Category Menu

Organized Writer, Part 4: Time Management

“How to you find time to write?” I hear this question asked frequently when writers get together. Another thing I hear often at conferences is: “Write for at least one hour every day.”

Of course, writers will write every day. And, why only one hour? Shouldn’t you write all the time? The fact is, writing your content is not all you have to do. Besides knowing the writing craft, you must spend time studying the markets, scoping out the competition, researching subject matter, meeting other writers and editors, and keeping your efforts organized.

If you devote full-time to your writing career, you may spend as much as an hour each day doing these additional writer jobs. If you consider yourself part-time, organize your time, either daily or weekly, to perform each of the following functions.

  • Reading and research. Read examples of the genre you want to write. Do research on your subject matter or current trends in your chosen genre.
  • Marketing. Subscribe to publishing industry blogs to keep current on marketing trends. Spend some time each day exploring markets for your work in the market guides.
  • Networking. Get to know other writers on Twitter, Facebook, online writers’ groups, and blogs. Be part of a critique group, either local or online. Keep in contact with people you have met at conferences. Look for opportunities to collaborate with other writers on projects.
  • Prayer. For the Christian writer, praying for God’s guidance daily is a must. How can you know whether your plans and activities are headed in the right direction unless you check with your Guide? Whether you feel that things are going well or not-so-good, don’t leave out this critical daily activity.
  • Organizing. It never ends. Decide on a place for everything, and keep everything in its place. If you don’t stay organized, you’ll waste precious writing time looking for lost things.

Try giving a set amount of time to each activity on the list. Give each equal time. Then do your hour of writing for that day. You can do the writing hour first, but I think you’ll be better prepared to write when you’ve done the other things first.

And—guard against wasting time. It’s easy to let the time slip away when you’re doing something you enjoy. Secretly, you may be hoping that you’ll run out of time and not have to do the things you don’t enjoy. Email and social media can be time-wasters if you don’t limit the time you spend on them.

Again, I recommend Mark Porter’s The Time of Your Life: How to Accomplish All That God Wants You to Do. It’s out print, but it is available at the link above and through used book services like Half.com, Abe Books, Amazon, and Better World Books.

Also, please consider Jeanette Levellie’s Shock the Clock.

Readers, you are welcome to comment on this post and share your time management tips. If you receive this post by email, please click on the title of the post to go to my site. Scroll down to Leave a Reply and comment there.

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/time-timer-clock-watch-hour-371226/

,

2 Responses to Organized Writer, Part 4: Time Management

  1. Terry Whalin May 27, 2017 at 8:10 am #

    Emily,

    Great article to point out some of many different tasks writers need to do–but consistent writing is important. From interviewing numerous bestselling authors about their writing habits, I’ve found many of them do not commit to writing by time. It’s too easy to stare at the keyboard or blank screen and procrastinate. Suddenly you have wasted an hour or two in that process and have nothing to show for your effort.

    A better approach is to set a word count that you want to hit. It could be a small amount such as 500 words (two pages) or 10,000 words if you are cranking on a book or a novel. If you don’t hit your word count goal, then make it up the next day. Day after day, you will move forward with your writing. Hope this helps someone–use word count rather than a timer or the clock.

    Terry

  2. Emily Akin May 27, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

    Thanks, Terry. I’ll mention this when in the summary of this series in a couple of weeks.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes