Tag Archives: writing schedule

Busy? Break Your Writing Projects Into Small Chunks

I have a confession: this blog has been going strong for 3+ years and lately, because the other editor (Mel) and I have been really, really busy, we haven’t been posting nearly as often as we used to.

That’s because writing takes time, and with her new gig as a publisher (everyone say CONGRATULATIONS to her, by the way) and my 5-6 academic jobs (and I’m not exaggerating there!), we’re fairly low on time between the two of us.

Time slips though my fingers like sand falls from the hourglass and - wait, I don't have time to write poetry!
Time slips though my fingers like sand falls from the hourglass and – wait, I don’t have time to write poetry!

Today I was helping a student plot out a large paper assignment and the advice I gave him is the advice I need to follow myself and that I recommend anyone without a lot of time and a penchant for writing follow: break down your writing assignment into small, digestible chunks you can finish in about a half-hour every night.

I know that sounds pretty easy, but being able to judge your own ability to get a task done isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Here are a few tips that’ll help make the process easier.

1. Planning should be sessions 1-3, at the least. Planning takes time, and sometimes people feel that if they aren’t at a keyboard typing, they aren’t getting any work done and that simply isn’t true. You’re going to need to start planning before you can really start doing anything else.

Deadlines: Friends or Foes

I’m a writer, sometimes. What do I mean by that? Well, I write, but not all the time. I have school and work and friends and sleep. All of those things keep me from writing on a regular basis, but when I know a deadline is coming up, suddenly I find the time to write.

I don’t know what it is about a deadline – perhaps it’s my previous experience writing for a magazine, or my training as a student, but deadlines inspire me.

I can go almost a full year without writing poetry, even when I set aside time just to sit and write and work, but when a deadline is coming up for a journal I want to submit to, suddenly inspiration strikes.

I can go through painful breakups, I can see the most beautiful sunset, I can have my life flash before my eyes but these things don’t drive me to write. A due date gets me going, somehow.

Even my trip to The Great Wall of China didn't yield the same amount of poetry a looming deadline inspires.
Even my trip to The Great Wall of China didn’t yield the same amount of poetry a looming deadline inspires.

And now I ponder, how can I drive myself to write without having to wait for upcoming deadlines?