Writers are filled with ideas, but in order to turn those ideas into pages, they need a consistent writing routine. Often, finding enough free time and the discipline to write can be hard, especially for aspiring writers with a full-time job, but t is possible. They need to create a writing schedule that fits into their schedule and gets them on track to finish their first draft and, eventually, their first novel. So, establishing a schedule is a must for writers at all levels.
Find a time of day that works best. This means, set the same writing time every day or every other day if that is more realistic. Often, early morning works well for reative writing because the brain is fresh. However, if you are a night owl, or you have a day job, writing after dinner might work better. Before you know it, your daily writing sessions will become another part of your routine that you do without thinking twice.
Create a writing calendar. When you put writing on your daily to-do lists, take it a step further by putting the writing time in your calendar or daily planner. That makes it more official, like writing down other appointments that you are obliged to keep.
Prioritise your projects. Most writers have more than one idea in their head at any one time. Sometimes that makes it hard to know where to start, so write a list of ideas in order of priority. Then, start with the first one, write an outline and then create milestones and deadlines to help you see each phase through until you have a finished story.
Have a plan for writer’s block. Writer’s block happens from time to time. Prepare for it. That way, you will not just stare at your computer screen. Have a list of daily writing prompts or do stream-of-consciousness freewriting. Find creative ways to use your time. For example, use that writing downtime to do research.
Set a daily word count goal. Having a minimum word count on any given day can motivate you to get words on the page.
Find a writing space. Take the guessing out of where you’re going to write each day by setting aside a writing space. Set it up so it is ready for you to write every day when you sit down.
Keep your writing files organised. When you sit down to write, make sure all of your files are organised so they are easy to access. The simpler you make it to sit down and get started, the easier it will be to start writing at your set time. Save your stories in Google Docs or Microsoft Word and keep them in folders. Label each document with the working title and you can keep track of your progress on each project in an Excel spreadsheet.
Start blogging. Bloggers have an audience they write for that expects regular posts. If it helps you write, start a blog. Build a following that you are accountable to and dedicate a portion of your writing sessions to writing new blog entries.
Join a writing community. Find inspiration by connecting with other writers. Find a local
writer’s group, attend writing workshops, or participate in NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. You will have an incentive to show up with story pages and will be accountable to other people.
Start right now. A writer’s biggest enemy is the phrase, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Start writing now. Once you get going and make progress, you’ll quickly remember the reasons you wanted to write in the first place.