How do you create a writing schedule that works for you? And why should you bother?

Because it can make writing so much easier.

When you’re working on a book or any other big project, it’s important to have a consistent writing practice that you can actually adhere to—one that fits your real (read: big, full, lovely, messy) life, not some ideal, future version of yourself (read: perfect fantasy person who can DO all things and BE all things).

The secret to creating your writing schedule is figuring out what works for YOU (not someone else) and readjusting as you go.

Here’s what that looks like: Maybe your initial goal was to write 5 hours a week. Ambitious, yes, but you want to get that sucker written!

Great start! However, after the first week, you realize that it’s pretty friggin hard to fit 5 hours of writing in with everything else you have going on in your life (work, family, friends, etc., etc., etc., etc.).

That’s good information. And it means is that it’s time to readjust your writing schedule, taking into account the very real demands of your human-scaled life.

You can also play with your writing commitment, tweaking it as you go. Maybe starting with 20 minutes twice a week is more realistic for you. Or perhaps dedicating two hours to writing on Saturday mornings works well.

The trick is to keep checking in and readjusting as you go.

As Susan Jeffers says in her book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway: Don’t Protect. Correct.

What does that mean? Don’t protect your original decision, sticking with it at all costs. Instead, course-correct as you go.

Find what works for you. Then tweak and readjust, taking tiny, baby steps if need be.

Because here’s the cliché-ridden truth: writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint. As much as we wish we wish we could get it done in one night, it doesn’t work that way.

But taking small, consistent steps forward is what gets you to the finish line. Think tortoise v. hare.

And keep taking those small, consistent steps forward even when you feel like giving up.

And that, my friends, is where a consistent writing schedule can create miracles. Because having a regular writing schedule brings structure and comfort to the challenge. You body starts to know what to expect: Oh, it’s Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. Time to write!

This primes your brain and your body for success. Since it knows what to expect, there’s not that sense of resistance that usually pops up. Instead of having to decide whether or not to write today, you already know. No more decision fatigue! No more waffling.

So tell me, what’s your writing schedule going to be? Leave a comment below, then check in to let us know how it went. 

Remember to make it realistic and doable with everything else you have going on in your life. And if you find that isn’t working, course-correct.

You got this!

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