Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time's Up

For this month! Where did it go? I know I'm not the only one that time flies for. I have non-writing friends that complain the months go by way too fast. That's why writer's need to be aware of how they use the time they have to write. If you don't the days will fly by and you'll have no progress on your WIP.

Did any of my ideas or suggestions help you keep better track of the valuable time you have to move your writing career forward? I know that I wrote enough days in a row, that when I skipped one day, I missed the writing. That's a good sign, I think!

Let me know if you managed your writing time wisely this month?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wasted Time

I had all day yesterday to write but did I??? Nope. I wasted the day watching DVD's that I received as gifts then I took a nap.

Did it bother me? Yes,  I had a nagging little voice in my head all day telling me to get to work but I haven't had much time to relax since my mother's death. Getting her estate ready for an auction ate up the entire summer so I decided yesterday, nagging voice or not, I wasn't working...AT ALL on anything. Did my house need cleaned? Yes. Did I need to work on my writing? Yes. Do I have quilt/sewing projects Mom started for family memebers to finish? Yes. Do I feel refreshed and ready to tackle all my projects today since I relaxed yesterday? YES!

And that is part of time management, knowing when YOU need a break. I will not have written 30,000 by the end of tomorrow but I have met my deadline with editor for my book. I'll have at least 15,000 words by the end of tomorrow, which means I have a good start on two projects. And a refreshed mind going into the month of September.

What do you do to relax and refresh your creativity?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

God's Timing

Since I've been talking about ways or tricks to manage your time so you can follow your dream of a writing career, I'd be remiss to not mention God's timing.

Have you ever wondered what's taking so long to get published? You've studied the craft, studied the markets, studied the style of the publisher you're targeting and still your perfect manuscript returns to your mail box. Could be the timings just not right for you. God's timing that is!

God's timing never follows our time line. As Christians and writer's we must trust him on this. He will provide inspiration for ideas. He will provide writing opportunities. He will provide for a use of the talent he gave us. But it will be on His terms, which includes timing.

Continue to manage your daily writing time, continue to learn your craft, continue to study markets and leave the rest to God.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I'm still at 14,650 because last Wednesday I received my copy edits of my book. I turned it back in yesterday so by next week that number better be 20K plus!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On Time

Hi I'm Rose and I'm PUNCTUAL. I'm puncutal in all aspects of my life, not just writing BUT it comes in handy in my writing life.

Now I was raised in a family where punctual actually meant 60 to 30 minutes early for any given event. I married a man who slides into event with minutes to spare. What a shock to this punctual gal's system! But I've found a happy medium and try to fit my arrival time about ten to twenty minutes before the start of planned event.

However, with writing deadlines, I slide right back to my early teachings. I turn my edits in early (so far). If I have a three week deadline to submit something, I give myself two weeks to get it complete. If I have 10 days, in my mind I cut it back to 7. Yet, I don't rush through my edits or turn in shabby work, I just cut back my time allowance to insure I give the manuscript my utmost attention. Remember how life sometimes interrupts with a middle of the night trip to the emergency room? A case of the stomach flu? A migrane headache? An electrical storm that knocked your power out for a couple of days?

Well, if you change your deadline and work toward THAT goal when an unforeseeable event happens and you just can't work on your manuscript, chances are you'll still make your deadline because you've "padded" your time frame.

I had until Friday to submit my copy edits. My deadline was Wednesday. I sent the manuscript back this AM. With all the severe thunderstorms we've had this year and middle of the night hospital runs I've had...I'm not taking any chances. I am, after all, punctual .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time Alone

Something every writer dreams of and if you're like me struggles to get! But not this weekend. I had two large blocks of uninterrupted time alone.


Although I was tempted by the television programs-why are all the good movies on when I can't watch tv?-I preservered and worked on my edits and proof reading my romance novel. Now, I can work on edits when I don't have the house to myself but the proof reading....not so much since I read it aloud to try to catch repetitive words or ackward phrases. Because of this precious gift of time alone, I'll be turning my edits in early.

Do you read your work outloud before submitting it to an editor? If not you should. You catch so many things reading out loud that you don't "hear" reading to yourself. I found a paragraph where I used the same word over three times. THAT had to be changed.

How do you use your "time alone" to progress your writing career?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time Out

Yesterday I declared a "time out" for my time management concerning my writing. Not because I was behind in work count. Not because I was tired. Not because life in general got into the way.

