Day Six: Setting Schedules

As much as I love plans and planning, I’ll be honest… I don’t really like schedules. Rigid timeframes aren’t kind to creativity, rest, and sometimes, not even kind to productivity. But they are a necessary evil. They can help motivate, setting deadlines and landmarks along a roadmap for each project.

Basically, yesterday wasn’t great for writing and I need to take a critical look at working writing into my day a little better. I did reach my goal–I aimed for 550 words and ended up with 599. The problem is I didn’t reach it until about an hour after my bedtime, when I crawled back out of bed, overwhelmed with guilt at not reaching my target word count.

The day started with great intentions. I planned to break my writing up into a few small sprints scattered through the afternoon, so I could free up some time in the evening to spend with my family. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. Since I’m still sick (and may be sick forever, feels like) I’m moving a lot slower than I’m used to, so everything on my to-do list took longer than anticipated. Couple that with an extra-needy four-year-old and a labor-intensive dinner on the menu, and I didn’t sit down to write until around 7:45. From 7 to 8 in the evening is the hour I usually have set aside for a chunk of writing or writing-related work, so you can see I got an awfully late start! Sprint one happened then, before getting the little one ready to go to bed… sprint two happened after she was finally asleep, and sprint three happened long after I should have been asleep, but wasn’t.

I have to get better about fitting this in. I don’t know where or how I’ll fit it in, though. Blog posts are easy; they don’t take a lot of brain power and can be assembled in chunks by talking at my phone while I wash dishes and correcting Siri’s mistakes and whatever my four-year-old assistant added whenever I can spare a second to look.

I wish dictating fiction were so easy. I’ve looked into it before and I really want to try dictation as a writing aid, but something about trying to dictate a story instead of something like this–where I speak to my blog as if I’m speaking directly to you, the reader–just makes my tongue seize up. So I suppose I’ll stick to the old-fashioned keyboard or pen method for now, and just try to get better at scheduling writing blocks. Today, I’ll try my first sprint immediately after lunch.

After struggling yesterday, I’m hesitant to up the goal just yet. I’m shooting for 550 again today, but I’m also setting the goal of finding a couple times through the day I can carve out specifically for writing.

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