Friday, July 10, 2009

Time management for writers

A few years ago I went to Ad Astra and heard what was probably the best writing advice for someone like me (by which I mean someone with a lot of time but also a lot of 'projects', housework, etc with which to occupy myself). That ideas was: planning your time.

The speaker showed how if you plan your week - writing down all the chores, work, your writing time and actually allotting time for other projects, you can see how much time you have and GET EVERYTHING DONE. I tried it when completing my chick lit. Up until then I had the idea that chores should be done first, while realizing that by the time my chores were done I was too tired to write and ended up reading and doing other things with the rest of my day. By scheduling chore time into the day I could see that I had the time to write - when I was most awake and excited - AND time to do chores and other things. As an 'achiever', someone who needs to check things off my to do list in order to feel like I'm accomplishing something, it made writing time something I could schedule in as a necessity rather than a hobby. It became work - and work to be done before all my other work. I also learned I didn't need to rush myself when writing. I could spend an hour or more before moving onto daily chores because THE TIME WAS THERE.

I've been trying to get back into the habit of scheduling my time again. Not only did I waste less of it by surfing the internet or watching TV, I also get a lot more writing done.

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