Schedule Just One Week

hope_000.gifTime Management Mastery for Writers

By C. Hope Clark

We never have enough time. We blame a lot of our obligations on the kids, poor things. Then we dump on the spouse or significant other. Add to that a day job (like your boss has any interest in sabotaging your writing), and suddenly your week is shot. You’ve had barely enough time to read two chapters in your mystery novel and jot down a thought in your blog. Soon you’ll reach retirement age, still trying to make room for your writing. Then it’ll be the grandchildren’s fault.

At this very moment…and that means right now…stop. Take out your weekly calendar. Make an appointment with yourself every day for seven days. Don’t wait until Sunday to start a perfect week. Don’t wait and see what happens at work tomorrow or at school this afternoon. Mark a period of time each day. Even if some of your days are crammed with busy-ness, find a minimum of fifteen minutes, then pencil it in on your agenda book. It doesn’t have to be the same amount of time every day or even occur at the same hour. Just schedule some time each day.

When that time arrives, drop what you are doing. Don’t catch the end of the show on television or finish folding the towels. Stop. Sit down at your notebook or computer. Don’t log on to the Internet. Turn to a blank page or open a blank screen in your word processing program. Start writing.

Ding. Your time is up. Please lay down your pencil. (I always wanted to say that.) What did you write? While at first glance the material is rubbish, or a close cousin thereof, it doesn’t matter. Save it. Get up and go back to your life.

The next day, drop everything and start writing again. If you happen to not be at your typical workstation, you have no excuse. Find some paper. Next time bring your laptop, if you have one. Set your watch. Write. Ding. Time’s up. Move on.

If you can follow a diet for seven days, catch a serial movie or read a novel every night, you can follow this regimen. At the end of the week, you’ll see that setting time aside for writing isn’t quite the hurdle you thought.

Try another week.

By the third week, you’ll catch yourself planning ahead about what to write. Uh-oh. Could you be working on a story? A real writing project with a plot and everything? Will wonders never cease? Goodness knows…one day you might even write a book, because this is how it starts.

C. Hope Clark is founder and editor of, annually recognized by Writer’s Digest in its poll of 101 Best Web Sites for Writers. She delivers four newsletters each week to thousands with her specialty being grants and income opportunities for writers of all sizes. She’s published over 200 articles on paper and online. Her magazine credits include Writer’s Digest, The Writer Magazine, ByLine Magazine, NextStep Teen, College Bound Teen, Landscape Management Magazine, TURF Magazine, and American Careers Magazine. Hope is a motivational soul known as “Freelance Hope” in many circles. Those reluctant to promote their writing cherish her trade paperback The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success. Find more hope for your writing career at &

1 Response to “Schedule Just One Week”

  1. 1 Kathleen Ewing September 14, 2007 at 2:26 am

    Vintage Hope. That’s the boot in the britches we all need from time to time.

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