Organizing your writing life

As an author are you feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to get done? That’s a given, right?

I’ve been sharing some videos on Instagram about organizing your writing business. This blog post dives deeper into the subject.

As an author are you feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to get done? That’s a given, right?

I’ve been sharing some videos on Instagram about organizing your writing business. This blog post dives deeper into the subject.

What is important to you?

Tasks will lump into 3 general categories:

1.) Personal life. Time with friends, family, pets, hobbies. Buying groceries, preparing food, cleaning your living space. Living-your-life takes up a big chunk of your time.

It’s often why people often scream: “I have no time!”

Tips on how to deal with this – rank the critical importance of your personal life just like you do your business life. Drop off time-wasters and in times of crises mode know what goes to the top of the list.

Whenever possible find helpers to free up time. This year we finally decided to pay someone to mow the lawn – wow! That has been a life saver in terms of time! About 3 years ago I found someone to feed my horse.

Examine your actual schedule and see if you can rearrange things for better time management. Your initial response may be no, I can’t do that but I’ve often found that once you record what you are doing you find time wasters or where you can rearrange events for better productivity.

My Personal Life tasks (about 20-30% of my time):

Take care of me: grocery shopping, preparing food, eating healthy, staying active with walking and hiking.

Take care of my relationships: Teddy-bear Time with spouse. Time to connect with my grown kids. Being with my pets (cats and horses). Chatting and visiting with friends.

Non-structured time: it’s really important for creative types to just exist outside of all the do-do-do stuff. This is food for the spirit and brain.

2.) Writing life. This is the core of your business. You must produce in order to have your donuts to sale! Whether you are working on writing full or part time the first thing to consider is your word count goals? What is your target and how will this dictate your routine.

My Writing Life tasks (about 30-50% of my time):

For example, I plan on participating in NanoWriMo in November. I want to get my next book A Study in Spirits in a rough draft form, from start to finish. Word Count goal is 30,000 words, the month has 30 days. That is 1,000 words per day or 7,500 per week. I need probably 1-3 hours a day to reach that writing goal.

Writing also includes: editing, researching, book cover, and formatting your book to your end product. I consider this all part of the “making a book” process vs. the promotion of the book process.

Writing tips: I won’t go into many here as that is all over the internet but a few things to keep in mind, include: start training yourself to a schedule ASAP. Focus on writing or editing every day.

If you feel your creative well is dry try the Pompadoro technique and a writing sprint to break through the wall. For example, when I was stuck on Never Date a Siren, I set the timer for 10 minutes and just wrote dialogue non-stop. That got me through the last three chapters and re-booted my writing.

3.) Business Life. This is where you figure out how you will sell your “donuts” (i.e. books) to the public. These tasks are many and often take up far too much time. Just remember in the beginning you are on a learning curve so it will take more time to get things done. As you figure it out though, things should get easier. Just beware of time-wasters!

Under this umbrella is tasks like: social media, website, blogging, YouTube videos, podcasts, book signings, writer conferences, etc…

My Business Life tasks (about 20-30% of my time):

Tasks on my agenda include: website maintenance, blogging (I aim for 3x a week), social media posts (try to schedule ahead about 50% of these posts), planning advertisements, networking, podcasting, and analyzing the success (or not) of these events.

I’ve examined my schedule and planned out, using colored sticky notes, what days of the week I want to do be working on these tasks. Your schedule will be your own but I picked days of the week first that work best with my life.

Sunday/Monday is my social media planning for the week. I create my posts using Snappa, I schedule ahead of time using WordPress (for blogging), and Later. 50% of my social media content for the week is done ahead of time over 1 or 2 days.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday are my writing and editing days.

Wednesday is my Book Wordy podcast publication day. I also record podcasts every other Saturday.

Thursday is my run-around errand day so I prefer to leave that day for editing, something I can dip in and out of as my day unfolds.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to organizing your schedule, however, this is a good place to start! For more tips and dig-deep details, check out my FREE author networking newsletter.

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