Five Writing Process and Time Management Tips: By David Darling
Throughout the years, I have heard from many different folks, “I don’t have time to write. How do you do it?” First, I’m not an expert on this subject, but here are a few things I’ve done that have worked. I’m not going to bother you with such things as having a writing area, ensuring you are not interrupted, or using a timer. Everyone is different. Find what works for you.
1. Sacrifice. I enjoy writing novels, and when you introduce something new into your schedule, something else has to give. I used to play video games and watch television, but no longer. Okay, to be fair, I do watch TV, but nowhere close to what I had previously. Do you scroll on social media for countless hours daily? By giving up even an hour of watching your shows or screen-time, there are more productive hours in the day for you to do what you enjoy. For myself, that’s writing.
2. Time Management. “I barely have time for TV, let alone writing. Any suggestions?” I am working full-time, and I still manage to write three novels a year or more. Instead of waking up at 7 A.M., I get up two hours earlier, long before anyone else in my home is awake. Even if I write for two hours every morning, that equates to 1500 words daily. (+ or -) That schedule alone puts me on track for completing a novel in three or four months.
3. “I don’t have two hours a day. What then?” If you enjoy writing or achieve your dream of completing a novel, write what you can. An average page in a book is three-hundred words in length. If you can only write one page per day, for five days a week, that is 1500 words per week. After one year, that is 78k words and guess what? You’ve completed your dream! While some novels are longer and some shorter, the result is the same. You have worked in small increments to achieve a larger goal.
4. Momentum. I have found that if I take breaks or skip several days of writing, I lose momentum, and it’s a struggle to get it back. In that regard, I try and keep the same schedule. Many writers have a word count goal per day, but I found that didn’t work for various reasons. However, I do write every single day, including weekends. Some days it’s only a page, and others are 3k words, but most importantly, I keep the momentum going.
5. Editing. I try to avoid editing while I write or I’ll never get done. If you are constantly fussing to make this paragraph perfect, you miss the bigger picture. What you are writing is your rough draft. Many have compared it to drawing on canvas. The rough draft is the outline of an image, but the second draft focuses on the details, like leaves on a tree or grass underfoot. There will be many revisions and rounds of editing to make your novel shine as you pictured it in your mind, but your first job is to get it completed.
I hope some of this helps, and if you are interested in ways to help your dreams become a reality, click here for another article I’ve written on the subject.