Monday, March 24, 2014

Writing 101: Saving Time

Most writers don't make a lot of money. This is a fact you must embrace if you expect to keep being able to plug away at the keyboard. The truth is, in order for most to make any sort of decent career with writing at all you have to write  a lot. That means you have to master the art of saving time. Otherwise, you'll spend most of that time just working.

Time Machine

In most cases, indie authors don't make their sole income from self-publishing books. The majority of indies must also have a day job. And if that day job is writing, it's more like a day and night job. If you write articles and books to make money, you have to write a lot of them. This takes up a whole lot of time.

Time management helps. Staying organized, staying focused -- sure, that's all well and good. But if you want to successfully juggle all your responsibilities, you should also learn how to save time. 

Nothing Like a Shortcut

Sometimes, you're going to have to hurry. You're going to have to cut corners. As long as you can find ways to do it responsibly, without sacrificing the quality of your work, shortcuts can work. Think of it as more creative time management. 

  • My girl likes to work all the time: Use your devices for more than playing Candy Crush. Start using a cloud and get apps to access your documents using your tablet or phone, or both. This will allow you to work more often, and from anywhere, so you lose less time while you're in transit, waiting for the coffee to brew or waiting at the doctor's office.
  • Multitasker: Learn how to do two things at once. Fold laundry with one hand while researching for your manuscript with the other. I never eat a meal without also working on something while I'm doing it. Don't just watch TV or talk on the phone. Get something else done at the same time. 
  • Stop over-thinking it: Writers tend to be analytical and perfectionists, and these are not qualities that lead to speed. Stop over-thinking every line you write and just write. In order to get things done, you have to keep moving and keep going. Remember, the first draft is supposed to be a bit of a mess. So if you stumble don't sit and think about it for twenty minutes. Pick yourself up and keep going. 

Saving time is going to become essential if you make your living off the written word. Learn how to do it, and you'll have more time to do all the stuff you really want to do.

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