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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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
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!
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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.
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.”
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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!