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Managing writing time

August 24, 2011

I love those light bulb moments, when my writing is on auto pilot and I lose sight of anything else because a brilliant new plot twist comes to me. Or the perfect first sentence of a chapter. Or I suddenly visualize an entire new scene. When inspiration strikes, I write like a person possessed to get it all down. But of course, that doesn’t happen every day. Most days, it’s easy to get distracted with any number of things and before I know it, my writing window has closed. So I’m making a list of writing and writing-related activities that I spend time on every week, prioritizing, and dividing them into blocks of time:

30 minutes Magazine pieces (short story, rebus, poem, article)

2 hours (YA) Manuscript in progress

30 minutes Editing/revisions (mine or a writing buddy’s)

15 minutes Writing-related socializing: Twitter, FB, blog, email, posting on message boards

30 minutes Research: Agents/agencies, Editors/houses, market news, etc.

No rules. Just guidelines. Choices. Deciding which things to put in my grocery cart each day. I just finished & subbed a magazine piece, so today it will be 2 hours on the YA manuscript, a couple of 15 minute blocks of online socializing, and a 30 minute block of writing research. What’s in your grocery cart today? I retweeted this on Monday, (scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me on Twitter!) but if you haven’t checked out Kristin Lamb’s blog yet, here’s her great post about branding yourself as a writer: The Single Best Way for Writers to Become a Brand

Here’s to a productive day for all of us!

And here’s another adorable puppy picture to soften up your Wednesday:


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3 Comments
  1. Interesting guidelines for managing your time. When I’m working on a project, I find that I can’t skip from one to another. If I’m working on a short story, I need to finish it until it gets done. For novels, I can’t focus on anything else. You’re lucky that you can work like that! Thanks for the Kristin Lamb link. That makes perfect sense, but I’d never thought of my name as my ‘brand’.

  2. I find it helps me to pull away (most days)…gives me new perspective when I come back to my WIP…but there are those times when something has a hold of me and I have tunnel vision. Glad you enjoyed Kristin’s link!

  3. Okay, I was going to comment on your time management, but then I saw that puppy! Adorable! Focus, Kelly, focus. I schedule my day to make sure I have time for all my writing, revising, and social networking too.

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