Why a Writing Schedule is Important - Help for New Writers

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.  
Chinese Proverb 

One of the first hurdles for new writers who want to begin a writing career is creating a schedule. It can be daunting to figure out how you can find the time if you are in the midst of raising a family or working full time. Even if you are retired, life can still be busy. Some of my retired friends say they're busier!

Writing is creative and I write when I'm inspired. When an idea hits, I love to let the words flow. It's incredibly fulfilling. 

But if I wanted to be serious about my writing career, I had to tap into the logical function of my brain and make a schedule. Otherwise, I would have many unfinished projects laying around.

You may have a book burning inside of you. Keep that long term goal but consider one or two short term goals to gain practice, improve your skills, and make money. Magazine fillers, articles, and resumes are some ideas.

Once your writing goals are in place for the year, create a plan to meet those goals. Your writing schedule will make those objectives happen.
  • Are you a night owl? Morning person? Once you've figured out the best time to write, make the time. An hour every morning? Two hours each night? If you cannot write every day, choose specific days of the week and stick to it. 
       There will be times you don't feel like writing. This is normal.  But 
       keep in mind this great tip: never miss twice. If you skip your scheduled
       time of writing, don't skip the next one.

       Don't be afraid to adjust your schedule if it isn't working. Better to start            small and gradually build than to over extend yourself and give up.
  • Your writing time should have no interruptions. Turn off your phone, log out of your email, and write. Treat it as business because that's exactly what it is.
       When you begin producing, you will feel good about yourself and keep
  • Build an online presence. What are your interests? Write about it in a blog. Network with others in your niche. Visit blogs and leave thoughtful comments. Soon you will build your own audience.
  • Check online job boards for freelance work. Make it a point to schedule this time in so you will always have a project you are working on.
  • Don't forget to schedule time to learn new skills. There are writers' groups and many free and affordable courses available available online. 
Try it and this time next year you will be encouraged with your success!

Photo credit: gtall1 / Foter / CC BY


   After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts http://kathleenmoulton.com


Linda Wilson said...

Very encouraging post, Kathleen. New writers out there will be inspired.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Ahhh, yes! If I could only MAKE myself trade out writing time first instead of answering e-mail first!
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Multi Award-Winning Author of the HowToDoItFrugally series for writers including the second editions of the Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromo and The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditorKind )The latter is e-book only.for the time being.

Karen Cioffi said...

Kathleen, great advice for new and seasoned writers! I'm with Carolyn, those darn emails can be very time consuming. That's why having a schedule is so important.

D. Jean Quarles said...

Great ideas! Love this.

Kathleen Moulton said...

Thanks for you comments, everyone!

Unknown said...

Good advice to stay focused! I needed this.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great post Kathleen, I feel off my writing schedule and it's a great nudge to get back with the program. Thanks.

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