Planning Time To Write


In his book, "Achieving Financial Independence as a Freelance Writer," Ray Dreyfack, a full-time freelancer for 30 years, suggests that writers "ease" into full-time writing while maintaining their day jobs. If you're following this advice, either by choice or by necessity, you know that it's not always easy. Obligations to jobs and families tend to take priority over writing. It's easy to lose focus of your writing goals when you have so many distractions in your life.

It is possible to pursue a career as a freelance writer, even though you can't commit yourself to it full time. All you need are three things: time management skills, desire, and a day-planner. If you have the first two, you can get the third after you read this article!

Schedule Your Week

As in any part-time job, you must determine your hours of availability. Every Sunday evening check your calendar for the upcoming week. Schedule yourself "off" for the days filled other obligations. Establish what your work hours will be before you do anything else. Write your work days and times in your planner.

Writing Goals

Most experts promote the practice of setting writing goals. However, plans such as, "write something everyday" or "research on Mondays, write queries on Tuesdays," (you get the picture), are too vague for writers operating on a time crunch. What happens if your child has a band concert on Tuesday? Not only will that throw you off course for this week, chances are, it will also set you back the following week. These disruptions in such a loose plan can cause frustration and weaken your writing resolve. For greater productivity, set your goals on a weekly basis, after you've determined your hours of availability. Plan what you will do at each work session, according to the time available, and write it in your planner. This way, you'll be focused the minute you sit down, instead of trying to decide what you should do.

Create A Secondary "To Do" List

This list is separate from your weekly plan. It contains tasks that require a small block of time to complete. Organizing files, writing greeting card ditties, sending out reprint offers, and researching markets are some examples. This list is where you turn when you unexpectedly find yourself with extra work time. It will also come in handy on those days when your work time has been unavoidably reduced. Without this list, you may end up spending this precious time trying to decide what to do with it. Designate an area in your planner for this list. Remember to cross off your accomplishments and add to your list as needed.

Organize Your Supplies

Keep everything you need in one area. Nothing wastes time like repeatedly getting up to retrieve items you need. If you have an office or work area, keep your most important tools of the trade close at hand. If you don't have an area designated for your writing, a bin with everything you'll need works just fine.

Use an area in your planner to keep track of your writing supplies. Make a list of everything you use. As you begin to run low on any of the items, make a note to replenish your stock as soon as possible.

Show Up For Work

This is probably the most difficult part of all, because there are always going to be reasons for not writing. After you've made your schedule, do everything in your power to stick to it. No employer in their right mind would pay an employee who always makes excuses for not showing up. If you want to get paid for your writing, you must plan time to write!

Karen Bianchi is a freelance writer who also holds a part-time "day job." She has 4 kids and is the editor of http://www.AwesomeMomsNetwork.com


MORE RESOURCES:
RELATED ARTICLES
Basic Writing Tips - Some Controversial, All Correct
As a previous article ("Making Better Word Choices - 4 Examples") explained, writers can take steps to prevent simple, and common, errors from degrading their writing. Five areas of writing that cause authors problems are discussed in this article.
Keeping a Journal - One of the Three Treasures to Leave Behind
(excerpted from the "How to Use a Journal" audio series by Jim Rohn)If you're serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal. Don't trust your memory.
Become an Instant Author by Playing Well with Others
You wrote a tips booklet. Maybe more than one.
How You Can Find Freelance Editing Jobs
Freelance editing opportunities are out there, you just need to know where and how to look for them. As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of companies that are waiting for you, right now, to fill their job vacancies.
6 Ways to Leverage Technical Articles
Technology vendors often contribute bylined articles to trade journals. The articles are great exposure for these companies but they don't come cheap - the trades rarely pay for these articles but the vendors spend time and resources to assign pieces, write them, approve them and submit them.
Write a Letter, Make a Difference
Today I took the dog for a walk and realized that there is a letter that I must write. Near our house, we walk up a once paved road that is now mostly rock and mud.
Apostrophe Usage Made Simple
According to one of my previous articles, whenever a Southernersays "Y'all watch this," get out of the way because those areprobably the last words he will ever say.Well, I'm a Southerner.
Novel to Screenplay: The Challenges of Adaptation
ADAPTATION 101Brimming with confidence, you've just signed the check purchasing the rights to adapt John Doe's fabulous, but little known novel, Lawrence of Monrovia, to screenplay form. Suddenly, panic sets in.
Screenwriting - The Lone Wolf Story Structure Template
Story Structure Templates are the fastest way to write screenplays. One of the most well known and often used templates, which goes beyond three and four act structure, is the Hero's Journey.
From Book Notes to Book Reports
Writing papers and book reports has long been the bane of high school and college students' existence. It seems that no matter how hard you work to stay caught up, there is always a paper due tomorrow.
7 Ways to Turn Readers Into Friends
Back in my school days, if the teacher demanded a term paper I knew just what to do. I quickly researched the report, and wrote it as fast as I could.
The Arrogant Writer: Five Ways To Nurture and Defend Your Muse
Arrogance has a bad rap. We think of arrogant people as unpleasant to be around, full of themselves, and incapable of taking an interest in anyone else.
The Dreaded Daily Word Count
Open any book on 'how to write,' and somewhere you will find a discussion of how many words you should write every day. Forget the struggle to get ourselves to the paper or the computer every day, now we have to produce a certain number of words?Me? I don't write every day (Quick! Call the Writer Police!), I don't do 2000 words, and you don't have to either.
Gut Check: Quitting Your Full-time Job for Your Freelance Career
It's 6:00 p.m.
How Long is a Chapter?
How long should your chapters be?I can't resist..
Taking the Free Out of Freelance Writing
When you run an online agency for freelance writers, editors and proofreaders you'd think the biggest problem would be attracting employers who are willing to pay a decent hourly rate for freelance writing. You'd be wrong.
Writing For The Web: Where To Get Article Ideas
A friend and I were talking the other day about writing. He liked to write, but even so his biggest problem was finding things to write about.
Dont Make This Huge Writing Mistake!
You can create a great headline, a dynamic first sentence, and a brilliant lead paragraph. But if you can't hold readers during those middle paragraphs, they'll never see your conclusion.
Top 10 Common English Goofs by Web Authors
In reviewing and browsing web sites over the years, I have compiled a list of the most common misuses of English by web authors. Here they are in Letterman (reverse) order.
Writers Helping Writers - A Noble Legacy
It is satisfying to be a part of such a noble tradition and to know that as a whole, writers are still inclined to lend a hand and encourage others in their craft. I think it is an inherent trait in the writer's soul, to be so generous.

Home | Articles Site Map