I made progress last week working towards balancing blogging and working on my WIP by cutting back my social media time. (See last Monday’s post Confessions – Spending Too Much Time On Social Media? for info on that.) It looks like the writing universe wants me to continue focusing on this area. I attended my local writers group and this month’s guest was author Jim Laughter. His subject – time management. Okay, okay I’m getting the hint.
Jim Laughter is the author of several books including The Apostle Murders and From Victim To Hero: The Untold Story of Steven Stayner and the Galactic Axia series so obviously he is doing something right. I got out my notebook and determined to glean some wisdom from him. He started with one of the oldest time management axioms from an ancient book of wisdom:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to gather stones and a time to scatter them…
The key to time management is to figure out what needs to be done in which season. As writers, our goal is a publishable document, so the question needs to be: When is the best time to perform what task to create a publishable document? The answer is different for every writer. Jim broke it down to a nifty equation:
when + what = time
Think about the different stages of writing to help you discover your ‘when’.
Writing is a combination of tasks: brainstorming, writing, editing, proofreading. You want to create –do the actual writing – at your most creative time.When that right brain is using its muscle. When is that? The time you are most alert. For many people, it may be first thing in the morning. For others, late night might be when the muse comes calling. For me, it’s usually between about noon and 4 pm, though I find myself writing after 9 pm because of alter ego Perfectionist Me who tries to distract me with procrastination. Use your down time to do more left-brained tasks like editing and proofreading.
Want more nuggets about time management for writers? Check out these links:
- Classic Kristen Lamb with Time Management for Writers –Getting More Done in Less Time
- Better Writing Habits tells The Truth About Finding Time To Write
- Follow this Seven Step Plan for Procrastinating Writers over at 3:17am
- I love Bill Roorbach’s advice on Finding Time To Write
My goal now is to schedule my creative activity when I’m most creative. Makes sense. Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂 Thanks, Jim!