When Emery asked me to do a guest post on time management in writing, I was happy to oblige. You see, when I was in an MFA program I was one of the few people in my class working full-time. Balancing a 40-hour workweek with my MFA classes, required events, assignments and actually writing was hard. Then I got engaged and added wedding planning to the mix! I had to quickly adapt to my hectic schedule and figure out how to get everything done while maintaining my sanity.
Even if your life isn't as busy as mine was (I wouldn't wish that upon anyone!) you might relate to feeling overwhelmed with everything you have to do. It's hard to be a writer when it's not your only job. I'm channeling Tim Gunn by giving you five ways to make it work.
- Create a schedule and stick to it. If you figure out exactly when you have time to write every week, you'll feel less overwhelmed. Write it down in your planner (or use Google Calendar like me) and hold yourself accountable.
- Carry a Notebook. If you have a notebook with you at all times, you'll always have a place to write when inspiration strikes. You should make use of every free minute you have. Write bits of your WIP during your commute (if you use public transportation), your lunch hour or when your kids are napping.
- When you aren't writing, think about your book. If you need to brainstorm for your story, multitask. Work out problems with your plot while you run errands or do chores. If you think of something worthwhile, you can jot it down in your notebook. Then when you sit down to write, you can get straight to work instead of spending time outlining or plotting.
- Stay focused. You don't have the luxury to procrastinate. When it's time to write, avoid checking your email, Twitter, and Facebook. Make the most of your time and get to writing!
- Be patient. Writing a book isn't easy, and if it can take a while if you don't have a ton of time. That's okay! There's no reason to feel rushed. What's more important than writing quickly is writing happily. You have to love the process.