Showing posts with label time management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label time management. Show all posts

Strategic Productivity for Writers

 


 Strategic Productivity for Writers by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Time management is important for writers who want to get more work done each day. A strategic look at our day-to-day writing practice, work load and goals is, time well spent. A better work-life balance allows free time for ideas to flow and for other pursuits.
 
The benefits of better Time Management include:
A boost to your productivity
Minimizing stressors; both known and those unexpected surprises
Improved workflow management
Meeting deadlines more consistently

But How? Here are some adjustments you might make:
What’s on your plate for today? Start with a plan
Prioritize important tasks and time sensitive projects
Break down tasks into workable chunks
Limit distractions: meetings, email traffic. Say NO or reschedule.
Batch similar tasks or projects to better organize your time
Avoid multitasking—remain focused on the task at hand
Mark your calendar for undisturbed blocks of time by scheduling appointments with just you.
Delegate when possible.

It is helpful to review your day and summarize what worked, and what needs to change. Revise areas as required and make a list of all that worked well.
List the things to be addressed tomorrow.
Make note of what inspired you to keep writing today? Do it again!

Consider trying out The Pomodoro Technique: a focused writing time then breaks technique.


 
Or use the Eisenhower Matrix:


 

Links of Interest:
Upwork Time Management Strategies
https://www.upwork.com/resources/time-management-strategies  

USA EDU Time Management Techniques
https://www.usa.edu/blog/time-management-techniques/

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
On Amazon Mom-Me-Story-Dementia-Power
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories






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How to Choose Yourself


Want to achieve your goals? The first step is to choose yourself. Give yourself the gift of time to do the things you love!

Easier said than done, right? 

We are all busy. Work from home (or hybrid), school at home (or hybrid). Chores, family bonding, responsibilities, obligations, drama ... life stuff...  

How can you possibly have time to do your want-tos - your creative projects, writing projects, passion projects, marketing, networking - when you are constantly bombarded by have-tos?

Time will never find you. You have to find the time. 

Schedule a weekly (or several times per week) appointment with yourself to work towards your goals. It can be 30 minutes a few times a week, a 2-hour block of time once a week, or a mixture. Put these meetings in your calendar, so others cannot take that special time from you.

The activities can change, and if you want to move your appointments around, that's fine. For instance, you are attending an event or coordinating with a friend. But the rule is you can never delete them.

What can you do during that time? The list is endless, but I have some ideas that will get you started.

Here are 8 things you can do when you consciously choose yourself: 

1. Recharge. Read a book, meditate, watch TV, play a game, nap. 

2. Self-Care. Exercise, cook something healthy, treat yourself., unplug

3. Set or Review Goals. Don't know what you want? Take the time to figure out what that is. (For help with this, check out Your Goal Guide) If you know what you are working toward, use goal-time to review your progress, make lists, and brainstorm new ideas. 

4. Write. Finish that novel, non-fiction book, screenplay, poem, essay, or article. Or start something new.

5. Journal. Write for fun, to relieve stress, or just to gather material for your next writing endeavor.

6. Attend Networking Events. You cannot achieve your goals alone. You need your network. Find online events with like minds, and build your tribe.

7. Learn. Like networking events, there are plenty of opportunities for continuing education from the comfort of your computer. Watch YouTube videos, attend webinars, find summits, listen to podcasts. There is so much low- and no-cost information out there, you just need to look for it! 

8. Have fun! Sometimes having fun is the best thing you can do to lift your spirits and feel good. Playtime - whether it's crafting, dancing (my fav), practicing an instrument, laughing - is frequently the best use of time!  

Make sure to choose yourself on a regular basis, whether you spend this time on a writing project, a fun hobby, or pure-and-simple downtime. 

That wonderful, happy, refreshed energy will spill over into all other aspects of your life!

* * *

How often do you choose yourself? What does "choosing yourself" look like for you? Please share in the comments.

* * *

Btw, the free Master Your Time, Love Your Life Masterclass starts April 12. My session is on April 16. Learn more here


Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Snatch Writing Time

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin


“What are you writing these days?,” one of my friends asked. I had to do some personal accounting for a second. I’m not currently facing a book deadline and I’m not cranking out a certain amount of words each day.

Most of my personal writing is emails to authors and my colleagues at Morgan James. This type of communication does not show up in print.

