If you’re a freelance writer or write regularly as a hobby, chances are you’ve struggled to keep to a writing schedule at one point or another. It isn’t easy, primarily when so many other things compete for attention.
But the truth is, sticking to a writing schedule is vital if you want to be successful. It can mean the difference between getting published and having your work ignored or making a living from your writing and scraping by.
So, how do you stick to a writing schedule? Here are ten tips:
Set Realistic Goals
The first step to sticking to any schedule is setting realistic goals. If you’re writing for a living, you need to be realistic about how much you can write in a day or week. Don’t try to set an impossible goal, or you’ll only feel frustrated and discouraged.
Make a Plan and Stick to It
Once you understand what you can realistically write or create in a day or week, it’s time to plan. Decide which days or times you’ll sit down and write, and then stick to that plan as best as possible. Of course, there will be days when things come up, and you can’t stick to your schedule perfectly, but if you have a plan, it will be easier to get back on track.
Set Aside a Dedicated Writing Space
A truly effective way to ensure you stick to your writing schedule is to set aside a dedicated writing space. Your writing space may be a specific room in your house or just a corner of your bedroom or living room. A dedicated space will help you get into the right mindset for writing and make it easier to sit down and get started.
Get Rid of Distractions
When trying to stick to a writing schedule, it’s essential to eliminate any distractions that might prevent you from getting work done. That means turning off your phone, putting away any non-essential items, and closing any tabs on your computer unrelated to your writing.
Taking breaks when you’re writing is vital to prevent burnout and give yourself time to think about what you’re writing. But try not to get too sidetracked during your break – set a timer if you need to, and then get back to work when it goes off.
Set a Word Count Goal
One way to ensure you stick to your writing schedule is to set a word count goal for each session. Goals help you stay focused and ensure that you get a certain amount of work done each day or week.
Use a Timer
Another way to stay on track with your writing schedule is to use a timer. A timer can help you stay focused and prevent you from getting sidetracked.
Get an Accountability Partner
If you struggle to stick to your writing schedule, consider getting an accountability partner. Your accountability partner could be a friend or family member who checks in on you regularly or even just someone you exchange email with once a week—having someone to keep you accountable can be a big help.
Join a Writing Group
Joining a writing group can also be helpful if you’re trying to stick to a writing schedule. These groups provide support and motivation and can be great places to get feedback on your work.
Finally, reward yourself when you stick to your writing schedule. Rewards could be simple: taking a break to read or watch TV or treating yourself to a new book or movie. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something you’ll enjoy – this will help you stay motivated and keep up the excellent work.
Sticking to a writing schedule can be challenging, but it’s worth it if you want to be successful. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to becoming a more productive and successful writer.