Showing posts with label Find Time to Write. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Find Time to Write. Show all posts

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Writer's Bucket and Mop List

"The key is not spending time,
but in investing in it."
                               Stephen R. Covey

What is the first thing you want to do in the morning when you get up? If you’re like me, you want to write. But there are so many other things to do, even for retired folks like me! Often, writing—composing—doesn’t happen until nighttime when the dishes are done and the house is quiet.

Throughout the day while wishing I could be writing, I dream. My dream goes something like this (in order of preference):

 I could write right now if only I had:

  • an on-call massage therapist
  • a nanny (when I still had kids at home)
  • a maid
  • a cook
  • a secretary
  • a research assistant
  • a dedicated media specialist
  • an errand runner
  • a personal trainer
  • a gardener
  • a dog walker

Then when nighttime comes, I realize I am all those things. I do something from most if not all the items on my list every day. 

Make Your Life Your Inspiration

A humorist writer friend of mine once told me about challenges her husband faced at his job. About what was going on with each of her three sons. About her own life and lack of time to get anything done.

But she told me she wouldn't trade her life for the world. If it weren't for the angst in her family, she wouldn't have anything to write about.

I've never forgotten my friend’s insight. It's a lesson I cherish every day. If I had too much time to write, my need wouldn't be as urgent. I may not be as motivated. I may not have those few hours of pure bliss to look forward to each day.

Once I tried doing nothing but write all day, every day. I soon found that my life became so narrow, the energy I had once stored up for writing projects had withered away. I ran out of ideas. My page became as blank as my life.

Balance. That is the answer. Find a proper balance and that will solve everything. Good luck with that. Balance turned out to be as fleeting as my sapped energy. I discovered lopsided is good. My solution: create space to write. Take time out each week to work on writing projects. Though even this plan sometimes seems impossible, if we stick to a schedule, no matter how small it may be at times, eventually we will finish our projects and go after publishing our work.

Gains and Losses

Since recently “putting to bed” a few book projects, I realize I am teetering on the brink of marketing them and jumping into my next writing project(s) with both feet. Here is the short version of what has happened to my life as I endeavor to reach my future writing goals.

Gains:

  • The many friends and acquaintances I've made that will surely remain a part of my future.
  • The sharpening of my skills.
  • Learning new things every day.
  • Being motivated enough to stay up late and still get up early.
  • The fun of sharing my hopes and dreams with others.
  • The feeling of accomplishment at completing such a challenging task as writing a book.
  • Keeping other interests alive to strive for less lopsidedness and more balance.
  • How much I've grown from reading and learning about different people and subjects.
  • Emotionally I feel I've grown, too, for it seems that understanding our own emotions and others' emotions is part of writing.
  • Being an entertainer.
  • The sheer fun of having an audience.
  • Enjoying the feeling of joy inside at all that writing has given me.

Losses:

  • No more time for sewing or photoscrapbooking.
  • Little time for socializing; having to say no to invitations to join clubs, play bridge, or loll around the pool.
  • Free time to simply curl up with a good book or watch TV, or do nothing.
  • Everything I do has to have a purpose in order to squeak out time to write.

Live a Life of Gratitude

The list of gains is long, losses is short. Like my humorist friend, I wouldn't trade this life for anything. Let us be grateful for the lives we've been given, which have brought us so willingly to the page and all we’ve gained from it, over and over again. 

Photo: By Linda Wilson

For more about time management visit: https://www.actitime.com/time-management-guide/time-management-covey-matrix

Secret in the Mist, Book 2
of the Abi Wunder Mystery series
will be available soon.

Linda Wilson lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has two daughters who inspired her stories when they were younger. Linda is the editor of the New Mexico Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators newsletter, and has written posts for the Writers on the Move blog since 2013. She is a classical pianist and loves to go to the gym. But what Linda loves most is to make up stories and connect with her readers. Find out more by visiting Linda’s website at https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

10 Ways to Find More Time to Write



Whether you're a full time writer, or someone who just wants to give writing a try, these tips should help you find more time to write.

Tip #1 - Get Organized.

Here are just a few ways to organize your writing and your writing space:

° Create project folders so you can easily and quickly locate whatever you are working on.

° Keep an idea notebook handy at all times, so you can jot down ideas for articles, stories, etc. whenever they come to you and you'll have them all in one, easy to find, place.

° Clean off your desk or other writing space. If it's a mess, you'll spend precious time trying to find things you need. Put pens and pencils in containers. Get file folders for loose papers you wish to keep.

° Keep reference books handy as you’re writing so you can refer to them whenever you need to.

Tip #2 - Make Decisions Ahead of Your Actual Writing Time.

New writers don’t seem to realize it, but the planning stage and the writing stage work best as two different stages.

If you plan what you’re going to write, then it will be easier once you sit down to write it.

No more wasting your precious writing time, staring at a blank page or computer screen.

Tip #3 - When Writing a Nonfiction Book or a Novel, Work from an Outline.

Make your outline in the planning stage of your book, then when it’s time to write you can simply work on the book, a chapter or section at a time.

But you’ll know what material you wish to include in that section (because you figured that out in the planning stage) so all you’ll need to do is sit down and write it.