If you aren’t writing much but would like to do so, are you committing time to regular writing? If not, then I suggest you take a step back and see how you are spending your time.


Maybe you are doing more reading or maybe you are spending more time playing games or watching television or spending time on social media such as twitter or facebook.  Each of these ways of spending time are OK but none of them include regular writing and do not move ahead your dreams and desires as a writer.

I’m writing these words on a two hour flight. As I look around at others. Some people are asleep. Others are making small talk with each other. Still other people are reading while some are playing games on their computer like solitaire.

As writers we can choose a different path and way to use our time. Instead of those other activities, I’m using my AlphaSmart and pounding out a few more words. I’m writing.


Prolific novelist James Scott Bell teaches writers to snatch time. Check out this video where he talks about it:


If you aren’t accomplishing your novel or your magazine writing or your blog, then I encourage you to take an accounting of how you are spending your time. If your writing is a priority, it will get done.


I’m choosing to write some words and get them out to you. What about you? Let me know in the comments below.

Tweetable:


How can you snatch writing time?  This article has insights and encouragement. (ClickToTweet)

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W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page (follow this link).  One of his books for writers is Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, Insider Secrets to Skyrocket Your Success. One of Terry's most popular free ebooks is Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. He lives in Colorado and has over 205,000 twitter followers 

 

Writing – Time Management and Organization


As this is the first time in over 10 years that I missed my publish day, I though this article appropriate.


When I first started out in my writing career, I began to think more and more about organizing my writing. But, I was in what I call, slow mode. I worked on my stories with the intent to eventually... hopefully get published. However, I was in no rush; writing came after everything else I had to do.

That changed.

Being a former accountant, I decided to make writing my second career.

Suddenly, I was writing and illustrating a book my family decided I should self-publish. That meant researching companies that offered print-on-demand service along with working on the book itself.

While in the process of doing this, I was writing other works and submitting them to publishers and agents. As with most of us, I received rejection after rejection.

I also joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This site has tons and tons of helpful writing and publishing information from new and seasoned writers. In addition to this, I joined a critique group.

Writing clubs were on my mind too. I found a good one at the time and that was when my writing took on more depth and I entered the business of writing.

At the time I joined the writing club, my book was in the process of going to the printing stage of publishing. So, I had to broaden my writing arena to include learning about marketing and publicity on a very low budget. I also became a member in several children's writer's groups online. Juggling all these things was a true challenge, one that I didn't always live up to.

In addition to all this, I tried to participate in every teleseminar and teleconference I came across as well as doing research on writing and marketing. To add more on my plate, I became a co-moderator in a very active critique group, and I created a website and a blog. At times, it felt very overwhelmed.

What I finally realized, out of necessity, is that I had to create and enforce a time management schedule.

This came to a boiling point when I received a letter from an agent requesting 3 chapters of my short story along with a 3-5 page synopsis.

I was so overwhelmed at the time, I didn't immediately respond.

Okay, it was also because I didn't have a 3-page synopsis ready. Because I was so frazzled I sent the agent the chapters she requested, but told her if she still wanted my synopsis after reading the chapters I would love to send it.

I still cringe at my stupidity when I think of this . . . at the lost opportunity.

After this long, long lead in, my advice is:

Don't wait until you become so frazzled by an overwhelming workload and lack of organization that you become your own stumbling block to success.

If you're reading this now and don't have a time management schedule in place, MAKE ONE TODAY and try your best to stick to it.

This article was first published at:
http://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/2018/01/21/writing-time-management-and-organization/




Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children's author and children’s ghostwriter as well as the founder and editor-in-chief of Writers on the Move. You can find out more about writing for children and her services at: Karen Cioffi Writing for Children.

Check out the DIY Page while there!

And, get your copy of Walking Through Walls (a middle-grade fantasy adventure set in 16th century China. Honored with the Children’s Literary Classics Silver Award).





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Time Management Tips


First off, I want to wish you a very Joyous Holiday Season from all of us at WOTM ! We appreciate you all and wish you the best!  

Time Management is a hot topic periodically. Today I want to offer you two ideas to consider if you haven’t already done so. We juggle meetings and deadlines, step-out goal plans, and handle a myriad of correspondence tasks each day. How do we keep track of all of this? It takes experimenting until we find the best system that fits for each of us. Almost every system requires modification to work well. So, we need a flexible system.

