Finding the Time
My creative mind goes everywhere, so finding time to write is hard. You may know what it is like when your thoughts are hammered by tons of ideas but can’t reign it in to focus on one. You may be close to finishing a book, but while you are fired up for the sequel, you still have to manage the business–and still, find the time to paint, play guitar, or spend time with family. I hugely struggle with trying to work on writing books and making it a business.
However, like many others who want to write as a career, I wondered how I could fit the business end of writing into my already busy life and not feel like I am running out of time every day. Chris Brogan suggested that writers do have time during the day, we just need to examine how we have been spending our time. So, I examined how I was spending my time. My takeaway from experience was that I spent too many hours getting caught up on television shows. For others, it may be hours spent on social media or gaming. I realized I could cut show watching in half and use the hours towards my goals, or I could save my viewing time for “Free Sundays.” Also, since my day job is just part-time, I found that I could get up earlier. That turned out to be good as my mind is still fresh for writing in the morning.
Accordingly, one method of getting things done for a book business was to make a daily chore list. For writers, the top of any daily or weekly list needs to be writing. The rest of the list needs to be activities related, and things are handled by going down the list each day. If for some reason an item couldn’t be done, carrying that item over to first of the next day’s list helps. At first, that seemed a fantastic way to keep track of business plans, but then my list(s) became longer and longer each day. Unfortunately, my lists felt like they were all over the place, and I had to “switch hats” for every activity. It was all very tiring. I needed something different.
What has started working for me was forming a hybrid between the “list method” and another. The new method involves sectioning off and dispensing the work during the week to specific days instead of looking at a total list every day. In other words, use a day of the week for answering emails, another day for marketing, etc. So, I have organized my week as follows: Marketing Monday, Social Tuesday, Website Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, Email Friday, Blogging Saturday, etc.
Now, my lists of ideas and work are divvied throughout the week to its proper category by day. Combining the two methods of lists, but having specific days for business is very freeing. Although other elements may be added to the day depending on the stage of the book, having a dedicated day to do specific tasks significantly helps with focus.
I’m not saying that I have this down to a perfect weekly flow, but it is helping me be on my way. I hope it can help you, too.
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