Yesterday, I mentioned having deadlines for my writing. Today, I’m going to list my top ten reasons for why I have a schedule:
- A schedule lets me know where I’m going. For those of you who haven’t figured it out, I’m all for spontaneity as long as I have a map. Let me wander freely, yes, but tell me where I’m going first.
- A schedule pushes me to complete things. A lot of us (not all of us) like to have a deadline to work toward. I love deadlines. I do my best work with deadlines.
- A schedule gives me an excuse to make lists. I also love lists. Schedules are just detailed lists.
- A schedule helps me not forget anything. Have you ever finished a project only to realize you forgot the cover? I never have, but I also have a schedule that clearly states when the cover needs to be started and finished.
- A schedule reduces tension. Because I always know what I need to do or haven’t done, I can stress less about the process and just worry about the writing.
- A schedule lets me tell other people where I’m at. If you have an editor, a formatter, a cover designer, or a publisher, they want to know when they get the next book. Unless you’re G.R.R. Martin, you should be able to tell them. Schedules make it easier to say, “I’ll have the book to you in a week for editing.”
- A schedule lets me feel productive. There are times when you’re deep in the bowels of the book, waiting for the whale to vomit you out to publication, that you feel like you’re not going anywhere. If you have a schedule, you know where you’re at and, therefore, you know you’re moving toward the next point.
- A schedule gives you more time. Ask any productivity expert: when you plan your day and work your plan, you get more done.
- A schedule gives me more time to goof off. Because I get more done in my writing day, my schedule gives me time to play the latest video game for six hours straight. Okay, not really, but I do get in the occasional binge watch of “Galavant” on Hulu.
- A schedule lets me juggle multiple projects at the same time. If you’re a one-project-at-a-time writer, then this may not apply to you. But if you’re trying to hit four-to-six books a year (and it is doable without being a hack), you need to juggle. Having a schedule makes it easier to not drop all the balls– at least not all at once.
Do you use a schedule? Why?