I set up a color highlighted Goal Plan spreadsheet on Excel to list my: 


•    Year End Completion Goals
•    Monthly Deadlines
•    Meeting Commitments
•    Weekly Progress
•    Columns for notes


Does it work well? Yes, as a birds-eye view for the year. I keep it on my desk but only refer to it periodically. But, does it help guide my work day by day? No. I need something more.

Two writing friends referred me to the Best Self Journal goal and scheduling strategy. (Check it out: https://bestself.co/products/self-journal ) It’s an interesting and effective way to stay on top of your schedule and increase your efficiency. 


My schedule has several areas of repetition each day. Because of this, the daily log didn’t work for me. I used a spreadsheet to adapt a weekly schedule.  The graphic above is what I set up to incorporate several areas of the Best Self Journal plan. After a few weeks, I found I wasn’t relying on my plan but rather continued to scratch notes here and there.

Talking about the Best Self Journal with another writer brought up her scheduling strategy—The Bullet Journal. She showed me how she was successful in using the Bullet Journal over several months. So, I tried it. I set up my Index, Future Log for the next 6 months, Monthly Log and Daily logs (as a ‘week at a glance’). I liked how it flowed for a month and have continued. It’s working! 


It is hand written, but I find that setting up my pages at the beginning of each month helps me re-focus and doesn’t take long. I use a dot grid notebook (~5.75” X 8.25”) and insert tabs for the Index and active Month. Check out the Bullet Journal: http://bulletjournal.com/ .

I’d appreciate hearing about your time management strategies. Please comment. Thanks much.


Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, artist, and editor. She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, art and caregiving mentally impaired seniors. Deborah writes articles, essays and stories. She has published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series. Careful editing preserves each artist’s voice as they share their journey. The series published as monthly articles for an online news network, can also be found on her web-blog: Deborah Lyn Stanley : My Writer's Life . Her “How-To” articles have appeared in magazines.

“Write your best, in your voice, your way!”

Time Management Quotes

If you need help with managing your time, you are not alone.

Writers have personal lives, too, with all sorts of responsibilities vying for attention. 

For me, September marks a fresh beginning to regroup, reorganize, and redo. 

Here are a few encouraging quotes to help with time management:
If you don't write when you don't have time for it, you won't write when you do have time for it. -Katerina Stokova Klemer
Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. - H. Jackson Brown Jr.
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot. - Michael Atshuler
Boundary setting is really a big part of time management. -Jim Loehr 
The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. - C. S. Lewis
The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day. - Henry Ward Beecher
A major part of successful living lies in the ability to put first things first. Indeed, the reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first. - Robert J. Mckain

