Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Schedules, Goals and Priorities

Do you have a writing schedule?

This was a question posted in an online forum that I am part of recently, and I must say I was shocked by the variety of responses (over 200). Some people write for 8-10 hours per day, others are happy to get 1 hour a week. Some people have a word-count goal, others are appalled by the idea of any kind of goal and only write when they can and when they want. Some people write first thing in the morning others write after everyone else is in bed. Some people write at home, others write at work, or in a restaurant, lounge or library.

As a stay-at-home, work-at-home, mother of four, and house wife, I have no choice but to write at home (or occasionally at the park while the kids play). I write on and off through the day when there is time, but I have set aside a small block of time while the boys are at school each day to get some work done. I don't do word count as that really isn't the kind of writing I am doing right now. I have smaller goals like, finish an interview, write a devotion, or finish some other project that I am working on. I like to give myself deadlines so that I don't get overly bogged down with projects that I need to get finished. I find that having a set time to work is extremely helpful in reaching goals, and having goals is essential to keep from getting behind.

I think whether or not you should have a writing schedule or what kind of writing goals you have depends on what kind of writing you are doing, but also what stage of life you are in. I would love to make writing my #1 priority, but that wouldn't make since at this point of time in my life. I have to care for my children (or put them up for adoption), I have to clean my house (or make enough to pay for a maid, I have to live life, and while writing and editing is my dream, I have to keep everything in proper prospective. Because, well let's face it, I will never put my kids up for adoption, and I can't afford to hire a maid... Besides that, if I were to make writing my #1 priority right now, I would miss out on so many events in my children's lives that only happen once. I have my whole life to write, but only a few short years with my precious children. I also made the commitment when I started taking on freelance work that God and my family have to come first. That doesn't mean that I can't tell them I have to get my work done (because it is still a job), it just means that I don't take on more work then I can get done in less than 2 hours a day. It means that I don't write or edit anything before I read my Bible each morning.

What about you? Do you have a writing schedule or writing goals? Where does writing fit into your list of priorities?

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