Sep 27, 2013

Fitness Friday: The Perfect Writing Schedule

I had to laugh at myself today.

It was a tension-relieving, head-shaking kind of laugh. You know, the type of laugh that results from an “ah-ha” moment when the light comes on. Let me explain.

For me, writing consistently is just as important as eating right and exercising. And it requires the same type of discipline and commitment.  I’ve been trying to keep that commitment for months, without success. Working full time and all the other gems of life – like laundry, shopping, cooking, eating, exercise, etc. – seemed to eat up all my time. Not to mention needing time to enjoy life with my awesome husband and spend quality time with my adoring Father.

Over the past few months I’ve tried a variety of different schedules, but none of them worked. I still found myself stressed over writing blogs at the last minute, and lamenting that I never had time to work on my next book. I just couldn’t find the perfect writing schedule that I could consistently meet, so most days I didn’t write at all.

This week I finally hit on a solution: work four 10-hour days and have Fridays off. Then I could have ALL DAY Friday to write. 

As the week went on, I excitedly thought about all I was going to write on my Friday off. I could write a few blogs, catch up on my journaling, and polish off a chapter of my next book. And I'd even have time to do laundry and catch up on a few other little things like emails and bills since I was at home. I finally had the perfect writing schedule: a whole day with plenty of time to write!

Yet I woke up this morning earlier than usual and totally stressed. What should I do first? I know I need to write, but what should I write first? Where do I start? I also need to exercise, spend time with God, and dolaundry.catchuponblogs. respondtoemails.paybills. and.and.and.  I was so exhausted and overwhelmed from all the planning and organizing going on in my mind that I went back to bed!

After a few extra hours of sleep, I woke up totally refreshed, calm, and relaxed.


So before doing anything, I took my Bible, a wonderful study called “Planted”, and a pen and went out to my back porch. NOW I’d be able to calm down and focus.


Still struggling with busy thoughts after 30 minutes of “quiet time”, I finally just stopped in frustration and decided to enjoy the moment. 

Blue sky, soft breeze, perfect temperature, birds flitting around the feeder. 

I realized how blessed I am, and began to thank God for the amazing life He’s given me. And I thanked Him for the gift of writing.

Guard down, it hit me: if I just spent half as much time “writing” as I spent “scheduling time to write”, I could have several books finished by now.

With a burst of teary-eyed laughter, I realized my striving for the perfect writing schedule robbed me of the very thing I sought: time to write. 

I’m still laughing…a light-hearted, soul-freeing, joyful laughter.  I finally have the perfect writing schedule: in the same way as exercise and eating right, just do it!

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: What do you put off and plan more than you actually do?  


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Mary. As I was reading it, I began to wonder if you'd been sneaking peaks at my futile attempts at setting a writing schedule. I'm glad you got to "light hearted." I pray that as you do more than plan to do you will find even greater joy and productivity!

    1. Yes, it's like a load lifted from my shoulders - laughter often has that effect. I'm an adult "in training" to become more like a child, so hopefully many more days of carefree joy.
      Thank you for your comment, Tina, and have a very blessed day!

  2. UGHH the elusive writing schedule! I'm with you, Mary -- trying to force it or schedule it doesn't work for me. AND it robs the joy of writing and makes it a chore! I'm still working on it and guarding my time in the Word first.

    1. Absolutely, Susan, that's one message that became very clear: spend time with God first, and He'll then direct my path. I think I read that somewhere :-).
      Thank you for your comment, and will see you soon!


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