Words on Wednesdays

Getting Writing Done with a Busy Schedule

Hello, friends! Welcome back! It’s been a busy few weeks for me, between NaNoWriMo, school and family. Today’s post is about accomplishing those writing to-do lists when there’s a lot going on in the rest of your life.

  • Set a weekly goal

At the beginning of the week, sit down and think about the writing you want to get done that week. Is there an outline you need to finish? A character in desperate need of a backstory? Blog posts that need editing? Write everything down. Then, break each goal down into small steps for each day. I’ve found that it’s easier to get something done if I have several smaller steps to reach my goal, instead of one. That way, you can feel that sense of accomplishment as you check off one thing at a time.

  • Get accountability

It’s hard to get things done if you’re the only one who knows what your goal is. If you don’t tell anyone, who’s going to gently push you to keep going when you don’t feel like it? Find someone who can hold you accountable, whether it’s a friend, family member, or mentor.

  • Have a set time to write.

We all have busy schedules, especially during the school year or when working full-time. One way to make sure you fit writing in around everything else is to have a specific writing time. Maybe you write best in the evening. Set aside an hour after dinner to work on your projects. Do you have the best energy and creativity in the morning? If possible, try getting up an hour earlier to tackle your writing to-do list.

Your writing time doesn’t need to be long to be effective. If fifteen minutes is all you have between activities, make the most of it. You don’t have to write for hours every day to reach goals and see your writing improve. Consistency is the important thing.

  • Don’t try to do too much

When you have lots of inspiration and plenty of story ideas, you might think, “I should get started on several of these while I can!” There was a time when I thought this too. I was writing a short story almost every week, outlining a novel, working on a novelette with a friend, and still trying to keep up with my blog and newsletter. While all of these were good, and for the most part I enjoyed working on them, I was stressed and not really doing any of them well.

  • Reward yourself

You’ve reached that wordcount milestone, finished an outline, or published a big blog post. It’s time to celebrate!

When you set a weekly goal, have something in mind for when you complete it. Maybe it’s a movie night with your best friend, an afternoon of writing at the library, or baking your favorite cookies. Whatever helps motivate you to get writing done works. There’s no right or wrong answer for this!

  • Just write

You may be thinking, “Wait, what? I thought this was supposed to be tips about writing with a busy schedule?” It is. And I believe that this is the most important item on this list. The other tips are tools to help you get goals finished, but actually sitting down and writing is the only way to check them off the list. Imagine this scenario: You’re finished with school for the day, and you’d like to sit down at your desk and write for a while. The problem is, your motivation and ideas are gone. Vanished. What do you do then? Simply sit down and write. The first few paragraphs might be ones you’ll delete, but you’re writing something. The Most Dangerous Writing App and writing prompt sites are great resources for when you need to get lots of words written or need a new idea.

What about you? What’s something you do to get writing done, even when you have a lot going on?


4 thoughts on “Getting Writing Done with a Busy Schedule”

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