Posts Tagged ‘Time Management’

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T is for Time, and it’s one of those things that I’ve already touched on a little bit, but I feel like I could expand on it and still get away with giving more advice. T is for time, and it seems to be something that we always run out of. It’s for time, which we never seem to be able to make enough of…

It’s for time, and I know that if we took the time to sit back and think for a minute, we could always figure out a way to put aside enough to get our words written for the day.

I’ve touched before on the fact that we need to set goals for ourselves that we’re capable of attaining easily – and to always have two goals: the attainable, and the stretch goal.

For me, the attainable is 1k a day. The stretch goal is 1million in a year. I know that I always have the time set aside for the first, and the second will come if I came make use of my time and push myself to reach something that I will have to work for.

So, when I say that I have time for my 1k a day, it’s probably easier than other people. I work from home; but that’s not to say that I don’t have responsibility. I can’t even write until 3-4pm in the afternoon. After that, I also have my dogs to take care of/take on walks/play with. I have a house to keep clean, dishes to wash, meals to (sometimes) prepare. I have things that I have to do throughout the day. I also have a somewhat busy schedule when it comes to going and seeing family and friends/etc. So, I looked at my schedule and I thought to myself, “How much time can I realistically commit to writing, every day, no matter what, no matter how busy I am?”

And I thought, 20 minutes. I can always promise myself 20 minutes of writing time, no matter what. Even if it’s while I’m taking a bath, settling down for bed, (hell, using the bathroom). I usually always have 20 minutes that I can sit at my desk and get my one-thousand words for the day in. A lot of the time, I have more than that twenty minutes, and this is where my 10k+ days come in.

But those twenty-minutes are mine, and I made sure to look at my time, what I had, what I knew I could promise away to myself, and I made that sacred.

J.K. Rowling says it fairly well:

“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

Be ruthless with your writing time, because it’s yours, and you’ve committed to it. Whether it’s 20 minutes that you have free in the day, whether you’re writing on your lunch during work – whether you’re bringing your laptop into the bathroom with you and getting your writing time fit in there. If you stay up an extra half hour after you get your kids to sleep, or wake up an hour before they wake up. Whatever your writing time is, whatever you find that you can commit to… commit to it. And then don’t let any excuses get in the way of you and that writing time.

If you’re tired? Write.

If you’ve had a long day and you don’t feel like writing? Write.

If you feel like you need a nap? Write (and then take a nap).

If you need to make dinner? Write while you’re cooking!

The point is, don’t let excuses get in the way, and don’t let people say to you, “It’s just writing – you’re not getting paid for it (maybe you are, and they still discredit the fact that writing takes you putting your butt in the chair, who knows). Just skip it this time.

Don’t let them disrespect your passion like that. Whether you’re committing to writing every day, or so many minutes a week, don’t let yourself waver. You’re setting a pattern, you’re setting a habit, and you’re pushing forward with something that is important to you, and something that you’re passionate about.

Time is something that slips away from all of us – and it’s something that we sometimes have trouble managing. But if writing is truly something that you’re passionate about, and it’s something that you want to improve upon – something that you want to publish, show the world? It’s worth setting the time aside for. It’s worth committing to. It’s worth protecting and treating like a job.

Your writing time is precious – guard it as such!

That’s all for today, guys! I’ve really been enjoying doing this Alphabet Series for you guys! If you have any suggestions for other list type things that you’d like for me to do after I’m done with this, let me know! Otherwise, I’m sure that I’ll find something myself. I’ve realized that it’s really fun to follow along a general outline for blogs, and make it my own, with my own twists and turns. I still have the letters U-Z (getting close to the end!) left to go. If there’s anything that you’d like to see for those letters, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, I’ll figure something out for them, and I’ll keep doing my best to give you advice as best I can! Remember, this Advice is certainly what works for me; no advice is perfect for everyone (except maybe to be kind to others and chew with your mouth closed?), so take what you will and give advice to others for what works for you! I’d love to see it!

Until the letter U! Keep reading and writing, guys!

Author Amanda McCormick

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