~ By Eileen Richards
Note: This post originally appeared here.
Everyone’s writing process is different, but the theme that seems to be running through all writing chats right now is how to write faster. The days of writing a book a year are pretty much over for most of us. So how do you maximize your word count without sacrificing your process or end up with a book you need to spend months on?
It’s actually pretty easy with schedules, planning and tracking.
I can hear the groans from those pansters out there. Don’t give up on me yet.
In this series, I’ll talk about what works for me and provide a resource or two to help you discover what works for you.
The biggest obstacle for my writing is finding the time. Though my kids are grown and out on their own, I still have a full time job that I work 40-50 hours per week. I am active in church. I have a husband that I don’t want to desert most of the time. Time is a very precious commodity in my life.
But so is achieving my dream of being published. I am willing to juggle things around to make that dream come true.
Even if you hate planning your writing, you should schedule time on your calendar to write and stick with it. Make sure everyone knows this is writing time. Make it a time that works for you and your family. If you’re having a hard time finding time to dedicate to writing, check out Time to Write by Kelly L. Stone. This book helped me rearrange things and find time to write.
Do you use a planner? Take a bright highlighter and mark out the time each week you will spend on writing. Schedule Social media as well.
I do social media work from 6am until 6:45 every morning before work. I sit with my cup of coffee and go over blog posts, twitter, Facebook, and tsu. I share links of interesting things I find to various groups I belong to.
Schedule social media. There are little tips like scheduling posts to twitter, Facebook, and your blog. Link your accounts together so you’re cross posting. There are all sorts of tricks to managing social media without having to get sucked into the big black hole and sacrifice writing time. Google it for more details.
Communicate Your Schedule
Make sure the family knows what your schedule is. Stick too it as closely as possible. Life happens and there will be times you’ll have to sacrifice your writing time due to a school program or something special. The key is to keep these as the exceptions to the rule. If you find yourself doing stuff during writing time, you’ve strayed off your schedule.
Daily Life Hacks
Slow cookers are wonderful. Those once-a-month meal sites are a Godsend. You prepare everything for a month of meals then freeze them. Defrost, cook and serve. Doesn’t get much easier than that.
Use your smart phone.
I do this one a lot. Set up a recurring meeting with your laptop on your phone. An alarm will go off reminding you to put your butt in the chair and your hands on the keyboard.
No matter how well you plan, life is going to happen. Kids get sick. You get sick. A project at work takes more time than you planned. Make sure you’re schedule is flexible, but you keep your appointment with writing as a priority.
Next week, in part two, we talk about planning and pre-writing. If you have a tip for making life work around your schedule, please share. I’d love to hear how you manage your writing time.
Eileen Richards writes Regency historical and contemporary romance set in small towns or villages as it was. Still pre-published, she’s focusing on her craft and hoping for The Call. She reached PRO status in 2011 when her husband dared her to submit her current manuscript to go to Nationals. She did, got rejected, and earned her PRO status. When she’s not writing, she’s working with data by day and coming home to her own romantic hero of 33 years and her greyhound, Honey. http://www.eileenrichardsauthor.com