Tag Archives: writing schedules

Write by Midnight Pep Talk 10-26-20

At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, the WriteOwls agreed to write at the same time during the week so that we didn’t feel so isolated. We kept one another motivated and accountable by texting at the beginning and end of each session. We were surprised how productive we were during that time. So this month, we recommend you try a similar strategy. After you come up with your writing schedule for November, find a partner or group to help you stay accountable. Share your schedules so that each person knows when the other is supposed to be writing. Then, message each other with a reminder that it’s time to get to work. After the writing session is over, let each other know how you did. If you’re really ambitious, agree to exchange your work at the end of each week. Let us know if this strategy helped you meet your writing goals for the month.

Two Days Until Write by Midnight

WriteOwls logo 150 black

The kickoff for Write by Midnight is only two days away, and some great resources to help you on your journey to success are writing logs and project trackers.

Click here for a printable log designed specifically by the WriteOwls for next month’s challenge.  Or, search for the terms “word count tracker” or “writing progress meter” online for some tech-oriented options. There are a variety of apps available, as well, for writing on the go. Try a few tools until you find the one that works best for you.

If you opt for the WriteOwls printable log, record the time of day you wrote (8 p.m. to 8:52 p.m.), where you wrote (desk, carpool line, coffee shop), your goal for that day (300 words, revise a scene, finish outline), your progress toward that goal (wrote 208 words, revised one sentence of a scene, outlined chapter one), and any notes about what did or didn’t work during the writing session.

By using this worksheet, you’ll hopefully see how well you’re incorporating writing into your daily routine, as well as patterns of productivity. You might be surprised how much you get written in the carpool lane or how little you get done at 10 p.m.—or vice versa. Experimenting with writing times and locations can help you discover how writing fits most naturally and effectively into your life.

Go ahead and download the form now, and write out your goal for Feb. 1. Then, at the end of your writing session the first day, assess where you are in your project and set a goal for Feb. 2.

When you complete the Write by Midnight challenge with a regular and sustainable writing schedule, not only will the month of February have been a success, but you’ll be ready to maintain that success into March, April, May and onward.

Write by Midnight Challenge No. 4



This is the last week in January, and you only have seven days left to prepare for February’s Write by Midnight challenge. Over the last three weeks, you’ve set your goals and come up with a realistic writing schedule to help you meet them.

Now it’s time to share your goals. Telling someone else what you hope to achieve in February can give you an added sense of responsibility and help you rise to the challenge. Tell a friend or loved one about your goals. Post them here in the comments section. Tweet them using the hashtag #WriteByMidnight.

We also recommend writing down your goals and placing copies, along with your schedule, where you’ll see them every day. Put encouraging notes on your bathroom mirror, your computer, the refrigerator or your TV remote.

It might also help to tidy up your writing nook over the next week. For many, a clean work space is a motivating work space. And if it’s already tidy, you’ll have one less procrastination excuse when it’s time to get to work.

Finally, don’t forget your supplies. Sharpen pencils and stock up on pens and notebooks if you like to write by hand. Create a new folder in your computer files for the challenge. If you’re revising or hoping to make headway on a work-in-progress, gather together what you’ve already written so it’s available to you in one place when you need it. If you’re revisiting a shelved project, re-read your work so it’s fresh in your mind.

We’re in the final countdown, so let’s make the most of it.

Write by Midnight Challenge #3



Last week, in preparation for the upcoming Write by Midnight write-a-thon, you set your goals for the month of February and developed a tentative schedule for accomplishing them. For this week’s challenge, it’s time to test your plan. Over the course of the next week, try out your schedule to see if your daily and weekly objectives are realistic. Perhaps you want to revise 10 scenes next month. So see if you can revise two to three scenes this week. If you revise four, set your sights higher, and aim for 15 scenes. If you only revise one scene, you may need to find ways to fit more writing time into your day. Dedicating an extra 30 minutes to writing may require you to wake up earlier, for instance. To ease into that, try setting your alarm five minutes earlier than the previous day until you are able to wake up a half an hour earlier. Then use those precious minutes to write. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals, however. A practical, but ambitious approach is the key to writing success.

Write by Midnight Challenge #2



Last week, in preparation for the upcoming Write by Midnight write-a-thon, you tracked how you spent your time each day. Hopefully, the time you invested in logging those minutes will pay off this week for the next challenge we now have for you.

First, analyze your findings. Did you discover that you spent more time than you thought on certain tasks? Did you gain some insight into how much – or little – time you’re working towards your writing goals? Are there ways you can steal a little extra writing time?

Next, define what you want to accomplish during Write by Midnight. Be specific about your writing goals. Do you hope to get in the habit of writing 500 words a day or writing for an hour each day? Do you want to complete a scene each day? Or, do you hope to have a first draft of your novel completed by the end of the month?

Once you have identified your writing goals, refer to your time log and figure out how you’ll use the time you have to meet those goals. Perhaps in logging your time, you discovered you have 50 minutes spread throughout your day that you’re not fully taking advantage of. Time yourself to see how many words you can cram into a minute. If your goal is to write 500 words a day, you can reach your goal in those 50 minutes by writing 10 words per minute. Even if you only have time to write for 10 minutes here and five minutes there, you’re likely to meet or surpass your goal once you figure out your game plan. So spend the upcoming week doing just that so you’ll be ready for success when Write by Midnight starts on Feb. 1.