WRITING SCHEDULES

When I wrote my first book, I enforced a strict writing regimen: 1,000 words a day, Monday through Friday. While this tactic worked, and I finished the book, I felt it took too long to complete the first draft (4 months). And because it took so long, I got tired of the story and my work suffered. Those around me constantly said, “You should be more like a real writer, one who writes whenever he/she feels like it.”

By the end of my first book, I agreed. Maybe if I approached writing as an art versus a business, I’d finish faster and end with a better product. So for my newest WIP, I decided to try out this new tactic. I’d write whenever I felt like it, and because I wasn’t forcing myself to write, the story would fly from fingertips and be better for it. Right?

Wrong.

My writing slowed even further. Feeling like it, turned into two or three times a week. The story lagged, the characters became flat, and my life began to spin wildly out of control and I thought seriously about what heroin would feel like.

I backed away from the needle, slapped myself out of it, and decided writing when I felt like it was my excuse to not write. Instead, I gave myself bigger goals: 2,000 words a day, Monday through Friday. The book started rolling, my critique partners celebrated, and the story improved.

Turns out my first book didn’t work because the plot was convoluted, not because I wrote it like a Marine. For me, setting daily goals is the only option. Like Coco Puffs and coffee, I need them every day.

What about you? Do you set daily/weekly writing goals, or are you a go-with-the-flow kinda’ writer? Hit me back!