Do you have a favorite go-to quote about time management? Please share in the comments below.

~~~

Photo credit: dkalo via Foter.com / CC BY-SA



Kathy is a K - 12 subsitute teacher and enjoys writing for magazines. Recently, her story, "One of a Kind", was published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts http://kathleenmoulton.com








An Uncle in the Marketing Business? ~ Part 1

This past week I’ve been doing some fresh thinking around the topic of marketing. As Terri said yesterday, it can be a full-time job. On the other hand, if we allow it to be full time, we won’t ever get more writing done.

At times I feel as if I’m banging my head against the fridge—-but no food is coming out. So what am I doing wrong?

The other day, I had a light-bulb moment. I haven’t finished processing the topic, and would love to hear from you, but I do believe I’m on to something.

Let's start off by asking five questions.

1. Where are we marketing? As writers, we like to hang together, after all writers are really the only people who understand writers, right? We rejoice with each other when we have some sort of break-through moment. We encourage one another. And we share our links. This is a great idea. But it’s not marketing! Marketing starts to happen when those people, whether they are writers or not, share your links and your information.

2. Who are we marketing to? Here in South Africa we have a chain of furniture stores called “Joshua Doore”. They have a catchy advertising jingle that first appeared in 1970. It says, “You’ve got an uncle in the furniture business: Joshua Doore!” (You can listen to the original version here.) It really is a brilliant piece of advertising, and the fact that the main slogan is still played daily on our television sets proves this to be true.
It’s great to have friends in the business, and I’m sure the staff of Joshua Doore take advantage of specials on their floors. But imagine if you will that the advert only plays in store, outside of shopping hours, so the staff are the only ones present.

Kind of silly, don’t you think?

Yet, is that perhaps what we do as writers? We belong to writers’ groups, we create an author’s page on Facebook, and we invite all our writer friends to follow the page. After all, our “personal page” on Facebook is just that. It’s personal. We create one or more Twitter accounts, and we “follow” other writers and ask them to follow us. We retweet other writers’ messages—to other writers (of course, because those are the ones following us) in the hope that they will RT ours. We join LinkedIn, and we link to other writers’ groups. We may enjoy the fellowship, and much of this may be helpful, but it’s not marketing! Marketing starts to happen when those people catch the message and share it, together with your links.

3. Do people really follow our marketing attempts? A friend was a missionary teacher in a primitive country. Her small daughter was one of her pupils. One day the mommy was busy making supper and the little girl was trailing her, chattering endlessly. All of a sudden the child called, “Teacher! Teacher!” The mommy stopped and looked in astonishment. The child had worked out how to get her mommy’s attention. She had realised that Mommy had tuned out from her incessant chatter.

Don’t we all do that? We tune out to voices or other people who are not interesting us. That leads to another question. In our marketing, are we perhaps trying too hard? When people see our posts, do they switch off? I confess that I have a few such contacts. I know any link they share will be self-promotion. I know nothing about them except that they are writers. And they know nothing about me. They're not interested in me—and I don’t know enough about them to know if I'm interested in them. I hardly ever read their tweets, their Facebook pages, or their LinkedIn comments.

4. Are we missing the point with our marketing? Not other writers (unless of course we’re writing for writers, like this blog). But are we reaching the ones who want or need to read what we have written? Sure, we're interacting on various social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus . . .   But think about it. These all fall under the category "Social Media".

My dictionary defines “social” as “Marked by friendly companionship with others.”  We're not talking about Marketing Media. It is called Social Media. Social. Friendly. 

5. How can we be social and still market? Is it possible? We're already complaining that we don't have time to both market and write. How can we now stop to have "friendly companionship with others"? Surely that will take up even more time? "I don't have the time for this!" we wail, as we carry on furiously using up time on ineffective methods of marketing.

I don't believe it will require more time. I think it calls for a smarter use of our time. But I've already taken up enough of your time explaining the dilemma, and I hope I've given you something to think about. Next month we'll look further into this, and hopefully come up with some easy ways to become an uncle (or aunt) in the marketing business.

OVER TO YOU: Do you have any thoughts about how we can develop our social skills without frittering away time we don't have? Please share your suggestions below.

More Reading on Making Friends on Social Media

Making Twitter Friends
Some Old Facebook Friends


SHIRLEY CORDER  lives a short walk from the seaside in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with her husband Rob. She is author of Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer. Shirley is also contributing author to ten other books and has published hundreds of devotions and articles internationally. 

Visit Shirley on her website to inspire and encourage writers, or on Rise and Soar, her website for encouraging those on the cancer journey. 

Follow her on Twitter or "like" her Author's page on Facebook, and if you tell her who you are she'll be happy to be your friend and follow you back.

WritersOnTheMove Author Carefully Considers Time Management

