Planning my year

I thought I’d take today’s blog and think about planning.

As I continue to read and connect with people working on their own writing journeys, I came across two posts that got me thinking:

I read a post over at Ryan Lanz’s blog by Eve Messenger about social media and writing.  Hopped over to her blog and read about setting goals and finishing your work.  It makes me realize how badly I want to finish mine.

Right at the same time (more or less), I was reading on ARWriter’s blog… ARWriter discusses writing progress on a treadmill.  How much time can you devote to writing?  How far are you actually getting?

This got me all introspective.  How much time am I devoting to my dreams?  Quitter by Jon Acuff gave me some language regarding this:  Close the gap between your day job and your dream job.  I want to do that.  I’m fairly successful at the day job, but it’s not what my heart cries out to do.  Every week I suit up and head into that corporate office, and every week I feel like a piece of my life has died and gotten away from me.

I need to be an author.

I wrote a post a few weeks back on goals.  Time to put it to practice more. I need a schedule if I’m going to succeed.  Social media eats a ton of time (will have another post on that later), research takes time.  Everything seems to chew through the few hours I’ve got to spend on writing, and I can’t afford to not use them to the max.

So here’s my schedule going forward:

Sunday – Blog posting
Monday – Flash Fiction writing
Tuesday – Night off
Wednesday – Novel work
Thursday – Novel work
Friday – Novel work
Saturday – Critiques/Book Reviews

Where possible before working hours, explore the blogosphere, read posts, comment on blogs, etc.  Try to do this for 30ish minutes a day.

Let’s break it down some:

My writing time is in the evenings after the wife and kids have gone to bed.  I know that everybody recommends writing in the mornings… I’m just not that fortunate.  I end up oversleeping and missing my writing time.  Depending on timing, this can give me anywhere from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours.  Occasionally, I can snag some other time here and there, but those can either go towards reading other blogs, or (if I have a LOT of time), I can assign something at that time.

On Sunday, I’ll try to write as many advance blog posts as I can.  I still would love to get out 3-4 a week, but I want to focus on writing posts on one specific day so that I’m not mixing my attention across every day.

Mondays will be devoted to flash fiction.  It’s fun, it’s a great way to meet other writer’s and it’s like a mini idea-factory.  You write all kinds of creative things you wouldn’t have thought of.

Tuesdays will be the one night I don’t have anything planned.  If I’m free, I’ll be social.

Wednesday/Thursday/Friday – This is going to be devoted to the novel (or competition short stories).  I have chosen days that are back-to-back so that I can stay in the groove.  I am also going to try to avoid touching the blogs on those days in order to make sure I’m getting my writing on for the bigger works.  All three days should be devoted to the same work, unless I finish it midway through.

Saturday – Critiques from Critters.org or Book Reviews at Good Reads.  I truly believe that reading critically makes me a better author, so I want to make sure I’m putting that to practice.

I hope this schedule really helps me focus and get some things done.  I’ll put up a goal sheet as well for public viewing… What I’m trying to target and when so that people can either cheer me on (or watch me flail painfully as I try to meet my goals).

Do you schedule your writing?  How’s it working out for you?

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12 thoughts on “Planning my year

  1. You’ve got a great plan there, Jon. It’s so challenging to manage all the vital roles we have as parents, workers, etc. while also churning out a full-length novel. It’s not easy, but all the effort you put into setting a writing schedule shows how dedicated you are to publishing fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice posts!

    I am not as ambitious as you wrt blogging so I have a tendency to blog whenever I feel like. I do sometime schedule posts in advance, especially when there are certain topics I want the conent to be of a certain quality. I have also made one series that is going on called “Dear Diary” and is more my personal aspect in life where the readers gets more insight in what’s going on in my life.

    I guess there are many ways to do this and I am sure what you have outlines here will work for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I need to be an author”. I think that small sentence rings true for a lot of people who will read your blog. Great post with practical advice.
    As far as my writing goes, I’m fortunate enough to have an hour’s wait for my bus after work, so three days a week I can use that time to write. Not quite sussed out the weekends yet, but it’s a relief to know that I have that time to get some words on a page.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally understand having to take what you can get on the writing front. My way may sound organized, that isn’t necessarily how it will pan out in practice. Luck to us both reaching our dream jobs! Thanks for reading

      Liked by 1 person

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