Writing and Time Management

One of the things I’ve learned as a writer is that when it’s time to write, I allow nothing else to get in the way. I write early morning before my wife is up. I Eat breakfast and take the garbage, then sit down at my computer, pull up a blank page or something I’m working on, and write until my writing time is up. For me that’s 2 to 3 hours. Once I’m finished, then it’s time to do other things. When I keep to my schedule, my mood and energy are both good. When my mood and energy are down, and recently they haven’t been, then something’s wrong. Either I’m not getting enough sleep, or I’m not doing what I want to do.

It hit me this morning that my mood and energy have been flat for over a month. A health problem? Well, yes, partly, as I’d had a bad cold for nearly a month. But that wasn’t the whole thing. Since writing includes promoting what I write, I spend time online researching and getting it going. Instead of making writing my focus, I’d shifted my focus to promotion, which soon expanded into going through everything in my Inbox. Every morning for the past two months, I’ve fixed my breakfast, taken it in to my computer, sat down, and gone through my messages. “Primary,” “social” and “promotions” (not related to writing, but to promoting “stuff”), each box crammed with messages which I glance at, save or delete. When I get done, I am beat! Though my head was full of writing ideas when I got up, I don’t have a single creative idea in my head when I finish, and my energy is gone. This morning, all that changed. I’ve spent the past two hours writing, and haven’t gone near my email. That will come later today, as I have another blog post to begin.

Interesting thing, this being a writer. If you are one and find you have similar challenges to your time, sit down, figure out what works for you, then fill that time with nothing except things related to writing. That will need to include promotion, but be sure to give that it’s own time, outside the time you have to write.

Ah, this writing life, I love it!

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About gwpj

Originally from Seattle, I now live in Sapporo, Japan, where I write, explore this city, read widely, and ask questions about things that i see as important. I'm also an author, with three novels published ("The Old Man and The Monkey", "Grandfather and The Raven", and "Bear: a story about a boy and his unusual dog"). For more information about my writing, drop by my website, at www.geogepolleyauthor.com.
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