Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of time management, is brought to you by internet writer Paul Taylor.
Managing Your Time as a Writer
For writers, managing your time can be a delicate balance of discerning when to write and when to succumb to all the other tasks involved with writing. It’s a unique position because there is not set formula to writing, you either are able to crank out your work or you aren’t, and you still have to allow time for proof-reading and editing. This makes time management one of the key ingredients to successfully completing assignments before deadlines. To better manage your time, try implementing some of these tactics:
- Make an outline. Coming up with your headlines, sub-categories or chapters before you start penning out a rough draft of your article or story will help you focus in on what the overall end product needs to reflect. It’s easy to get off track or suffer from writer’s block when you have no purpose or objective in your writing. With an outline and some character development laid out ahead of time, you are able to move forward with some much needed direction.
- Schedule periodic breaks. Writing is hard. Despite the fact that just about anyone can label themselves as a writer due to the ease of blogging and publishing on the internet, that doesn’t mean that everyone that calls themselves a writer is actually a good writer. It takes a lot of mental energy to focus on churning out good work over and over again, so scheduling breaks in your day is important. That mental breather can be just the refresher you needed to start again with more gusto and focus.
- Impose personal deadlines. Having a concrete deadline to an employer or a publisher isn’t always enough because all it says is the time it’s due to your employer or publisher. Set your own personal deadlines so that you have time to go over your work and tweak and edit as needed. Deadlines help keep you on track, even when they’re self-imposed.
- Write when you’re most in tune. Some writers function better in the early morning hours before everyone is awake while others thrive on late-night writing. Some writers need absolute silence to think, and others find inspiration through music. Find what works best for you and schedule your writing time for those times. You’ll produce your best work when you’re most in tune with your writing self.
- Unplug and crank it out. We live in a world of distractions and it’s easy to get caught up doing other tasks, such as checking social media or responding to emails. Before you know it your entire day is gone and you haven’t accomplished nearly as much as you initially wanted. Take time every day to unplug from the chaos and focus solely on writing. Even if it’s only for 30 minutes at a time, it can make all the difference in how much you get done each day.
Every writer is different which means there is no standard formula that will work for everyone. You have to spend some time playing around with your schedule to figure out what is most conducive to your writing and then roll with it, even if it defies the norm. Providing good, quality work trumps a regimented schedule any day, and providing the best work possible is paramount to your success as a writer.
Morgen: As you say you don’t need huge chunks of time – 300 words a day is 100,000 words in a year. Thank you, Paul.
Paul and his wife Julie both spend quite a bit of time coming up with ideas, blogging, and researching all things related to childcare. They take care of all the necessary information related to babysittingjobs.com.
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.
The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with science-fiction author John Trevillian – the five hundred and eighty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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