Looking back on my writing career, I shake my head and wonder how I worked full time, raised two kids, and wrote eleven books. I hear people say they want to write but don’t have time. Never, ever give up on your dreams. If there is a will, there is somehow a way. Here are three tips that helped me write while upholding a crazy schedule.
One change that shifted my sense of reality was when I switched my mindset. I mentally exchanged my full-time job with my dream job by prioritizing my writing career. The paycheck didn’t reflect this, but once I shifted my dream into the number one work slot, a transformation took place. I started writing during my lunch hour at work instead of chatting with coworkers, going out to eat, or scrolling social medial. That gave me an extra hour a day to write.
The second change I made was to commit to waking up an hour earlier to write before work. Now I had two extra hours a day to write. The consistency paid off because I didn’t waste time rereading prior work to remember where I was in the story, and I grew excited because I saw progress unfold before my eyes. Consistency equals success.
The third difference was I started to track my daily word count in my planner to achieve my own deadline, keeping in mind I wanted at least one day off a week unless I required a make-up day. To achieve this, I figured out how many days I desired to write during my self-appointed time frame, then divided the total amount of designated words by how many days I wanted to write to come up with the number of words I needed to write daily to achieve my goal. Seeing progress and learning how to write on a deadline before I had a publishing contract paid off and taught me how to finish a manuscript on my timeline, not by luck.
Seeing my tracked words increase daily, while knowing the date on which the first draft of my manuscript would be finished, gave me confidence. We are writers, and by implementing time management skills, we can achieve our goals. I am teaching more about this topic at my upcoming oceanfront writing retreat April 16-21, 2023, on the breathtaking Outer Banks of North Carolina. I wish you the best in your career, and if these tips helped, please let me know.
Lori Hayes is an award-winning author who writes compelling, heartfelt stories that touch on family, friendships, community, and deep connections with people and animals while uplifting your spirit. Her unique settings come to life and become characters themselves.