Since the pandemic began, I have been out of work and attempting to write full time. I released two books in 2021 and I plan to release four more this year. So, it’s important to have some kind of writing schedule. This is something that I am constantly changing as I figure out what works best for me and what is most helpful in keeping myself on task.
Using a Planner
In 2021 I began using a planner, something I hadn’t done since high school. To my surprise, I used it very consistently the entire year, besides maybe one month where I fell off. The planner helps me to keep myself accountable, but also to remind me of anything that I need to get done. Otherwise, my brain doesn’t really work that way anymore and I forget everything I wanted to get done. Sometimes I will enter dates into my phone, but for some reason, writing everything down is so much more helpful for myself.
If you are someone who likes to use your phone calendar, that is still a great way to keep yourself accountable and on track. There are different apps you can download too, but for me, it’s just so much easier to write in a planner.
This year, I have a new planner, which I’m not sure I like as much as last years. I can only open it up to two days at a time, while the last planner opened up and showed the whole week which was much more beneficial to me. However, I am trying out this new planner anyway because it does have a lot more boxes for you to keep yourself accountable in different areas of your life, like a to-do list, but then also a must get done list, water intake area, health and fitness area, and just a general notes section. So, hopefully it will grow on me, otherwise I have a backup planner.
As I said, I am constantly changing my schedule to fit what works best for me. Right now, I am working on two different books and also my stories that I post on Medium every week. So, in order to keep myself straight with those projects, I work on them on separate days. Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays are for working on my second book of Unbound (which the first is available on here on Amazon!) I try to spend at least 3–4 hours on those days working solely on my book. Then, on Tuesdays I take a few hours to work on my dark fantasy novel. I give this less priority because the second book of Unbound I want to release first, so everything else can be put on the back burner.
On Wednesdays, I work on my stories for Medium. I usually only spend about 2–3 hours on these and try not to worry too much about editing, plot holes, etc. These are more for me to have fun while being able to consistently share my writing with the world. The best thing about these stories is that if I need to take a break for a little while, I can. There is no pressure on me to have them finished by a certain time because they are already out there in the world. If you want to read them, here they are: All I Want and The Assassin’s Order. There is some plotting that goes into these stories, so fear not! They do have an ending in sight! But, for the most part, I just have fun with them.
I leave the weekends open so I can relax and not worry about any writing. That doesn’t mean I don’t write on weekends, but I don’t put any expectations or pressure on myself to write. It’s important to take breaks sometimes, especially if you’re feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. Leaving myself time to do just that is one way I avoid writers block (though sometimes its unavoidable).
As for when I have time to read, that is something I am still working on. Last year, I spent a lot of time worrying about how many books I was reading because I had just joined Instagram and TikTok. I realized most people were reading upwards of ten books a month, which is just not feasible for me. So, I tried to go for five books a month, and I did it for the first few months. And then I realized I wasn’t enjoying reading anymore. So, now I am going back to not setting any reading goals and reading at my own pace. If I feel like reading, I read, otherwise I don’t force myself to.
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Thank you for reading!