Organize Your Writing Schedule & Work Full-Time // Ever wondered what my daily writing schedule looked like? Today I’m talking about organizing your writing schedule while you’re working full-time. See how I plan my writing days, organize yourself as a writer, and ultimately find balance while writing with a full-time job. And of course, TEMPLATES! I love templates and you can use my template to help you plan your ideal writing week schedule as well!
Download my Author Writing Schedule Template: http://bit.ly/2ssrYwy
Watch my video, Productivity Apps To Keep You Writing & Focused: http://bit.ly/2ChFF2E
Patron of the Week: Brittany Wang, youtube.com/authorbrittanywang
Last week, we talked about how to go from working full time to being a full-time author. Now, you may be the type of person who still needs to work full time and that’s perfectly okay because you and me are in the same boat, now, with that said, we have to figure out how to fit writing into our crazy, hectic schedule of working 40 hours a week and probably doing a lot of other things, as well. If that sounds like you, be sure to stick around because, at the end of this video, there will also be a free download that you’ll be able to use to help create your writing schedule. Hello everyone, my name is Mandi Lynn, I’m an author, book cover designer and the creator of The Book Launch Planner, if you enjoy weekly videos on writing and publishing and book marketing, be sure to hit that subscribe button. Today, we’re gonna be talking about the few steps that you need to take to create your writing schedule and then we’re go ahead and sit down and create a schedule and I’ll also be showing you personal writing schedule. So, let’s jump into it.
So, step one is to realize that not writing every day is okay, we all have hectic lifestyles, there’s a ton going on and it seems like, these days, people are busier than ever. With that said, its perfectly okay not to write every day and we all have different processes for writing, some people like to write in short spurts and some people like to write long spurts all day and do nothing else. Either way, find what works for you and find what works for your schedule.
Step two is to get better at writing, even when you have small amounts of time. When you’re working full time, one of the best things you can do is utilize your lunch break to actually sit down and write, now, it doesn’t matter if you have a half-hour lunch break or an hour lunch break but, either way, that is plenty of time to get your laptop out or your notebook out and get some words down. The biggest thing is just to train yourself to jump straight into your story. I gave myself the excuse, for a long time, that if I didn’t have at least an hour, I didn’t have time to write and that’s untrue, I’ve learned that if you have, at least, 15 minutes, that’s plenty of time to write.
Step three is to make sure that when you decide you need to work on something, you’re actually working, by this, I mean, don’t get distracted. If you’re like me, you’ll do basically anything to avoid the act of writing. I don’t know why but there is something about writing that intimidates me, when I actually sit down and do it, I love it, but when I think about doing it, I hate it, its just how I am. But what you need to do is, when you decide its time to write, you need to turn off your social media, put your phone as far away as possible, turn off the internet on your laptop, do whatever you can to avoid distractions. If you’d like some tips on avoiding distractions and how to really stop yourself from getting distracted, check out this video, it will be linked down below, as well as up in the cards, its all about productivity apps, to keep you focused, while you’re writing.
The final step is step four and that is to create a schedule and to stick with it. So, we can all sit down and create a schedule, that’s all fine and dandy but if you don’t stick to it, it won’t matter. One thing I like to do is that I create a schedule template, in Google Sheets, and then, every week, I look at that template and I take my physical planner and I write down my schedule in my physical planner. Because the template is, again, just a template. I have times that I prefer to do things but stuff pops up in life and we have to tweak things but I always look back at my template because my template is my ideal week, so, that is what we are going into next and that is creating our ideal week. So, the first thing we have to do is, of course, figure out what things we can’t work around and work is one of them, so, we all know we have to go to work, that’s unavoidable, its in our schedule but everything around work is flexible, so, what I want you guys to do is to make a list of things that you want to accomplish, every week.
Besides writing, let me know what type of things you want to fit into your schedule, by leaving a comment, down below.
I have a goal to go to the gym at least four times a week and I also have a goal to work on my book covers for clients at least twice a week. I wanna have a day where I can focus on book marketing and I also wanna have a day where I can focus on business admin stuff and that means emails and anything else that pops us. I also, basically, need a whole afternoon to do YouTube stuff because YouTube can be very time consuming and then I also have a few hours where I wanna sit down and schedule out all my social media posts, for the week and last but not least, I also want a pretty decent chunk of time, just for me and that can be doing anything that I genuinely just plain enjoy. I think that was the biggest thing I failed to do, in 2019, is that I didn’t schedule any me time, that’s not to say I didn’t have fun and goof off occasionally but I didn’t do it often enough. And what would happen, because of that, is that I would get so burned out that I would spend the next week or maybe even a month, accomplishing almost nothing, just because I was so exhausted. With all that aside, I’m now gonna take you over into Google Sheets and walk you through how I created my schedule there. So, here we are, in my 2020 schedule, this is just, kind of, a rough outline that I create for myself, so, what you see here is basically my work schedule and everything else I’ve filtered in around it, you can see that my goal, like I said earlier, my goal was to go to the gym four times a week, I will admit I have the gym, on here, every single day, that does not mean I get to the gym, every single day. So, I, kind of, use this as a template, to work off of, like this is what my ideal week would look like but its not the end of the world if that doesn’t happen.
