WRITING: Write on schedule

9amworkIt’s 9 a.m. any day of the work week. And weekends, too, if the family doesn’t already have something for me to do.

Where am I? It had better be right here with my laptop open and Scrivener humming away.

Trouble is, often I’m not.

Sometimes, I have an appointment, an interview, a meeting. Then it’s OK. But sometimes, I’m checking my email, watching a cute puppy video….you know how it is.

On the days when my schedule is clear, I’ve made changes that I hope will ensure my writing time.

At 9 a.m., the email gets shut off. Twitter and Facebook get closed down. Even my favoritest, bestest blog gets turned off until 1 p.m. For four blessed hours I’m writing. And only writing. And only writing about Maureen and Rosalind and Will.

I want the world to get to know Maureen and her service in the Civil War, Rosalind and her search for a dress in the new United States and Will as he confronts the greatest disaster his hometown has ever seen. But nobody will ever get to read their stories if I don’t finish them.

I’ve been a writer all my life. But a writer with deadlines. Daily and weekly newspaper deadlines. Monthly magazine deadlines. Even a six-month travel guide deadline.

  • Ask me to finish a story in four hours and I’m your girl.
  • Challenge me to write 50,000 words in November and I’m a NaNoWriMo winner.
  • Ask me to write and revise a 65,000 historical novel and don’t give me a deadline and I don’t know how to do it.

But I’ve turned over a new leaf. New year, new, more mindful plan. I’ve set my alarm. Be at work at 9 a.m. Work until 1 p.m.

So I’m doing it. And so far, it’s working. I revised eight chapters on a day when I got to work on schedule. Then I came up with a boatload of questions for the Maryland Historical Society and Maryland State Archives too. And I wrote this blog post.

So I’m staying focused. Write now. Answer questions later.

Write now. Right now.

What works for you? Let me know. (I could use the advice.)

 

 

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