Stephen King has said he writes every day, even on Christmas. I only wish I was as gifted. I don’t write every day. I tried, I failed, I found a schedule that works for me.
I’ve got a whiteboard in which I put a monthly schedule, four months at a stretch. For every month, I write down what I want to accomplish in that month. From there, I organize my projects further by writing in my day planner what I want to work on for a given day. Sometimes I can do this all at once at the beginning of the month; sometimes I go week by week. Either way, my projects get scheduled and I stick to that schedule (mostly). When it comes to short stories, I sometimes have a lot of things going on in one month. This helps keep me organized. I thrive on organization. It makes up for my declining memory.
The goal of this monthly system is to get things done and get a few days off. If I get everything done in a timely fashion, then I have a few days off at the end of the month to let my brain rest. The more efficiently I get my work done, the more time I have for resting and working on goof projects (projects that are purely for pleasure). The more I slack during the month, the less time off I have, if I get any at all.
For the most part, this scheduling system works out very well for me. December, however, is the notable exception. It’s the busiest leg of the Holiday Gauntlet and I always think I can manage my time better than I’m actually capable of and end up overscheduling myself, much to my disappointment. It’s no way to end a year.
This year I managed to wise up and gave myself a reduced schedule. So far, it’s working out very well. I’m accomplishing things without getting overwhelmed and stressed. Finally! The brains kick in and I do something smart!
With only one more item to go on my monthly writing to-do list, I’m taking this week off to enjoy the holiday and I’m doing it without guilt. Well, writing guilt, anyway.
Maybe one day I can work up to the writing stamina Stephen King has, but for now, I’m looking to end this year on a feel-good note and I’m good with that.
Stories By the Numbers
Sent Out: 2
Rejected: 1 (“Erin Go Bragh”; the Universe wanted to prove the point I made in last weeks Writing Wednesday by sending me a “It’s not you, it’s me” rejection)