Time to write is nearly impossible to find. You think you might find some when you arrive home from work, but instead you find a pile of bills to pay, a dog to feed, dinner to make, and a DVR that won't watch itself! You want your final product to be praise-worthy, publishable even! But, even though you're constantly seeking, time to write just doesn't present itself.
The key to becoming a productive writer is scheduling your writing sessions. You don't need a huge chunk of time. An hour, even half an hour, is enough time to make progress on your writing projects. But you need to plan for the time rather than hoping to magically find the time in your (let's face it) hectic day!
In addition to helping you find the time to write, scheduling your writing sessions gives you the added bonus of eliminating guilt. If you know you have a writing session tonight at 8pm, you have no reason to feel guilty today while you're at the park with your kids or enjoying a matinee. You have your writing in check, and it feels great!
Of course, any calendar will work, but the Google calendar, associated with your APU or other gmail account is a great option. It is easy to set up recurring writing sessions, such as every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6am to 8am or every Sunday and Thursday night from 8pm to midnight--whatever works for you! You can set up email or text alerts to remind you of an upcoming writing session.
To find your calendar, sign into your email, click on the squares icon at the top right and click on "Calendar."Create a “Class” calendar and add all of your classes. Be sure to click the “Edit event” link and then check the “Repeat…” box so that you can populate your calendar quickly.
Create a new calendar for each major commitment you are involved with, such as Church Life or Kids’ Events and add practices and other events. Look up the current Academic Calendar and add important dates such as Final Exams, Last Day to Drop a Course, Degree Filing Day, etc.
Click on “Tasks” on the left-hand side to open the menu on the right-hand side. Get out your syllabi and add all of your due dates to your “Tasks” calendar. Click the small arrow to the right of each task to add a due date which will show up on your calendar.For each major writing project, add a Rough Draft task item half way between today or the day the paper is assigned and the day the final paper is due. Then add Revised Draft, Edited Draft, and Proofread Draft spaced out between the Rough Draft and the due date.
Be sure to make Writing Center appointments between your Rough Draft and Revised Draft and anywhere else you could use extra feedback and add those appointments to your calendar.
Scheduling your writing will allow you more time to move through the writing process and avoid stress and procrastination. Enjoy feeling organized and accomplished!
Be sure to look for the Writing Center's Graduate Workshop on this topic: Scheduling Writing into Your Busy Life.