Are you able to write eight hours a day and do research for another two hours, write a blog post, still get to the kids’ after-school activities, work in the garden, have dinner with your family, and get six to eight hours of sleep? If not, here are some thoughts on time management for writers.
Your current system
If you’re not brand new to writing, you’ve probably developed a system that works for you. It might not be efficient, but if it keeps you writing, then it’s effective. But you need to know what that system does to you in terms of taking up your time.
What happens when something unexpected comes up? You may have to change your plans—just one of them or maybe all of them.
If you’re an active writer, writing takes up a lot of time each day. You’re either actively writing or thinking about your plan, or doing research, or doing some editing. There may be a time slot for talking to agents or editors or to someone in the writing group at your local library. You may be trying to figure out who to approach with your latest manuscript or you may be sending out queries.
The craft and business of writing takes time. There’s much more to producing a good book than just throwing words together. If you’ve already had a book published, you know that.
So, instead of battling the clock, is there a wary to work that allows you to control time rather the other way around? Here are some ideas.
Suggestions for managing writing time
- Be flexible—By being flexible ahead of time, preparation will reduce stress. Know what can be dropped from your schedule, what can’t be, and what can be put off.
- Get help—When it makes sense, ask someone else to stand in for you (e.g., if you’re on a writing roll and you don’t have time to pick up a needed gallon of milk, ask someone else to if they’d do it for you. Maybe you can return the favor in the near future.
- Schedule breaks—It’s too easy to get caught up in a writing binge. Put breaks you’re your writing schedule—whether hourly, daily, or weekly, or even between projects. What’s important is to recognize that you (hopefully) have a life outside of writing. Work toward balance. Breaks can be especially useful if and when you get stuck—writer’s block. Taking a real break is one of the most effective ways to unblock, whether it’s meeting with a friend, going to the local coffee shop, taking a hike, etc. You get the idea.
- Be prepared for interruptions, emergencies, and setbacks—The idea is to avoid packing your writing schedule so tight that when something comes up, you don’t know which way to turn. While not spending to much time planning for these eventualities, you should have some kind of formal or informal plan for when they happen.
- Allow enough time to do a thorough job—This means allowing time for research, time to complete the first draft, time for editing, time for re-writing, and time for marketing and publicity. Yes, there’s a good deal of time-budgeting involved.
This simple advice may not be new to you. But occasionally it helps to have reminders. Make time to do something different and fresh while you’re writing. You deserve more in your days than words and deadlines.
Copyright © 2018 by Affordable Editing ServicesShare This: