Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How Do You Face the Daily Challenge for Writers?

By W. Terry Whalin

As I grow older, I begin to understand why the Bible calls that our days are fleeting. Each of us have the same 24 hours in each day. The key detail is how we use this time.  As I think about the challenges of each day, I understand several facts:

1. Everyone has interruptions. Recently I spent several hours at the Apple Store because my wife's iPhone 5C was having screen problems.  At the store, we upgraded her phone to an iPhone 7 Plus and it took several hours that I was not planning on spending. These types of unexpected situations are part of our life. Yet do you wisely use the time which you do have available to you?

2. Not everything gets done. Yes on the surface I may look like I get a lot done. I do tweet almost 14 times a day with great content. Also I have over 100 new followers a day on Twitter. Yet the bulk of my day is spent as an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing, talking with authors, emailing authors and others about their books.  Despite the things I accomplish in a day, I know and understand that not every email is answered. Not every phone call gets made or returned.  As an editor, I work hard at customer service, answering key concerns and returning calls—but there is still more to do. I have magazine articles to write and books to finish and websites to update. If I paused to make a list, it would be endless and to be honest I'm assuming that you have a lengthy list of things to do as well which and while you chip away at it, everything does not get done.We have to live with this fact.

3. Use the right tools to have the best results. Through
trial and error, I've learned to use different tools on my phone, different computer programs and other ways to cut down on time and get things done. For example, when I travel, I continue to write on my AlphaSmart 3000 which I purchased years ago on Ebay for about $30. The AlphaSmart is not connected to the Internet, runs on batteries and holds large volumes of information with a full size keyboard. This tool is not right for every writer but it is one that I've used repeatedly to get my writing done. Are you experimenting with different tools and programs to see if they help you get more done in a shorter amount of time?

4. Balance is important. Every one of us need to have a certain level of balance in our daily lives. Have you listed your key goals and priorities? Just the act of writing these goals can be a great first step. Then have you broken those goals into small steps that you can accomplish? 

As I think about the big picture of my own life, I have a number of things which are a key part of my day. I need Time for Faith (reading the Bible and prayer each day). I need Time for Family (the connection to my wife and children—even if they are grown children). I need Time for Work. I also need Time for Health ( and I build exercise into almost every day). I need Time for Relaxation (yes some of you may find it hard to believe but I go to movies, I read for fun and I watch television). Finally I make Time for Friends. Admittedly some of my days are out of balance but it's part of the way I'm wired and working to attempt to have some level of balance in my life and work.

These are my ideas to help you face the daily challenges of life. Are they helpful? I hope so. Do you have other ideas? Tell me in the comments below. 


Everyone has the same amount of time. Get some ideas to Face the Daily Challenges. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and has written more than 60 books including his latest Billy Graham, A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist--which will soon be available in audiobook. A former magazine editor, Terry has written for more than 50 publications and lives in Colorado. Get over a dozen ideas about how to make money with books in this FREE teleseminar.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Terry, one way I stretch my time is by using activities I love to do in my marketing campaigns. As an example, my husband and I love to go to the movies, so I signed up for a hashtag at Twubs.com and do a mini review of each film we see for my Twitter stream. It is #MovieReviews.

Terry Whalin said...

Great idea, Carolyn. Thank you for this comment. Terry

Linda Barnett-Johnson said...

Hi Terry. Time is that four letter word that I dislike. I have an AlphsSmart too. That was one of the first computer like machine I used to write on. I've progressed to Laptops now. I guess my goal was to be able to work and make a little money, and also have fun with playing games and watching youtube in my free moments. I posted your article on my twitter. Thanks for the uplift. I, too, read my Bible and pray first thing in the morning after feeding my animals. Have a great day.

Karen Cioffi said...

Terry, between family and work and those unexpected interruptions, like a site going down or dealing with digital problems, or trying to make various appointments, the pressure of time gets overwhelming at times. I pray first thing every morning, but don't get to the Bible everyday, which is something I need to change. I do watch a little TV at night to unwind.

And, I recently got the AlphaSmart3000 as a result of one of your articles. I love it! It's super portable. I typed my first article on it the other day while waiting for my husband to get an MRI.

Terry Whalin said...

Karen, I'm glad you like the AlphaSmart. It's a wonderful tool. We all have pressure to get things done and it's a challenge but the important thing is to keep moving forward--no matter what. Thank you for this comment. Terry

Terry Whalin said...


Thanks for this comment.I have a laptop that I use as well but my Alphasmart is for writing--no connection to the Internet and I can use it on airplanes or in my backyard or in local places. I'm not crazy about the word time either.


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