It doesn't have to be a formal outline either.

Just notes that let you know what you will be writing in each section or chapter of the book.

Tip #4 - Let Go of Activities That Take Your Time but Offer You No Real Benefit in Return.

You can stay really, really busy during the day without much to show for it if you aren’t careful.

Checking emails, spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites can eat up your writing time.

And do you really need to watch all those crazy cat videos on Youtube?

Tip #5 - Do Many of Your Morning Chores the Night Before.

If you have a day job, take a shower the night before, lay out your clothes the night before, make your lunch the night before.

Then, the next morning you can get up early and write because it won’t take but a few minutes to get ready for work.

Tip #6 - Outsource as Many Activities as You Can.

Once you start making money as a writer, hire a VA (virtual assistant) who can do many of your marketing chores for you.

This person can also upload new content (that you write and send to him or her) to your blog, etc.

If you can afford it, hire someone to clean your house once a week or pay your older kids to do it.

Let your younger children fold clean laundry and put it away.

They might not do a perfect job, but so what?

Tip #7 - Train Your Kids to Work/Play Alongside You While You Write.

If you have young children who are home with you during the day, train them to play quietly alongside you as you write.

As they get older, encourage them to write, too, while you are writing. (I did this when my sons were children and one of them is a professional writer now. He says he just got in the habit of writing when he was a kid and liked it.)

Tip #8 - Hang Out with Other Productive Writers.

There are many, many people out there who say they are writers.

Yet, a great percentage of these people rarely, if ever, write anything.

You don’t want their bad habits rubbing off on you.

Instead, find writers who write regularly and hang out with them.

You’ll see how they manage to get so much writing done and you’ll begin to write more, too.

Tip #9 - When people ask you what you do, don't be afraid to tell them you’re a writer.

If you tell people you’re a writer, then they won’t be surprised when you tell them you need to write.

They won’t expect you to drop everything and join them for lunch or a shopping trip, etc. whenever they call because they’ll know you have writing to do.

Tip #10 - Set Specific Writing Goals for Each Writing Session.

When you know what you wish to accomplish during each writing session, you’ll be more productive.

Plus, you’ll become more confident and feel more successful because you’ll be able to see how you are meeting specific goals each session.

This will help you look forward to your next writing session.

You’ll also tend to write for longer periods of time, just to reach a specific writing goal.

Okay, so those are just a few ways to find more time to write.

Do you have other ways that work for you?

If so, please share them here in the comments section.

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance is a full time freelance writer, the author of 35 published books (at last count) and a writing coach.

She lives and writes by the sea in Jensen Beach, Florida.

Learn more about her books and her coaching services at www.writebythesea.com and sign up for her free email, The Morning Nudge, with tips and resources for writers delivered to your mailbox every weekday morning.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Find Time to Write this Season

The holidays are upon us and I know what you’re thinking: “How on earth am I going to get any writing done between now and the end of the year?”

There’s shopping, holiday parties (hosting and attending) and events, and various distractions that seem to only happen in November and December. Here’s a secret. We have lots of pockets of time throughout the day when we could be writing. Use them.

 Here are five places to find time to write during the busy holiday season.

  1. While Waiting. Whether you are waiting to meet someone, for an appointment. Or in line, take out a notebook or start writing down your thoughts on your mobile device. 
  2. In Transit. Voice to text technology has gotten so much better (anyone reading remember when you had to train your voice recognition software?). Verbalize your ideas while en route, just make sure you don’t get over-enthusiastic or distracted. 
  3. During Exercise. Why not also use record your thoughts while working out? Your mind is clear, so you’ll probably come up with some fantastic ideas. 
  4. Get Up Early. Set your alarm to go off 15 to 30 minutes early, and get in some writing before you start your day. Yes, you can also stay up late.
  5. Swap Time. We all need downtime, but just swap just one television episode or 15 minutes of social media time for writing time every other day. When you see your progress, it will be worth it. 

And here are five things to write when only you have a short period of time:

  1. Journal.. Are you happy? Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Amused by something you just saw? Write it down. Gather your emotions and observations, and write them down as fuel for future projects. 
  2. Ideas. Similar to journaling, keep a dedicated notebook or computer document for all ideas to use in future writing projects. They don’t even have to be complete thoughts, a list of ideas will serve the same purpose. This is the perfect distraction while waiting in long lines at checkout. 
  3. Blog Post Draft. Perhaps you will not have a complete, ready to go blog post in 15 minutes, but you can certainly write a draft. And then rewrite it on your next 15 minute block of time.
  4. A Pitch. Write a query for a book, article, story, screenplay. 
  5. Your Work in Progress. A few minutes here and there on your work in progress will add up. Granted, more time is better. But even if you add words to your non-fiction book, novel, or screenplay for a few minutes a day, it will stay on top of mind and continue to progress.
  6. Bonus: Edit. Anything. 

Don’t let the busy holiday season keep you  from writing. Use those pockets of time to move forward and keep you happily distracted from the craziness of the season.

* * *
Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. 

She is the host of the Guided Goals Podcast and author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. 

She is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


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