September 8, 2017 by Valerie Ullmer
Managing My Writing Time #MFRWAuthors
For the #MFRWAuthor 52-Week Blog hop, this week, week 36, I’m describing how I manage my writing time.
To be honest, I could do a whole lot better with managing the time I have.
Writing is what I consider my full-time job. Well, I have started designing book covers, but that is still secondary to writing. And although I am a self-publisher and I can put out books at the pace that I want to, I find myself with a whirlwind of ideas that I want to write about and it keeps me writing, even after I finish a book.
So, because of my love of writing and near constant source and development of ideas, I am usually busy every day, including the weekend (at least for a couple hours). Most of my time is spent writing, and that includes outlining my story, completing character worksheets, and actual writing. Book cover design takes up the remainder, about 4-8 hours a week, then the remainder is marketing my released books and my upcoming books, working on my blog and that includes guest blogs, my monthly newsletter, helping or talking to Facebook and other online writing groups.
I have notes and reminders scattered around my desk and on my calendar that list my deadlines for every project that needs to be completed. Every day before I start working, I review everything that needs to be done and the time limit I have in which to do so. If I didn’t have lists, especially in a format that I know which project is first, second, third, then I would be completely lost.
For example, we will take today (or Tuesday morning when I wrote this blog post) for instance. I have to finish installing fonts and add them to my font book in order to help with my book cover design business. I also started an outline for a short holiday story that is due at the end of the month. Last week I learned about a publishing house (Mischief Corner Books) that are looking for LGBT Christmas short stories and I started writing ideas, possible conflicts, and how the characters are going to get their HEA and this week, I will write out the complete outline. And next week, I will write the story. On top of that, I have to create at least 10-20 pre-made book covers, decide what website I want to display them on and create a logo for that website. Except for the short story that is due on October 1st, the other items on my list are my goals and my own deadlines.
I’m not saying that I have everything done on time because sometimes things change. For instance, I have moved my next Dark Assassins release from October to January, because I knew that I needed to concentrate on other projects. Earlier this year, I planned on having a menage romance that I scheduled for release in May, but no matter how much I worked on the story, it just didn’t work, so I canceled the project. Every time I move a project or cancel it, I do feel bad because I don’t want to disappoint my readers, but I also don’t want to put out a book that contains mistakes or a book that I’m not happy with.
But there are times, the month of August for example, which I didn’t work very much. I spent most of the month reading, and because of that, I have to get back into the swing of things now. I try to avoid periods where I don’t work because it’s much harder to get back to work, but everyone needs a break. I’m good at that sometimes, making excuses for why I didn’t write that day or that week, and that’s when I become disappointed in not managing my writing time. But when I’m busy and I’m writing and working, then I’m happy. I need to remember that in the future.
Thank you for stopping by!