Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Scheduling Blues

I'm in that horrible place between. I've finished up some projects. I'm polishing some other projects, and since I was more or less at the end of some things, I thought it would be a good idea to try writing out a schedule, because, you know, someday I'm going to be on deadline and all that.

I wrote it out. I prioritized all the projects currently on my plate (where did they all come from???). I laid out my plan like a big girl. I printed out a calendar to mark it up and everything. I marked how long this project would take, and the one after that. Then I printed out another year of calendar space so I could keep going.

I stopped the madness when I got to the third year.

Because, let's face it, I can't stay on schedule for more than a couple of months. I'm not saying I can't finish things. Nope, not at all--finishing isn't my problem. I have some sort of crazy MUST FINISH PROJECT gene lurking in my head somewhere. No, my problem is that no matter how hard I try I can only work on ONE project at a time.

Like for real.

I thought I could just swap between two projects in a week, but NOPE. I can do it under exactly ONE condition: I can swap if the project I'm leaving is done. D-O-N-E.

So my master schedule is already off the table (though, I think the only casualty was a short I was never that enthusiastic about). And I find myself feeling like an amateur. I mean, I should know better than to try to put my creativity on a schedule, but I hate that sort of fruit loopy writing process where people are all "I'll get it done when I find the inspiration." Except, I'm the one with fruit loops in my bowl.

I want schedules people! Nice organized lists with achievable goals I get to cross off everyday. I might be obsessed with efficiency. Clearly I need to make peace with my process, but I want some organization. How do you handle your writing schedule?

Good thing I decided to go into a field where everything is right on schedule, runs like a well oiled machine, and never takes longer than it should.*

*That was sarcasm, just in case you needed a calibration.


  1. I have very loose deadlines, and I've been doing this long enough I know what's realistic for me. Granted, even with that I typically go over, but if I schedule time every day and keep to a weekly routine, I find I get through the projects I've slated in a reasonable time. BUT if I don't treat them like a job, nothing gets done.

  2. Gaaaah… I HATE the between place too!!!! I have no schedule… I wish I did… I either am not writing at all or I'm totally obsessive/compulsive about it, LOL…

  3. Totally with you on only being able to work on one project at a time. I'm doing some final edits, and it's hard for me to even think about other stuff. As for scheduling... bah. My day job has taught me that I'm good with deadlines, but I don't even want to try to schedule what I'm going to write when. >_< If you can make it work for you, awesome, but if not, also good.

    Also: your tags for this entry are hilarious.

  4. Creating a schedule is the height of procrastination - well done :-) I try to use Outlook to schedule everything out, but I sometimes forget... They are less successful when you forget!

  5. Do you know Hart Johnson? She does crazy month by month schedules for all her stuff. It's awesome and i know i could never do that. I just keep it all in my head. Maybe one day that will bite me in the ass. I guess we'll find out!

  6. I've never been great with schedules, but I have used deadlines before at work or school to force me to work faster. Wouldn't work with my writing, though. The words come at their own pace.

  7. I actually can work on two, (even three in a pinch!) projects at once, as long as they are in different stages of construction (one in first draft, one in revision for example.) Even that doesn't help though--because I have ten other things I'd like to work on at the same time ...
    I've written everything I want to do on Scrivener cards which I rearrange from time to time and that seems to help me feel as if I've got things under control, mostly. There are still days when I just follow my heart. :)


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