Time Management for a Writer

I am interested to find out how other writers manage their time, avoid interruptions, etc. In addition I would love to know how much time you spend researching, reading and using media to learn about your craft. Do you listen to radio interviews with authors? Are you a member of a reading group and does it inform your own writing? Do you write every day? At the same time? Do you stick to one genre or try a few and do you write short stories, novels, poetry? Do you edit as you go along or do it all at the end?

I think that we are fascinating, so different and yet all striving to express ourselves with the written word. Maybe you have some suggestions for us all about time management as a writer.

I look forward to hearing from you.



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4 responses to “Time Management for a Writer

  1. danielstockwell

    I am a full-time English teacher, and I write when I can.
    Usually, during the busiest months of the year, I read novels (I am interested in fiction more than nonfiction writing). I read as much as I can, especially on weekends, so that when I have enough time to write, I have been thinking about the craft of writing.
    When I write a short story, I usually just write as much as I can without stopping. Sometimes this means that my story goes an entirely different direction than what I was planning (In fact, once short story I started like that was just published, so it works for me).
    If I need to do research, I will do it and continue writing as much as possible. Once I get a draft completed, I set it aside for a week or two, edit it for grammar and organization, and then I send it to some qualified friends who comment on my draft and discuss it with me. Then, I make edits again.
    My biggest suggestion would be read when you can’t write, and when you do write, try to finish a draft (short story) before editing too much.

  2. I manage my time by setting aside specific times to write in a day. These times aren’t always the same but I’m most alert in the mornings. I tend to write mostly short fiction although I prefer reading longer works. As for media, I may occasionally watch YouTube videos of authors I like. Many of them are quite instructional and sometimes offer a writing exercise or two.

  3. Kate is

    I have a full time job and a son, so I can only dedicate so many hours to writing but I find if I delve too much into the mechanics of writing such as listening to other writers, It steals a lot of my writing time. I tend to do that between projects to get me motivated.

    I write in the morning, before work and I’ve found that works really well. I’ll write again just before bed, but when I read over that the next morning it’s always a bit convoluted.

  4. I gave up my full time work as a teacher this summer (after 13 years) at the beginning of the year I was attempting to squeeze writing time in every morning, I went part-time and then used writing slots every day – it was insane – 40 hrs+ working week and then 68 hrs writing (avg) so I decided to move into supply work – which is great – on the few days I am not booked out I write.
    And I have a whole day to do so without worrying about paperwork, preparing lessons and marking etc.

    I write an Action Plan (like Senior Management use in schools). Each month I list a daily writing action and annotate as I go – lots of arrows to do things I have missed the next day etc – it is a good way of preparing editing time before submissions.

    I decided to seriously re-launch my freelance writing career this year – the time management takes discipline and before success comes a lot of hard work, but if you love it like I do the time spent on projects will fill you with abundant happiness and not feel like work or a chore at all!

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