Awe, it feels good to be without the extra pressure of NaNoWriMo. Today is the last day to hit that 50k goal or your own personal goal. I hope that is going well for everyone and that you are walking away with more confidence in your writing ability and as well writing every day is possible. If you won, make sure you take advantage of the goodies you will get for winning. If you did not, there are still many goodies you can still use. I highly recommend Scrivener and Aeon Timeline.

Have you ever wondered how authors spend their day? Do you wonder how authors get a book out every year or maybe more? How do they turn off their internal editors? Have you ever wonder how you would spend your day if you didn’t have a day job? When you write, do you have that internal editor nagging for you to go back and edit your work?

Today, I am going to help you set up a writing schedule. Something I did back in April and then ignored. There is no better time to talk about this then now, with NaNoWriMo coming to an end. If you were successful and writing every day, you will want to continue that. If you don’t, then it will be a struggle for your next novel.
Want to know why you should have a writing schedule? I can tell you, if you are anything like me. I hate them. I hate having to be somewhere or do something at a specific time. I like to do it when I want to. Sad thing is, I get a lot more done when I have a schedule. Here are some reasons to have one.

•        Most published authors have one, even if it is very loose
•        If you want a career from writing, you will need one
•        It forces you to write
•        It will force you to be productive, not just by writing but other areas of your life.
•        You will walk away each day feeling like you accomplished something.
•        Keeps you busy and thus it keeps your mind working on those pesky story problems in the back of your mind.

There are many more reasons, but I hope you get the idea. As I mentioned already, I hated schedules. Why did I decide to make a schedule? Several reasons.

First, I needed to write every day and I wasn’t. Thanks to some pretty powerful motivations, I am. One of the major reasons was, having to post on my Weekly Writing Wrap-up post on Fridays that I didn’t make my week. By the way, I did make my last week, just not at the time of the post. Having to post that I failed was a very strong motivation. Second, one of my yearly goals was to do so, and by October I was convinced I wasn’t going to  achieve it. Actually, I wasn’t going to achieve any of them and some of them I am okay with. This I was not. The final thing that motivated me was my friend Vince, who I met working at my summer job. That kid wrote every day on his book and finished it and got through the second draft in thirteen weeks.

Other, were simple. I was looking at what I wanted to accomplish as a writer. I want a long full career. If you have read this blog long enough you know I have a lot of different projects in the works and I want to write them all. The only way I was going to accomplish this was to have something to guide me. Yes, my schedule is flexible. Though if you look at it, it doesn’t look like it.

That brings me to how to make one. There is a few things you need to know to be able to do this. They are as followed:

•        The best time to write
•        What you want to accomplish currently and in the future
•        What things outside of writing are important to you?
•        How much time you have
•        How much time you are willing to put into it.

Kind of vague, don’t you think? I hope so I wanted them to be. You can’t create a schedule if you don’t what you want out of your writing. What you want to accomplish. These things only you can answer. I’ll cover your best writing time in a second. What do you want to accomplish? Don’t know, here is what was in my mind when I developed my schedule.

•        I wanted to write every day
•        Develop multiple projects at the same time
•        Revise my writing from the day before
•        Read during the week
•        Have time off on the weekends and evenings for other interests

That is what I wanted and still want. I would also love to be able to write two novels at one time. It was one of the reason I gave it a shot for NaNo. Not easy to do and something that will take a lot of effort and practice to do. Once I knew these things, I could make my schedule. No, I didn’t forget about the perfect time where I feel inspired to write.

“I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning. ” – Peter De Vries

You can choose when you’re inspired. My best times to write are around 10 am. Between 1-4 pm. 6-7 pm and before I go to bed. I’ll admit, the before bed is only because I have put it off and I need to write only a few words to say I wrote. Though sometimes I get inspired.

If you are the very artsy and think and believe inspiration comes when it comes. Good for you. I completely disagree with you, but will admit there are times when something comes over me and I just need to write. If I waited for that, I would never achieve anything I want to achieve. Note, if there is a time where you really feel inspired on a semi-regular basis, that is your mind telling you that is the best time to write. You won’t always feel inspired, but your brain has warmed up and got something.

Once you know when you should be writing, and this will change based on if you can afford to stay home and write and not have a day job. You can plug into your day activities to accomplish your goals. A picture of my current schedule that needs to be updated is below.

Here’s the best thing about having a schedule that you created. It’s not locked. You can change it to fit your day. You wake up and you write first thing after you have breakfast. Not feeling good, coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. Didn’t get the best nights sleep. Okay. Maybe you do something like check emails, or see what some of your writing sites have up. You know you can work on development then but proses you can’t. Do that, and write when you are normally would develop.

One last good thing about setting this up now, is when you succeed and publish your novel and have fans emailing you with questions. Have deadlines with your editor, you won’t have to set this up and feel panicked to get so much done. You will have the structure already in place to do it all.

I hope this post helped you and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below. Check, back on Friday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up post.

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