I received my last round of edits on my book. THAT takes priority over all my other writing goals for the month. Why? For one thing, I've been paid for this book. It's under a tight deadline. I want all my creative energy focused on making this manuscript the best book it can be.

Since my writing word count goals revolved around tight time managment, I gave myself a time out to work on the edits. This is what the time out means to me. I am still 3350 words behind. However starting with yesterday when I received the edits until the day I resubmit the changes to my publisher will not count against my word count goals. I have ten days to get all the changes made and to proof read my book. So instead of my 30,000 word goal by month end, it's now 20,000 (I'm basing the month on 30 days).

Be realistic in your time management. It will insure better productivity and success in meeting your goals.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

Oh boy...I should have 18,000 words by today but I only have 14,650.

Can you see where the time management posts are as much for me as others?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Timed Out

I've been throwing out different time mangement ideas this month trying to help other writers with full time jobs manage their writing schedules so they can see their dreams come true. It also helps me to evaluate my time management schedule to see if there is an area in which I can improve.

But what happens if the day job or life in general throws you a curve ball that eats right into your writing time? Well, you let it. There are just some things you can't control. The night my husband woke me up at 3AM to say, let's go to the emergency room another kidney stone is moving, I knew that even with a day off of work, I was going to get less writing accomplished than if I'd put in a full day at my job. Why? I'm a person that needs eight hours of sleep a night to function. It's hard to write when you or a family member doesn't feel well. And if you can't put all of your focus on your project during your writing time, there is really no point in writing.

The trick is don't use those intenses as an excuse to let that one day or two days or week mandate a new routine of no writing. Just roll with the punches and try to get back as soon as you possibily can into your writing time management groove.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Timer Method

I've read where other writers use a baking timer while they write. They try to get as many words written as possible before the timer goes off. They are literally racing against the clock!

Have you ever tried that method? I haven't. I'm more of a panster when it comes to writing. My characters are clear in my mind but the plot is not. I start with a scene and think about what should happen next and then write a scene. Sometimes during my writing time, I spend a lot of time considering just what should happen next in my story. So I'm wondering how beneficial it would be to a panster....

However, maybe hearing the actual tick counting out the time, knowing I'm running out of time would kick the creative side of my mind into gear and I'd come up with a scene. Not just a scene, a scene that moves my plot and story along.

Do you think this is a time management method that would work for you? I'm willing to give it a try but first, I have to buy a timer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fun Friday

Oops on Thursday's post. I'm not quite used to the new internet provider and when I was ready to post my blog yesterday, the my device wasn't ready for me. : ( The battery needed charged. Guess this will help me remember to plug it into the charger more often!

Here are a couple of writing excuses that kind of fall under my theme of time management!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I'm happy to report that as of 5:00 pm today I had 10,000 words written for the month.

I'm planning on doing additional writing tonight so I can hopefully get caught up to a 1000 words per day!

How is your WIP coming along?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Testing a theory

It doesn't make sense to some writer's to use time management on a daily basis. Then when Lady Luck smiles upon them and they have a looming deadline time management become very important. However, because it's not practiced daily they may have trouble adjusting to the new schedule.

It's been said that if you do a certain thing for twenty one days straight then it becomes a part of your normal routine. This is a theory to keep in mind with time management in your writing. Set a goal to write a certain amount of words a day or set aside a couple of hours during your peak time (if you can) and try out that theory. Not only will this become a routine activity in YOUR day, it will also become a routine event to family members and hopefully they will respect your time in front of the computer!

Try out this theory and let me know if after twenty one days, you're in a writing routine!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Time Slips Away

YIKES, I'm behind in my word count goal. I didn't have very good time management this weekend. But I did have a very good time this weekend!

Friday night my husband and I attended a Prairie Poet and Cowboy Poet performance. It was so enjoyable, especially to this writer. Their use of poetic timing and descriptive words that painted a picture while they told a story with a funny or poignant ending, music to my ears.

Saturday we spent time with our granddaughter. I refuse to call it babysitting...it's spending precious time with a precious little one. However, even though I had time before and after she went home, I was worn out and didn't even try to write.

Sunday, I finally grabbed the laptop and started a new chapter but only got 500 words down when a storm blew up. Lightening was involved so I figured having an electronic device resting on my lap might not be the smartest move on my part.

So, today I'm back on track. I've used any free time I've had to log word count. Now, I'm still behind on my monthly goal...50% behind as a matter of fact but I am determine to make my word count goal this month. Time management for writers is a lot like dieting...if you back slide a few days the world won't end but you must get back on track as soon as you can.

