If you’re like me, you have a very full life. Besides being a pastor’s wife with a full-time position at my church, I’m also a full-time college student. I have three adult sons living with me who have disabilities and a mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s who also makes her home with us.
How do I find time to write?
If I said it was easy, I’d be lying. It’s not. And that’s the thing you have to accept.
It will never be convenient to write.
Time management is one of the most important skills a writer can learn. As you start out the new year, why not give a few of these ideas a try?
- Make a contract with yourself. Think of three to five things you want to accomplish this year, and write out a contract and sign it. Have someone witness the contract (preferably someone who’s one of your cheerleaders) and sign it, too. Then, make yourself accountable to your witnesses. Ask them to check with you to see if you’re fulfilling your contract. I know some people make copies of their contracts and give them to several people who will ask about the terms on deadlines specified.
- Map out your life. To help people do this I’ve created The Writer’s Life Quest, a template for mapping out your life. You can get it FREE on my website. (Scroll down on the homepage.) If you have ideas of things I should or could include in this project, I’d love to hear them. (I’ll be releasing a Writer’s Life Planner soon, too!)
- Make a writing schedule and stick to it. Everyone makes time in different ways. Some set a timer. For myself, I have a certain amount of words I want to complete each day. Whether in a book or column, I write that many words, no matter what. Some best-selling authors only write a few hundred words a day. I admire that. I personally write a lot more per day because I explode onto the page and then spend a lot more time editing later. This works better for me than a time frame, but everyone is different.
- When I was a Mary Kay distributor, Mary Kay taught us to write down the six most important things we wanted to accomplish the next day each night before bed. This has always worked well for me. On days when I have more than six, I write them down, but I prioritize them in order of importance. Also, do the tasks you don’t like doing first. Then the rest of the day is free to enjoy! I have a day plan template in The Writer’s Life Quest on my website.
Happy New Year!
Karla Akins is a pastor's wife, mother of five, grandma to five beautiful little girls and author of the best-selling Jacques Cartier (that went #1 on Amazon in its category), O Canada! Her Story. Sacagawea is due for release in Jan. 2013. Her debut novel The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots is also due out in 2013. One of her columns on MNN.com was featured on the CNN homepage. Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, she lives in North Manchester with her husband, twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer's and three rambunctious dogs. When she's not writing she dreams of riding her motorcycle through the Smoky Mountains.