On Writing Schedules

Why is a writing schedule essential?

I had never given this much thought. Been blogging for 5 years now and yet, I’ve never had a writing schedule. I sometimes feel as though I’m missing something. And so I decided to blog about it.

A schedule in any exercise is all about discipline; discipline that makes you better in the art. But how important is it?

I have known writers who follow a schedule and who don’t. Author interviews always consist of the interviewee probing the author about his/her writing schedule; a takeaway for budding authors. I have been asked many times if I follow a schedule. I guess it’s more of a personal choice.

Like I admitted, I’ve never worked around a schedule. Trust me, I find it intimidating. I can’t have my mind work around a timeline. It is thought-restricting. Like in a traffic jam; traffic jam of ideas. It’s like working on a deadline and I detest the rush it brings.

For me,

Writing is about finding the peace, about settling my mind off things, discovering myself.
It is an escape; a long-sought refuge.

And this won’t be possible if I am time-bound. I feel it’s injustice done to your mind, your thoughts, and your passion for the art. Well, some of you may disagree and I’d love to know your take on this.

Not being able to write freely is no good. I have never followed a schedule. So I have no advice to share. What I do is – I write when the thoughts kick in, when something’s too significant to not be shared, or simply when words concoct tales in my head which I feel are too precious to be lost. And once I’ve bled through, I schedule them to be published.

So there’s a difference you see. I don’t pick a schedule and write. I do the opposite. I write and then schedule it. But I do make sure that I publish a post at least once a week. Rest of the days when I’m not writing, I indulge and enjoy wallowing in other writers’ works. After all, a writer needs his/her bouts of inspiration.

The answer to the question – whether a writing schedule is essential – is that, if you are someone who finds it difficult to write on a regular basis owing to multiple other commitments, a writing schedule can help you balance your priorities.

What I’m trying to say is,

Whether you write once a week or once a month, it doesn’t really matter as long as you are content. In the end, writing should leave you with a sense of completion.

