Scheduling Creativity

16 Sep

Many will tell you to create a schedule for your writing.  It’s a solid plan.  You could well end up writing a chapter (or more) per day.  But, what if it just isn’t flowing?

How do you go with the flow of creativity – yet, confine it to a schedule?  This is the part I seem to struggle with most.

I’ve decided to set a word goal for each night.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  Now, I keep getting stuck, though I appear to be doing better today actually.  I also keep looking at the word count, which is terrible of me.

Part of me says, “Yes, a schedule.  Something to keep me on track – this is good.”  Part of me says, “Just go with the flow man, don’t put restraints on your muse.”  Yes, apparently part of me is a hippie.

Setting a minimum word count goal really is a good idea.  If I could more effectively quiet my inner flower child – the idea would be gold.  And, not making it a point to at least write SOMETHING every single day (or, night in my case, most of the time), is just counter-productive to keeping the creativity flowing.  This one I know, from unfortunate personal experience, is certainly true for me.

Maybe that’s my solution(Seriously – it just came to me – I did not plan this little “Eureka!” moment.)  Maybe, instead of setting a specific word count each night, I should simply make it a point to write something – anything, regardless of how many words it may or may not be – every night.

Sure, some nights I would end up writing a grand total of 50 roughly thrown together words.  But, other nights I could wind up getting that muse to chatter at top speed, spitting out 5000 words in a few hours (I’ve done that before too).

Most importantly, I could very well stop checking the word count every couple hundred words.  I wish I could just make that particular feature invisible, until I was completely done with each draft.

I would love to know if other writers deal with this same quandary (if you don’t, I admire your discipline) and, as I’m sure I’m not the only one, how they schedule (or not) their writing.


Posted by on September 16, 2011 in All, Writing


Tags: , , ,

5 responses to “Scheduling Creativity

  1. fulcrumwritingstudio

    September 17, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I don’t stick to a schedule but I do try to write something (anything!) everyday. I think I would obsess over a word count if I had a number in mind when I sat down to work.

    Like you, I’m a mother juggling my desire to write with a ton of other stuff. Good luck with your writing!

    • awomyn

      September 17, 2011 at 5:45 am

      Whew, it’s not just me. lol. I do obsess over it, if I try to set a word count. I’m checking that thing after every single paragraph to see how close I am. Which, in my experience, takes away from the ability to just let it flow.

      Thank you and good luck with yours! 🙂

  2. laurastanfill

    September 17, 2011 at 2:42 am

    I schedule my writing sessions, and try to write every day, rather than setting word counts. As long as I show up to the blank page, even if nothing happens, I feel like I’ve accomplished my goal. I’m afraid if I ever tried word counts, I’d feel too frustrated on the days I didn’t get many words down.

    • awomyn

      September 17, 2011 at 5:43 am

      This is about where I’m at. I’d like to get more words down on most days, but it’s just irritating to focus on how many words I have or have not written. 🙂

      • laurastanfill

        September 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm

        I totally agree! Although I know lots of people who swear by word counts, I’m sure I’d keep checking my progress throughout each session rather than focusing on the story.


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