Put Discipline into Your Daily Writing Schedule

As many of you know, if you read my post, Are Squirrels Interfering With Your Writing Routine?  It is difficult for me to stick to a daily writing schedule. I won’t rehash the reasons (you can see some of them in the post). Suffice it to say, some days I’m disciplined, other days I’m like a thirteen year old girl with her mind on everything but her homework. And don’t get me started on how a retired husband fits into the equation.

So, in an attempt to become more disciplined and inspired by my sister, Jean Cogdell @jeans writing, I’ve decided to participate in Jeff Goins 500 Words 31Day Challenge. The challenge started yesterday and I wrote a  story, Maggie’s New Beginning (Check it out) the (terribleminds)  Flash Fiction Challenge (Chuck Wendig).

Day 2

I’m announcing so you and the other participants can help keep me honest and on track. Feel free to give me a nudge. The fun part of this challenge is there’s no theme. The purpose is to help you become disciplined to write at least 500 words a day. Some days, I will share writing tips and resources. Other days, I’ll share excerpts from my work in progress or a flash fiction piece.

For those interested in participating, here are the rules:

  • Write 500 words per day, every day for 31 days.
  • You can write more if you want, but 500 words is the minimum.
  • Don’t edit. Just write.
  • If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. Don’t make up for lost days.
  • Encourage, don’t criticize (unless explicitly invited to do so).
  • Blogging counts, but email does not.
  • All of this is completely free.

I gotta say, the “don’t edit” rule kinda makes me nervous. So expect to see an errant comma or two (I’m a bit of a comma whore) or a few passive sentences.  I’m also a was whore as I tend to write as I talk; although, those who know me would never call me passive (ask them). Whatever I share I hope you will  be kind in your comments and please do comment. I love feedback, even when it hurts.

How to be Successful in keeping a Daily Schedule

1. Set your alarm and get up an hour earlier. If you’re like me, you won’t need an alarm clock. I’m up every day before 6 am.

2. Set aside uninterrupted time to write. For me, that’s those early morning hours. Once my husband’s feet hit the floor, all bets are off. Which brings me to the next suggestion.

3. Tell your family (retired husbands included) the time frame you are not to be disturbed. If a large chunk of time is too difficult, set aside increments of time. For some, you may need to place a do not disturb sign on your door, send your kids to Grandmas or locking them out of the house (make sure they have plenty of water, it’s hot as Hades). As for the husband, can’t help you too much, keeping mine occupied is all I can handle.

4. Plan for the next day.

5. Spend at least a portion of your time brainstorming for topics.

I’ll leave you with this quote of inspiration:

“If you only write when inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist.” Neil Gaiman

Do you have a daily writing schedule? How do you do it? I’d love to hear from you. You can follow me on Facebook at SheilaMGood and  Twitter @cofcmom

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