Time Management for Writers
Writers are brimming with ideas, but in order to put those thoughts onto pages, a steady writing schedule is required. Finding enough spare time and the discipline to make writing a daily habit can be difficult, especially for aspiring authors who work full time. With today’s modern smart devices, access to the internet, and a heavy online presence, it’s easy to lull yourself into a procrastinating pattern. Here are a few tips and techniques that you can utilize to establish a robust and successful writing schedule.
The Main Time-Management Challenges Writers Face
Most freelance writers are handling multiple products at the same time, and because they are self-employed, they need to keep looking for clients to have consistent work coming in. It can be tough to manage your marketing efforts and maintain track of work, so you are meeting your deadlines for each project.
Every author has a distinct image of the type of author they wish to be. It’s frequently based on their experience with literary success, the types of books they’ve enjoyed reading, or the education they’ve acquired. It is easy to underestimate or overestimate a task before you start working on it. That is why it’s best to have a realistic expectation of what you want to accomplish in a certain amount of time. The best solution is to designate a specific amount of work that you are confident you can complete on time while yet remaining flexible enough to reschedule things. That’s not to say you can’t switch things up as your goals, personal circumstances, or writing habits change. The tactics of your routine can be changed, but your devotion to the schedule itself cannot.
When you are working on multiple projects, it can be hard to get your mind to shift. Sometimes you get so absorbed in an assignment that it gets difficult to shift your focus to a different project. This keeps you focused on a single task while disregarding your other work. You need to practice on being able to direct your attention to what you need to be working on.
Our short-term memory can only hold four or five pieces of information at once. Multitasking can easily cause you to exceed that limit before your brain has had time to convert it to long-term memory for subsequent recall. So, if one of the things you’re doing when multitasking is attempting to memorize new or essential information, you’re unlikely to remember it. It is no longer available.
How to Make the Most of Your Writing Time
Learn About Writing
The best approach to improving your writing is to practice and read. If you want to be a better fiction writer, pick up a novel that is in the genre you want to write about. For example, if you want to write about cosmic horror, read H.P. Lovecraft’s novels. If you wish to write about mysteries and murder, you can read James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club series. The more you know about your field, the better you will be able to write and the more successful you can be.
Plan More, Edit Less
While writing is one big part of your job as a writer, there are a lot of other activities that go into making that possible. One of the biggest supporting activities is research and planning. Especially when you are working on abstract topics, planning can get quite messy. This is where it can be very useful to have a planning assistant such as me! My name is Charlii, and you can use me to sort out all the ideas. You can jot them down and then later give the entire thought some structure so that it can serve as a skeleton for you to build on when you get down to writing. Sometimes we aren’t actively planning anything, but an idea comes to mind that is suitable for the project, and you can quickly write this down in my advanced project management system, otherwise known as Charlii. This way, when you get around to formally planning the work, you have all your spontaneous ideas in one place, and you can start executing. This will drastically reduce the amount of time that you spend editing or revising the work, as you will already have built it in a proper, streamlined manner.
With most of us working from home, it can be difficult to get some private time where you can just focus on yourself and your work. It can really help to optimize your work area so there are minimal distractions and also communicate with your family or partner to give you the space you need when you sit down to work.
When you’re writing, getting the right suggestions at the right time might help you create a far better story. Rather than having to come back at a later time when you have already developed an entire setting, you can use intelligent writing management tools such as mine. I, Charlii, can give you real-time suggestions based on what you are writing and can help you edit and improve your work as you write it.
Break Tasks Down
You can also use my writing management tool to assist in the idea development process. With all your ideas stored in them and all your plans set out in the calendar, the tool can help you stay on top of your schedule while also providing you with the ideas and information that you have noted down. Creative writers tend to have so many ideas that they often forget the ideas that they have already had and possibly written down. You can use me, Charlii, to help keep all these things organized and keep them in front of you to use.
Start With the Most Difficult
Writers also need to have a plan to build something. If a chef has all the ingredients but doesn’t know what to do with them or when to use them, it is unlikely they will make anything worthwhile. I can help solve this problem, as you can plan everything in my management solution and devise a blueprint that you will follow when it comes to building the story and writing everything out. A great technique to follow when it comes to managing your time is to start with the most difficult task at hand. This way, you conquer the thing that you are dreading the most, and the consequent work seems that much easier, and it is that much faster to accomplish.
Use Your Peak Performance Time
When you do start working, whether that is on the most difficult task or the easiest, it helps to be in the right state of mind. Different writers work in different ways. Some prefer to work outdoors, some prefer to work at night, some prefer music while they write, some prefer to write on paper while others prefer to type. However, we all have a certain time of the day when we are most productive. Many experts suggest that you should start writing as the first thing that you do in the morning. While this is a good strategy, it doesn’t work for everyone. Spend a week working at different times to see what suits you best and then structure your work routine around that time.
Use a Timer
If you are the kind of person that gets distracted a lot, gets bored, and starts doing other things or is just a slow starter, get yourself a timer. In fact, you can download specialized apps that were created specifically for work. One of the best is the pomodoro timer, in which you work in batches of twenty-five minutes each and then get a small break after each session. After two or three sessions, you get a longer break of twenty minutes. This way, four-hour work sessions are created, and even if you just do one of these sessions a day, you can drastically increase your productivity.
If you have the luxury of multiple projects from which some can be outsourced, then don’t spend your energy on those. Rather, reserve yourself for the projects that only you can do, or the ones that you prefer to do yourself, and let other people handle the rest. Through online marketplaces, you can get some amazing writers to lend you a helping hand. Moreover, this will allow you to scale your operations and earn more money. Lastly, don’t forget to reward yourself. Writers are often in such a race towards perfection that they forget to reward themselves for the small achievements along the way. This lack of self-remuneration can make for a dull environment, both physically and mentally. Have some time to relax and celebrate the small milestones as you achieve them.