Divide and Conquer your Writing Project
If you’re anything like me and lead an active, social, busy life, the idea of tackling a large project can be very overwhelming. Any writer could tell you how difficult it can be sometimes scheduling hours to work on their craft. Yet there seems to be a folly among a great deal of writers, where many believe that a novel or screenplay is seemingly written overnight. If you pick up your pen with this mindset, you’re going to fall flat on your face.
It’s like watching a television program on Mountain Climbing, and thinking “hell, I could do that!”. It isn’t until you’ve invested into expensive gear, books, or tutorials, and you’re standing at the base of the mountain before you suddenly realize you’re in way over your head.
Then come the tears, and the shame. You think yourself an idiot for ever believing you could reach the top. You can see where others have planted their flags of success, and how much longer the climb will take you than you imagined.
There is however, light at the end of this daunting tunnel. First, you need to STOP thinking that writers do all of the work in a matter of weeks. Many successful writers will tell you, that their novel or screenplay was achieved after dividing up the workload. Beautiful cave stalagmites are made not from instant buildup, but gentle mineral deposits overtime. Can this be a good working style as well?
Very few people have the privilege of waking up every day to greet their novel head on, and do this 7 days a week. Some authors like Ken Follet can take years working, jotting down a few sentences in their notebooks after the kids go to sleep.
Do yourself a favour, like I did for myself, and DIVIDE UP YOUR WORKLOAD. Julia Cameron, author of the Artist’s Way suggests “small doable actions”. Just chip away week by week, doing a little bit of work at time. Soon, you’ll have something to show for it.
Here’s an example of what my writing schedule might look like in a typical week:
Sometimes I write more than this. Sometimes I write a lot less. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a full-time job, and your only writing time is Saturday morning while you’re kids are watching cartoons, or after your long study hours at college.
The trick, is to divide up your workload, so that you don’t become overwhelmed with your project. I tend to get very discouraged and stop writing altogether when I think like that. So pick up the pen, give yourself time, give yourself a goal, and write.
Here is a blank schedule for all those who need one:
FREE BLANK WEEKLY SCHEDULE