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!

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  1. Helen Henderson - September 8, 2017 @ 8:35 am

    glad you mentioned that sometimes a project just doesn’t want to come alive. Now if a chair and whip aka circus style would work to corral/control projects we’d all be masters of our writing time. I wish.

  2. Alina K. Field - September 8, 2017 @ 2:40 pm

    You sound very organized! Best of luck with your book cover business!

  3. Sherry Lewis - September 8, 2017 @ 5:32 pm

    Sometimes I think back longingly to the days when being a writer just meant writing. It’s so much more than that now!

  4. Raine Balkera - September 8, 2017 @ 7:38 pm

    Thanks for sharing, and good luck!

  5. Meka James - September 9, 2017 @ 8:23 am

    I need to have that sort of plan as an Indie, but I don’t. I’m really just starting to get a better focus on the writing 4 years after the release of my first book. It’s taken me that long to get my act together and now I have my second book completed (1st draft). Marketing, something else I need to manage that I put off.

    Good luck with your upcoming projects and the new book cover adventures.

    • Valerie Ullmer - September 9, 2017 @ 9:39 am

      Yeah, I find that every day you learning something new as an author, especially an indie one. Thanks for stopping by, Meka!

  6. Maureen Bonatch - September 9, 2017 @ 9:13 am

    Great post! I’m envious of your self-publishing control. I hope to one day dabble in that to have a little more control over the release time and process. That’s so cool that you design covers.

    • Valerie Ullmer - September 9, 2017 @ 9:38 am

      I think that both traditional published and self-published authors have different advantages, but I figure as long as I write, I’ll be happy. Yeah, the cover design is a new idea, and while it’s still creative, it’s a different kind of creative and I find that I’m really enjoying it. Thank you for stopping by!

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