When you "fall off" your regular writing routine, what do you do to get back into the groove?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fun Friday

I'm going to celebrate Friday's with something fun. Today's fun item is a writing quote from Olin Miller.

"Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators."

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prime Time

There are twenty four hours in a day. Do you know when your most productive writing time is during that twenty four hours? You may be a morning person but that doesn't mean your most productive writing time is during the morning...same goes a for night owls.  Or it might.

You need to experiment with various times during the day to find your prime time to be creative. Mine runs from about 10AM through 4:30PM. As you know I hold down a full time 9-5 job so the only time I get to write during my Prime Time is on the weekends. Does that mean I don't write during the late afternoon? Evenings? No, it just means it's a little harder for me to get my creative juices going. Sometimes I jot down notes about my WIP or a new idea to help prime my creative juices well when I'm not writing during my Prime writing Time.

When is your Prime Time to write?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Word Count Wednesday

I've decided to use Wednesday to post my word count for the week. This should keep me honest especially while I blog about time management!

I plan to write at the very least a 1000 words a day this month. So far, I'm behind but I do have 3000 on my new work in process which is approximately one chapter for this particular book. Now, it is the fourth of the month and simple subtraction will tell you I'm a day behind but I'm hopeful I'll make it up sometime this weekend.

So, my word count is 3000...

PS I typing this blog on my new laptop which should prove to be a challenge to maintain word count since I've been using old versions of software and I really HAVE TO SEARCH to find what I'm looking for in Word!!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Murphy's Law...

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".

Does this apply to time management? Well for me yesterday, it did! Got a call from the hubby mid-day to say: Neither computer will work.... WHAT? I know that sometime this month I will need to address copy edits and give my book one last proof read. Since this publisher handles everything on-line I need a computer to do this.

So,  time I'd planned to use for writing (I'm trying for at least a thousand words per day this month) was eaten into by accessing computer problems. I'm pretty sure the hard drive on the PC is fried. I can't even get it to turn off or on...basically I get nothing, nada.

However, the laptop just needed rebooting. Whew! Sort of...most of my writing files are on the PC, which means sooner or later it will have to be disconnected and taken into a repair shop, at least to retrieve my Word & Excel documents. I'm not sure I want to fix it because it is ten years old...ancient in computer years.

Now, all my current WIP's I email to myself so as long as the laptop worked, I could work. Which I did. Why because how can I blog on time management and not apply it to my own writing. SO I wrote for about an hour. I didn't make the thousand word goal but I did make fifty percent of the goal.

What's the point of this blog post besides whining about my computer problems? Well, time management is a mental perspective because most of the time for most people, Murphy's Law applies-almost daily. I could have thrown up my hands in frustration, called it quits for the day on my writing goals, zoned out in front of the tv because Murphy's Law proved I wasn't going to making my daily word count goal. Instead, after determining there was nothing I could do to fix the PC (BTW I did throw my hands up in frustration), I settled down and used what writing time I had left in the day to add to the word count of my current WIP.

Do unforseen events or scheduling changes rob you of your valuable writing time?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time Wasted

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about time managment is where am I wasting time during my day? Several things come to mind. Playing games on Facebook, watching tv-especially watching movies that I own or have seen before, checking email frequently.

Those may be big time wasters but when you work full time and are trying to start/maintain a writing career there are other 'smaller' ways to waste valuable writing time.

Sure it's fun to share lunch with co-workers but if you have an hour lunch and you're finished eating in twenty minutes, don't waste that time. Excuse yourself and write. If you can't go somewhere to be alone and concentrate on your writing during that time, use the time to walk and sort out a plot problem. Plus if you exercise in the evening, this will shave time off of your exercise routine and you can devote that time to writing down the new plot twist.

Not consolidating errands. Do you find yourself stopping at the grocery or discount store more than twice a week? If you do, time yourself from the moment you turn off your engine park until you start your ignition again.  Most full time workers make these stops right afterwork. Since many jobs work the same shifts, 7-4 or 8- 5 the stores are at their busiest besides once you get into the store, a display may catch your eye or you notice a sale on something you use. Before you know it, thirty minutes are gone. If you run one errand after work each night of the week and the trip costs you thirty minutes each time, that two and half hours you didn't spend writing.

Care to share a small time waster that you've discovered?