Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Don’t Count on the Weekends

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ticking timersHow do you stick to a writing schedule?

I find it too easy to say I’m too busy on weekdays. I’m tired in the morning, and when I get home from work, I feel like relaxing, not working my brain. I’ll have plenty of time on the weekend, I think.

In order to make sure I keep up a consistent writing habit, I have learned not to count on the weekends. It always seems like I can get a whole lot of writing and other things done on the weekends, but that’s not always true.

Social events can take up a lot of time on weekends. Sure, on one weekend I may get to spend 4-5 hours per day writing and working on website stuff and preparing blogs in advance. But as soon as I take that amount of time for granted, something comes up the next weekend that takes it away from me. My brain still expects it, because I had it the weekend before, then suddenly my weekend’s over and I didn’t make time for writing.

It can be hard to keep up 5 hours of solid work, too. Since I haven’t developed any kind of routine or habit for working in long stretches like that (because I only do it on weekends), it’s easy to get distracted and off task. So that big chunk of time might not be as productive as my smaller chunks during the week.

I do take advantage of the extra time I have on weekends to get more work done, and to do it at a more relaxed pace, but building regular time into weekdays (or work days, if you work on weekends) is key. Whether it’s getting up early and writing before work, or scheduling regular time to write after work, having a daily expectation to write will help you make progress on your project and exercise your writing muscles.

It can be difficult squeezing regular writing into a schedule that’s busy with a full time job, but if it’s important to you, that’s what you do. I look forward to my evenings and weekends as time to work. It sounds strange, but it’s one of the ways that I know I should be doing it.

The timers pictured above were at Ikea. There were two different displays of them, and in both, all of the timers were ticking. Somebody had come by and set all of them! They didn’t go off while we were within earshot, which was strange since they are only minute timers, but it would have been funny to see!

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Written by nikkinbird

May 15, 2012 at 7:08 am

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