The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. **Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is it possible for any author to follow a schedule?

Over the course of my writing career I've made hundreds of schedules.  I've written them out, plugged them into computer programs, used sticky notes, tried to keep it in my head and left messages all over the house.  I've used calendars, lists, notecards and e-mails.  I've written everything down, prioritized and edited until only two items remained.  I've tried to think ahead, think behind and not think at all.

I'm frustrated and sick of the whole process.  Yet, I understand that without some type of structure...without some type of schedule - my writing will never be produced.  Why is it necessary to talk about schedules here?  After all, aren't you supposed to be writing about my mental frustrations as a writer? 

If you can't produce and you can't tame your will always be depressed about your writing because you can't sell something you don't have finished!  It's important to your mental state of mind that we work on a schedule so you can get on with your writing.

Please understand that I don't evade my work.  I love my work and avoiding it isn't something that I ever think about doing.  But...there's always someone, something or some problem that seems so pressing that it pushes and pushes until my writing time is cut down to only a few minutes.  It's at that point that I have to choose between my books or my blogs or that great new article for some magazine.  If only I could spend an entire day writing. my working outside the home friends says...."If only I could have one Saturday or week-end a month to devote completely to my writing."

As authors we must have that quiet alone time to write.  If we are to produce the work that God has called us to do....we must have time to do it.  The only way to make that time is to schedule.  But how?

Yesterday I had planned to tell you exactly how I was going to do it.  I had new plans and I was sure they would work.  Yesterday was no different than any other.  I tried to write and my arm just wouldn't cooperate.  I tried to get my arm settled down and had to take two phone calls.  "Debbie!"  Ron called with an emergency that just wouldn't wait.  My pitiful schedule was ruined....again.  I sat at my desk and cried.  "Lord please help me.  I need a plan."  The thought came to me that I've always started my plans by writing down what I wanted to do.  But...I've never investigated what I actually do during any one day. 

Hum....So, today I started by writing down the hours and plugging in my day - as it happened.  I'm hoping that this will give me an idea of how many times I'm interrupted and for what reason.  Then perhaps I'll be able to either schedule around them or find a way to move those things to another slot and make way for more writing. 

I have an idea of what Today looked like.  Tomorrow I'll document my day again but...I'll also try to move around 30 minutes here or there and see if I can work within the confines of the sort of schedule already in place.

Wish me luck!

Let me know how you plan your days.

God loves you and has called you to write.


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