Tips and Tricks, writing

5 Tips for Making and Maintaining a Writing Schedule

Writing isn’t easy. I think most writers will agree with me. Some days, words seem to fly from your fingers and other times, you stare at the screen blankly. I get it. One of the best ways to combat that is to have some sort of writing schedule. Now, this should be extremely customizable to your lifestyle and schedule, but it needs to exist. Or else, you may find next week that you haven’t looked at your writing once in the past seven days.

Here are my five tips for making and then maintaining your schedule.

 

1. Put it on the calendar

This one may seem simple, but it can have a great impact. Sit down with your planner, google calendar, phone, whatever it is and find the times where you have free time. Whether it is for a half hour or three hours, put it in as an event. By making it something physically scheduled, you’ll be less likely to forget or ignore it.

 2. Tell others about it

One of the leading causes of distraction can be other people. And it may just be that they don’t realize what is going on. Make sure the people around you know what you’re doing and that it’s important to you. If they know that from 9-10 am, you’re writing, they won’t bother you (hopefully). But if you don’t tell them, they won’t know! Plus, it’ll create some great accountability on top of being distraction-free.

3. Be realistic

If you haven’t written in a long time, planning to write for five hours straight is probably not feasible. Know your limits. Schedule an hour or two and gauge from that. If you set your goals unrealistically in the beginning, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment which can lead to completely forgoing any schedule. Instead, set your goals conservatively and then you can expand from there as you see your capacity.

4. Outline your time

There should always be flexibility in your writing schedule, but it can be extremely helpful to have a general outline of what you want to do. Every week, I try to write a to-do list of things I want to accomplish. “Write four chapters of The Lightbringer”, “write a short story about Asena“, “journal twice”, “write a story from a prompt“. Things like that can help me have focus and allow me to check things off, which can be extremely motivational!

5. Don’t edit

This can be one of the most detrimental things to a writing schedule. If you are not to the editing stage (completely finished your first draft), editing simply is a rabbit trail that you can get lost down. You’ll spend hours fixing this one thing, that leads to the next and suddenly its been a month since you’ve written anything. Finish writing your first draft before you edit. Editing will be necessary then, but if you don’t have the bones to work with, you’re just rearranging things and not writing! Often times, editing prematurely can end with a half finished book that never sees the light of day or a final chapter.

 

I hope these helped. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments below. If you’re looking for more Tips and Tricks, check out some of my other articles!

Book Review, WordSmith Musings, writing

Whatcha Reading? The Fellowship of the Ring: LOTR

I love a good adventure as much as the next gal but The Lord of the Rings series has to be one of the most well-known ones of all-time. Somehow, despite having watched the movies a dozen times, I’ve never actually read the books. My husband and some close friends have and finally I decided to pick up the large red book sitting on my bookshelf.

It has been a great decision.

The Fellowship of the Ring is an intriguing tale and the extended depth (or existence) of characters has been my favorite part. I am only halfway through (we’re about to head to Moria) so I can only speak to that part.

In the movies, two of my favorites were, of course, the silly, quirky, but ultimately brave Merry and Pippin. Tolkien has fleshed them out and given them much more in-depth personalities than I ever realized.

Merry, while still a fun hobbit, is actually quite the responsible fellow. Frodo doesn’t flee quite as quickly as I thought and instead “moves” to Buckland to throw off suspicion before he leaves for good. And who does he have help him buy and set up his home? That would be Merry. And when Frodo begins acting strange months before, who helps form the group of four hobbits who will keep him safe and look out for him? Again, Merry was integral in that. When he goes to the Prancing Pony, he doesn’t join in the revelry and it was actually Frodo who ends up dancing on the table tops. Merry stays in because it sounds like quite the ruckus and he actually discovers the Black Riders in Bree while on a quiet walk.

I wouldn’t have guessed that I would enjoy such a responsible version of Merry, but it has given him a depth I love. He is courageous and still light-hearted, but he isn’t foolish.

Pippin, on the other hand, is still the silly hobbit that we know and love. But, we get to see his big heart, his courage, and his loyalty to his friends so often that I couldn’t help but become even fonder of the fool of a Took.

