Writing Tip — Time Management

work-managementw-907669_1280Over a month ago, I wrote a post about how I was struggling to create a doable writing schedule. Click here for that post.

Since that time, I’ve been working hard to establish a schedule and thought I’d share what I had learned.

  1. Analyze your time constraints. I examined the tasks I must do and how much time these take. I can’t alter the school run in the morning. It takes me over two hours to get the kids to school, and that’s all there is to it. When the kids get home, I have to oversee homework. I can’t write and help them with homework at the same time, so the evenings on the weekdays are out.
  2. Figure out the best time to write. This is easier for me than some people because my kids are in school during the weekdays. When I’d completed all the necessary, unchangeable tasks, I found I had four hours during the weekdays to write. Problem was, during those four hours, I still had shopping, cleaning, and other work to do.
  3. Choose a reasonable schedule. If you aren’t finding any time to write now, don’t set a goal of an hour a day. Try ten minutes. With my four hours, I decided to devote two hours to writing, which includes my blog, responding to comments on my blog, my novel, and any other kind of writing.
  4. Once you set a schedule, stick to it. At the Ohio Christian Writer’s Conference, Edie Melson said if you don’t fiercely guard your schedule, no one will take your writing seriously. Give any new writing schedule two months to see if it will work for you.

It hasn’t been easy trying to get in two hours each weekday, and sometimes, with appointments and other one-time demands, I can’t. But now that I have the goal in mind, I can focus my writing efforts, and I don’t get frustrated trying to shoehorn writing in between grocery shopping and school dismissal.

What have you learned about establishing a writing schedule?

Writing Tip — Time Management

finding the time to writeLately, when it comes to managing my time so I can write, I feel like the narrator in Patrick F. McManus’s story “Controlling My Life” from the book Real Ponies Don’t Go Oink!

“I just read a book on how to get control of my time and therefore of my life. My time has always had a tendency to slip away from me and do as it pleases. My life  follows it, like a puppy after an untrained bird dog. Come night, my life shows up, usually covered with mud and full of stickers, exhausted by grinning happily. My time never returns.”

Here are two different views on how to schedule time to write. The first post is about “binge writing”, setting aside a large block of time to get a lot written in one session. The second advises setting a small daily goal and writing every day.

I know I am not a binge writer. I like variety in my life. So doing an hour or two a day while the kids are at school is perfect for me. But I haven’t been able to find that hour or two with all the demands of running my home and taking care of my kids and husband, whose job is demanding and has irregular hours.

While I have been able to keep up on my blog, I haven’t found the time to revise my first novel or make much headway on a new one.

So I am interested in other people’s writing schedules. How do you find time to do the writing you must do and the writing you want to do?

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