Scheduling Your Writing Time


It’s all about patterns. Managing your time as a writer is so important, yet many people find this a difficult task. The problem? No one else can tell you what is best for your situation. Mom’s with kids aren’t going to get a lot done when they are home (I’m guessing), and morning people aren’t likely to do their best work at 10 pm. You can’t really listen to others when it comes to setting your writing schedule, but you can put some thought into it.

Listen to your body. Work with it instead of against it and you’ll be more productive. For example, I hate mornings. If I am really tired, I put strange things in the refrigerator, and lose my coffee cup a few times as I begin the day. Therefore, I do menial tasks first thing. File e-mails. Sift through press releases. Empty trash. As I begin to wake up, I answer e-mails and do a little research. Afternoons are where I do most of my hard writing and editing, but I’ve been known to work into the night as well. That’s fine though–I’m a night owl.

Are you scheduling things when they work best for you? Take advantage of the fact that you work from home and can manage your own time. Freelance writing is demanding, but if you pay attention to your inner clock, things will go a lot more smoothly.

6 thoughts on “Scheduling Your Writing Time”

  1. Time management is crucial to freelancer success. I happen to be a morning person and also an afternoon person. I’ve found over the last few months that I’m shifting from maximum productivity in the morning to maximum productivity in the afternoon.

    I’m a freelance writer, so I really pay attention to my peak times and get the most out of them.

  2. I just did a series on scheduling and was amazed to find that so many writers work a steady 8-5 type of schedule. I think, having been a corporate hoo-ha for so long, I’m actually afraid of what my body wants me to do. I’m good in the morning between 7 and 11. From 11 AM-8PM I am pure rubbish, then from 8PM-2AM I’m on fire. All I can do is take 5 hour naps twice a day………as weird as it is, I think that’ll be my normal.

  3. I struggled daily with finding time to write because I am a stay-at-home mom. I am not using that as an excuse, it’s just my reality. I tried to set aside some specific writing time, set up some goals for myself and submit some pieces. But, I spent the next several months stressed out because my other demands were taking precedence. I then decided not to fight against my schedule anymore. It is what it is. My kids take precendence right now and that is OK with me. I started a blog to at least give me a no-pressure place to express myself and keep the writing juices flowing. I keep saying “…when the kids are in school” and for me that means a few hours two days a week next fall. I can focus on what I want to do with my writing then.

  4. I finish up my day by filling out an hour by hour schedule for the next day. I’m not specific about what I will do but just map out when I can work, when I need to do chores and when I need to feed the family – thinks like that.

    I have also found that I do best at my work writing when there is no one else around so I schedule that for first thing in the morning, nap time and last thing at night.

    There will ALWAYS be something to get in the way of doing what you want or know to do. You have to choose to write and then follow through on the choice.

  5. Yolander–I too am afraid of what my body wants to do–I can relate! : )

    Kim–kids are a reality that are so hard to plan around. I’ve always admired people who can actually get anything accomplished who have kids. Hats off to you! I like your “go with the flow” approach, it makes good sense.

    Kathryn–Good tips, and I totally agree that you have to be disciplined about your writing schedule if you can be (kids do offer that wild card!).

    I love hearing all the different ways people cope with this issue–very cool! Thanks for ringing in!

Comments are closed.