Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Be more organized

Kim Smith 2008 all rights reserved

Don’t you wish you could be more organized? Everyone does! It's almost comical how I am writing this article tonight, and have a list at my elbow that grows in leaps and bounds. This proves that we all need a little push now and again to get on track and make better use of our time, right?

The best way to keep from being a mess is to plan. Don’t let anything deter you from your goal of getting in that writing time. Keep distractions at a minimum and find things that motivate you to spur you on. Take charge of your writing life today!

Here is a quick list of five things you can do to make your writing time more productive.

1.Revise less frequently
Revise your work every 6 days instead of every day. Do serious editing every 10 pages rather than every paragraph.

2.Have a talk with your characters twice a week.
Get them on board with what you are trying to do. If you can talk it out, you may find answers you didn’t expect.

3.Pace yourself
Look at the clock & commit to getting the daily output done by a specific time. You’ll stay focused, avoid distractions & probably work more effectively.

4.Make the most of 15 minutes
Find an extra 15 minutes in your day to use for your writing even if it is just jotting down a setting that strikes you.

5.List small, important tasks that take only a few minutes to do each day and do them first.
When you sit down to write, don’t ignore the need to do something. Sometimes we just have to research, answer that email, or write a character sketch before it gets away. It is still moving you toward your goal. Realistically, if we do these things first, we'll have them out of the way and the writing will flow easier.

Speaking of which, I need to get to that list now. My characters are begging me to have a chat-*smile*


Marta Stephens said...

This is a great list, Kim. Setting aside writing time is absolutely critical to any writer’s success. If we don’t, at the end of the day, we end up with a million and one excuses for why that next page didn’t written.

Thing get tricky though after the first book is published. Then you have to add promotion/marketing time into the already tight schedule. It becomes a perpetual cycle; we write to get published, we have to promote in order to sell books and gain a following of people who will want to know about your next book. So you write to get published …

Kim Smith said...

The question remains... why is it so dang hard to do???

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Right on, Kim! I'm with you on the revisions. I try to keep the daily revisions to a few tweaks on the previous day's chapter, and then allow myself to forge ahead. It's too easy to get stuck on one paragraph and lose the momentum of the story. And Marta is so right - oh those hours spent on promotion... necessary, but so tough when all you wanna do is write! Thanks, Kim. Great advice. ;o)

Julie Ann Shapiro said...

I love this list. I can relate to the one revise less frequently. I went through fifteen drafts with my first two novels. After my third got to the twelve version with a gazillion questions still I relaized there's got to be a different way. I've since taken a break with that novel. I'm happy working on a new story collection and other stories.

I'd add to the list. Keep the writing fun. Remember that writing is fun.

Julie Ann Shapiro said...

Pardon the above typos. Note to self: edit blog posts.

Marta Stephens said...

LOL!!! :)

Kim Smith said...

Hey Julie! Yes, you are so right. Keep it fun. Heck, if that was one we all did, I reckon we'd be still sitting writing longer than that 15 mins we managed to get in.

Thanks for the addition :)