Thursday, October 2, 2014

Scheduling For Creatives

Occasionally I like to share on the blog articles that have gone out in my newsletter. Sometimes these are about creativity in general and other times are more from my own personal experience.

Scheduling for Creatives

For most creatives having a schedule is counter productive to any form of creativity. A schedule seems to put limits on us. Creativity flows when there are no limits, when there is time to explore many different avenues.  I am no stranger to the idea of schedules.  When I can't seem to get to my own creative projects I think "If only I had a schedule, I know I would get more done." So I would try a schedule, but then I would balk at such schedule, saying "NO" you can't make me. I've tried schedules where I devote the entire day to one project, and schedules where I treat it like a school day, or massive to do lists.  It works sometimes and other times it dismally fails. I needed to find another way.

I found myself in this predicament this year. I had committed to finishing the first draft of a novel. Then I hired a writing coach to get me on track. Still it was a struggle to get my writing done.  I fought it every week. Here I was paying someone to help me and I wasn't taking advantage of it. I was becoming very disappointed with myself. So I got back to the schedule idea and this time I found something that would work for me. Something that had flexibility worked into it.

On the night before, I write down my schedule for the next day.  I do this in hourly increments from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. A typical day might look like this.

7:00 breakfast, shower etc
8:00 email, facebook
9:00  Write
10:00 coach client
11:00 work on website
12:00 lunch
1:00 write
2:00 art time
3:00 walk dog
4:00 write
5:00 Check emails, FB etc
6:00 dinner
7:00 Art time

Now the flexibility comes in when I don't do what I said at any given time. I may write at noon instead of 9:00 but that is ok as I have given myself the freedom to switch anything around on any given day.  I have 3 writing session but I may end up writing only once. There are so many things that can interrupt what I plan to do. Somehow, knowing there is a schedule helps me get back to it.

Now will this idea work for you? I don't know, it depends upon how you work. Its something to try if you are stuck.  If it helps I would love to hear about it.



  1. Hi Kate, lots of good advice. I've lost sight of my creative side due to a long bout of personal upheaval. Sometimes we have to shake ourselves to wake up and focus on what's most important. Writing, is what keeps us sane and I find myself on the cusp of depression when I don't write.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    In the first sentence of your article, it read, "I like to share on the blog articles..." did you mean "I like to share ONE of the blog..." Sorry. It's the awful editor in me that can't read anything without looking for issues. I even read published novels with a red pen in my hand.

    Nice article! Good luck!

  2. Sometimes I do well on a schedule and other times I'm lucky if I get the first thing done on the list. Generally I do think it helps to write things down.


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