Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Time Tips for Writers

I spent most of Saturday in a quiet house, as my family had scattered. I got up at seven and started writing…next thing I knew it was noon. Next thing, six in the evening.

When I am absorbed in a writing project that I’m excited about (and I am)…the hours simply vanish!

And still, I did not get as much done as I would have liked!

Writing well takes time, and for me, lots of re-writes. A lot. The beauty of a computer is that we can try something out. “Nope. It’s awful.” Delete. Then, try again.

But good writing can’t be rushed. It can be helped, though.

A couple of tips that are working for me:

My writing opportunities started to take off when I took writing very seriously. I made time for it, every day. I set goals.

I’ve come to the conclusion that to write well, you have to take writing seriously.

It requires commitment. And time. A lot of it.

But…you just can’t take yourself too seriously. Remember…you need a very tough skin and a lot of perseverance in this field. No one is looking for you.

It helps to organize your day so that your mind is available for writing when it’s at its best. For me, that’s morning time. (Sadly, every activity wants my mornings! Bible study, tennis, coffee dates with friends. Sigh. If only a day could have two mornings.)

Another suggestion that has helped me is to push off activities that require less brain synapses' firing to a period in the day when I’m not quite as cognitively sharp. Like, from noon on.

For the next four Tuesdays, I'm going to write about time management tips that help the writing process.

If you have a time tip to share, leave a comment or pop me an e-mail: For the next four weeks, I'm going to draw a name a week to win a free, signed copy of Grit for the Oyster.

So what's your best tip? How do you balance priorities: time with the Lord, family, friendships, church, other obligations? We want to know!