Time Management for Writers (Part 4)

Last week you were given Tips 7-9 for Time Management. Here are Tips 10-12 to help you manage your time, so you will be able to find more time for your writing.

  1. Keep Accurate Financial Records

Keep a ledger of expenses and income for your writing. Excel is an excellent computer program for keeping financial records. If you are making a serious attempt to run a business, you can write off the expenses on your tax return. Get receipts for your postage, office supplies, telephone calls, and dinners with editors. Also, if you drive to an interview or other job-related function, mileage can be deducted.

Keep track of your submissions—what is out in circulation, where you sent it, and when you e-mailed it.

  1. Avoid Procrastination

Have you heard people say, “I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’m going to write when the children grow up, when I retire, when my husband retires, etc. Someday, when I have the time, I’m going to…” If you are going to become a writer, you need to start right now.

  1. Touch the Lives of Others

Writing is 99 percent perspiration and one percent inspiration. It takes a little talent, a strong desire, and a lot of hard work. If you manage your time properly, you will find time to write. Remember what I said at the beginning: God gives us enough hours to do all that He wants us to do. We have 86,400 seconds every day. Let’s use this time to glorify God in all we do.

This concludes the series on Time Management Tips for Writers.

Time Management Tips for Writers (Part 3)

 Before my surgery you were given Tips 4-6 for Time Management. Please forgive me for such a long time lapse, I had reactions to medication and other complications after my knee replacement. Here are tips 7-9 to help you manage your time, so you will be able to find more time for your writing.

  1. Find a Quiet Place to Concentrate

When you write to glorify God, He deserves all of your attention. You can’t concentrate if the TV is blaring, the phone is ringing, or children are screaming. You need to find a place that is free from interruptions.

  1. Keep Your Body as Well as Your Mind in Shape

If you eat properly, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly, your mind will be sharper and more creative. Also, go out and participate in activities. In order to pull information out of your mind, there has to be a storehouse from which to withdraw it. Have you ever experienced a time when you were pulling more out than you were putting in? Didn’t you feel drained? Read. Read for pleasure as well as things related to what you are writing. You should spend as many hours reading as you do writing.

  1. Organize Your Work

Keep your home-office looking professional. Organize each writing project in a file folder as well as on your computer and on and electronic backup. Label each folder as you obtain ideas for articles or books. What may start out as an article file on “Dealing with Stress” may turn into a book five years down the road. Place everything you find regarding that subject in your file folder and/or computer file.

Tips 10-12 will be given in next week’s blog.

Time Management Tips for Writers (Part 2)

Last week you were given Tips 1-3 for Time Management. Here are tips 4-6 to help you manage your time, so you will be able to find more time for your writing.

  1. Set Writing Goals

What do you want to accomplish in your writing? Dream big, and then break those ambitions into small goals that are specific and achievable. I do not recommend that beginners start with books. Writing a book is like eating an elephant, and you don’t want to end up with indigestion. Begin with articles or church school take-home papers.

Writing goals should include three things:

  1. They must be specific.
  2. They need to be measurable.
  3. They must have a time factor.

Perhaps a realistic goal for you would be an article a month. In a year, you would have 12 articles or stories.

Now for those of you who want to write books, at first the thought may seem overwhelming. Lee Roddy is a well-known fiction author and speaker who challenges you to write a page a day. If you do this, in a year you’ll have 365 pages, which is about two trade-size books. Of course, that doesn’t include the time needed for editing.

 

  1. Remain Flexible

What are your writing goals for the next five years? Remain flexible. Yet, stretch yourself so you will grow and learn. Step out in faith and allow God to work through you to accomplish goals that will glorify Him.

Sometimes circumstances change, and your goals must change also. Be willing to change. Unforeseen circumstances can creep into your life.

 

  1. Set Aside a Regular Time to Write Each Day

Pick a time when you are most creative and efficient. Writing takes a tremendous amount of energy. If you have small children, that might be nap time. If you have school-age children, write while they are gone. You’ll accomplish much more if the house is quiet. If you work, it will need to be in the evenings or early mornings. If you are a night owl, write when everyone else has gone to bed.

Tips 7-9 will be given in next week’s blog.

 

 

 

 

 

Time Management Tips for Writers (Part 1)

“To love life is to love time. Time is the stuff life is made of.” –Benjamin Franklin

What would you do if every morning a teller from your bank phoned and told you that your account had been credited with 86,400 pennies ($864)? But the bank had placed the stipulation on it that you had to spend it that day? No balance could be carried over to the next day. Think of the fantastic things you could do with such a gift!

God credits each of us with 86,400 seconds each day, but no balances are carried into the next day. Each night erases what we fail to use and what we use unwisely. No previous day’s time can be reclaimed.

  1. Pray Before You Begin

It’s easy to plunge into something without taking time to talk to God about it, but starting any project with prayer makes your time more productive. Before you begin to write, ask God for wisdom and guidance. If it is His desire that you become an author, He will help you find the necessary time it requires.

  1. Make a Time Commitment

In order to write, you need to plan ahead and set the necessary time aside for it. Perhaps you will decide to write an hour every day, or perhaps you will start with only fifteen minutes if you are a beginning writer. If you can’t write every day, try to select a certain day of the week and clear your calendar as best you can on that day.

  1. Use Your Time Wisely

If you want to be a serious writer, you must treat your hobby like a business. Don’t wait until the house is spotless and all the chores are done to start your daily writing. You’ll never begin!

You are doing some things now that fill the time you intend to use for writing. What can you eliminate? Now I’m not suggesting you neglect your family. It is important to invest time in those you love and in friendships. People are more important than things. If a friend calls with a problem, don’t tell her she’s interrupting your writing time. Say “no,” however, to anyone who starts a conversation with, “Since you’re a writer and don’t have to go to the office, I’m sure you’ll have time to bake a cake for the PTA, stuff envelopes, or head the new church committee.”

Tips 4-6 will be given in next week’s blog.