BLOG: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Writing Schedule

One of the worst things that can happen to you as an aspiring writer is falling into a pit of writer’s block. Once you start to feel burnt out, you might not feel like you have the time for writing anymore and it’s infinitely more difficult to boost creativity.

A foolproof way to make sure you get back on track (and avoid getting writer’s block again) is to create a writing schedule. There’s no specific formula for making one, as everyone has a unique writing process! What’s important is that you have a way to keep yourself accountable – and your thoughts, content, and future plans organized in one place. A writing schedule is the simplest solution to one of the greatest problems of modern-day authors.

Why You Should Have a Writing Schedule

Think of your writing schedule like a bullet journal, rather than a premade planner or calendar. Ideally, it should be customized to work with what you personally need, and fit in seamlessly with your daily workflow. Here are just a few of the reasons why a writing schedule would change your life for the better:

  • It keeps you accountable.

Procrastination is an age-old issue that still continues to plague everyone, including writers. Not having a way to visually keep track of your work can take away from your time for writing, because you don’t know what you need to do next and when.

Accountability is essential for any working professional, even for self-published authors. Lack of discipline in this area will lead to deteriorating performance and just a slow decline in motivation. So do yourself a favor and take on a little more responsibility, just as a fun challenge!

  • It’s easier to keep track of your deadlines and projects.

Having all of your tasks laid out in front of you will mostly do two things: force you to prioritize, and remind you of upcoming deadlines. If you’re working on multiple projects or manuscripts all at once, these tasks can get mixed up. As a consequence, you might wind up missing a deadline or two and throwing off your whole schedule. A major part of an efficient workflow is being aware of your workload and setting aside enough time to actually complete them.

  • It can function as a mind map or concept plan.

Mind maps and concept plans are great if you’re trying to crawl out of the writer’s block pit and boost creativity. If you can’t stomach the idea of setting aside some time for writing just yet, creating a mind map can be a fun activity to get your thoughts in order. Think of it as a free writing exercise! You don’t have to use much brain power to accomplish a cohesive mind map, and you can use this information later on for your projects.

  • It can keep you and the quality of your work consistent.

Consistency is the best thing that you can do to boost creativity. This might sound counterproductive because usually, the recommended ways to boost creativity are to do something different from your usual routine. However, consistent practice is the best way to hone your skills so you can keep your mind sharp!

This doesn’t have to mean that you have to strictly write a certain number of words per day, or have a monthly quota for pure writing. Consistency can mean having a writing routine that breaks up the monotony a little bit. You can plan out a flexible daily plan that includes writing exercises, time for writing your manuscript itself, and even a short self-care routine. The important part is keeping everything balanced and taking care of your mental and physical health so you can continue writing to the best of your ability.

How to Make a Writing Schedule

Now that you’re ready to make some time for writing, get ready to plan out your schedule! Remember, there are no rules to this – you could try to find premade templates or make your own from scratch. You can also choose between digital and traditional planning, and this can even complement your preferred method of writing! 

Let’s get into the details of creating a writing schedule in the next section.

  1. Choose your preferred medium

You can decide whether you want to take the digital or traditional route depending on how you actually write yourself. If you like to write traditionally – with pen and paper, or perhaps with a typewriter – then you might want to take a traditional route as well with your planning. If you’re more of a digital writer, then having your schedule saved in the same place as your projects and documents can also work well.

This all depends on your preferences and what works with your current lifestyle. Digital planning is more flexible, accessible, and customizable depending on where you set up. Apps like Notion, GoodNotes, or Evernote are some of the most commonly used digital planning apps today. However, some people find themselves to be more productive when they’re physically writing things down.

  1. Figure out the approach you want to take

Planning your writing schedule can be as freestyle or as structured as you want. If you need a layout that can boost creativity, adapting a bullet journal-like structure can be the perfect setup! But if you’d rather save time or prefer a more standard approach, a calendar or basic planner can work just as well.

  1. Devise your routine

This is when you decide the amount of time for writing you want to set aside each day. It’s recommended that you set a specific number of hours a day instead of basing your routine on a word count, because it alleviates some of the pressure from having to deliver a predetermined amount of content per day.

Your routine can be strictly for writing or it can also include other aspects of your day, such as errands and other non-writing tasks. If you already have a planner or schedule for your personal life, you can just insert your writing schedule so it’s all in one place!

  1. Follow your schedule consistently

You can set up your schedule and plan as much as you want, but it’s all going to be for nothing if you don’t stick to your routine. The whole point of creating a writing schedule is so you can hold yourself accountable. Embrace the responsibility of taking on a writing venture, and enjoy the ride while you’re at it.

Overcoming writer’s block is difficult, but it’s also equally as difficult to keep yourself disciplined. That’s why we launched a dedicated community of aspiring writers, professional authors, and coaches that can help your work through the struggles of writing your book. The Global Society for Aspiring Writers exists to support you in your journey to become a published author through premium writing services that unlock the best writer in you.