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6 essential tips on time-management for writers and bloggers

I’m delighted to welcome back  my friend Mrs N.N. Light to my blog today. Her post today is all about time management – something every writer struggles with from time to time.

Thanks for dropping in, Mrs N. I’ll be taking some notes as I’m much in need of your advice!

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N.N. Light, helena fairfaxTime Management For Author/Writers/Bloggers

by Mrs N.N. Light

One of the first things I learned as a writer/blogger/author is to manage my time effectively. Trust me, it was hard. I’m a creative person and it goes against my nature to be organized. I’m more of a go with the flow type of person and when I started writing full-time, it became evident that I needed to prioritize projects and tasks.

Ask a published author what’s the key to being a success, they will tell you time management. One of the authors I admire told me the other day, “Listen, you’ve gotta push down your rose-colored glasses and get to work. This is serious business, being a professional writer, and prioritizing is the key.”

I took the advice to heart and started thinking about ways writers, authors and bloggers can be more effective. I came up with six tips and they come directly from my experience.

1- Get a planner. I personally enjoy a paper one that I can keep beside me throughout the day. It has enough space for me to jot down everything I need to do in order as well as schedule future appointments. This is crucial for me as a blogger and book promoter as I need to stay on top of what’s being featured on my blog and when. If I didn’t have my planner, I’d be completely lost. If you prefer a digital one, there are many apps out there that can help you stay organized.

2- Every morning, prioritize your to-do list. I do this as I am having my breakfast. I look over all that I must accomplish and star the ones that have an immediate deadline. Things that must be done right away get first priority and then I move down the list.

3- Schedule your social media time. I have found this to be a huge time-saver. I’m a social person and I can literally waste the whole day on Twitter and

helena fairfax, patience bloom, #writingtips
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Pinterest. It feeds my creative juices. I schedule my tweets and limit how much time I spend on social media. This way, I still can waste ten minutes here and there throughout the day catching up with friends and clients while still being productive.

4- Give yourself permission to say no. There will be moments when your planner is full and a fellow writer/author/blogger will ask for help. They need your assistance with a blog post or reading a WIP are just two example of this plea for your assistance. Give yourself permission to say no. Politely tell them you are swamped and then decline. I know how you feel. You feel guilty and figure you can squeeze their project into your already crammed schedule. Here’s the thing, you will be stressed out completely and something will suffer (most likely your sanity). It’s perfectly okay to say no. Explain you’re under a deadline and would love to help them in so many days when your schedule permits.

5- Reward yourself. At the end of each week, I reflect on all that I accomplished and give myself a little reward. Hard work deserves a gold star and treating yourself is a sure-fire way to keep you motivated. You are your own boss and you have to encourage yourself. I have a post-it note by my work station that says, “You are the employee of the month”. It makes me smile and inspires me to keep at it.

6- Balance your work time with your personal time. I observe this struggle among my fellow writers/authors/bloggers and this is possibly the most important tip of all. You need balance. It’s easy to get consumed in the writing life and forget to come up for air. An idea hits and you are off and running. Nothing else matters except for writing and books. I experienced this first-hand when my debut novel was released last September. It was all I talked about and some of my friends started to roll their eyes. “Can’t you talk about something else?” It was an eye-opening moment. I realized I needed to be more than my writing, more than my book, more than my blog. I started talking about all the stuff I love and balance was quickly restored. Take a break when needed. Blog about more than your book. Engage with your followers and allow them to see the real you. I did and it helped me tremendously.

Time management will not only make you a better writer/author/blogger but will make your life a lot more fun!

* * *

planting the seeds of love, mrs n.n. lightN. N. Light’s latest release is a contemporary romance novella called Planting the Seeds of Love

Blurb: Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

Twenty-Two year old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

Excerpt:

Sally woke up the next morning to the sound of a chainsaw, multiple chainsaws. What the hell is going on? It’s five-thirty in the morning! She threw back the bedcovers and grabbed her robe off the back of the bedroom door. Pulling it tight across her body, the floral soft cotton robe did nothing to conceal the fact she was naked underneath. She ran down the stairs and stomped out the door barefoot.

“So help me, I’m going to kill whomever is making that racket,” she roared to no one in particular.

She craned her neck to hear where the sound was coming from. Turning left, towards the citrus grove, she saw Jack and two other men standing under the trees. All of the frustration from the past week poured out of her and she ran as hard as she could. When she came closer, she realized what they were about to do.