I often channel the woman I used to read avidly because I edited her columns to fit into available space for the Salt Lake Tribune where I used to be a staff writer.  The woman is Ann Landers, doyenne of the "Ask" columns. And most of my "Q and As a la Ann Landers" go into my SharingwithWriters newsletter. On occasion I share them in this blog, too.  This questions is a simple one--oft repeated by writers who are trying desperately to balance their writing time against online networking and marketing:

Question:

 Shirley Corder, an author friend in one of my Yahoogroups asked me, “Would someone please tell me why I should add Google Plus to my long list of social networks?”

 Answer:

 I get it that there needs to be a real reason to join another group.  I think one of the reasons most people are talking about Google Plus are the groups (hangouts) it offers--but What I like is that Google makes it really easy to post notices about our blog posts when/if we use Blogger (and maybe a few others) for our blogs. It also automatically includes images from the blog with the message you send.

 I also like that it lets you categorize your friends there so you don’t send messages to people who couldn’t care less. As an example, resources that may interest readers of my retail books, may not want links to a Web site that will help writers with craft. So, I am very careful to add people to an appropriate circle (or group).

 To make it less time consuming, I don’t actively search out new connections. When they contact me, I put them in a "circle" where I can best reach them with posts (or other things) I think they might be able to use. 

 My address is: https://plus.google.com/u/0/  And, yes, I'd love to hear from you if you are there.
By the way, I still read Q andA columns avidly, some of them written by people who learned the skill at Landers' knee. One learns a lot about life in them. (-:  If you want to read all of mine as they come out, you can subscribe to my SharingwithWriters newsletter by sending me an e-mail at HoJoNews@aol.com  and I'll do it for you. Please put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

Do you know of any other reasons why Google Plus is is plus? Or not? Please share with a comment on this blog if you do.  

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor

Why Do You Write?


Why are you writing?  You need to be clear on your purpose. Although we all would like to be well compensated, if you are writing just for the money or to be famous, you will never sustain a writing life.  Writing is a passion and a process.  Understanding why your write will help you direct the process.   When you are in the middle of writing you need to be writing because you want to write.  If you are writing to market yourself but do not value the process of writing, then maybe what you want to do is hire a ghostwriter. 

So the question is…As a writer, are you committed to the process?  Writing is a commitment. Many people want to write, but never seem to make it happen.  How we spend the time in our life reflects what we value.  If you don’t make time to write, then at this juncture in your life writing is not what you value, at least not right now.

I know writers who have full lives with children, families, full time jobs, community commitments and still find time to write an hour or two a day, by getting up at 4 or 5 in the morning.  They value writing so have found a way to squeeze it into their lives.  I am not suggesting that you need to write 2 hours a day.  There are no judgments about how much your write or when your write. What is important is to notice where you put your time and focus.

If you really want a clear picture of what you are putting value on in your life, track all your activities for one week.  You may be surprised where your time goes and you may just find some additional writing time.


Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist. For more information check out  www.donorth.biz   or folllow her at:

http://facebook.com/DoNorth.biz  


Stealing Writing Time - Where to Find Time When You Don’t Have Any Extra

Stealing Time - Where to Find Time When You Don’t Have Any Extra

Guest Post by Marcie Flinchum Atkins

I know you can’t really steal time. In fact, if you could, I would steal it, put it in some big boxes up in my attic, then pull a little out on busy days.

My life consists of a full-time job, a husband, two small kids, and writing. I should give myself the job title of “round-the-clock juggler.” And I know I’m not alone.

Since writing is such an important part of my life, I have to find ways to make it priority without ignoring responsibilities. In an ideal world, I’d write 6 hours a day, uninterrupted. But since that isn’t going to happen in the foreseeable future, I improvise by stealing time where I can.

Waiting Time

Wait for the right time to steal. Instead of getting frustrated that the doctor is running 20 minutes late, you can be thankful for the bonus writing time, if you prepare ahead of time. No matter what your lot in life, I know you have waiting time—at doctor’s offices, pick-up times for kids’ practices, when you’re getting your hair colored. I always carry a bag with a current project. Sometimes it’s hard for me to get big chunks of writing time while I’m waiting. However, these are great times to edit or brainstorm.

Planning Time

Stealing doesn’t always involve the act itself. Sometimes you have to plan to steal. Since I spend some of my waking hours cooking, doing dishes, or cleaning (though I swear I do the bare minimum), sometimes those mundane tasks are good planning time. While it’s not always intentional, these are times I work out writing problems in my brain. That plot issue I can’t fix while staring at the computer screen will often occur to me while I’m chopping an onion.

Other people find walking or gardening good tasks that work the body and loosen the writing brain.

Then when you actually get screen time, you can pound out the problem.

Wee Hours

