The Importance of Managing Your Time As A Writer
If you’re a writer with any drive, you’ll probably have a multitude of projects on which you’ll be working, and if not that, lots of ideas that you are attempting to craft into something creative. Sometimes, and I would know, it eats a lot out of your schedule. You might think you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, but what does a writer do? He or she writes, of course.
The idea is to budget your time better rather than limit yourself. Speaking personally, I would rather work on six different projects in a day and closely manage the clock than hold myself to just one or two projects and keep it at a leisurely pace. Some people like a leisurely pace, but more often than not, it’s not conducive to getting a lot of things done.
Such things are not always possible, anyway. Let’s say, for example, that you’re freelancing and you’ve got three different projects going simultaneously. You took them because they were good opportunities and you need the money. Meanwhile, you’re also editing a book and you’re maintaining a niche blog that gets reasonably solid traffic on a daily basis. That is a very full schedule.
The wrong idea would be to cast a few of those things overboard, especially if any or all of them are helping you build a positive reputation. As a writer, you must be able to work smarter, which does not necessarily mean longer.
In my own experience — hey, it’s the only one from which I can draw — sometimes, life gets in the way. Doing all my work on the computer, there are many distractions that can take my eye off of the writing work I should be doing. An e-mail here, a tweet there, an interesting new article anywhere, and I’ve easily wasted half an hour that I could have spent working. When you take on a lot of writing work, discipline is a key factor. At some point, you have to buckle down and get your writing done, or else you’ll find that it’s 10pm and you’ve screwed around all day, not having gotten a fraction of your goals accomplished. You’re a writer, so you should be writing. That’s not to say that it’s unforgivable to divert your attention when needed, but there are a lot of very busy writers out there in that great big world. Producing good content is key to being competitive, so if you’ve challenged yourself with lots of writing to do, as a freelancer or otherwise, be sure you give yourself a chance at succeeding and not having to race against the clock every day or constantly bagging certain items on your to-do list.
If your only goal is to slowly and methodically write your dream novel in your free time, and that is your only affiliation with the world of writing, then that’s that. If, however, you are spreading yourself out with a lot to do, hold yourself to a schedule and power through it all as best you can every day. You may find that if you manage your time carefully (without necessarily rushing), you can get a lot more writing done than you thought. Even just eliminating “shiny object” distractions can be of great help to you as you look to churn out that content.
Joe is a writer; that should be perfectly evident to you by now. If, for some reason, it is not evident to you, you should probably contact Joe and tell him that he's not trying hard enough. Joe is an author and freelance writer from New York. He has a B.A. from Boston College and has blogged for a number of years. Joe released his debut novel in 2012, and also has penned a number of short stories.