Time management is challenging for writers because you can’t manage your time, per se. Everyone has the same 24 hours. You can only manage yourself.
Let’s say that you want to become a successful indie author — but you know that writing books takes time. Depressed yet? That’s OK, because not only do most people have more time than they imagine, they can achieve more, no matter how limited their time.
However, you need to make a decision.
A time management truth: you will NEVER have enough time
It’s true, sadly. Even full-time writers moan that they have “no time.” Your life will eat your writing time if you allow it.
You have a decision to make: how badly do you want to write? If writing is important to you, your writing comes first. Schedule your writing time, then rejig everything else to fit.
Let’s look at our time management tips for authors who are convinced that they have no time.
1. Kill the myths about writing which are holding you back
Here’s the thing. Myths about writing abound. Many are completely incorrect; others are only partially incorrect. Few are true — and even the myths which are true are only true for some authors.
Which myths are holding you back? You may not know, because a myth can be completely unconscious, and nevertheless control your writing.
- Fast writing is bad writing. You can’t write a book in 24 hours;
- If your book doesn’t sell immediately, it will never sell;
- You can’t write 3,000 words in an hour…
There are as many myths as there are writers.
My point: you believe things which are untrue for you, and you’re unconscious of your harmful beliefs.
Try this exercise.
Write this phrase in a new computer file: “The myths about writing which are holding me back include…”
Wait for ideas to come to you. You’ll be shocked at the notions you have which cripple your ability to achieve your writing goals.
Of course, many of your personal myths involve notions about what YOU need to write: “an hour of uninterrupted time”, etc.
2. Dictate your words, it’s faster
Dictation is faster than writing, especially once you get used to it. In the beginning, you’ll feel uncomfortable — persist.
Modern computers include voice recognition software. Read the Help files for your machine, and start talking.
Nuance produces Dragon voice recognition software; it’s worth the expense if you’re making money from your words.
I gave you some tips on how to make dictation work for you here.
3. Adjust your preferences, because everything is a preference
Now for a little Zen. 🙂
Everything you want, or don’t want, is a preference.
If you can become consciously aware of your preferences, and realize that they’re only preferences, you’ll write more, no matter how little time you have.
From Zen Thinking:
Without having a preference of any sort, with no opinion for or against, you become free.
Let’s look at some common preferences.
- You might prefer to be able to quit work, and become a full-time writer. However, currently you need a day job;
- If only you could sell 500 books a day, you muse… but most days, you only sell one or two. (You may need to steal a little writing time so that you can advertise more);
- Perhaps you wish that your partner and children would do more of the household chores. That’s a preference. Tell them that your preferences have changed, and that you’ve drawn up a list of chores for each of them so that you have more time to write.
Time management: you always have more time than you imagine you do
Use our tips to squirrel away more time for your writing — and have fun while you do it. 🙂
Why write serial fiction?
Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.
It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.
If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.More info →
You're a writer. You need to make money from your words. What if you could create AND sell a nonfiction book in just a day?More info →
Today, the opportunities for writers have never been greater. Back in the day a writer who was making six-figures a year seemed a creature of myth. These days, highly successful writers are making six figures a month.More info →
Resources to build your writing career
Get daily writing news and tips on the blog’s Facebook page.