What are your writing habits? Do you follow a writing schedule? Let’s get to know it. Share your thoughts, inspire the seekers.

~~~~~~~

Asha Seth

156 thoughts on “On Writing Schedules

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  1. Interesting post Asha. While I dont really have a hard writing schedule but of late I have noticed that the best time for me to write is early morning. Once the sun rises and people are up i find it difficult to concentrate. And also if i dont have anything written first thing in the morning I tend to get very irritable and non-productive as the day progresses. So I have started trying to keep off the net first thing in the morning, get something onscreen and hope that over the day something more will fall into place. Thanks!

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    1. It’s really nice to learn of the varied writing practices of readers and writers. For me, late night writing escapades work best when there’s absolutely nothing disturbing my train of thoughts. But even that’s hard these days as I’m so tired after returning from work and the minute I hit the sack, I’m already dreaming away. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, I’ve never been able to stick to a schedule, especially on a daily schedule. I can decide to write a thousand words a day, and I will never be able to stick with it. But I can decide to write seven thousand words a week (same amount, might I add), and I’ll be able to do it by writing three and a half thousand words for two day in a week. So, yes, strict schedules do not work for me.

    But then I have always been about quality over quantity, both in my own writing and in my reading preference. I would prefer reading one great book by an author instead of reading twenty books by the same author that are exactly the same. For some people, a schedule is great, but for others it doesn’t work. And, since every writer is different, I don’t think there is anything wrong with figuring out what writing fits for you.

    Great post! I really enjoyed reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Superb thoughts. I go the same way as you. I too prefer quality over quantity. Many bloggers post a few dozen things in a day, nothing substantial. They may prefer that. But as a reader and a writer, I know I could never do that. Guess it all boils down to the kind of writer you want to be. Thank you for sharing your words. Readers will benefit greatly from it, I’m sure. 🙂

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  3. I’ve honestly never thought about having a writing schedule; maybe I’ll try it. I usually tend to write whenever a good idea comes to mind, but maybe if I actually have a schedule I’ll be more determined to write more. Who knows…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too find time’s tough to come by during the weekdays due to the tiresome work schedules. Weekends bring their own miseries. So, it’s actually difficult to have a right slot of time to dedicate to writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very insightful post.

    I have in the past tried to schedule my writing, keep to some sort of timescale, finish by such a date and so on. That was fine on days when I felt like writing, if I was in the mood and inspired. But there were days I could sit down and just stare blankly at the screen, nothing happened and it started to become a problem for me. This would happen time and time again, no inspiration and the schedule I was trying to keep to had become a hindrance. I didn’t write for months, it was quite demoralizing.

    One day I felt like writing again and the rest is history, these days I just write when I feel like it. I tend to think ideas flow better when I’m not trying to force it, just let it happen naturally. I’m hoping my trusty notepad, blogging and reading blogs will help keep me inspired. So get to work!

    Seriously though, it’s good see there are others who work the same way.

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    1. As many varied schedules as many minds. Writing is all about doing it without feeling the obligation to. That’s when the best comes out. So, in many ways you’re right, Tom. Ideas appear to elude us wen we try to force them out on paper. It’s a shabby work; been there, done that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally agree with you. Sometimes when im sleeping i get all these amazing ideas and if i dont write right then i would feel like the ideas might fade. When i get the urge to write, i write. if i follow a schedule even for writing in the end my piece will lack that magic that i otherwise will get when you write with all your emotions focused on that idea at that instant.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well articulated post. I never had any schedule for writing. It totally depends on my mood. If it is there it hardly takes 15-20 minutes for me to write a poem but if the mood is not , it is very difficult. Sometimes it happens that we think to write about a particular topic but at the end we come to write something else which. I thinks it totally depends on state of mind whether the mind is able to think on that way at a particular time.

    Nice post indeed
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So relatable, I personally don’t schedule my posts as well and tend to post when I’m really up for it. It does affect my consistency but then I’d rather have one amazing post put up rather than 10 posts written without any emotional connection.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I use what I call a writing quota, a rough outline of how much tI me I want to spend on writing each day, with notes on how I’m spending it. I feel that firm deadlines to produce a quantity or complete a project may hurt the quality, so I try to balance “get it done” with “it will take as long as it takes.” I also like to categorize the type (s) of tasks, to make sure I don’t let one aspect lie fallow for too long, i.e. research, blogging, and fiction writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a brilliant idea, Adam. To categorise your works and then allot time accordingly. So that one is fair to every aspect of it. Super! Pleased to have your thoughts. I’m sure it will help the readers. 🙂

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  9. I agree with your point here. I have been writing from my age of 13, sometimes i use to have a long hiatus even for two years.. but i always came back and did what i loved the most.

    If you ask me, there are two things to have the ‘writing’ going.. One ‘Your mind’ (You must love what you do) and the other one is ‘Motivation’, If you feel lost and deserted with no one to read and appreciate what you do, then self motivation can not hang on for a long time.

    Most of the writers are dispensed without proper motivation! Probably they are good in writing and bad in marketing..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Precisely the reason most blogs that I knew did well in the beginning of my journey 4-5 years ago have died out. It’s sad to see people fall out of the passion or purpose they took to writing. My post is based on this as you’ve rightly pointed out – motivation in writing is rare, but when it’s there, cling onto it and see where it takes you. you’d be amazed.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Asha. I think it depends on both your personality and your reason for writing. Some people need a schedule or they get nothing done; others, when faced with a schedule, long for escape. If you’re in a creative mode, perhaps starting to pull threads for a novel or you’re a blogger open to inspiration, a schedule can leave you staring at a blank page or, worse yet, a page of bad writing. However, if you’re a freelancer or a student, you must adhere to deadlines and if you don’t, you’re in trouble. Having said that, freelancers and students are often writing non-fiction and that’s a whole other world. There’s the business of writing/editing and there’s the creative side, and for me, at least, they are miles apart.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are bang on correct, Miss Hawkin. (Sorry don’t have your first name :P) I face the same dilemma when I’m at work to compete with the chasing timelines. As a blogger though, I enjoy the liberty of taking as much as I want to do justice to my work. So yes, there are 2 sides to it as you clearly mentioned here and it all depends on which side of the coin you lie.
      Much appreciate your thoughts. 🙂

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  11. This resonated with me so deeply. I completely agree with you about doing injustice to your thoughts and passion by following a fixed writing schedule. I write when the thoughts come, when the emotion is raw, and that is when I truly enjoy writing. For me, that is the primary purpose of the art. And, when you stop feeling and write just for the sake of it, I believe that the writing loses meaning.
