanting money, fame, or power.

    To satisfy this, watch documentaries covering the success levels of your favorite books in that hour. Or watch your favorite authors interviews. A deeper level of this would be a desire to leave a legacy, to change someone’s life, or to make the world a better place.

    Again, just go watch reviews of people speaking about your favorite author. Look at their passion. That is legacy.

    The second motivation driver is a desire to do. When you read a fascinating story with a cool twist, you may want to write something similar. In order to entise this feeling, you need to watch tutorials online.

    Watch tutorials on how to set a scene, how to write a fight scene, how to write dialogue, etc. This will excite you, and you may wish to try it out immediately. But obviously, watch a tutorial that is relevant for the scene you are about to write.

    The final drive is the fear of failure. Look at what you do not want to be in life. Homeless, destitute, a disappointment. Or my personal favorite fear, the fear of failing my parents after they’ve given up so much for me.

    This thought gives me a massive boost of motivation. I can’t let that happen. So I act. So for you too, think of what your fear is, whether physical (poverty), or emotional (failed potential).

    Spend an hour before you write exposing yourself to at least 3 videos that cover each of these, and tell me you won’t feel motivated to start writing the scene of the day.

    8. Set A Writing Space

    The eighth thing you could do to build a writing schedule is to create a writing space.

    For this one, I’ve written at length here. But this should have been the first. That’s how important it is.

    9 Use the Kick Starter Technique

    The ninth step you could take to build a writing schedule is to use the kick starter technique.

    For this technique, you need to choose a time when you will write, which you should have done by now.

    Then, you split that time into blocks of 10 minutes, separated by 5 minute break times. Then what you will do is, you will take the chunks you made on the upper step, and you will fill it into the 10 minutes slots.

    For 10 minutes, begin writing a single slot. When the 10 minutes are up, stop, and think of the next slot. Then, start writing when the 5 minute break is up.

    I do this all the time, and it helps me finish writing very long pieces. Additionally, it helps me balance my thoughts and my writing, while also helping me cover lots of ground writing.

    Also, I call it the kick starter technique because it reminds me of kick starting a car. Meaning that at some point, you won’t feel like stopping for the 5 minutes. You will just continue writing, since the car has been started. Just try it.

    10. Use the Vomit Measures

    The tenth step you could take to build your writing schedule is to perform vomit writing.

    This one is the other way of writing you can use in place of the kick starter.

    Basically, you just write down whatever you want with no consideration of the quality of your writing. Instead, you will fi it later in the editing stage. This step unfortunately increases your editing time, but it absolutely works. After all, Joe Abercrombie uses it too.

    11. Use the Reward

    The final step to creating a writing schedule is to reward yourself every time you adhere to it.

    This one is simple enough.

    When you have finally conquered creating a writing schedule, you will be that much closer to mastering mastery.