Schedules and Goals

In support of Briana at “When I Became an Author” (and because I should probably be accountable to someone for this stuff), I thought I’d try to set up a little schedule for myself, see if I can’t become just a little more efficient in my time management (she said as she downloaded a Time Management game to waste time on).

Let’s see…


6:00 am- wake up. OK, this sounds gross, but for some reason my body clock is getting me up this early, anyway. Might as well make use of it, right?

6:15- WRITE. Easier said than done when I have blogs, facebook, twitter and e-mail begging for attention, but I can do this. I think. Dang it, I wish I had willpower!

7:15- Get kids up, actually start day.

…and that’s all I can really schedule. My husband is a police officer, he works shifts, everything else has to kind of work around him. Not that I mind; I love having time with him. But it does mean that when he works during the day, that hour up there is all the straight writing time I’m probably going to have, at least until September when my buddy Captain America starts kindergarten half-days. I’ve promised myself more writing time then, but we’ll see how that works out.

But there is one more thing:

10 minutes before bed- Figure out exactly what’s going to get written in the morning. Make notes to read over so I can jump right into it.

Well, it’s a theory, right? It might save time in the morning.

GOAL: 1000 words a day on new story, or editing as needed on Bound when I get back to it (which had better be soon. Holy crap I miss my characters and their story!). Plus more, if I have evening time available.

And what of blogging? That, I can do in little bits during the day. Don’t take this personally, but writing for you guys doesn’t require the level of concentration that writing coherent and interesting fiction does.

Anybody else have a schedule or tips to share? Something that’s working for you? Goals for the week or month?


About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with six cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

13 responses to “Schedules and Goals

  • Charles Yallowitz

    I don’t really schedule to the hour, but I set my blog up to have certain types of posts on certain days. This makes the blogging a little easier to fit around everything and I try to get some posts ready the night before.

    As for everything else, I try to write a chapter section before lunch and another before bed. I haven’t had lunch in two days. 😦

  • Briana Vedsted

    Good job! 😉
    And good luck!

  • jadereyner

    I try to have a schedule, I even went as far as typing a lovely one out in a table and everything – and then life and social media kind of got in the way! I am finding that as I am trying to promote my book, I’m not getting any writing done which is a major pain because (a) I miss it!! and (b) people that have been kind enough to read the first book are waiting for the sequel. Back to the schedule drawing board for me!!

  • L. Marie

    Man, I need to develop some goals. Okay, one goal is to get an agent query out today. And I need to do some free writing on my next novel. Gotta get a Mother’s Day gift. . . .

  • thelovelymessy

    I get up at 5:30 and then try and write until the house wakes up at 7:30. But , like right now, I am reading blogs instead of writing. I also write in the afternoon from 1-3. For a total of 4 hrs a day. My word count goal is usually about 2k a day, 10k a week. I usually don’t write on the weekends and instead read a book. If I read during the week (which often I can’t help but do), I lose a day of writing because I have zero self control an must.finish.the.story.
    I have a writing group that meets Sunday night where I have to check in with my GOALS and that motivates me to reach them. You know, so they don’t think I’m lame.
    I will say, I am soooo excited that next year my youngest will be in preschool 5 days a weeks for 2.5 hours. I will be living at the Starbucks next to the school, with my laptop. Now, to figure out how to disable wifi while I’m there…

    • katemsparkes

      WiFi is a mixed blessing, isn’t it? I have the same problem. Stupid entertaining, informative, friendly, distracting internet…

      My brain is EXPLODING at the thought of having mornings or afternoons (I don’t even know yet) to myself next year. Knowing myself as I do, though, I suspect that I’ll let other things eat into that time.

      I admire your ability to stick to a consistent schedule.

  • Jae

    Good goals. Do you ever do #wordmongering? Sometimes that helps me with motivation.

  • Kira Lyn Blue

    I don’t really have a schedule, although I should probably make one to make myself more accountable. I actually do most of my writing late night between 10p-2a because that’s when I’m most awake and the rest of the house is asleep. Less distractions.

  • explorerleslie

    One tip on goals and schedules: START SMALL. It’s actually great that you’ve started out with a 2 hour scheduled chunk at the start of your day, and pre-work the night before. If you start small, you’re more likely to stick with it. Trying to “go for the gold” is a sure way to get discouraged, because if you make up a huge 18-hour schedule and don’t stick with it, you’re likely to give up on the whole thing. Then, once you make a habit of the 2 hour schedule, work your way up from there! I recently read “The Power of Habit” which talks a lot more about building strong habits.

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