Saturday, September 8, 2007

Writing Schedules

As far as writing schedules go- can you really make one? Writing is a business, yes, but there is a large creative element, even in web content writing. Can you then set a schedule for it? Yes. I do it every day. If I have a week to do a project, and I know how many hours it will take me, I have to schedule for working on it that many hours during that week. I hear from so many writers who say they have to contemplate writing for a few hours before actually doing so. I don't get it. Would you contemplate doing accounting before doing it? Would you think for a few hours about using your nursing skills? So why do so many writers think you have to do that to write creatively?

When I was a reporter we had to write the best articles possible, keeping in mind accuracy, creativity and AP style. And it was all done at the speed of light. Sometimes you had less than an hour to gather information and write an article about it. I once had a paper held from the press so that I could wait for a phone call that would give me some vital information about the front page. Imagine if I got the information and then took a few hours to think about writing the article. I couldn't have- that's just not a part of professional writing. You have to see the story as soon as you see the title or subject, and then have it forming in your mind as you go. I learned to write professionally this way, and that's still how I operate. It doesn't mean that what I write isn't creative. I actually think it's the other way around. If you are a creative person, you don't need hours for creativity to come to you.

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