Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Saturday Show on The Writer's Alley

Today we have the privilege to host guest, Lindsey Brackett.  Lindsey was at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference with Mary and Pepper this year. We are giving a shout out to her debut release: Still Waters.

Here is a little bit about Lindsey. What a list of accomplishments! 

Award-winning writer Lindsey P. Brackett once taught middle grades literature, but now she writes her own works in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications  In both 2015 and 2017, she placed in the top ten for Southern Writers Magazine Best Short Fiction. Previously, Lindsey served as Editor of Web Content for the Splickety Publishing Group, and currently she is a general editor with Firefly Southern Fiction, an imprint of LPC Books. In addition, she writes a popular column for several North Georgia newspapers.

Today on the Alley, Lindsey shares her thoughts on Time Management for the Writer with a Life. And boy can we use this, right?

Time Management for the Writer with a Life

People crack me up when they ask how I “do it all.” I’m pretty sure if these same people were a fly on my wall, they’d a) have full run of the house because I’m too busy to buy a fly swatter and b) realize pretty quickly, I’m definitely not doing it all.

What I am doing is a lot of little things that take up a lot of precious time. Some of these things help fund my writing. Some of these things help keep my sanity. A few of these things are because I’m still unable to use the word no to my best advantage.

And all the people-pleasers just whispered amen.

However, as my career grows, so do my commitments. I launched a book last month and suddenly social media, marketing, and networking have become black vortexes of time. I’ll sit at my computer for three hours, look up and realize I only accomplished one or two items on my Bullet Journal daily task list. (Canva is the culprit, I’m sure.)

I’m realizing pretty quickly I can’t go through life chained to my computer. There’s a time for “butt in chair, hands on keyboard”—and there’s a time for scrolling and posting and sharing. There’s also a time for walking and reading and cooking and showering. The trick is to realize: your time does not manage you. You manage your time.

I like to work in big chunks, so as my needs migrate, I’m muddling through a new system. I’m constantly self-evaluating, and I’m having to remind my task list that this thirty minutes of self-reflection is going to help me work more efficiently in the future.

Here are three questions to ask yourself as you manage your time:
1.    When do I feel most creative?
2.    What finished tasks bring me joy?
3.    What’s my return on investment (ROI)?

I’m at my most creative in the early morning hours, so right now I’m using those to work through my WIP and get it ready to send to my editor. I love teaching and connecting with other writers, so I’m changing some of my social media focus to allow time for engagement, rather than only sharing. I’m looking at my marketing techniques and putting my money into passive streams that make sales, but my time into places where I actually get to connect with readers, like libraries and bookstores.

We can all agree, as writers, we’re doing so much more than crafting stories. But I think we can also learn from and support one another so that venturing out into this beautiful busy place doesn’t have to be quite so intimidating. Don't you?

Here is Lindsey's debut novel!!

Still Waters, influenced by her family ties to the South Carolina Lowcountry, is her debut novel. A story about the power of family and forgiveness, it’s been called “a brilliant debut” with “exquisite writing.” A Georgia native, Lindsey makes her home—full of wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee—at the foothills of Appalachia with her patient husband and their four rowdy children.

For more information about Lindsey and her writings: 

Wow, Lindsey. Thanks for those amazing time management tips! We loved having you here on the Alley and pray God's blessing on your debut novel.

Do you have any questions for Lindsey?
If not, please leave her an encouraging word. 


kaybee said...

Lindsey, this is good stuff and so true. I am also involved in the newspaper business (what's left of it). I recently retired from a 30-year career as a beat reporter. Still freelancing to two papers because you need a little something on the side these days and it keeps me sharp.
Time management has always been a hobby of mine, I read everything I can get my hands on and can't wait for the planners to come out in the stationery aisle each year! My writing plan is based on something I read by Pamela Redmond Satran years ago. She said she always did her fiction first, when she was fresh, and then worked on her nonfiction, which was paying the bills at the time. Both are art forms and both demand a mastering of craft, but fiction demands it in a special way, and she recognized that. So I set my first block of time at the computer as my fiction time, and then I catch up on the nonfiction in the second block.
BTW, I had a weekly personal experience column when my children were in middle school and high school, and it was very rewarding. For me, not for them, they were frequently embrarrassed. I remind them that they should be glad they grew up before Social Media, when young moms feel compelled to record everything, including toilet training, for the amusement of their friends. What an age we live in...
Thanks for sharing.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

Probably the best tip on time management I ever got was to do what only YOU can do first. Be a wife to YOUR husband, be a mother to YOUR children, write YOUR book. Work God's plan for YOU. And then fit everything else around the edges, or not at all.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I had such a fun time getting to know you at the Blue Ridge Conference and am so excited to have you here on the Writer's Alley! Welcome!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great comments! And yeah, that social media is gonna make today's babies embarrassed for their weddings!!.
Doing fiction at the time when one is wide awake and sharp is so true. The creative juices just sizzle!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I love your trick: Time doesn’t manage you, you manage your time. I work a stressful full-time job and tend to waste time in the evenings because I am exhausted. I need to learn to manage my time in a way where I’m at my creative best.

You mentioned you are using passive streams of marketing. What is that? I’ve never heard that term befor.

Thanks for being at the Alley!!!

Lindsey Brackett said...

Love how similar our approaches are Kathy! I block out the fiction time and the do the bill work too!

Lindsey Brackett said...

Hi Sherrinda! Basically passive marketing is something that's continually keeping my book in the streams but that I'm not actively posting everyday. My publisher has seen good results with Ask David which is a book promotion service for twitter. And I bought a couple static ads on well traveled sites. It's a learning process!