Writing time: flexibility versus structure

Lately, I’ve been wondering how other writers structure their time.

I was intrigued to learn that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper spent about 15 minutes a day working on his new book A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & The Rise of Professional Hockey, which is being released today. (More info about his book in this Globe and Mail article.)

I’ve been hearing about other writers who have designated writing hours, during which they don’t schedule anything else.

I’m still figuring out what works best for me.

Since I began my blog, I’ve enjoyed the combination of structure and flexibility. Blogging four days a week, usually in the morning, provides the structure. That  leaves a lot of time for flexibility, which is the part I’m still figuring out.

I’ve begun working more seriously on the book that’s been percolating in my head, although I don’t have designated writing hours for it.

To create momentum, I added “work on book” to my daily to-do list. It seems like a small thing, but the reminder to be consistent is helpful to me. I might miss a day here and there, but the daily reminder means the book never drops off my radar.

I like having the flexibility to work on it at whatever time of day I choose, and I  find that the minimum time I set for myself often turns into a longer stretch once I get going.

I also like to stop at a point where I know what I’m going to write next, so that it will be easy to pick up where I left off.

I’d be interested to know what works for other writers.



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