BALANCE IN WRITING: Your Schedule

Life is Crazy. I am a momma of three young children (ages 8, 7, and 4). Two of them have special needs. Then I have the house to take care of, the groceries, the laundry, the cooking…you know the regimen.

On top of that, I coordinate a ministry that I am passionate about. It requires me to maintain a separate blog, facilitate communication between leadership members, write a monthly newsletter, and update power points. I am also increasing my speaking engagements.

I am thrilled about the opportunities that are opening up for me. But it takes planning and preparation time.

I also need to market for 8 books and I am working on writing 3 and researching 1 right now. Maintaining my newsletter, street team, social media, constantly educating myself on the craft of writing….

Basically, I have a lot on my plate. To keep all this going, it takes organization and planning. A LOT of organization and planning. And I know I’m not the only one. There are others of you who have even more on your plate. Some of you have all that and a full time or part time job!

So, what are some tricks to manage it?

First, you need goals. If you have spent any time reading my blog, you know how I feel about goals. They give you something to work toward and help you know when and what you have achieved each week/month.

So, sit down and set some goals.

Writing goals:

  • What will you write this year?
  • How long will it take you to write that?
  • Pencil in those writing sessions each day/week
  • Set your deadlines for rough draft and self-edits

Marketing goals:

  • What do you want to accomplish with your writing?
  • How will you accomplish that?
  • What is your target audience?
  • Where is your audience?
  • How will you reach them?

Appointments:

  • Make sure to mark appointments in your calendar
  • Include exercise and things like devotion/quiet times in your calendar (if it’s not in my calendar, I will not make the time for it)
  • Make time for date nights, time with your kiddos

Time for YOU:

  • Just know as you plan your week/month that you will need leeway to have time with friends
  • And plan time for you/rest each day; even if it’s 30 minutes to read or just relax with a TV show

Make your TO DO list for the week:

  • write everything down that needs to be done in the week
  • dream big
  • include writing goals for the week (whether number of scenes, chapters, or word count)
  • include these other areas mentioned above
  • include “due dates” for the items on the list

Distribute TO DOs among the days of the week:

  • look at your schedule each day and make an even distribution of items, taking into account what you have going on each day
  • make sure you have REST time each day

Prioritize list for each day:

  • pick the three most important tasks to be done each day
  • if those get done, you have accomplished much; doing more is icing on the cake

Set TIMERS:

  • I set an alarm at noon, if I haven’t already started writing/editing, that is my cue to drop what I’m doing and start then
  • I also use timers to manage tasks – I’ll do housework for 15 minutes, I’ll do social media for 15 minutes (can you tell 15 minutes is my “special increment”?)

Build a really good planner:

  • Intentional Moms has a great planner that works with these principles and you can download the planner so you can print it out, add your own sheets, add on different packets (you can take the printed out stuff to FedEx Office and have them spiral bind it for about $5
  • Susan May Warren’s “My Story Matters” planner has great guidelines for setting goals for writing and marketing
  • Plum Paper has great options for building your own planner and adding sections and whatnot

 

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