Fits and starts

By Katharine Swan On Saturday, January 23, 2010 At 4:16 PM

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working on my novel again. With one exception (Thursday night I added 800 words to it), the only work I've done on it has been on Saturdays, when Kathy Kehrli and I do our virtual write-in. Last Saturday I only added 400 words, but today I did much better: 1,061 words.

The weekly write-in prevents me from getting too far away from the novel, so that the trail doesn't get cold, so to speak. It's far from ideal, though. Kathy and I were talking today about trying to write every day, and it got me to thinking about how I could work that into my schedule.

Those of you who read my blog frequently know that I do the occasional experiment in increasing my productivity, which is something I really struggle with as a freelancer. Right now I've been wondering if a more regimented daily schedule would help. I don't usually operate on a schedule, but lately I've been letting the barn eat up a lot of my work time during the day — not something I regret, but not exactly conducive to getting lots of work done, either.

So I'm pondering how I could make up a daily schedule that would help me to get more done in a day. In addition to barn time and client work, I would ideally schedule time every day for novel writing and blogging (another thing I've struggled with finding time for lately). The challenge is that I really need to be able to go to the barn during the morning, when it is relatively quiet, yet Michael's presence in the evening makes it hard to just extend my work day out a little.

I'll let you know what I come up with.


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Blogger Kathy@TheFlawlessWord Says:  

I'm plagued by distractions too, so I'm interested to see what you come up with. I'm very schedule driven, meaning if it's on my daily must-do schedule it gets done. If not, I'll keep pushing it back. Soooo, I've been thinking, 'What if I were to make my daily schedule more regimented, dividing it up into hourly (or so) segments that MUST be spent on certain tasks? I may try it. If I do, I'll let you know how it goes.

Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

I tend to load up my to-do list with more than I can do, so about half of it gets pushed back. Unfortunately, it's usually the low-priority stuff, and as a result it often gets pushed back day after day before it finally gets done. It's not a very good system.

I've been considering the same thing you have, blocking out my schedule, but I'm not sure I have the mental discipline to pull off too complicated of a schedule. For me, I think it might be more effective to block off horse time, novel time, and blog time, and then leave the rest as work time (without defining which project I'll work on during each hour).

I'm interested in hearing how your trial goes -- and I'll let you know what I decide about mine.


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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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