Time Management for Writers
Self-publishing comes with a lot of responsibilities. You’re responsible for writing your books, editing them, finding a cover, marketing, collaborating with other writers, contacting your readers, and keeping a public persona active while writing more books
That’s a lot to juggle, and it’s easy to lose what you came for to begin with. You could spend so much time marketing and publishing your books that you forget to write entirely.
Not writing. That’s a bad feeling.
I know that because I’ve been there, and as much as I enjoy the publishing process, it’s not a replacement for writing (which is what I always try to pursue).
If writing is your goal, then you need to keep the practice of writing as your top priority. Time management isn’t just handy--it’s vital if you want to keep that part of your career intact.
Note: When I was researching for this post, I realized that there are a lot of other blog posts out there listing resources that can help save time. Some of these resources are very helpful, but there’s more to time management than that. Let’s review what a productive mindset looks like first.
I’m a fan of living life by design. It’s one thing to say, for example, that you want to be rich and famous. But do you really want to be rich working at a job you hate--or famous for a less than flattering reputation?
You need to decide what it is that you want, specifically, and then pursue that.
I want to write. I want to immerse myself in my stories, hang out with my characters, initiate and end drama, and bring imaginary worlds to life so that others can enjoy them.
When I decided how I wanted the rest of my business to run, I kept writing in mind. I can’t be too tired or too drained to write. I can’t be too busy to write either--I need spare time and a flexible schedule.
More than that, everything about my job is geared towards either advancing my writing publicly or developing my writing and professional skills. If I’m writing in my blog, I’m researching and reflecting on my own experiences. If I’m active on my Facebook group (which is an awesome place to hang out!), I’m learning from the experiences of other writers and engaging in discussion. This isn’t “on top of” fiction writing. If I ever find that I can’t write my story because I’m too bogged down, it’s time to revisit my business plan and re-work it so that I can.
How does this save time?
Because I know what’s important to me, and I fight to protect it.
There are strategies and practices that help as well. When you know what matters to you, you can work with intention and optimize it.
Cut off social media--you can check it out later.
Be strategic in your research and organization--it will leave you with more time to write.
I’ve included a list of specific strategies you can use to best make time to write and take better advantage of the time you have. After all, time is one resource you can never get back.