Why Scheduling Doesn't Work So Well For Me But Might Be Totally Awesome For You

I kind of admire those writers who have something like this in their lives:

Although I admit proper schedules are neater and involve post-its and colour schemes

I have a huge amount of respect for people with this kind of willpower and self control.  I see it as treating writing like a job and being really disciplined.  How can you not admire that? Plus it can be so helpful to have a slot in your day for writing or editing and knowing that once you've hit the end of that period, it's okay to move onto something else.

Alas, while I do my writing at specific times of the day due to the day job, I cannot, no matter how hard I try, be super specific about which project I'll work on when.  Like last night I wanted to edit another chapter of Space!Story, but then OHMIGOSH LISTEN TO THIS MUSIC GET RAINYCITY!STORY OUT RIGHT NOW AND WRITE THAT EPIC FIGHT! DO IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!

Here's the music in case you're interested: 


Today, during my commute to work, I daydreamed a bit about RainyCity!Story, but then I wound up thinking about Space!Story because I reaaaaaaaaally love that MC.  And as much as I want to push on with RainyCity!Story and hit 10k, Space!Story isn't letting go.

Sometimes I worry I'm being too precious about my approach and I should be less frivolous about it all and just damn well write/edit one thing and then make a very definite switch an hour later.  After all, one of these days writing will be my full time job (IT WILL! I WON'T ACCEPT ALTERNATIVES!) and then I'll have real deadlines and responsibilities to fulfill, so it'd be good to get into good habits now.

...But then I also know that there's no "right" way to go about writing so maybe I should just stop admiring pretty schedules and be proud of my slightly more haphazard manner.  It's not like I've never finished something after all!

How do you feel about scheduling? Do you like to be rigid about the way you write or are you more flexible?

Comments

  1. I've struggled to nail down a writing schedule forEVER. I've settled for requiring a certain number of words written per day, and as long as I get them done, I'll count the day a success. Each day is so different for me, with my work schedule and everything, that I can't always write at the same time every day. So the word count thing works for me. I would like to be more stable, though, and have an hour or two (the SAME hour or two) every day to write.

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    1. Yeah, my job can be unpredictable at times too, which is why I can't always stick to certain hours. Wordcount is a good way to do it! I tend to do a chapter count when I'm editing too.

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  2. I have a really tough time writing during daylight hours, because I'm easily distracted. Usually I write late at night when the house is quiet. So while I don't actually schedule my writing, more often than not it takes place at the same time anyway. I can see how writing in a more haphazard way would work for some people though. Creativity isn't predictable, so why not write whenever it hits you?

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    1. I really enjoy writing at night too! It's so quiet and, as you say, no distractions.

      You are so right - creativity is very unpredictable!

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  3. I like scheduling, but when the muse calls, the muse calls. And it's best you listen before it shuts up again. :)

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  4. I try to set aside time for it, at the very least. I have to create "writing space" within my day, otherwise it won't happen. As far as what happens within that space? Mm...I leave it free. I do best when working on only one project at a time (basically all other projects get shelved for months at a time), because then I'm free to obsess over it and intersect everything in my life with that WIP. But I do keep a separate log for the bits and ideas for other projects that pop up as I go. I don't chase them, but I do write them down.

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    1. I love the idea of a log! What a great way to not lose track of anything. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. You're in good company with the slightly haphazard approach. That's what I use all the time. And if the chapter of one story is screaming to be let out when I'm diligently working away on another piece...well, you can be sure I'm going to listen to the screaming. :)

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    1. Yeah, I've tried ignoring the screaming and it was not a good idea. Go with the book that's demanding to be written!

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