People don’t usually steal in broad daylight. I write best when the rest of the world is asleep, or at least the people in my little world are asleep. Some people are late night writers. I’m an early morning writer. Even an hour before the rest of the house gets up can provide me with prime writing time. An hour a day adds up.

Plan Your Escape

If you are going to steal, you have to have a getaway plan. While, you might not be able to escape very often, even once a month is great. Plan a time to go to a coffee shop or a local library for a few hours. But plan ahead. Know before you leave exactly what the task is at hand. If you don’t know, you are liable to surf the internet instead of tackling those chapter revisions.

Stealing time happens in small increments. If you can figure out a way to grab ten minutes here, half-hour there, a couple of hours on a weekend, then you will make progress in your writing. Don’t wait until you can steal a whole weekend for your writing. Start now—chipping away at the moments you can find in the life you already have. 

Marcie Flinchum Atkins steals time to write in between her day job and her life with her family. She has an M.A. and and M.F.A. in children’s literature from Hollins University and blogs about making time to write at: http://www.marcieatkins.com/blog

MORE ON WRITING

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Finding Time


Wouldn’t it be nice to have an entire day to yourself to work on your latest book? Imagine shuffling out of bed and remaining in your comfy pajamas as you pour a steaming cup of coffee into your favorite mug. Sounds good right? It gets even better as you sit down at your computer and begin typing away, uninterrupted (not even a phone call). This is a dream come true. Sadly for most of us, this scenario will never happen. We are all busy, busy, busy.

So how do you find the time to write? I mean, you have to work, cook, clean, actually communicate with family and friends and then, decide whether to write or plop in bed. 
Of course there has to be a way to maximize your time. Here are a few suggestions, although the scenario out the outset of this post seems more desirable.

The first thing you can do is schedule the time to write. This is a literal scheduling, where you sit down and map out your week and try to squeeze some valuable time to work on your craft. Maybe it means getting up early, or staying up late. Can you squeeze time in on lunch? Maybe on the weekend you can steal a few hours? Get creative and think outside the box.

Tune out from TV and movies. You have your own creating to do. No need in staring at the tube when you could be carving out your story or developing your awesome characters. Realize too that you may have to set down the “word games” and phone calls. If you are disciplined and focused you can do it. It’ll take some work and dedication but once you have your book in your hands it’ll be worth it.

It is a hectic world that we’re living in. It can become tough to juggle life as a person and life as an author. Here’s my final tip. It’s a simple one too. Just don’t give up! We want to read what you’re working on. You have a voice and it’s worth sharing.

Until next time….Happy writing!



RL Taylor is an award-winning fiction author with five novels released to date. His newest writing venture is a series of non-fiction books on style, etiquette and self-improvement for men and women who want to help the men in their life. 
Click here for a free copy of The Gentlemen's Code which Esquire.com featured as recommended reading.


A Smartphone: The Latest Addition to this Author’s Toolbox


When I first became serious about becoming a children’s book writer, there were many items I picked up along the way to help me learn the craft and to get organized.  Among the first of these items were various books with words like “Dummies” and “Complete Idiot” in their titles.  Along the way, I also added a dictionary, thesaurus, and grammar guides.  All of these items helped me avoid making the obvious mistakes that would make an editor groan and reach for a form rejection letter.  Doing my homework and using the right tools definitely made a difference. 
Now that I am published, my focus has shifted to learning how to promote myself.  Because let’s face it…what good is spending all the time and effort involved in creating a book and seeing it to publication, if nobody knows that you have written it?  To aid me in this endeavor, I have found a new “high tech” ally, my Smartphone.
In addition to my writing, I also have a full time day job and a family.  My free time is definitely in short supply.  This is where my Smartphone has become my time-management savior.  I commute every day by train into New York City for my day job.  I used to spend this time reading the newspaper or staring out the window.  Now the train has become my mobile office.  I answer emails, check social media sites, do research for my next book, or even write blog posts.  In short, I’ve been able to squeeze another productive hour out of my day that I didn’t have before.
I have apps on my phone for all my email and social media sites.  I have shortcuts on it to my online critique groups.  I have a word processing app to proof my work and make quick revisions.  And of course, I have downloaded a few games to play because I need to have some fun.  I do try to apply discipline to this new found hour of productivity though.  It’s just as easy to waste time on a smart phone as it is on a computer. 
So if you happen to be traveling into New York City on a commuter train and you see me intensely focused on my Smartphone screen, you may be seeing my creative process at work as I proofread my latest manuscript.  Then again, there’s always the chance that I’ll just be playing Spider Solitaire.

Kevin McNamee is a writer and poet living in Yonkers, NY.   He is the author of seven children’s picture books.  Kevin’s poetry has been published in the collection, An Eyeball in My Garden: And Other Spine-Tingling Poems. 
To find out more about Kevin, please visit his website at www.kevinmcnamee.com or his blog at www.kevinmcnameechildrensauthor.blogspot.com.  

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