Project Management for Writers
If you’re a writer, you probably realize that the hardest part about creating content isn’t always coming up with ideas, but rather putting them into words. There are times where our minds are flooded with creative ideas. However, unfortunately, our writing paces don’t always match that of the flow of the creative juices. This is when things can get really messy.
Sitting down and turning those ideas into words can be frustrating, especially when you can’t seem to find the time to do it. The process requires a lot of self-discipline and commitment, which means that you need to have a solid and consistent writing routine in place. This is the only way to elevate your writing from a mere hobby to a profession and finally wrap up the first draft of the novel you’ve been meaning to work on.
We’re all busy people with a lot on our plates, which makes it difficult to carve out a few hours a day to write without distractions. Fortunately, creating a solid writing schedule serves as a great time management technique. It can help you become more productive without burning yourself out.
Why You Need a Writing Routine
Sticking to a writing schedule can give you an incredible confidence boost as a writer. It allows you to confidently flaunt the “writer” title around without regretting the fact that you haven’t written anything of actual substance in weeks. This will help you stay committed and enthusiastic. Having a writing schedule also decreases the possibility of procrastination. A writing routine doesn’t leave room for excuses and allows you to stay determined. A schedule helps you keep track of your objectives and achievements. As we all know, there is no better motivator than a sense of accomplishment.
Coming up with a writing routine that suits your needs requires a lot of experimentation through trial and error. This method allows you to discover your strengths, push yourself out of your comfort zone, and find your rhythm. Once you’ve got it all figured out, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and effectively. Not to mention that a writing routine will allow you to evolve as a writer. The more you write, the better you’ll become. You will eventually develop your own authentic writing style and voice.
From Maya Angelou to Neil Gaiman, we explored the writing habits of various famous writers. After much digging, we found that coming up with an efficient writing routine comes down to the following:
Determine Your Goals
To establish a writing routine, you need to determine your objectives. There’s no point in coming up with a plan if you don’t know exactly where you want it to lead you. Ambiguous routines like “writing every day” will not get you anywhere. You will also likely lose motivation halfway through. This is why you need to spend time thinking about the goals and targets that you wish to achieve, so you can come up with a writing routine that will help you get there.
Let’s say you want to finish working on your novel in six months. Once you’ve decided that this is your goal, you need to break it down into several smaller tasks. For instance, you can come up with a specified time frame for your first draft and aim to write a certain number of words every day. Once you have these micro-goals down, you should use them as the foundation of your writing routine.
One of the most important things you should keep in mind is your capabilities and responsibilities. Your goals have to be realistic and doable. For example, you shouldn’t set a daily word count of three thousand words if you’re not a fast writer and barely have any time to spare. Volume is not the main metric for many renowned writers. Instead, it’s the quality or the amount of time they spend writing while completely focused that matters. You need to determine the most suitable metric for your needs and general circumstances. This way, you can set up a writing routine that you feel comfortable with.
Prioritize Your Projects
TMIS (short for Too Many Ideas Syndrome) is a typical problem among authors, especially when they’re working on numerous projects simultaneously. It may sound ridiculous in a profession that requires a lot of creativity, but it’s a stumbling block for many writers. To gain clarity, you need to jot down all your ideas on a piece of paper and prioritize them accordingly. As you tackle the first idea on the list, come up with a constructive outline and generate deadlines and milestones so you can track all the phases of your project.
Make the Time. Don’t Find the Time.
When it comes to developing a writing routine, most writers struggle with time constraints. It’s easy to believe that you can never have the time to write on a daily basis, which is why you may have never bothered to try and establish a schedule. You may have tried to squeeze in a few hours of writing every couple of weeks. This may not be a huge problem for you, especially if you enjoy getting things done this way. However, when you’re merely writing whenever you get the chance, it can be difficult to achieve your goals or finally finish your novel.
The thing is that you need to make the time for writing rather than find the time for it. This requires you to take a moment to think about how dedicated and committed to writing you are. If you really want to finish your novel and are passionate about the endeavor, then you must come up with a solid schedule. It doesn’t matter what is going on in your life. If you have the word “writing” down on your schedule, commit to it no matter what. This brings us to our next point.
Find Your Productive Peak
To create an efficient, realistic, and productive schedule, you should opt to write at the same time every day. Most authors prefer to write in the early hours of the morning, after going for a run or taking a nice long shower. They feel more invigorated and fresh this way. However, if you’re more focused at night or have a day job, writing in the evening may be more suitable for you. Scheduling your writing session at a time you feel most comfortable and productive will allow you to naturally incorporate writing into your daily routine. After you’ve been doing it for a while, you will no longer feel compelled to write at a set time. Experiment with several options. You can perhaps get up extra early to get some writing done before you leave for work and continue the writing session later after dinner. If you’re not bound by a certain commitment, you can calculate your biological prime time to find out your most productive hours of the day.
Use Digital Tools
There are numerous tools designed specifically for authors to help make the writing process a lot easier. If you haven’t already, it is time to embrace the digital world and put it to its best use. My name is Charlii, and I am a great example of a project management tool that is primarily made for fiction authors. I can help you organize your projects. You can use me to streamline your thoughts and plan out your characters’ development. I also includes a reminder and calendar feature that allows you to stay on top of your writing schedule and deadlines. My system also provides helpful suggestions like articles and in-app banners in the form of pop-ups.
Physical Exercise Prepares You For Mental Work
Every author knows how mentally demanding and exhausting the writing process is. Fortunately, many pro writers suggest that you can prepare your mind for hard work by engaging in physical exercise. Haruki Murakami, a renowned author, is keen on running ten kilometers every day. Kurt Vonnegut used to take pushup breaks while writing, and A.J. Jacobs works out on the treadmill while writing. You can engage in any physical activity that you like, whether it is going for a half-hour run each morning or practicing yoga before you go to bed. The most important thing is that you move your body regularly.
Embrace the Hardship
One of the most important things about establishing a writing routine is embracing the struggle and hardship that comes with the craft. There will be occasions when you will struggle to form a coherent sentence or feel incredibly unsatisfied with everything you write. The most important thing is that you stay committed and remind yourself that failure is inevitable when you’re on the path to success.
Coming up with a writing routine that works for you can be very challenging, especially when you feel like you don’t have the time to write regularly. Fortunately, we gathered some of the most important tips that famous writers live by when it comes to their writing routines. Following them will help you become more productive and committed to your projects.