If you’re going to go into business for yourself, writer, then you have to to what real businesses do: set schedules.
Yes, I know. Yuck. Schedules are for the 9 to 5 road warriors. Not you. You are an art-teest.
Artists starve. Not you. You are Me, Inc. And Me, Inc. is in this for the long haul. Remember, as an indy, you won’t have a publisher breathing down your neck to hit a deadline. You have to breathe down your own neck. Yeah, it’s as hard as it sounds.
You know what you’re capabilities are, so be honest. Can you write 500 words a day? 1000? How many hours do you have available? After you give up TV? Are you writing novels only? Short stories? Ariticles?
I like to divide my time up in one hour increments. If you’re weird, feel free to divide yours up in 23 minute increments. But let’s say you have three hours during the day in which you can devote time to some part of your business. Use the time before the kids get up. Lunch. The evening. Whatever you can find (but do give yourself time to stare off into space or even sleep).
Here’s how I schedule my time:
Lunch hour: Plotting for the next book
6-7pm: Side work (online marketing for Hensley Mfg. and others)
7-8pm: Writing for the current wip. Target is 1500 words.
8-9pm: Edit previous wip.
8-10am: Side work (these pay now, so don’t pass ’em up if you’ve got the time).
3-5pm: Write newsletter serial episodes, blogs for the week, or take care of other business needs. Obviously, weekends are flexible. This is the time to catch up.
Before church: write a blog post or read other blogs.
After church: chill man, it’s Sunday. But keep the notebook handy.
And it’s that simple. Plan out your time. Yes, there will be interruptions. My 1500 words a day would give me more than I need after two months, but I’m planning for date nights with my wife, graduations, etc.
Which is why you should also set medium-term goals. More on that next time.