First Quarter Writing Schedule

by RS on January 5, 2015

Image: BradFonseca.com

This post was inspired by Ksenia Anske’s “My Schedule”. I’m not quite as hardcore as Ksenia, but this year promises to be one where I’m writing at six to eight hours a day. Here’s the breakdown of what I need to write this just this month:

Work:

1. Six articles for Artisan Resource—this is a trade show where artisan groups exhibit their new collections. We profile twelve organizations twice a year.

2. At least two articles for the February issue of the magazine.

3. One article about hiking for Adirondack Outdoors due in ten days.

4. Copywriting for a PR client at least once a week for their newsletter.

5. Scrivener lessons. I have a month long class scheduled from January 12th running through February 13th for both Windows and Mac versions of the software.

6. Query other publications

Personal Creative Writing:

1. Morning pages. I’m somewhat following Julia Cameron’s routine of writing when I first get up, but I don’t write the full three pages (front and back). I write in Moleskine notebook anywhere between two and three pages. Today was a half page because of too many interruptions that included the terrier catching a mouse.

2. Blogging. Yes, I am trying again to keep a blogging schedule. My hope is to write three times a week. We’ll see how that turns out.

3. Novel. I have my Scrivener project targets set for 921 words if I want to complete the first draft by April 15th. So far I’ve been averaging about 1,130 words.

As you can see, I’m busy. It doesn’t leave me much room for anything else. The work writing is the most time-consuming, especially the tutorials. So the break down is this starting January 5th since the holidays are finito:

5:00 am to 6:00 am: morning pages.

6:00 am to 7:00 am: coffee, blog.

7:00 am to 8:00 am: blog for Wednesday and Fridays on Tuesday and Thursdays or alternative days, research or continue to do the prep work of the novel

8:00 am to 9:00 am: shower and get dressed; walk dogs; respond to emails

9:00 am to 10:00 am: write PR client copy.

10:00 am to 11:00 am: write queries or letters of introduction.

11:00 am to 12:00 pm: write one AR article.

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm: feed dogs, walk them, lunch; respond to emails

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm: write second AR article.

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm: take a bloody break! Crochet, read, meditate, do some stretches; check email

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm: write Scrivener tutorial.

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm: makes dinner, eat, clean kitchen, take dogs out; check email

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm: write.

8:30 pm to 10:00 pm: read, watch craft videos for writing groups, check FB and make my comments; check email.

10:00 pm to 5:00 am: SLEEP!

I’ve recently started using a timer for my writing and I think I will use it for all the assigned writing tasks. I realize, of course there will be blips in the schedule. Phone-calls and emails, and the occasional removing a dead mouse from the clenched jaws of a terrier—that’s after I stop screaming for ten minutes.

Do I worry about burnout? Yes, but I have big goals this year. So I’m following the George Constanza method of doing the opposite of what I normally do, which is procrastinate until the last moment or not finish the project at all. I also call this routing the no wasted moment approach in which every single minute of the day has a purpose, and I need to put it to good use. So yes, like Ksenia, that means very little interaction with people unless it is work related. In other words, don’t talk to me unless you need to tell me something very important like someone died or the house is burning down, or you’re having a heart attack.

But what about weekends? Well, that’s more writing, and scheduling social media for the week, continuing to flesh out aspects of the story like bios, timelines, research, and anything else that comes up along the way. I will give myself an extra two hours to sleep on Saturday and Sunday.

So now, dear readers, let me turn this question to you…are you keeping a schedule? Is it as cuckoo as mine?

1 comments
olwenanderson
olwenanderson

Thanks for your enlightening post Rebecca. Like you, I find I get more done when I rigorously schedule my time, however I've also found there's a fine line between productivity and burnout. Good luck with your projects!

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