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Stories To Tell Books BLOG

Every Writer Needs a Schedule

Biff Barnes

Here are a few more thoughts on managing time.

Richard Gilbert, one of my favorite bloggers, recommended on his blog Narrative that readers check out a post on Bill and Dave’s Cocktail Hour the blog of two writers Bill Roorbach and Dave Gessner.

Roorbach’s post was titled “Finding Time to Write.”

He begins by describing his struggles with finding a way to work on his writing projects. “I had the revelation many years ago that people didn’t respect my writing time,” said Roorbach  “Friends, colleagues, family.  They all saw it as a kind of hobby, like collecting bobbins, something you could interrupt at will without harm.”

He decided that would only change when he began looking at his writing in a different way. He said, “The big shift I made was starting to call my writing work.  First to myself, then to family, finally to everyone else.  And not just call it work, but make it my work.  And not just work, but my job.  My number-one task.  I had to respect my writing time if I expected anyone else to.”

The final step in solving his problem involved a calendar. Roorbach said, “The next challenge is knowing when you’re supposed to be at work.  Any other job, you have a schedule. …So, I started scheduling my writing time in with everything else.”

(I highly recommend checking out the rest of Roorbach’s post.)

The important thing about scheduling is to be realistic. A family historian has a lot of other things going on in her life. You man not be able to schedule multiple hours for your family history book. Instead try to make sure to schedule at least a short period of time multiple days each week.

I have often heard professional writers say, “Write a page a day.” That doesn’t sound like much, but at the end of a year you’d have a 365 page manuscript.

How would that feel?