How I’m Finally Treating Writing as a Real Job — And You Probably Can To, I Think; No Promises
I took a shower today
I started making this schedule along with a list of everything I need to be doing as I move towards writing full-time. Then it dawned on me, I might as well turn this into a story for easy access in Medium. It might even be helpful for anyone else that’s on the same path as me.
This is untested, unconfirmed, trial-and-error stuff I’m putting together that is aimed specifically at my own needs as a writer. Please don’t misunderstand and think I actually know what I’m doing. I don’t want to lead anyone astray. This is not an article that’s going to tell you how to build your career as writer and start making thousands of dollars. I’ve just chosen to share my learning process as I progress along my journey. I think it will be interesting to come back in 6 months and compare my routines and writing at that point. But I digress.
I’ve never been able to adhere to a schedule that plans out each day of the week for me. My life is too dynamic. I know I’ll have time to do these thing, but I won’t be able to predict when that will be. Sometimes during the night; sometimes during the day; sometimes a combination of the two.
Instead of scheduling for the week, I’ll schedule each day I’m working. I’ll set up blocks of activities with the amount of time I feel is necessary and the minimum amount of time required. Then I’ll keep track of how much time I use per block each day and try to finish the total time within 5 days.
Social Media Block (SMB)- 45 Minutes - 10 Minute Min. EngagementActivities: Learn, Post, Research, Update, Follow, Like, CommentPlatforms: Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedInFocus (3 Max): Streamline, Up-to-date, LinkedIn
Editing Block (EB)- 45 Minutes - 10 Minute Min. EngagementActivities: Review Past Work (2 Weeks Max), Polish Drafts, GrammarPlatforms: MediumFocus: Titles, Subtitles, & Tags
Publishing Block (PB)- 45 Minutes - 15 Minute Min. EngagementActivities: Profile Work, Seeking, Submitting, Sign UpPlatform: Medium, Huffington, Misc.Focus: Find one other site to publish to
Read & Engage Block (REB)- 45 Minutes - 15 Minute Min. EngagementActivities: Read Stories, Highlight quote-ables, Comment, Respond to Comment, Clap, Read my own storiesPlatform: MediumFocus: Increase Response count
Writing Block (WB)- 6 Hours - 30 Minute Min. EngagementActivities: Start New Story, Continue Drafts, Research, References, Custom Pictures, Brainstorm IdeasPlatform: Medium, UnknownFocus: Lower draft count, Active stories published or submitted
Scheduling & Going To Work
I’ll make my schedule the night before, or that morning before I start working. I’ll use my block abbreviations throughout the day and I’ll give myself 30 minutes at the end to make my schedule for the next day, compile or write any notes I should keep track of, and write my activities and schedule for the completed day in a daily log.
MON. — 9:30AM-10:30AM — SMB
— — —10:30AM-11:30AM — PB
— — — 11:30AM-01:00PM — LUNCH
— — — 01:00PM-04:30PM — WB
— — — 04:30PM-05:00PM — SCHEDULE/EOD NOTES/LOG
I think that’s a pretty good start; I already feel lighter. I don’t have to juggle everything around in my head thinking I might forget something important. It was starting to get heavy and uncomfortable. We might actually be on to something here.
This is obviously an early rough cut version of my Work Schedule. It’s primary purpose is to learn from my inevitable failures. Which is perfect. I have failure baked right in to my lesson plan to avoid demoralization.
Now then, time to go to work.