Below, a few authors share the writing schedules that work best for them. These authors are on a pretty strict and consistent schedule. If you are the type of writer who thrives on routine, you may find one of these to be perfect for you!
When on a deadline, Heartsong author, Becky Melby, divides up her total word count to make it more manageable. She also takes regular breaks. She says this:
My writing schedule is strict but weird! My husband is a chiropractor and works from 9 to 6 MWF, 2 to 6 on Tues., and 4 to 6 on Thurs. When he’s at the office, I’m usuall Butt-in-Chair. When I have a deadline, I divide up the word count so I know exactly how many words I need to write per month, week, and day and I keep close track of that number. I take laundry and stretch breaks–every 500 words or when the dryer buzzes, then get right back at it. If I finish my daily word count early, I have the option of “banking” words or doing something in the real world! During my writing time I’ll sit in the living room in a nest of elbow-supporting pillows until the battery is too low on my laptop and then I move to the dining room table until it’s recharged–forces me to change position a few times every day. Not as glamorous a job as I once thought it woud be, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Thomas Smith, former newspaper reporter, television news producer, and award-winning writer, essayist, and playwright, has a consistent schedule he sticks to Monday through Friday. He says,
My schedule is pretty basic. I get up Monday-Friday and head to the gym. An hour later I get home, put on the coffee, and get cleaned up. Then I write from 9 a.m. until noon. That includes updating social media sites, sending queries, doing market research, and working on whatever project is most pressing. After lunch I go back into the office until 5 p.m. or later. When my wife gets home from work, I call it a day. And since she is a nurse practitioner, she sometimes gets home late, so that means an extra hour or two. I also write on Saturdays, normally a couple of hours in the morning.
Cherie Burbach is a full-time freelance writer, who has penned eleven books and ebooks, including Internet Dating is Not Like Ordering Pizza and 21 Ways to Promote Your Book on Twitter. Cherie has to keep a fairly regular routine, in order to get things done. She says her routine usually works like this:
- Get up and get right to work. Go through emails, Facebook, and make updates to writing blog (http://workingwritersandbloggers.com/
- Make a list of things to get done for clients. Jot down ideas for articles. Make pitches to editors/existing clients, look for new opportunities, look for marketing opportunities for books or articles.
- Write articles and blog posts for clients. Continue until deadlines are met or exceeded. Get a jump on other things needed to be done for the week. Then move on to her personal blogs, Working Writers, Her Geek Life, and The Dating Blog. Each blog helps promote her books and articles.
Noon – Break time. Lunch and walk
1:00 p.m. – Back to writing. More client articles and more work on blogs. Decides which one to work on based on how far along she is with client projects. If she’s ahead, she works on blogs. She edits guest posts, provides links to new articles she’s written elsewhere, and writes new posts.
3:00 p.m. – Break. Play with dog, goofs around on Facebook.
3:30 p.m. – Posts new blogs on client sites. Works on ideas and research for next day.
5:00 p.m. – Dinner, watch TV, clean up.
6:30 p.m. – Most days, she’s back to work, finishing up writing and posting.
7:30 p.m. – Change to laptop and goof around, looking for ideas, research, social network, etc.
9:30 p.m. – Done for the day!
*On weekends, or as she gets time, Cherie works on her books.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at schedules from busy writer moms who write while their kids are in school.