So, you can see, I color-code things and I would recommend doing the same, just ’cause I don’t know about you guys but I’m a very visual person, so, on the days I work from home, which is Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go to the gym, like, first thing, when I wake up, I just wake up and I get dressed and I go straight to the gym, I come home, I shower and then I work from home. And then, no matter whether I work from home or I actually, physically go to work, I try to do some sort of writing during my lunch break, so that could be reading my work, actually writing, maybe doing some brainstorming, my favorite, during work, is just brainstorming, especially with the stage I’m at, right now, there’s been a lot of brainstorming, to figure out how to, like, write certain scenes, just ’cause its starting to get very technical but that’s why you see all these little writing spots and I will admit, I don’t write everyday, sometimes, at work, especially when I’m physically at work, I just feel, like, pushed to my max. So, sometimes, on my lunch break, at work, I’ll just watch Netflix and that’s perfectly okay. And then, you see, when I come from work Mondays and Wednesdays, I try to go to the gym, after work and then, on Monday nights, I prep all my YouTube content, so I do all the editing, I do all the uploading, I do some SEO optimization, I do a lot of stuff for YouTube and sometimes that means I have to stay up, which is a bummer but, usually, Monday is the only day where I have a really hard time getting through my to-do list, just because it takes me so long to go through all my YouTube stuff, when I upload my videos. And then, Tuesdays, I work from home, so, I have no commute, which is awesome. These little blank spots, here, are what I would call my commute. So, on Tuesdays, I like to do some cover design and then try to do some cleaning, whether than be laundry, dishes, whatever. On Wednesdays, after work, I go to the gym and then try to get to client covers, if I have time, Thursdays, I am working from home, so, I will actually spend the whole, like, afternoon of Thursday, just doing business admin stuff and that can just be, almost, anything. So, anything that’s been piling up on my to-do list, throughout the week, I do on Thursdays. Or, at least, I try to do on Thursdays. Then, Fridays, after work, I celebrate the coming of the weekend and that is my me time, here, you have some examples of my me time, that’s scrapbooking, reading or just watching a movie. I will admit, sometimes, all this business stuff overflows into Friday, which I’m not a huge fan of but I’d rather get through my to-do list than be stressed out and then we have weekends, so, you can see, here, on the weekends, I go to the gym, realistically, I tend to avoid the gym on Sundays, I don’t know why, its just a habit I have. And then, I will try to do some authorly stuff, so, WIP is work in progress, so, that would be just more writing. You can see its the same color but, for whatever reason, I have it labeled as WIP and, well, it seems more pleasing to have it labeled as writing. And, I try to do it, in the morning, just because, otherwise, I will put it off all day, I’ve done it many, many times where I’m like, I’ll do it later, I’ll do it later, I’ll do it later and then, all of a sudden, its time for bed. So, I try to do that first thing, I’m also, I’m the type of person that, kind of, enjoys doing marketing, like, that is my full time job, so, I enjoy it almost more than writing because writing is hard. But I put my marketing as something I do afterwards because, otherwise, I’ll never get the writing done. So, you can see, here, on Saturdays, I do, just, regular, old marketing slash make better and by make better, I mean, I tend to have a monthly calender, where, for that month, I wanna focus on making one thing better, so, for example, like, I’ll spend some time improving, like, my book listing on Amazon, whether that be tweaking with the book blurb a little bit, to make it more, like, interesting for people to read, to make it more clickable, I don’t know, I like to do that a lot, where I just, kinda, go and look back at things I’ve already done and just say to myself, how can I make this better, to help improve sales? Then, Sunday, like I said, if we’re being realistic, this gym does not exist, I tend to sleep in on Sundays, I might get some writing done but the one sure fire thing I do on Sundays, and every single Sunday, is schedule all my social media posts, for the week. Otherwise, I would never get it done, I would never post on social media and what I would post on social media would be very haphazardly put together. So, Sundays is the day where I, kind of, prep all my Patreon content and I schedule all of that out, I pre-write all my Instagram posts, I pre-schedule all my social media posts and all of that, so I don’t have to worry about it too much, during the week. Now, I will say, I definitely don’t work every single day, on the weekend, this is, kind of, what a weekend, if I was free and not busy doing anything would look like but, most of the time, I will have something going on, either Saturday or Sunday and if that’s the case, I, kind of, just jumble everything into one day, which, you know, I don’t like doing but its possible. So, that’s my week but I, kind of, wanna walk you through what a typical writer’s week would look like, so, I’ve gone ahead and, this is actually a free, little download will have, today, its