“Stop! Don’t cut these trees down!” She panted. She put her hands on her hips to catch her breath.

Jack’s eyes roamed the length of her body and Sally could feel a slight warmth heat her cheeks. She looked down at her disheveled robe and pulled her robe tighter. Dammit, what’s he staring at? She lifted her gaze and her stomach did a flip. Jack’s shirt wasn’t buttoned and she caught a glimpse of his tanned ripped stomach muscles. Oh my!

“Jack, what are you doing? Do you know it’s five-thirty in the morning?”

He shook his head, as if that was an answer. She tore her eyes away from his abs to his face. She inhaled sharply. His hooded eyes looked ready to devour her. I must be seeing things. Maybe he’s just hungry.

The two other men set down their chainsaws. “Listen Jack, we’ll be over at your farm eating some breakfast. Come get us when you’re ready.”

Jack snapped his head around to the men. “Sure. I’ll see you guys in few minutes.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “I have to clear things up with Miss Rayton.” Jack watched the men walk away and whipped his head back to Sally.

Sally rolled her eyes and said aloud, “Yeah, you just have to talk to the womanfolk.” She spoke in a sweet Southern drawl. “Remember to speak nice and slow so she understands ya’ll.”

* * *

Thanks so much for those useful tips, Mrs N. I so agree with the words of your author friend that writing professionally is serious business.

A lot of fun comes out of it for readers, though – like yournovella! I love the premise and the extract. Congratulations on release!

If you’ve enjoyed N.N. Light’s post, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

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62 thoughts on “6 essential tips on time-management for writers and bloggers

    1. Thank you, Annika. I’m what you might call an old school writer. While technology is wonderful, there’s nothing better than writing on paper. I find my paper planner to be invaluable. It’s open to today and I can see everything I need to accomplish and when. I’d be lost without it.

      Ha ha ha! Yes, I created that for myself because since I’m the only one in the company, so to speak, I deserve a little praise. :D

      Like

  1. These are all great points, Mrs N. I spend too much time on social media, but without doing that, I wouldn’t have read your post today.

    Finding time for writing and friends is important. I’ve lost a couple of friends because of writing. I used to go out almost every day. Now I prefer to stay in and write. It might be an age thing also.

    I’m extremely organized. That has always been a strong point. I need to figure out how not to do social media as much. My husband is retiring within the month and he hates how much time I am on the computer doing social media. After he retires, I plan to write only two days a week. That might force me to be more productive. I think I will be. We’ll see.

    Thank you for your post. Congratulations on Planting the Seeds of Love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Social media is a blessing and a curse, Susan. I wish we didn’t need it to promote our books. When you are down to writing two days a week, your organisation skills will be a great help in making you more productive. When you have all the time in the world, it’s easy to waste it!
      Thanks for dropping in, and for your great comment. Best of luck with your future writing projects.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Social media can be a two-headed monster for many authors, me included. Now, I narrow my focus on three platforms and work hard to make them shine. Readers realize you can’t be everywhere at once and that you have a life too. For me, social media is way better than talking to readers face-to-face. I have a public-speaking complex. I freeze. I can be myself on social media and that’s just fine by me.

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    2. Hi Susan and thanks for the comments. I really appreciate them. I spend a lot of time on social media too, but I limit myself as far as time allowed. I know I get distracted easily and if I don’t schedule myself, I’d never get anything done. Cat videos, alone, would take up my whole day, ;)

      Balance is important in anyone’s life, but especially in a writer’s life. It’s easy to become a hermit. I’m sorry you’ve lost friends due to your writing. I can totally relate to you wanting to stay in. When I was younger, I went out every night but now I stay at home and snuggle with my husband.

      Congrats on being organized. It’s something I’ve struggled with. You’ll figure it out, just be reasonable. Don’t quit cold turkey. Good luck with your writing and for your husband’s retirement. Always an adjustment.

      Thank you for your praise and have a great day/evening!

