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7 Ways to Get Things Done as a Writer

Guest Blogger: Victoria Grace Howell

Work. School. Kids. Household chores. Events. Errands. These are just a few of the things we juggle in our day to day lives. Now that you’re a writer you have to squeeze in writing, editing, and eventually social media as well. Here are seven ways you can manage the writing part of your life.

  1. Set Goals – One great thing I’ve learned is to set your goals from large to small. This way you can work on tasks more efficiently.

Start by listing what you want to get done this year. Let’s say you want to write a book in a year. Then break it down by month. Say you’ll take three months to edit it, two months to let it sit, three months to rewrite it, then the remaining months of the year to edit. Then break it down to week. How many words or pages do want to get done? Then if you want to go further set how many words you want to write daily. I know some people who find it easier to set their word count or page count goal by week so it’s less pressure if they miss a day.

writing time

Illustration © Wissanu99 • Fotolia

  1. To Do Lists Are Your Best Friend – Setting a daily to do list helps you tackle what writing things you need to get done and you have the satisfaction of checking tasks off as you go. Instead of looking at your giant goal plan every day, which can be overwhelming, you can look at tasks you want to accomplish on that particular day. And this way you won’t forget anything.
  2. Prioritize – If life really begins to intrude on your writing time, you should focus on what is the most important to get done. In the end, it’s writing and what needs to be done the soonest. Other things can wait. Guard your writing time fiercely.
  3. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule – When you have social media involved, scheduling is how you’re going to keep it under control. Anything you can schedule in advance, do it.

If you blog, figure out your blogging schedule a month or two in advance. What I like to do is schedule a month and one week in advance then in about a week I write all of my posts for the next month and one week. Then I start writing those posts again in that one extra week. That way it’s less pressure on me.

  1. Write in Sprints – An efficient way to get writing in when you’re short on time is word sprints. In a certain amount of time, be it ten minutes or twenty minutes or whatever you wish, write as much as you can and don’t do anything else. You’ll be surprised how much you can write in just ten minutes. My record is 500 words. Keep doing that daily for a few months and you’ll have a book.
  2. Find Out When You’re the Most Productive – Often we are either the most alert in the morning or evening. Finding out which one can often increase your productivity.
  3. Set Reminders – Enter in reminders on your phone to let you know when to write or edit or post on your blog, Facebook, etc. This will help you stay consistent and consistency is paramount, especially with social media.

Even though the task may seem daunting, you can indeed manage your writing life into your schedule and even get your novel written in a reasonable amount of time. I hope these tips help with that!

What ways do you use to manage your writing time? Do you want to try any of these?

 

Victoria Grace HowellVictoria Grace Howell is an award-winning, twenty-something aspiring novelist of speculative fiction hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. When she’s not writing or blogging, she’s drawing her characters, practicing Kung Fu, or enjoying some anime while sipping a hot cup of tea. Connect with her online:

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4 comments on “7 Ways to Get Things Done as a Writer

  1. Great article, Tori! I totally agree with #2. I keep separate ones for blogging and novel revisions, and they’re so helpful with remembering my priorities or simply things I don’t want to forget. I don’t know what I’d do without either now.

  2. thanks. Good advice. I usually tell people who want to write to JUST DO IT. I have always said that I do not enjoy writing as much as I enjoy having written. But the way to write is to write. That comes from a half century in journalism. Deadlines dont honor writer’s block. Daniel from Dallas

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