Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ten Ways Writers Can Utilize Their Time

Time for a writer is elusive. As I was thinking about a post for today, I remembered a post I did a couple of years ago. It was such a good reminder for me, I thought I'd share some of it again.

From July 2017:

Putting your behind in the chair and doing the work of writing is difficult. Whether you are putting new words on the page, editing a rough draft, or learning more about the craft, it takes time. It takes sacrifice. It takes discipline.

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.

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

Here 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 timer 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 of 4 children, and works part-time as a bookseller at Amazon. 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. Her first book, Lord of Her Heart, released in May 2019.

You can connect with her through:
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Twitter: @sherrinda


Melissa Henderson said...

I make sure to set a timer and focus on writing. I don't check social media or emails during my "writing time".

kaybee said...

Sherrinda, these ARE good tips and I've noticed that we need time management no matter what stage of life we're in. My children are grown but I have so many other interruptions I never anticipated. At least when they were little I could write during their naps. Now I need a nap.
But it gets done, doesn't it?
I also like #4 and may have gotten it from Tina, don't remember. But if I have several projects going, SOMETHING is bound to get done. And it can prime the metaphorical pump for the task I'm SUPPOSED to be doing.
This is especially true when we're contracted or published, because then we also have to be about the business of writing. I want to be writing today, but I've got first edits on a novella for Pelican. I wanted to be writing YESTERDAY, but I had first edits on my second full book for Pelican. I want to write tomorrow, but what about those guest blogs?
Staying off "social" is a really good idea, except when it's writers' sites. Those keep me going.
Kathy Bailey
Making it work in New Hampshire