Thursday, May 26, 2011

Greyhaus Guest Blogger - Not Enough Time In The Day

Suzanne really does a good job of pin-pointing some things I believe we all face. Heck, after this last week, these ideas sounded pretty good to me. Yet, it is important to remember that in the publishing world, there really can't be excuses. Deadlines do have to be met and readers need to be satisfied.

Thanks for the comments Suzanne!

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I’m not complaining about my lot in life. But have to say that finding time to write, network, edit, and research can be really tough with 3 kids (2 with special needs), a husband, and elderly live-in aunt, 3 pets (2 also with special needs) plus a full time career as a Marketing Manager for a major national brand.

With this in mind, I remember the worst piece of advice I ever received: “You have to give up everything: family, friends, and career in order to be a serious writer.”

Uh, I don’t think so. I might give up a few extraneous items, but am not giving up my family or friends, and definitely not my day-job. I wouldn’t even give up the few writing organizations that I belong to because that’s where I get the motivation and knowledge that I need to move forward on the road to publication.

In order to find time for all that I have to do, I have to multi-task and schedule. Here’s how I manage the madness:

  • - Lists: I try to create a short REALISTIC list of activities that I need to get done the next day, whether it’s family, work, or writing-related.
  • - Prioritize: In each subhead, prioritize what needs to be done right now/today
  • - Time Manage: Set a timer. If you know that you only have 20 minutes for social networking, then when that timer goes up, move on to research, editing, or writing. Chances are, you’ll be more focused on the task at hand knowing you only have a limited time to do it.
  • - Ask for Help: If you have a daunting research project, ask for help from writing buddies. If you belong to a writer’s group with a loop- post the question there. You’ll be surprised at how many people will respond with relevant links and info.
  • - Forgive yourself: It’s ok to let some things slip, such as having a messy living room for one more day so that you can finish your manuscript in time for a contest deadline.
  • - Give up extraneous activities: This is the most difficult for me because I am a compulsive voluntee-er. I had to post a sign on my laptop to remind me not to volunteer for anything else.
It’s definitely not easy, but I have found that by keeping these concepts in mind I am a happier, more productive writer. And I realize that my non-writing life may delay my path to publication, I’m still ON the path, and that’s the important thing.

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