Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Get More Writing Time By Learning How to Say No

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

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?

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 lose 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

TWEETABLES
Learning to say NO is the best way to say YES to your #writing - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Need more time to write? Learning to say no is the place to start - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


15 comments:

  1. Your advice is always so grounded and helpful. And often the nudge I need to keep my fanny on the seat and keep on writing.

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    1. Kathleen, I write this stuff to keep ME on track! LOL! I'm just glad I have company on the journey, Blessings, E

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  2. Focus is my word for 2017 and I'm still working on it. Thanks for the reminder that I needed so much (again)! I get up early, before the rest of the house (hubby and dogs), but even then I can still get pulled away by that all-consuming Inbox. I need to change my focus and remember why I'm listening to that alarm so early and FOCUS on my writing.
    Thanks, Edie!

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    1. Angie, I love your word! And I have to remind myself why I'm sitting at my desk sometimes. When focus is hard, I turn off the wifi connection. Then I either turn off my phone or give it to Kirk to hold until I've met my goal. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

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  3. This is a great reminder, Edie. Thanks! Unfortunately, I have a full-time job. I have to be there by 7:30 and I can't leave until 3:00. I get up at 4:00 a.m. and write until 6:30. Since I'm an editor as well, I edit in the afternoons once I get home. Right now, I have to use weekends to get everything done, but I hope to get rid of the full-time job soon. :)

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    1. Megan that's awesome! You're my new hero! It's people like you who take away my excuses and remind me that it can be done, no matter what time restraints our lives present. I'm cheering you on! Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

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  4. I have a full time job. I will not let that job keep me from writing. Easier said than done! This blog is timely. I have a few things in my life that I have pondered whether or not to continue. For now, I have to have that full time job! But these other things...well..."What are you doing now that you DON'T love more than writing?" I have my answer! THANK YOU. I love this blog!

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    1. Gail, I'm so glad I was able to help! Blessings, E

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  5. Yeah, this was a lesson Patty Smith Hall taught me a few years ago. I still have a lot on my plate, but it's a manageable lot. Recently I was asked to teach 4 days at a local elementary school. It was "only" 1 1/4 hours a day, on script writing. But I have not taught kids (other than in drama and improvisations). I don't have the time to develop a curriculum not matter how much I know the subject. BUT (I always have a big but) I did have time to meet with the teachers and equip them. That way, I didn't let them down and the material is in their hands. A 1 hour meeting worked. So, it's also knowing what you can and can't realistically do, no matter how much you'd like to!
    Any typos are the fault of Siri and her evil auto-correct.

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    1. Ane, great way to handle that! Thank you for sharing, Blessings, E

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  6. What are you doing now, that you love MORE than writing? 
    What are you doing now that you DON’T love more than writing?
    I'm going to put these quotes where I can see them often. I find myself doing things that don't need doing and I don't love doing them. This will keep me grounded so I can WRITE. Thank you.

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    1. Cindy, these were life-changing questions for me. Thanks for taking time to stop by! Blessings, E

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  7. It is necessary I write to be obedient to God and to empty my full brain. I prefer to be up at 4am and return to writing immediately after the boys go to school. Sometimes it's hard to refocus. Thank you for the really important reminder to say no to some things in order to allow for creativity and productivity. Blessings, Julie

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  8. It is necessary I write to be obedient to God and to empty my full brain. I prefer to be up at 4am and return to writing immediately after the boys go to school. Sometimes it's hard to refocus. Thank you for the really important reminder to say no to some things in order to allow for creativity and productivity. Blessings, Julie

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  9. Thank you for a valuable article. I'm a full-time employed single parent, trusting God that in His time, I will have a full-time writing and public speaking career for His Glory������ My first book was self published last year. It took me 2.5 years to complete. Hoping to get onto a traditional publishing platform soon, and achieve #NewvYork Times Best Selling Author Status�� Big dreams put into my heart by God Our Father for His Glory

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