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  2. Great advice. I recently cut back on my many jobs to make more time for family and myself. I do think I should get a sticker for my office… Employee of the Week! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea of the sticker, too, Melissa! I’m definitely getting one of those! It’s so hard to juggle work and personal life – especially when your home is also your work space. Wishing you all the best on juggling your time. Thanks so much for dropping in!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. WHOO! You deserve a gold star, Melissa. :) It’s a balancing act and I have an accountability partner, my husband. He gives me a kind nudge when I’m spending too much time on social media/emailing clients. Us writers tend to get tunnel-vision and need a shake from time to time. Thank you for your comments and have a super day! :)

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  3. Very important to find personal time. Working for yourself from home adds a layer of guilt..the housework. Luckily have a very useful husband who takes more than his share of the load.. Cooking I enjoy very much and classify as me time as long as their is music involved. Also people assume that you have a flexible schedule because you don’t have a boss.. well you do and it is yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can identify with every word, Smorgasbord. And I also find it irksome when people assume I can just drop everything just because I don’t work in an office. I really need to take Mrs N’s advice on saying no! I enjoy cooking, too – with a glass of wine! :) Thanks so much for your great comment!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s funny you say that, Helena, because my friends/family don’t get why I don’t have time to call them or email anymore. It’s tough running your own business (author) and keeping up with personal stuff. I sometimes feel like I’m up on the tightrope juggling balls in the air. One more ball and I come tumbling down. So, saying no may hurt the feelings of another person but in the long run, it’s what you need to do. Ahh, I love a glass of wine when cooking. :)

        Liked by 1 person

    2. UGH… housework. :( It’s one area that takes a dive, especially this week. I push it off every day until I hit Friday and then I have to get something done with the house. My husband shares in the workload and he’s very understanding, too. I thank you for commenting and good luck with the housework.

      Like

    1. That must be so difficult for you, Linda, trying to fit in time to write, plus all the marketing and promo that goes with it. I’m lucky to be able to work from home now, but I remember the days of sitting in my car on my dinner break, trying to get on with my next chapter. It takes a lot of determination to keep going. Good luck to you, and congratulations on your writing achievements.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Linda, I highly recommend the planner. As for the day job, writing time can be tricky. I have a friend who’s a teacher. She writes to and from work, at lunch and on the weekends. She squeezes it in when she has a free moment. :)

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  4. Thanks for the tips. I agree about having to say ‘no’ when you cannot fit another thing on. I am at that point where I have 45 or more books to read and review this year and have said ‘no’ to several others recently. I can’t spend time on my own when I do all these reviews. Helping others is what I try to do but sometimes you can’t do it all. Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for all the work you do as a book blogger. And reviewing so many books really is hard work. Authors really appreciate everything reviewers do. It’s good that you’re saying no and drawing the line, though, as I expect the requests are never-ending! Thanks very much for taking the time to comment. Best wishes to you.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I know what you mean and saying no goes against my helpful nature. But time’s limited and with the holidays coming up, my free time shrinks dramatically. You’ve gotta to do what’s best for me and so do you. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Your support means so much to me. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m bad about having too many planners because I can’t remember that I already created entries. And too many can be just a bad because I miss events. I downloaded Awesome note for my phone thinking that would help me by sending reminders about everything, like a personal assistant but I keep going back to paper. Thanks for sharing your tips. You’re so organized.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I use my Google calendar now to send me reminders on my phone, Livia, but I agree, you still can’t beat a handy diary you can pick up and look at. Thanks so much for dropping in, and for taking the time to comment.

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      1. My friend says I’m the Queen of Sticky notes. She suggested I take some to Scotland as gifts I have so many, lol. They are just so pretty and my mom loved to stick them everywhere. You can get to where you don’t pay any attention to them though. :)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I love sticky notes, Livia! We call them Post-It notes here in the UK. I went to a talk by British best-selling romance author Julie Cohen, and it was all about how she organises her writing using Post-Its. You and Mrs N would have loved it:)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Helena,
    I’m Janice. I think I found you through Viv Drewa. I believe your article is valuable, and I will be promoting it tomorrow in my Weekly Link Roundup, Best Links of the Week series. Nice to meet you, and congratulations on a great post.
    Janice

    Like

    1. Hi Janice, good to meet you! Thanks so much for sharing Mrs N’s post. Her tips struck a chord with a lot of writers. That’s so great that you know some people here already. What a small world! Thanks for dropping in, and for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so difficult juggling time when the children are small, shopgirl. Are you able to blog in the evening when they’re in bed, or is that too late for you? Whatever you do as a mother, it always involves compromise. I do hope you get a routine worked out that suits you and your family.
      Thanks for dropping in, and I hope Mrs N’s tips were some help.

      Liked by 1 person

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