    Great read! So glad you shared your thoughts with us, here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. Writing forces itself out, with words oozing from every nook and cranny of our brain. We have to stop and gather them on paper. That’s the true essence of writing. 🙂
      Happy to see you around again. ShethP.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It makes more sense to scribble when inspiration kicks in. Else, I’m staring into oblivion for hours for no good reason. 😛 Contests bring that rush of excitement which I love. However, I haven’t participated in one in ages.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Really? I haven’t an account and didn’t even think about it. But I guess the only hindrance one faces of having multiple blogging accounts is the lack of time to publish on them all. But I may be mistaken. 😛 So you tell me, how do you like it? And how is it different?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You don’t have to open a blogging account. Rather, you just need to register your blog with the IB platform. Once your blog gets their approval you can share your blogpost links on the forum. That will help you to interact with thousands of bloggers present there. Try it out…you’ll find it interesting and helpful 🙂

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  12. As you have told in this post, I completely agree with you. Writing is more of a personal choice than of sorts type of compulsion. I have always been asked my many to participate in competitions that give you a topic and you just have to write something. I have always politely declined because writing is something more of like a flow that comes when it feels like. There can be days when writing doesn’t happen and then there can be a day that you maybe short of ink to write. Any constriction just makes writing worse. I have never been a planner when it comes to writing something. I can write on the same thing a billion times and then whoosh nothing comes in my mind when I want to write something on it. It’s funny sometimes. Haha. But I do make it a point to write something before I go to bed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Competitions, grip me too. In school, it would take time for me to write around a particular title for essays. But I would come around eventually. That I guess has stuck with me. Falling short of ink is better than falling short of words. You always have another good pen waiting. 😛
      As to writing before hitting the sack, is something I followed for quite some years until it became a habit almost an obligation and I fell out of it. 😀
      Now I write whenever I feel like I need a rantession! See how smartly I coined that? 😛 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I guess I am going to be the odd one out here. 😀
    Though I don’t know if it’s exactly a schedule or not. But I have this pattern of posting every fourth day, regardless of how busy I am, or what I am into. So for that I write almost daily. If not for blogpost then for something else, but I make sure to write daily.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That I think is brilliant. To be able to able to do it regularly without having having a real schedule. I like your idea of writing daily. The day I am able to achieve that I’ll be happy as a bunny. Until then, I guess the I shall trudge along. 🙂
      How goes the day for you?

      Liked by 1 person

            1. I work as a copywriter & blogger with an ad agency. So that also gives me time to write a lot of things simultaneously. The research needed for my work, at times, becomes groundwork for my blogs. What do you do? Colleging, I presume.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. And that is what a job should be like.😍😍💓
                Your assumption would have been a spot-on hit if you assumed it four months back.😉
                Currently in Wipro as software engineer. So try to do the stuff related to engineering.😜😄

                Liked by 1 person

  14. Asha, i understand you completely! I never had a writing schedule, but I will say this, i often find it easier to write and I write a lot of poems after sharing time with God and his living word. It inspires me, and the words come to life on a variety of subjects, most of course, regarding Him, while others are romantic and on many other subjects, I like listening to jazz and a variety of music also, and a single word spoken by someone, a melody, a kind gesture by someone, and the blessing of an acknowledging of a good morning, or recognizing one is alive, nature and life inspires me, yet Gods love is the thing which inspires me the most! This morning there will be another poem! I love your message today! God bless!

    Whenever I simply breathe
    I am inspired to write a poem
    I find it so uncontrollable
    To have these living words
    to leave me alone.

    Keep writing and inspiring dear sister, you are greatly loved by God and many of our brothers and sisters!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One may be different, and choose to share their works different that the flock. But if they hit a nerve with audience, there’s nothing more satisfying. You do just that which is immensely beautiful. Wendell. 🙂

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  15. “Writing is about finding the peace, about settling my mind off things, discovering myself.
    It is an escape; a long-sought refuge. ” Couldn’t agree more to this. I love how it makes you feel lost while you are finding your inner voice. By the way, do you have a writing ritual? Like, something you do, out of habit to set your writing mood right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello, Von. You are welcome here. 🙂 As for a writing ritual, no I haven’t any. Although I do usually just wallow in a good book when I lack inspiration. How about you? Share about your writing schedule or ‘ritual’ as you call it. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

                    1. If simplicity is the ultimate sophistication then why not we pursue that.. a country, having a 24 % population who are fortunate enough to access college education, believes to have a whatsapp account.. who believes to talk Abbott complex issues.. everyone is talking about loneliness, relationships, materialism, even the dialectics..

                      Liked by 1 person

                    1. Me too.
                      I think the best way to solve all sorts of issues … would be achieved through healthy conversation !!

                      Once Indian ambassador to IS said that the most intelligent way to solve issues is though conversations… way back in 2007 -2008

                      Liked by 1 person

  16. Schedules don’t work for me. My day job consists of working an 8-hour shift on any day from 8a.m. to 10p.m., 5 days a week. Since I get two days off, those are the days I know I will write, and the first day is for whatever book project I have in progress. The second day is for my blog, and social media if I’m lucky enough to have the time. I tried scheduling my writing before 8a.m. and after 10p.m. on work days, but I always felt rushed in the mornings and tired at nights and made too many errors that needed more of my time for corrections. Now I look forward to my two days of writing and go along by the seat of my pants.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s’ quite a schedule you follow, Steven. I think it’s good to be this organised. I have a basic pattern. I read blogs, like and comment and follow new ones through the week. When I find the pull, I sit and write and publish over the weekend. So, I guess, whatever keeps it going for us, that it is then. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s very difficult to maintain a regular schedule of writing especially when you are tied up with priorities in your life.

    I do write regularly but not in a fixed frame.

    When ideas come to me I keep them in the corner of my mind and whenever I get free time I jot them down.

    Things change with time and priorities in life too

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I write during the week and leave the weekend free to experience life and to work out other ideas. I know one writer wrote 5 pages a day . I am looking to try to write my novel by using that 5 pages a day approach.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I too find it very challenging to follow a schedule with regard to writing……when thoughts flow my fingers type……else I meet the mental block at times. So I don’t like my writings to be time bound, but rather they be thought bound!

    Liked by 1 person

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” ― James A. Michener

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