Hello all! Today, I want to talk about having a schedule vs. being spontaneous when writing. I chose this topic because I hear a lot of people complain about not having time to write or not being able to find the words when they do have the time. I’ve also found that, more often than not, these people don’t have a writing schedule. Some people can make the whole spontaneous writing lifestyle work, many can’t. That’s okay!
Personally, I have a schedule that has some spontaneity built into it. I write five days a week. Never on Sunday. That extra day off, I decide based on 1) whether I have anything to do during that week that will require a day off, or 2) how I feel any given day. I tend to try to save that day for later in the week, even Saturday if I feel like it. That’s where the spontaneity fits into my writing schedule.
Now, I’m lucky in a lot of ways because I don’t have a full schedule in the first place, so my life can revolve around my writing. Many aren’t so lucky. However, while they’re complaining about not having time to write, they’re surfing Facebook or watching Netflix or any other number of entertainment tasks. Yes, entertainment is important. You need time to relax, which is why taking days off is important, but if you can binge watch your favorite show on Netflix, then you can schedule some writing time!
For a long time, I was a spontaneous writer. I used every excuse in the book to avoid writing, including that the Muse is a fickle bitch (an excuse I hear repeatedly). I admit, even after two years on a schedule, I still have days where it’s hard to get started. In the beginning, I spent more days free writing than actually working on specific projects, but even that kind of writing was productive. From that, I can now say I have four ideas for future novels. And now that I’m on a schedule, when I sit down to write, it’s much easier to actually do the writing (even on difficult days). Writing, like anything else, becomes a habit if you do it enough. You just have to train your brain into thinking “oh, hey, this is when we write.” Yes, you will have crappy days, but craptastic words can be edited into something magnificent, zero words can’t!
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re having a hard time finding time to write, take a good look at your daily schedule. Yeah, you might have to DVR that episode of Bones and watch it on your day off, but BOOM! There’s an hour for writing. Going to play that video game for fifteen minutes? Wait until your day off and surprise! (If you’re anything like I used to be when gaming, fifteen minutes = three hours) You have three hours to write! Yes, it’s hard. Especially nowadays, when instant gratification is so easy to achieve. But if you can stand to put off the entertainment for even a little while, you can make your own writing schedule. It seriously helps. Go on. Try it.