For me, writing is a business for the most part. You have to have a schedule to keep yourself on track. that said, you should keep that schedule flexible. Don’t lock yourself into any particular piece at any particular time. keep your schedule flexible enough to change when you need to but tight enough to keep you moving.
I’m not talking about writing time. that’s your time schedule, working around your day job, your spouse’s day job, the kids’ activities. What I’m talking about here, is planning what you will write, not when you write. if you are like me, you probably have a number of writing projects in various stages of the process. I have several in revision, and two in planning. That’s a lot. I counted them once. I have nine projects. I have two science fiction books in the revision stage and one in the preliminary planning stage. I have old works that I want to take a look at with an eye for revision, so it’s more like four in revision, a mystery in revision and one fantasy mystery in advanced planning. That is just to name a couple of them. I have created a schedule for them that I hope to adhere to, but I know that I will be changing it. that’s why I don’t print the schedule out. I have a schedule for my blogs as well. I try to write one a week.
That’s a lot on my plate, but if I schedule them properly – in and around my work and home responsibilities, I can accomplish them. the trick is to set realistic deadlines. This is the tricky part. In order to do that, you have to be certain of what time you will have available for the task at hand. keep the deadlines flexible as well. you may run over or you may complete a task ahead of schedule. Then you can move items up or back on your deadline as you do so. I use a sliding deadline as I self-publish. If you have a traditional publisher, they will set a deadline and it isn’t as flexible as mine is. that’s something to take into consideration when you set your deadlines. They have to be deadlines that will give you time to do what you need to do and yet be there as a goal.
I guess I’m really talking about setting goals. Goals are good motivators, and so are deadlines, which are goals, really. Just take some time to set yourself some realistic deadlines. A week to revise a chapter in your novel, two weeks if you think you need it. it’s up to you, whatever speed you work at to produce good quality work, is what should guide you in setting deadlines for yourself. Then sit down and work out a schedule of writing projects that will allow you to reach those deadlines. It’s as simple – and as hard – as that.