The Christmas tree and lights are gone, the new year has begun, and all of a sudden you realize it’s time to get your writing back on track.
First, you’ll set yourself some writing goals for 2011. Write a novel, get a short story published, start a freelance portfolio—whatever you’ve been dreaming of doing will go on that list.
But within just a few short months (if not weeks) you’ll begin to find your resolve weakening. All of a sudden those goals won’t seem quite as important as they did in the first week of January, and other things will come up that will give you an excuse to give up or slack off.
I should know. That happened to me last year.
The problem doesn’t always lie with the goals themselves. They might be perfectly reasonable goals, in fact.
The problem is often that we lack the fundamental skills we need to accomplish those goals.
There are many important skills we need to learn to in terms of the craft of writing, but in terms of goal-setting…
The skill we need to master most is time management.
I wanted to write a whole novel last year, but I only completed a first draft. Despite having a young family to care for and a blog to run, I know there were many times in 2010 when I could have worked on my novel but chose to do something else instead.
Discouragement and lack of inspiration weren’t the things that kept me from achieving my goal of writing a novel. No, it was poor time management.
Your time management skills determine if and when you’ll find time to write each day, and how much time you’ll spend at each writing session. If you can’t manage to carve out and stick to a regular writing schedule, your chances of achieving your writing goals are unlikely.
To achieve your writing goals, you need to make time to write. Regularly.
There’s no other way around it.
You’ll never write a novel if you can’t sit down and write. Regularly.
You’ll never build a popular blog if you can’t sit down and write. Regularly.
You’ll never start a freelance career if you can’t sit down and write. Regularly.
You’ll never see your work published if you can’t sit down and write. Regularly.
Strengthen your time-management skills to nail your writing goals in 2011
Some tips to help you make the most of your time:
- The Truth About Finding Time to Write
- 5 Tips for Finding Writing Time
- 7 Ways to Get More Writing Done
Does your time management need a makeover? What are your worst time-wasters, and how do you plan to get more writing done in 2011?
Join the discussion
Rebecca Burgener says
Time management is my biggest weakness, and I know it! (So, now it’s time to change it.)
Right now, I am working on getting up earlier and to bed earlier so I can feel better during the day. I’m already seeing more productivity. I just have to keep it up.
I wish I could get up earlier, too, but I’m just starting to get to sleep in a bit after a year of 5 am morning with the baby. I do love to write first thing in the morning, though.
June Stormcrow says
Time management is where I fall down as well. This year I need to be realistic and realize waking up early doesn’t work for me, and is not a productive writing time. What I really need to do this year is cut out my TV habit. Writing is so much more important.
Thanks for the article, to the point and got me in perspective.
You’re welcome, June 🙂 I’ve cut down from watching hours of TV each week to literally going a week without even turning on the TV. Instead I work on the blog or read at night and try to get my fiction writing done in the morning or afternoon. We only get a few channels where I live, anyway, so there’s never much on. Have you thought of getting rid of your cable/satellite if you have it, and just going down to free channels? It’s a wonderful deterrent 😉
Great post. It’s so true. The main reason I didn’t accomplish all my 2010 goals was because of poor time management. Beginning of this year, it all looks so promising and achievable, but I know I have to make sure I am disciplined. Hopefully, previous years may have taught me something.
Yes, hopefully we can all learn from the things we failed to accomplish in 2010. I think will, for sure. Best of luck!
Linda Sands says
Could I love this entire article anymore? I don’t think so. Thanks for saying it all so well. I will be linking to this…
Thanks, Linda! Appreciate it 🙂
Melissa Donovan says
I think the reason that so many people (including writers) fail to reach their goals is lack of priority. Time management can make a huge difference too, but ultimately, with something like writing, if you don’t make it a priority in your life, you simply won’t get it done.
You sure do have to make writing a priority to get anywhere with it. I guess you need to manage your time well so you can make writing a priority in an otherwise busy schedule.
fOIS In The City says
Suzannah, I’ve just begun reading our blog and I am loving it. This was a great post and I think you have some very good ideas to help get writer’s focused.
I applaud young mothers, parents who also have day jobs or trying to juggle so many things and still find the time to write.
It will be interesting to follow you posts and read your good ideas to help everyone get their act together. Thanks.
So glad you’re enjoying the blog! Yes, young mothers who take care of their families, work, and write are amazing. I’m not working at the moment, but I know if I was I wouldn’t have any time for writing at all.
Caethes Faron says
For me the biggest time-waster is the internet. One of the things I suggest doing is setting a daily goal and telling it to people that will hold you accountable. I made a goal to write 3,000 words a day and I tweet out my word count everyday. When I feel like quitting I can’t bare the thought of not sending that tweet out and the people who know me knowing that I didn’t do it so I press on.
Caethes Faron says
Ahem, I meant I can’t “bear” the thought. 🙂