Day 4: A Stupid thing called Scheduling.

For the longest time I’d equated writing with scheduling.  The two words just went hand-in-hand.  If I wanted to write, I needed to schedule.  And that worked just fine with my bordering obsessive need to plan, in case you didn’t know.
This image makes the whole planning thing look fun…
So writing became synonymous with scheduling.  This started around early 2009 when I finally outed my plan to pursue writing as a future career to my family.  God bless them!  No one laughed at me, and they’re still not laughing after I’m writing this ~5 years later with not even one completed novel under my seriously rusty belt.
Along the way I’d realized that writing was synonymous with a bunch of other words, too.  Like ‘awful’, ‘stressful’, ‘hair loss’, ‘insomnia’, ‘depression’, ‘impossible’ and ‘crazy hard’…  Okay, okay, that last one was two words, but you guys get the gist, no?
But then I realized what the problem was mid-2013, shortly before I started this blog back in August.  Scheduling.  This whole time I’d made this really stupid association that’d been holding me back.  I was writing to a schedule, keeping really ridiculous word counts, and even more crazy deadlines.
Now, in the as-of-now short defence for scheduling, I’m going to say that it does work if, and only IF, implemented properly.  I’ll go into detail about this in a future post, but here’s my quick spiel: *takes a deep breath* scheduling word count and deadlines are just fine, but make sure they’re realistic on both fronts.  For instance, 500/day for 100 days would give you a 50K novel (which is considered an industry-standard full length).  That’s totally manageable even around the craziest of schedules.  Of course, passion for writing in general and the story idea itself will help where 60 hour work weeks are in effect.
Where scheduling goes AWOL is when working with a really hectic  day-to-day word count or a weekend warrior-type target date, OR worse combine a combo of lengthy daily count goals + short goal completion dates.
Straight up example: Back in July 2010 I was working on a would-be werewolf paranormal series and I had this, like, really pretty schedule table in my outline document.  According to the pretty table, all I had to do was write 10000/day to finish the first draft of said werewolf story.
Yeah, that’s not ambitious.  That’s not even a “aw, isn’t that cute?” naive.
Kids, we call that plain stupid.
Says JLaw my Internal Editor.
Have your laugh now, Editor.  One day…

One thought on “Day 4: A Stupid thing called Scheduling.

  1. Yeah I agree. Word counts can be useful, but not if you set the goal so high that you're bound to be demoralized for not ever succeeding.

    I generally only have set word-count goals in two or three months when I'm taking part in NaNo-like marathons. More than that would burn me out.


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