This post is part of Alex Cavanaughs, The Insecure Writers Support Group. I was initially going to moan about how much I have to do with November being the month of NaNoWriMo (If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, see This post) and how on Earth was I going to achieve it all as I’m still finalising my first crime manuscript to send back out into the world for query. Then I realised that I actually do achieve quite a lot considering I work full time in a demanding career, have a family, have joined a book club, am finalising one book, starting another and reading books in research of the NaNoWriMo novel. So how do I do it? Lets have a look.
1. You have a smart phone. Be smart with it. Twitter and Facebook are real time sucks for writers, so how I use them are from my phone only. In a morning when I’m drinking my tea before heading out to work I check in with both Twitter and Facebook. While I’m grabbing a bite to eat at work, I may stick my head in and then again for 10 minutes in an evening while I’m sitting down on the sofa having a minute. Rarely do I access them from my laptop. My laptop is where I write and create blog posts. Social media I can do on the move.
2. Bring the kids into what you do. I spend a lot more quality time with my youngest child now that we sit and read on my bed together. He loves it and is reading so much more than he ever was when he thought it was just a chore, but now he sees it as something we go off on our own to do. He benefits, I get some reading done and we have quality time every day.
3. Give up the rubbish on TV that you know you don’t need and won’t miss. I know this feels like a ridiculously hard one. I’m not saying give up TV. I love watching TV. For writers it’s a great source of idea’s and examples of how stories and plots are put together well. I watch a lot of drama’s. Mostly crime. Some others. What I don’t watch, are soaps – massive time suck, and real life competition stuff – you know the ones (Ok, I do watch Dancing on Ice, but that’s once a year and it’s the only one.) Having given up the rest, I can tell you, once you do, you really don’t miss them and you have hours of time spare.
4. Don’t be dictated to by the television set. I know this is another TV one, but I do think in a lot of homes, it’s how we tend to spend time with our families, especially in winter evenings and writing doesn’t have to be at the expense of family. If you have the ability to record your programmes, what I do is record everything I watch, then watch them at a time that suits us and fast forward through breaks, therefore making them shorter. I’m not being told that I have to be sat down by 8pm or I miss something drastic.
5. If you really can’t write today – don’t. I’m sorry, I know routine is important and writing every day is advocated, but you work hard, life gets in the way, things happen. Don’t stress. It doesn’t help the creative flow. It will completely screw with it and when you do sit down a big ball of knottiness will find itself on the screen. Do something nice for yourself this day. It’s okay. Seriously. You can still be a writer and have a day off.
These five points may or may not work for you, but some could be worth considering. They work for me and it’s what helps me get through everything I need and want to do. I hope even one could be an idea you could run with.
What helps you manage your time and fitting writing in to your day?