Time Management (For Writers With Full-Time Jobs)

Ticking-Clock

The dreaded day job.

Although I love the work I do, my day job puts a damper on my writing time. I often find myself in a situation where I might have 30 minutes of writing time each day. This time is precious, and I have to make the most of what limited writing time I have. As a writer with a full time job, I’ve found small things I can do that can easily be accomplished in 15 to 20 minute segments.

  1. Write a blurb. Although I detest writing these, I can usually whip out a blurb in 15 to 20 minutes. I spend another 15 to 20 minutes cleaning it up.
  2. Write a blog post. Some posts take a while to construct, but some can easily be written in 15 minutes. Take a moment to write one.
  3. Email a bookstore, library, or festival to set up a book signing event or author appearance.
  4. Send an email to your subscribers.
  5. Write an ad or set up a giveaway/ special pricing event.
  6. Work on character development. Make a list of character traits or develop the character’s backstory.
  7. Search for a cover image. You know the old saying, never judge a book by its cover, but people do. You want your cover to draw attention and make a reader want to stop long enough to read the title and/or blurb.
  8. Brainstorm title names. Your title should be short and concise and convey the tone of the story.
  9. Spruce up your author bio.
  10. Develop a tagline. This is a one line hook that grabs a reader’s attention.
  11. Schedule social media posts for the next two days.
  12. Post on social media or respond to posts. Take time to interact with people.
  13. Outline a scene.
  14. Sketch a map of your fantasy/ sci-fi world.
  15. Conduct research. Look online for needed information for a particular scene.
  16. Write 250 words. You’d be surprised how much you can write in 20 minutes.
  17. Revise/ edit a chapter.

Timing is everything. Figure out how long it takes to do something and work it into your schedule. Know how you work and find what works for you.

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Every Writer Has Their Own Method

Every writer has their own process. There are no set rules or magic formulas. Follow your own method and do what works for you.

A Writer's Path

How many of you remember the dreaded research papers you had to write in high school?  Raise your hand.  Better off, don’t raise your hand.  That’s too reminiscent of being back in school.  But anyway, I’ll tell you this: if I never have to write another research paper in my life, I won’t complain.

What I hated the most about the process was how formal and rigid it was.  When I was in school, the Internet was still pretty new, so we, the unfortunate victims, spent hours in libraries using dusty reference books that served better as paper weights and taking notes from pages with tiny print.  We had to write on 3×5 notecards in pencil.  We needed to come up with an outline, and this was to be done the proper way with the numbers, letters, Roman numerals, and I don’t even know what.  The rough draft was written…

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Writer’s Mind

“You don’t have to be crazy to be a writer. But it helps.

There’s a reason most writers are a little unhinged. Einstein is often quoted for saying insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. I wonder if he realised he was describing a typical day for a writer.” See the original article to read more.

One Thousand Little Words

You don’t have to be crazy to be a writer. But it helps.

There’s a reason most writers are a little unhinged. Einstein is often quoted for saying insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. I wonder if he realised he was describing a typical day for a writer. Every day we wake up and think to ourselves that today is going to be the day; the day the words flow freely; the day we have a breakthrough; maybe, just maybe, today is the day we feel vindicated in chasing this outrageous idea.

We spend our days alone staring at an empty screen, a blank page, an uncapped pen. We are our biggest critics, we give ourselves hell and nothing is ever good enough. But we keep doing it. We’re never satisfied and that’s why we keep writing. We write to quiet our monkey minds. We…

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Two Writing Tips That Every Writer Needs to See

Useful tips, especially love the first one.

Liam-J-Cross Writing&Editing

Liam J Cross


Image result for writing Image: https://www.writing.com/

Writing is, in its own way, very similar to the journey of life as a whole: it’s tough and rough, there are no shortcuts, it leaves you with very little time to truly relax, and most importantly, it should never be something that is faced alone.

I guess the only upside at least, is that with writing, finding that help isn’t so difficult. Writers can hire people to help them in their quest. They have access to boatloads of fantastic freelance editors (including yours truly,) coaches and illustrators, and with all of them combined, it makes the task of writing a little less difficult.

In life, you’re all alone for the most part, and not all of that time can be spent farting loudly and laughing about it – sadly.

Of course, there are potential pitfalls to seeking help with your writing. Like what if you hire a…

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What I Learned Writing My First Book

As writers, all of us have made mistakes along the way, but we’ve learned from mistakes and have become better writers because of them. Here’s a great article on some of the many things writers learn from writing their first novel.

Michael James

Writing a novel is hard.  That’s what I learned.  The end.

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Okay I may have figured out a few other things.  It’s a laborious and thankless job with a remote chance of payoff in the end.  Still, it’s better than the alternative, which is not writing a book.

In Feb, 2017, I completed the final sentence of the first draft of my book. It clocks in at about 80,000 words and took about 7 months to write. It was my first attempt at writing a novel, and I’m pretty proud of myself for finishing.

1. I LEARNED HOW TO BE FINE WITH BEING TERRIBLE.

I put this first because it was the hardest lesson to learn and slowed me down the most. The first draft does not need to be perfect. For my first two months of writing, I was unable to move past a chapter…

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Writing Scintillating Scenes––Part I

This blogger wrote multiple posts about writing scintillating scenes. Here’s the first one. It’s a worthwhile read with helpful information. Enjoy!

Donna L.H. Smith

I read somewhere that scenes are the “guts” of your novel. They are powerful and intense, they engage readers and help them to keep on reading. What is a scene? It is the most vivid and immediate part of the story, emotionally involved, their minds are filled with images and memories of actions. Click to Tweet #amwriting #scintillatingscenes

Simply put, a scene is action! Scenes are text passages, including narrative, meant to focus on an event in the story, sometimes slowing it down, so that the reader is “in the moment.” The readers join in the scene along with the characters in action.

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Where to Find Ideas for a Story

If you’re looking for story ideas or just want the neurons in your writing brain to fire, this is a great article. It has links to external sites that can offer more ideas too.

stacy benedict

man-1682385_640The Muse, he’s a flighty little minx.  One day he’s shirtless, flexing his pecs and driving you crazy with story ideas. The next day, he’s out all night with his drinking buddies, not answering your phone calls, and ignoring your texts even though it’s 3 a.m. and you’re on deadline.

Two weeks ago I was stuck without an idea for a short story.  My brain was an empty refrigerator with only moldy Havarti cheese and flat soda inside. Story inspiration can come from anywhere, photos, newspaper articles, or bits of conversations. I had tried everything to coax my muse out of hiding, online plot generators, pictures from Pinterest, Wikipedia searches, chocolate. Click after click on fantasy location images on DeviantArt yielded no results. Even when I had found something I liked, a first line didn’t materialize.

After three hours, I grew desperate.  My eyes were bloodshot.  Light from the computer screen…

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