by Maralyn D. Hill
Where do you find time to write? That is a question most writers ask themselves at one time or another or all of the time.
I’ve taken more time management classes than I can count and always pick up a hint or two that I can incorporate. However, I discovered most people taking these classes are those who never bother to implement what they learn and others don’t need the classes in the first place. I could teach the courses, as well as improve my own time management.
Like thousands of other writers, I have discovered you have to make time. Otherwise, distractions will eat rapidly your time away. You have to determine where writing is as a priority.
Famous author, John Jakes, originally made his living by copywriting during the day. He set aside 2 hours a couple of nights a week to work on his writing. He was consistently diligent and it paid off. Most writers do not have the benefit of being able to quite their day job.
Of course there are alternative, like copywriting, editing, writing slogans, or learning more by employment where you learn the nuts and bolts of the publication industry. This can be at a variety of places such as publishers, newspapers, ad agencies, public relation firms, marketing departments, etc. You will improve your skills while developing a better understanding of following your passion.
Here are a few suggestions:
Write first thing in the morning for 30 minutes or 2 hours (only you know what you can schedule). Do this before checking e-mail.
If you plan to write later in the day, set an alarm clock, stop what you are doing and start writing during your allotted time.
If you are more effective at night—do it then. Not everyone is a morning person.
As for all of the wonderful newsletters with writing tips and suggestions—how many do you really have to read? Pick two or three favorites and bookmark the other ones for reference when you have time. I had over 30 good newsletters coming to me. If I read every one, I would not have time to write. Do I miss something? I’m sure I do. But I pick it up another time.
The Internet is a wonderful research tool. However, it is best to limit how much time you spend surfing and stopping to read other interesting articles, if it is interfering with your writing time.
Your biggest commitment to writing is to write. Be sure to allow time for it—even if it’s only 15 minutes a day journaling. If you want to be a writer, you have to do more than think about it—you simply have to write.
Maralyn Dennis Hill, The Epicurean Explorer, is President of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association and Editor-at-Large for CityRoom. She contributes to numerous publications.
The majority of Maralyn’s articles are now geared to the luxury market, spas, corporate retreats, business events, and culinary tourism, from simple to gourmet.
Maralyn’s description of herself: I was born to travel and tell the tale. I’m energized by different cultures in every aspect of their lives, from food, wine, and destination, to how they conduct business. Travel represents a continual geography lesson.
Image courtesty of cema.