Friday, October 16, 2015

Putting White Space Back In Your Life Part 1

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to be sharing tips for how you can put white space back in your writing life. When you give yourself margin you find time you didn’t realize you had to do the things you really want to do.

These are only suggestions and might not work for your personality. These aren’t do or die rules, but merely ideas to get you started. And hopefully, as you move forward, you’ll refine these ideas to make them work best for you and your schedule.

Now, let’s put some white space back in your life, shall we?

Get yourself on a schedule.

This will be the greatest thing you can do to put white space back into your life. Schedules and calendars don’t have to have every single minute of your life broken down into neat little boxes. A schedule can be a big picture look at what your week or month coming up is like.

Scheduling gives you the bird’s eye view of what is upcoming so you don’t miss any deadlines or find yourself up until midnight the night before, pounding out a blogging obligation.

Some things to schedule:

YOUR BLOG POSTS. If you contribute to several blogs, try to write a post a day. This will be 5 posts a week. Alternate whether you write a craft or devotional post (or whatever your theme might be). Soon you’ll be looking ahead quite a ways and if you miss a day or so of writing, you won’t fall too far behind. Keep a journal at hand to jot down blog ideas throughout your day and week. This will give you a running start each time you need new content.

Ask guest posters to fill a few intentional holes that you plan out. This way your reserve posts stretch farther. There will be incredible freedom for you to get to Thursday night (or Friday morning) and realize you don’t have to worry about your post, because it’s done. As of six weeks ago.

GIVE YOURSELF DEADLINES. Take the day that your guest blog post is due and then give yourself a firm deadline to hit two weeks before it’s needed.

Lack of procrastination will be the save grace for your precious writing time, all the time.

SCHEDULE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES. Apps such as Buffer, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are all free programs that you can use to schedule your tweets, Facebook and even Pinterest (check to make sure this isn’t a paid function on the platform you’re using).

Spend an hour or so a week just scheduling your social updates, leaving room for a few spontaneous additions, and let it post away for you.

The greatest area you can put margin back in your life is harnessing your social media. We’ll talk next time about how you can limit this time, but still be effective.

Until then, share your best scheduling tips in the comments, I’d love to hear what they are!

Are you inspired with the options offered here to put white space back in your life? Share your thoughts!

Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in colorful Colorado where she gets to live her dream stalking--er--visiting with her favorite CO authors. 


Sherry Ellis said...

Scheduling is the key. Good post!

kaybee said...

THIS IS brilliant! I'm not published yet, but I have a crammed schedule already, so I'm working on the disciplines I will need when I have editors' deadlines to meet. I like the idea of "big picture" scheduling. My daily schedule is unpredictable, I'm a newspaper reporter and I have to go where and when the work is, so I don't have daily goals for my fiction. I "chunk" my goals. For example, I want to finish a rewrite on one of my books by November. (Originally it was because I was going to do NANO, but that probably won't happen.) So I've got a month and a half, and it's up to me how I get it done. Works for me. I'm also vigilantly aware of traps such as social media and television. I go on social media to talk about writing, here and in Seekerville, but I don't spend a lot of time on frivolous stuff such as the quiz to determine what "Facts of Life" character you are.
When I have a blog post to write, I fold it into my other writing.
And, and, and I make use of "gifts" of time. My husband has a position with a district committee of our church, and since he works nights, that necessitates me driving him to Boston three or four times a year. I could spend the time he's in the meeting window-shopping (or real shopping depending on the budget), but since the meeting takes place at a college, I go to the college library instead and Work On My Writing. That's three to four uninterrupted hours. In a library.
Thanks for a great post. This is something we'll be refining as long as we're writers.
Kathy Bailey

Robin E. Mason said...

and a single centralized location to keep track of what and who and when and where - whether a calendar or planner or whatever name we give it. believe me, i was swimming in notes scribbled on other notes and envelopes and random places, and it just don't work so good! i now have everything in on rather grand spreadsheet, with multiple tabs, so i can keep an eye ahead and know what's pressing and which items i have some breathing room.

Laura C. Brandenburg said...

I am also an unpublished author, so I'm new to balancing all of this--working full time and calling myself a REAL writer. :) A schedule has been key for me, and a journal is a good idea. I've started using the Notes feature in my iPhone when I randomly get an idea for a blog.

I'm interested to hear your advice about social media. I'm somewhat new to Twitter, and since first attending ACFW in Sept, I've been trying to read other blogs and comment more. For my own time management, I try to post on Twitter a few times a week (I should probably post more), and I try to read and comment on a handful of blogs every week (this is one of them :)) on those same days. So far, I feel like it doesn't take up too much time to do this, and it feels manageable.