Showing posts with label scheduling writing into life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scheduling writing into life. Show all posts

What Happens When Time Gets Away?

What happens when time gets away from you and obligations you have made as an author are forgotten? Let's face it, we are all busy with life and trying to make our writing life successful. To do this authors may stretch their memory to the max by agreeing to tasks, meetings, reviews, or other business related actions that can clog the calendar. I am convicted of this very thing just this week when I missed posting a book review on a blog tour I promised to participate in.

 Here are a few tips on how to graciously handle being over booked or completely forgetful without ruining your author platform and reputation.

  1. Keep good records regarding dates, times, deadlines and obligations that you agree to whether in person or online. Mark them down, put them in your phone, set an alarm, make a list, and do what ever you can to remind yourself of the tasks you have agreed to especially those related to your writing career.
  2. Check you list or calendar daily to make sure you have not missed a deadline. Also make a note on which projects or tasks you can begin ahead of time. Guest posts, book reviews, and some types of articles can be submitted or prescheduled on a site before the actual due date.
  3. Apologize and be sincere. When you find that you have missed a date, even those done pro bono, be sincere with your apology and offer to reschedule. Everyone misses a deadline especially when it was agreed upon months or weeks in advance and sometimes things get so busy a guest post or review might easily be overlooked but no matter the reason it is a must to apologize.
  4. Along with an apology, offer an additional article, post, or review in addition to the one to be rescheduled. Giving more than is expected along with your sincere apology will ensure the other party won't take it as a personal offense. Playing nice with peers and colleagues is imperative to keeping your reputation as an expert and an author intact.
  5. Learn to say no when your calendar is too full. Be selective when taking on projects that don't enhance your business or improves your platform to avoid being so busy that you can't get your own writing done.
  6. Forgive yourself for being human. Don't dwell on one mistake, rather learn from it and change how you do things in the future. Move on and keep writing. This too
In my own case, I did email an apology immediately when I discovered I was two days late on submitting a book review. I also offered to do an interview or other post on a second day to enhance the book tour for this author. It may be that I am not included in the next tour but an apology will at the least show my integrity. It was my error both in forgetting but also in recording the due date incorrectly and filling my calendar too full, another lesson learned. Details and deadlines matter.

How do you handle missing a due date or forgetting a task you promised to do?

Terri Forehand writes from her home in the hills of Brown County Indiana. She and her husband also run a small quilt shop when she isn't writing, sewing, or working as a nurse.
Visit her website at or her blog at

How do You Capture Writing Time?

As I approach 60, I know that life occurs in stages and I wake up amazed some days at where I am in relation to where I thought I would be. I find when talking to others my age, they are either pursuing their dream or feeling overwhelmed and disappointed that there is never enough time to reach their goal. As a nurse and also a shop owner,  I have heard it more than once from peers..... "I will do such and such when I have more time" or " when I retire I want to take up sewing, quilting, writing, painting, volunteering," and the list goes on. Well folks, I am here to say for the record for those who want to pursue writing the time is now.

While some other skills, hobbies, or crafts may have to wait because of finances or family obligations, writing can be done with little investment and with as little time as 15 minutes a day. It is all about capturing those precious moments of time to pursue your writing dream.

 Writers just beginning need only a piece of paper and a pen. Simple enough, and of course the desire to say something to the reader. I dare say that those of us with some experience need only a pen and paper as well. The vast amount of courses, books, and software that help writers to hone their skills are invaluable but a writer needs a pen, paper, the spark of an idea, and TIME to pursue the dream.

So how do writers capture writing time?

 I find that the most important thing is to prioritize. Making a list of activities that take time in each day and writing this in on the page helps to identify snippets of time that can be directed towards writing time. Scheduling a set time for writing on the calendar makes it as important as any other item you schedule, but only you/I can decide how important to make it.

Preparing is another way to capture writing time. Always carry a small notepad and pen with you wherever you go. Writing phrases of a conversation, the colors of a sunset, the scents, sounds, or adjectives describing an emotional or important event can be jotted down. Later those few words may be all it takes to flesh out a great story or article. Technology allows many notes to be made or recorded on your cell phone deleting the need for pen and paper so being prepared can be a simple as knowing how to utilize those apps on your phone or notepad.

I find that the best way to capture writing time is to actively pursue it After I prioritize the list of tasks for my day, then prepare by having pen and paper, I am better able to pursue valuable writing time every time I have a few extra minutes during the day. I work a part time nursing job and run a quilt shop but I can still flesh out a scene during my lunch break or write a character description during a lull at the shop. I use waiting time at appointments, extra minutes in the early morning or 30 minutes before bed.

 Capturing writing time can be a challenge for those who have kids at home but so rewarding as you find time to squeeze writing in between homework, bedtime, and other family activities. Try for at least 15 minutes a day and you will gradually be able to add more time as your story or article begins to take shape.

For those who pursue writing full time,  an eight- ten hour writing day might be the norm. Others like myself must grab writing time in between another job or business. When writing is a priority, capturing writing time is as much a part of life as doing laundry or making dinner. You just do it. Prioritize, prepare, and pursue.

 How do you capture your writing time?

Terri Forehand captures writing time between nursing, quilting, running a quilt shop, and being a grandma. Author of The Cancer Prayer Book and The ABC's of Cancer According to Lilly Isabella Lane, she writes from her home nestled in the hills of Brown County Indiana. Visit her author blog at and her author website at

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