Updated: Dec 31, 2019
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, short stories, poems or a personal blog about your cat; you have to write every day to get better. If this isn't your full time job, then it can feel like a second job. And once writing feels like a job, it's no longer fun.
I am cresting on that precipice now. I am gearing up to publish my own books, and with that comes a huge learning curve so that I can do it right. But it is also making me question why?
I haven't touched my third novel in weeks. I sat down to write a few words the other day and I had to reread it to figure out where the hell I was even heading in the story.
Why? You may ask. I've been proofreading book one, making sure there are no mistakes in it. Editing book two so that when it comes back from the beta readers I can make any suggested changes. With all that I have had to learn about DBAs and LLCs and figure out which will work best for me right now.
I have had to learn about Amazon and Smashwords and all other book platforms, so writing has taking a back of the bus seat. I have gotten so far bogged down in the business part of the business, I have forgotten about the part of the business that matters most, the books and the stories.
Unfortunately, if you are going to publish your writings you will have to go through this too. This is where having a regular schedule will come in handy. Map out a daily schedule that you can stick with every week. Here is an idea of what mine is.
Monday - (Morning) I search for articles to post on twitter and topics that I can link to in my blog posts. I use Hootsuite to schedule posts throughout the week. I use Evernote to book mark those articles. Interact on Twitter, Pinterest, Medium and Facebook. Website work/maintenance. (I write after kids go to bed.)
Tuesday - Writing day. I write throughout the day. My daily goal is 1,000 - 3,000 words. I often make this, sometimes I don't, but my time sitting and writing is spent only writing. I don't do anything else when I write. I will also do editing on this day. If I am writing a book and editing one, I get my writing done, then I edit. (I write after kids go to bed.)
Wednesday - Blog posts. I write several blog posts at once. I pick a few topics, research outside articles I can link to for added information. I schedule these posts to come out through out the week or over two weeks depending on how many I put together. Interact on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Medium. (I write after kids go to bed.)
Thursday - Blog Posts. Again if I didn't finish my posts I do that as well as any office work. If I am editing a book, I will do editing. I have found that if I do too much editing at once, I tend to miss things. I have slowed my editing process down and I spread it out over several days. I used to sit down and edit for hours because I wanted to get it done and back to the editor. (After kids go to bed I write.)
Friday - Editing. I try to spend this day editing as much as possible. Sometimes I don't have a book in the editing stage so I use this day for writing. When I say I don't have a book in the editing stage that is kind of not true.
If you are writing a book, it could always be in the editing stage. When I write that first draft, I don't edit while I am writing. I begin the editing process when I have completed that draft. The only time I stop and edit while I am writing that first draft is if I get stuck in the story. Stopping and editing the story often helps me get back into writing the story.
Saturday and Sunday. I use these days first for my family. But I am very lucky right now because I have teenagers so they don't want to spend anytime with me or their dad. So if they are hold up in their rooms I stick with creative writing. Either I work on my books, or short stories for my website. (No office work, occasionally I will do stuff on social media. But the weekends are when I write best.)
At some point I have to buy groceries, cook dinners go to basketball games, soccer games, and have sex with my husband (that's the best part). So this schedule is not set in stone. It merely acts as a guide to keep my time organized.
Shit happens, though. If you have a full-time job, you have to work all this in. For me getting blog posts out, and writing my books is what is most important. That includes editing and getting the books ready for publishing.
I'm not going to lie, I have not been following my own schedule. I have been side tracked on one or two items and all else has suffered. That you can't do. It takes me a couple of days to get back into the creative swing of things.
I have actually made a more stringent schedule. I have broken it down by time blocks. At the end of the time allotted for a task, I stop. I move on to what ever else I have to get done. By doing this, I have become slightly more efficient. I often have carry over but slowly I am getting better at it.
The only thing I don't put a time limit on is my book writing. If I am in the zone on my book, I am not stopping. (That usually happens when I need to fix dinner.)
Look the point to all this, you have to make time. If your writing is important to you and all the things that encompass that, then you have to make the time.
As you get better at writing, it will become easier. Those blog post won't take as long. Your research will get easier. Soon you can combine interaction on Twitter with doing other tasks. (Especially if you use something like Hootsuite.) Hopefully by structuring your day, when you sit down to write that book, you won't be thinking about all the other stuff you need to do.
You will be able to sit down and just write. Enjoy the time you spend with your characters. Enjoy the murder you just committed or the sex scene you spent time fantasizing about. You want to enjoy writing. If it has become a job, fix it. Don't quit. Just rearrange things and make it fun again.
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NOW GO WRITE.
I write crime fiction horror, thriller, and paranormal novels. My time in the Coast Guard and my degree in Forensic Chemistry helps me create fantastic stories.
If I'm not writing, I am binge watching Netflix and probably drinking whiskey.