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Stick to the Schedule

So, how’s your writing going?

You’ve got a schedule, right? And you’re sticking to it. Right? If you’ve got a platform you’re building to attract an audience, you’re sticking to your timetable for creating blogs, answering emails, writing the book?

This is an area where a lot of writers get stuck.

And it’s an area that a lot of writers need to continue to keep an eye on. It’s easy not to write, when you want to write, if you let other things get ahead of you.

I just read an interview that writer Neil Gaiman (author of The Graveyard Book and many others) conducted with the great Stephen King, who’s as prolific as he is talented and modest and down-to-earth. King said that each day he tries to get 1,500 words down – and he spends about four hours a day doing that.

Of course, he’s a writer by profession, you think, and well compensated, so of course he has the time to do this.

Well, he’s always made the time to do this. Writing is his life.

Last night I ran into a former colleague of mine from The Wall Street Journal. He’s a busy guy, a reporter and editor, who’s already written one book. He was sitting at a restaurant at a table by himself with a cup of coffee working on polishing a manuscript. At this point he’s got two children, his day job at the newspaper is demanding. Yet he made the time to work on his next book.

He could’ve just spent Sunday evening hanging. Yes, he said to me, he had diapers to change and parenting to do – and he’s beyond grateful for his wife and children – but he’s also aware (as is his wife) that he needs to write. A book. This was his regularly scheduled time.

Me, I’m an early bird. I get up just after 5, get to the gym when it opens at 5:30, and get to work on writing as soon as I’m back, and after having perused the paper. Then after an hour of writing on whatever project I’ve set myself to, I get down to the other work – the kind I’m paid for.

But I make it stick. If you do, if you keep to a schedule, you will have a book. Or whatever it is you set out to write. It doesn’t have to be the four hours that Stephen King has, or the one or two hours a week my old colleague has, it can be a half hour three or four times a week The thing is: keep at it.

Then you’ll be rewarded with having created something.

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One Response to “Stick to the Schedule”

  1. Anonymous May 4, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Schedules have worked well for me, too. When I put it on my calendar, it happens. If I don’t, I always fill my time with something else. Thanks for the tips.

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