Planning is the essence of successful writing. I learned the excellent skills of timetabling at university. Here is my plan for a typical writing day.
8.00 Breakfast in bed while writing notes for next chapter of novel.
9.00 Get up and take dog for walk
9.30 Go to workroom and begin writing next chapter (by hand).
11.15 Continue writing
12.00 tidy house and make lunch
12.30 Lunch break
1.30 check emails then edit morning’s work onto laptop.
3.30 take dog for walk
4.00 coffee and craft work
6.00 Social media networking with other writers and writing groups
8.00 family time, TV etc.
10.00 notes and timetables for next day
10.30 reading in bed
What really happens
8.30 Wake up late, start reading book I fell asleep over the night before, grab a cup of tea and a banana. Get immersed in final chapters of book and abandon notetaking.
9.30. Take dog for walk
10.00 Write rushed notes and settle down to writing the chapter
10.30 Distraught friend calls to discuss her partner’s latest infidelities.
10.45. Friend rings off, pick up pen.
10.47. Son rings to ask for lift to work
11.35 Arrive home desperate for coffee. Sit in garden to avoid phone and write in peace. Can’t settle due to very irritating weeds growing in the flowerbeds. Forced to go and pull them all up.
12.15 Partner arrives home for lunch. House is a tip. No food ready. Rush in kitchen and throw two sandwiches together.
12.30 Stare at Bargain Hunt and Lunchtime news while obsessing about not having written anything.
2.00 Decide to tidy house before starting to write. After all, who can concentrate in the middle of a clutter?
3.00 Check emails, send a few tweets and just have a quick peek at Facebook
4.00 Dog crying to go for a walk. Useful time spent thinking about next chapter. Dog rolls in horsemuck and falls in mudhole while I am daydreaming.
4.30 Bath dog and clean bathroom
5.00 Sit down for coffee. Good film on TV so get out my patchwork, after all this is a time for back brain thinking – I will reap the creative benefits later.
7.30 Shove a pizza in the oven and throw a salad together. Guilty feelings about not writing, less guilty feelings about neglecting partner.
8.00 Daughter rings to talk about her new job
8.30 Go to workroom and try to write.
8.45 Partner comes to ask if I want a cup of tea.
9.00 Partner comes to ask if I am coming to watch a good programme on telly.
10.30 Partner comes to say he is going to bed. Reluctantly get up and get ready for bed.
11.00 Scribbling furiously in bed, nearing 1500 words.
11.15. Partner asks why I am always writing. Turns out the light and hands me a torch.