just a blank template, so, you guys can put in your own work hours, you can put in your own schedule and all of that, so, if you wanna download this, its linked down below but, today, I have this, kind of, halfway filled in one. So, I kind of filled in a nine to five schedule, so, here we have a nine to five schedule. When I worked at my old job, one of my favorite things to do was actually to wake up really early and do writing, right away. So, I would wake up at, like, 5:30 and start writing by 6:00 AM, so, I’m just gonna put all that in here ’cause this used to be my schedule, this was actually, kind of, how I got She’s Not Here written ’cause, otherwise, it never got written. Lets see, I want a light pink, is that– That’s not pink, so, lets see, that should work. Okay, so yeah, like I said, I like to color-code things and maybe you’re the type of person who likes to spend Saturday mornings writing, as well, in which case, I’m gonna just highlight this and make it pink and then put writing, ta-da. And if we’re being realistic, if you really wanna, like, color-code things, you would do it for how long you need to be writing for. So, if you say you need to be out the door by 8:00, maybe you want to start getting ready at, like, 7:00, 7:30, so, you’ll have all this time to actually do some writing. And then, if you wanted to, you could schedule in some writing, during your work schedule but if I were you, if you spent all morning writing, I would use your lunch break as reading time, so, I’m just gonna make that green and put reading, so, if we have all that said and done, we have some writing in the morning, writing on Saturday, so, you’ve, kind of, got your writing schedule figured out. So, then we just, lets say we’re home by 6:00 and you wanna make dinner and we’ll just dedicate this whole time, here, to dinner. You may have noticed I didn’t of that in my actual schedule, that’s because I’m still figuring that part out, that’s why we make these calendars editable. Maybe you like to do some crafts on Monday, to, kind of, help ease the blow of Monday, maybe you like to do some, like, yoga, either way, you can put all these, sort of, little things into your schedule, here, to just do whatever you want and leave some wiggle room, if you’d like, and then we can put, actually, instead of dinner on Friday, we’re just gonna put this whole chunk of time as me time because maybe you’ll go out to dinner, who knows, maybe that’s how you celebrate. So, we’re gonna– Oops, we’re gonna put me time, here, and you can figure out whatever that means to you. So, just to make the schedule a little more interesting, lets add in a few more things, maybe you start off your Sunday morning with, like, a yoga class and this is just me, like, playing around with stuff, like, obviously this isn’t my schedule, you guys already say my schedule. And maybe, if you are the type of person who owns your own business, maybe after you spend some writing time in the morning, you wanna take the whole Saturday, the whole rest of the day on Saturday, to do business work or whatever. So, that could just be answering emails, that could be doing some marketing, that could be scheduling content, that’s not how you spell that. Oh my goodness, I’m having a tough day, today, but you get the point, so, all of this fillable, you can color-code it, so you can see where you’re spending your time doing stuff. You can see if you’re spending too much time doing one thing or maybe you’re not spending enough time doing writing, like, if you fill out your calender and you look at it and you’re like, oh boy, I don’t see enough writing opportunities on here, that’s when you need to say to yourself, okay, I gotta move some stuff around. I hope you found that walkthrough helpful, if you wanna download your own Google Sheet template, just visit the link below and you can do that, when you download the template, you’ll be subscribed to my newsletter and when you subscribe, you get access to my whole resource library, which is full of templates, printables and even webinar replays. This is also my favorite part of my videos, where I shout out to my Patreon of the week, this week it is my dear friend, Brittany Wang. Brittany is currently working on her young adult, fairy fantasy, On Wings Of Ash And Dust. Its about five diverse and misfit fairies that represent their clans, in competition for the ultimate rule but end up having to save their world from much more than just a threat of war. This year, Brittany also has the goal of either to publish the book, traditionally, by securing an agent or she might even go into the realm of self publishing, if you’d like to check out her book or even Brittany, she’s also on YouTube, you’ll find her info, down below, if you’d like to subscribe. If you would like to be featured as one of my Patreons of the week, be sure to just join me over on Patreon, there’s also a lot of fun and exclusive content that you can unlock, there, and that includes videos, the occasional webinar and podcast, if you found this video helpful, let me know by giving it a thumbs up and commenting, down below. And, of course, if you’d like to see future videos, be sure to hit that subscribe button and the notification bell and, of course, I have a playlist, here, that is perfect for you, if you are interested in learning more about marketing your book and all that sort of jazz. So, be sure to click and keep watching.
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