Thursday, July 20, 2017

Top 10 List of Ways Writers Can Utilize Their Time

I've been participating in a writing sprint this week with a group of writers. We have a leader who is incredibly encouraging and good at spurring us on toward our word count goals. She sent us a link to a past blog post on the Seekerville blog entitled Writers Write. Everyone Else Makes Excuses, by Tina Radcliffe.

In this post, she gives so many encouraging quotes on doing the hard part of writing. Putting your behind in the chair and doing the work of writing. It takes time. It takes sacrifice. It takes discipline.

We all have to find the "thing" that helps us - that motivates us - into writing when it's hard.

Life gets in the way. Your car breaks down. There's a funeral, a lunch date, FAFSA to fill out (can I just say UGH?), hair cuts, and...dare I say it?...toilets to clean.

So what do you do to make the most of your time, and feed your writerly self? Everyone has to decide for themselves. No one can do it for you, because only YOU knows what will work for YOU.

I decided to complete the exercise Tina suggested in her post, and this is what I came up with - in no particular order.

Top 10 Ways to Utilize Your Time

1. Use a diction app and dictate a scene on your way to work, or while doing dishes, ironing, etc.

2. Listen to a craft book or podcast in the car while going to work or hauling kids to school.

3. Carry a Moleskin notebook in your purse to write down ideas for your story, prompts for short stories, or blog post ideas.

4. If you get stuck in your story, move on to another project. (I stole this from Tina because it is so helpful.)

5. Stay up 30 minutes later to write. (I get up at 5 am already....can't go earlier!)

6. Read a chapter of a craft book at lunch.

7. Email a chapter to your Kindle so that it is there when you are in a waiting room, carpool line, etc. Highlight things that you need to change.

8. Alternate cooking nights with your husband so you have more time to write.

9. Make a date with yourself once a week and go to the library, coffee shop, or park to write free from responsibilities at home.

10. Purchase a cute timer or use the one on your phone to write in 30 - 60 minute increments. Then set the time for 15 minutes and clean a toilet or make the bed or do a load of laundry. Then get back to writing.

Nothing on my list is new. Many have already figured out the best way to get the most out of their day. But some of us need reminders that we can carve out extra time, and every minute we garner gets more words on the page.

What things have you found to help you carve out time and up your word count? 


Sherrinda Ketchersid is a born and bred Texan, preacher’s wife, mother to 4 children, and secretary at public elementary school. With the children grown and out of the house, she weaves tales of fierce knights and their ladies in a time where men were warriors and women had to be strong enough to keep them in check.

After taking time off from writing, she has returned with a new motto in place to spur her on. “Writers write. Everyone else makes excuses.” ~Jack Bickham.  No excuses this time. She is weaving her love of romance with history to bring joy and the hope of love to those who may one day read her stories.

You can connect with her through:

Personal blog:
Twitter: @sherrinda
Instagram: @sherrinda


Amy Leigh Simpson said...

So needed this!!!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Me too, Amy! Me too! I am about to go back to work Monday after my summer break and I really need some time management skills.

Laurie Tomlinson said...

This is incredibly timely for me! I'm so glad to have you back! <3

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Laurie, I'm glad it was helpful! And I'm glad to be back!!!

Robin E. Mason said...

first of all, SO HAPPY to see this back in my inbox! the spam folder purloined some of the good stuff and i hadn't realized it!
and second, building on #9 - read a post a coupla days ago talking about taking a personal retreat! an overnight or weekend in a cozy place with nuttin' to do but WRITE!!

Krista Phillips said...

A GREAT list...

I ditto Robin, a writer's retreat really helps... just to take a few days off! I also, when I am in deadline mode, like to take myself off to Panera on a Saturday for a LONG writing stint... Usually my writing time is a half hour here or an hour there, but to have 5-6 hours of pure, guilt free writing time while hubby entertains the kids... I can get a HUGE chunk done!

Jackie Layton said...

What a great list. My phone also has an app where I can set a timer.

Thanks for sharing, Sherrinda!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Hi Jackie! I always forget that my phone has a timer. I'm pretty sure I could do a lot more if I just learned more about my phone. ;)