Protecting Your Writing Time

Time management. It’s a subject that’s been on my mind lately.

It all started when I decided to rejuvenate my blog. I took a fabulous online class called “Blog Triage” from Cynthia Morris and Alyson Stanfield. When I signed up for it, I honestly thought I didn’t have that much to learn. Ha! And ha! again. Along with content, RSS feeds, sidebars, images, and all the rest, the two “blog docs” emphasized the importance of scheduling a specific time to work on your blog. And of course, it’s one of my New Year’s resolutions to do that.

Still, scheduling aside, it involves a huge chunk of time to write a good post (and some may question the “good” part). There are so many steps involved: choosing a topic, selecting images, finding links, updating sidebar content, to name a few. And most importantly, the actual writing, revising, and editing. If readers are going to follow your blog, you better have something to say that makes it worth their time.

An integral part of blogging is visiting/commenting on other blogs. Becoming a part of the conversation, or as Nathan Bransford calls it in his excellent post on blogging, “Reach Out and Comment Someone.” I’ve been working on this. Wow! This is fun! I could spend hours reading blogs of writers and readers. I set up a Google Reader account, so now I’m subscribed to several. But the downside to all of this: It uses up valuable time.

Although I consider it the most significant one, blogging isn’t the only thief of time I’ve been dealing with. E-mail and social networking are right up there. It’s time for a bold step (no pun intended). I’m just not sure what it is yet.

What I do know is that time is my most valuable resource. Especially early morning. So that’s reserved for writing. I vow to keep it sacred and inviolable.

What are your secrets? How do you make sure your writing time is your number one priority?

6 comments on “Protecting Your Writing Time

  1. You’re right, Pam, it is all about time management! As you know, there are lots of ways to make choices about your time.

    For me, I have found that setting aside part of a day and writing regularly on that day has worked for me. Wednesday mornings, Fridays, and time on the weekends for my creative writing. Work writing happens pretty much every day.

    Schedule it in, don’t stand your writing self up, and let yourself enjoy it.

    That’s what works for me! Thanks for mentioning Blog Triage; I’m glad you got a lot from our class!

  2. My secret is not to try to do a blog post all at once, but to work on it in bits an pieces. That’s why I love the WordPress plugin “Editorial Calendar” so much. Every time I think of something to write, I start a post and figure out where it will fit in the calendar.

    Having said that, I could benefit from a regular writing schedule. Late morning is probably my best time — after a cup or two of tea.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Thanks, Cynthia. I think keeping to a schedule and developing self-discipline about when and how often to check e-mail, FB, etc., is a good plan.

  4. Hi Alyson. Thanks for chiming in. I agree with you about doing a post in bits and pieces. I can’t seem to get it done in one sitting, or even one day, and it can be frustrating to try. I’m going to try writing a rough draft over the weekend, including images and links, and Monday afternoon, finalize everything.

  5. The hardest part for me is recognizing that blogging (and social networking, reading, studying craft, etc.) take time that I need to SCHEDULE. I reserve morning time to write, too, but I’ve found that if I don’t schedule time for blogging (and other non-WIP tasks) they don’t happen. Luckily, I enjoy blogging, Tweeting, reading, and so on, so once I give myself permission to put them on my schedule, it’s easy to get to them!

    BTW, you’re doing a great job with your blog lately. I’m really enjoying it!

  6. Thanks, Cheryl. I think you’re right–I’m beginning to realize that scheduling is the key. I enjoy all those things, too–maybe a little too much! And I’m glad you like the blog.

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