As is often common (almost always), these books are proving to be even better than the phenomenal movies. I’ll let you know when I finish, but I hope you get a chance to read it yourself!

I’m reading the whole collection, which you can find here. If you just want to check out the Fellowship of the Ring, you can find that here.

WordSmith Musings, writing

10 Classic Novels to Read in 2020

1.Pride and Prejudice

For anyone who has ever felt awkward in love, there is character you will relate to. This witty, charming, and flirty book will have you laughing from the first chapter! This is maybe my favorite classic of all time!

 

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee weaves a harrowing tale of racial discrimination and the law set from the eyes of a spunky child. Scout’s adventures are as entertaining as they are poignant. 

 

3. 1984

This novel is not for the faint of heart. This book was written in 1949 predicting what a terrifying 1984 could look like if we weren’t careful. Big Brother is always watching and they decide everything, even down to what you think. This book will make you think about censorship, control, and liberty in a whole new light. 

 

  1. White Fang

Follow the tale of a lonely wolfdog, we see the harsh life of the North, cruel people who only know how to mistreat, and kindness that can win the darkest heart. I highly recommend. 

 

5. Jane Eyre

Looking for a mystery wrapped up in a romance? Or maybe a heroine every girl can relate to? Jane is a very plain woman and, despite the harshness of those around her, grows into a kind woman. She begins to work for Mr. Rochester and the mystery of his past and their future will keep you on your toes!

 

  1. Frankenstein

Dr. Frankenstein heads down a dark path as he begins to explore the darker sides of science. His monster thread of the story will have you questioning what the term ‘monster’ really means. Intriguing and gothic, this novel will have you up for hours to finish. 

 

7. Great Expectations

Pip’s struggle from poverty to riches and the complications from pretty girls, criminals, and old, creepy women make for a rich tale. Dickens certainly know how to create vibrant characters and this novel is littered with them.

 

 

  1. The Horse and His Boy

A powerful tale of a young impoverished boy and a Talking Horse escaping dreary lives of slavery to reach Narnia and freedom. This epic within the Chronicles of Narnia is a great read whether you’ve read the rest or not!

 

9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Join Huck on his adventures doing the Mississippi River with Jim, a slave seeking freedom. From ridiculous boyhood adventures to moving moments, this book is a great American classic. 

 

 

  1. Midsummer’s Night Dream

Shakespeare of course makes the list. Midsummer’s Night Dream is a fanciful and entertaining tale of two worlds colliding; the human and the fey. With love stories all amiss and shenanigans ensuing, no one will be the same after this night!

 

 

 

All links associated with the images and list are affiliate links. I may make a small portion of the proceeds. If you have any questions regarding this, please reach out to me via my contacts page. 

Book Review, WordSmith Musings, writing

Whatcha reading? Narnia edition

This month I’ve dove back into the classic Narnia series. I read them when I was about 12 or so and really enjoyed them. At the start of the New Year, I was trying to figure out what to read next (a daunting question as I stare at the numerous books on my shelves that I’ve bought over the years).

Image result for narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia caught my attention. I had watched the movies recently and so I knew a few of them well. And I had read the Magician’s Nephew for a class. But The Silver Chair, The Last Battle? It had been years and I honestly couldn’t really remember what happened!

So I began in the original order they were published. I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Then came Prince Caspian. Next was Voyage of the Dawn Treader. After that was The Silver Chair. And I’m just now finishing up the Horse and His Boy.

The Horse and His Boy is one of my all time favorites. It details the adventure of a young boy and a Talking Horse escaping a life of hardships to find freedom in Narnia. There’s adventures and excitement and some of my favorite characters pop back up from the other books. But what I think strikes me so much is how much we can see Aslan working in this boy’s life and, until the end, he has no clue. This idea resonated with me.

I also find the story of an orphan nobody who discovers that he is loved and has a great family is heartwarming and feel-good. Plus, the villians are harrowing, the heroes relatable, and the story just plain fun.

I highly recommend all of the Chronicles of Narnia, but definitely the Horse and His Boy!

What are you reading right now? Any recommendations for my next book? Put it in the comments below!

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