Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Want to Do More with Your Writing—Learn to Say No


Sometimes saying yes means saying no
I don’t mean no to writing opportunities—say no to some other things in your life. We all only have so much time in a day. And if you’re like me, it’s filled to overflowing. So that means changing some priorities. 

 Sounds easy, but to anyone who’s tried, it can be tough to carve out time for writing. 

Here are some tips I’ve used to help me realign my life.

Decide where you want to go with your writing. You don’t have to schedule your time to get there overnight, but to get there, you do need to know where you’re going.

Take an inventory at what’s happening in your life right now. This is also going affect how much time you can realistically spend on writing.

Now answer these two question:
What are you doing now, that you love MORE than writing?
What are you doing now that you DON’T love more than writing?

Map out a plan that works with your life
These are the factors you need to consider to begin to map out a plan that works for you.

To help you see how to apply what you've learned I'll share my answers when I first started writing. This will help you see how it gave me a plan for my writing.

I was a stay-at-home mom with three school-age boys. I had a goal to eventually earn a full-time living with my writing. I also didn’t want to loose family time or even what little adult time my husband and I had to spend together in the evening.

My writing schedule developed from these parameters. Every night after family time, I’d retire with my husband. When he went to sleep, I’d get up and start writing. I’d usually write until three or four o’clock in the morning, then I’d go to bed.


In the morning, my husband would get up with the boys and get them off to school. I’d get up later in the morning and be fresh when the boys got home from school. It might have been unorthodox, but it worked perfectly.

What did I give up? Lunches with friends and other daytime activities. I also stayed on a budget so I could afford to attend at least two writing conferences every year.

I’ve never found a way to do it all. But I have discovered there is time enough for what I truly love.

What about you? How do you make time for writing?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

24 comments:

  1. Thank you, Edie. I love your two questions and will spend time with the Lord to answer both of them.

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    1. Yvonne, I'm glad those questions resonated with you. When I asked them to myself, everything got much clearer. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  2. These are great insights. You really made me think.

    Deborah

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    1. Deborah, thanks so much for taking time to comment! Blessings, E

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  3. Edie, thanks for the smack-lol! I needed it. I'd love to eventually earn an income with my writing, but I've been wondering if I'd ever get there. You know situations...but reading this post made me realize that just because family doesn't agree, I shouldn't stop. Love you!

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    1. Jamie, it's a tough thing to realize we all have the same amount of time! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Blessings, E

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  4. The sacrifices you made have been honored by God. I need to make some sacrifices of my own, and this article could not have come at a better time for me as I make some changes in where I spend my time. I loved the 2 questions

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    1. Jane, thank you for your kind words. I'm glad this post has been valuable for you. Blessings, E

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  5. As a mom of four, time for writing is something that must be carved out of the calm moments between chaos, but as others have said believe that God will help you find the time. A lot of my time comes after the kids are in bed for the night.

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    1. I can't imagine how you manage! Three just about sent me over the edge. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  6. You are a time management rock star! Thanks for setting such a great example and sharing your help with us.

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    1. I wish! The reason I have so many good tips about time management is because I'm such a dismal failure at it naturally! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  7. I like the two questions a lot. I'm home now because I said "no" to a networking luncheon. I'm not sure why it was so hard to skip it, but it was. I've gotten a lot done, however, I know when I hear how much fun it was, I'll be a little irritated I couldn't do it all. Thanks for the encouragement to keep my priorities at the forefront.

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    1. Kim. good for you for saying no! I know what you me about wanting to do it all. I think a lot of us feel that way. Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, E

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  8. Hi Edie,
    I feel like I'm on a radio show...long time reader, first time commenter, lol. Anyway, do you ever feel like you are disappointing people by saying no? I do sometimes feel guilty, especially since I don't get paid to write. It sometimes feel like a selfish pursuit.

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    1. Debbie, welcome as a commenter! I absolutely feel bad and like I'm going to disappoint someone when I say no. I have a people pleaser personality and I'd rather endure ANYTHING than disappoint you. It took a long time to realize two things: 1. I'm always going to disappoint someone and 2. The one person I don't want to disappoint the most is God. When I began to let Him dictate my priorities then it got easier. Notice I said easier...not easy. I still struggle with that. But I've also learned that just because someone is disappointed in me, it does NOT mean they don't like me. It was hard to separate those two things. Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, Edie

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  9. Oh, Edie, you know as well as anyone how much I struggle with this. But as I get older, I'm beginning to finally realize not only that I CAN'T do it all, but also that I SHOULDN'T do it all!

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    1. Vonda, thanks for sharing your heart! You and I both know that getting here brings with it battle scars as well as peace. Blessings, Edie

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    2. Edie,
      These are great questions...thanks I needed to hear this as I am in the process of setting new goals as I enter the next decade of my life..yikes!! Amen to Vonda....Thanks for helping catch a deep breath and sigh...
      hugs to you both,
      Glenda

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    3. Glenda, thanks so much for taking time to stop by and share your thoughts - always a blessing to hear from you!

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  10. This conflict has been on my mind so much lately. The Lord has made it very clear to me that I must become more disciplined with my time. Just last night, as I washed the dishes, I was reminded of Paul, "The things I want to do, I don't do and the things I don't want to do, I do. Oh wretched (wo)man that I am!' Auurrgghh! Thank goodness God is for us. This was a great post. Thanks.

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    1. Nan, I think a lot of us have been in this place lately. To be honest, I'm shocked that this post garnered so much interest. I had so many are struggling, but it's so good not to walk the road alone! Blessings, E

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  11. Great post, Edie. One way I've been able to deal with saying no, is to not automatically say yes. That's what I did for years. "Can you..." "Of course."
    Now, I have programmed myself (most of the time) to say, "Let me pray about it, and I'll get back to you." And I do. If it's something God lays on my heart to do, then I make the time for it.

    Oh, another thing that helps me say no? I've learned sometimes when I jump in and agree, I'm robbing someone else of a blessing.

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  12. Loved this post, Edie! I've struggled with balancing family, homeschooling and writing. There is still much room for improvement but this year we've finally settled into more of a routine. After we homeschool in the mornings, my eight-year-old is now old enough to do some things on his own. He knows I go upstairs to work while he finishes his school work & plays downstairs. I usually get about two hours of writing/researching/networking in each day. I try not to write at all after the hubby comes home. Kudos to you girlfriend getting up so early!

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