My excuse is not going to surprise. I got busy. Busy with life. One weekend was all about fun. I went on a cycling trip with my partner, Pierre. It was beautiful weather. We stayed over night in a pretty little town, had some nice wine and food. Sat by the campfire. I took my iPad to do some writing. I read a bit, but no writing. When we got back I was too tired to blog (bad excuse I know, I read in a warm bath instead!).
The other weekend? That was all about work. I'm a teacher and that means work every weekend. Sometimes it's just a little, maybe an hour on Saturday. Other times it can be all weekend.
I find my job can demand A LOT of my time. Through the week I work many evenings too. This "finding time to write" issue resonates with many aspiring writers. Unfortunately we're not all endowed with time to twiddle our thumbs and tap out a novel after a daily nap. Most of us have to work. Even if you don't have a job that demands your time after five and on the weekends, you may have children (an all-the-time job), or elderly parents to care for, you may have two jobs, or other commitments.
You may ask, "well why don't you quit your job and become a full-time writer?" But you probably know the answers. I've got a mortgage. I like good wine. I want to travel. This requires a regular income. I guess I want to have the proverbial cake and it it too. So is it possible to balance both? And if so, how can we find the time?
I've just finished reading Stephen King's On Writing. Wow, it's good. Interestingly, he was a teacher too, he voiced the same difficulties of finding the time (and energy) to write. Nevertheless, he claims that we should be writing every day. Fair enough. I've heard that plenty. But he says it should be, ideally, 2000 words - and 1000 at least. Every. Single. Day. When I read that, I have to say I was a little intimidated. I had committed to write a measly 100 words a day, which I haven't stuck to, so how am I expected to achieve 1000?!
So, I've perused a few forums and websites, as usual, to glean an answer from the all-knowing Internet. And I've made a decision ... I need a writing schedule.
Some people come out in a rash just at the mention of the 'sch' word. But, a schedule can be flexible and it must suit you.
So what did my googling proffer?
- This cute little Zen site has an interesting list for achieving your goals. At number 7 is 'Block off time' - the idea is that time must be scheduled to achieve any goal.
- The Harlequin site has a whole page dedicated to this very topic. Now I'm not really into the Harlequin romance. Actually I'm not into it at all, but I'm sure you'd agree this is a handy list.
- Here's another one that states - most people get more done if they have a regular writing time
- If you're after a very specific schedule, one that looks more like a training regime, with instructions for week one and week two, etc, you might like this.
- I've noticed that many people get up early to do writing before the world wakes up. I can see the benefit of this. It is quiet and the mind is fresh - if you're a morning person. If you're not it probably won't work.
I am reasonably convinced that I need a schedule. My goal of writing 100 words every day simply has not worked. But I need a schedule that will work for me. I had a chat to my partner about it. He is really supportive and gave me some ideas. I think this is a good start. Talk to the people you live with so that they can help you meet your schedule!
I've come up with a plan that I think could work (fingers crossed). I'm going to try it out and I'll get back to you with the results.
So do you have a writing schedule?