Monday, May 6, 2019

Tips to Help Writers Manage Deadlines & Priorities

by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

Sometimes, I have an issue with deadlines. Truth is that I love deadlines. I love order. I love knowing when to have things done, having a plan to get them done, and then I imagine I would love the feeling of submitting something on time.

Life, however, has been an entirely different experience for me. Even as I write this post, I'm running a few days past the deadline, praying that Edie won't groan as I'm late with another post. I love what I do. I love connecting with people and writing and everything surrounding this life. But deadlines do not love me. Something always seems to come up. 

I am wife to a disabled veteran.

I am a homeschooling mama of 3.

I am the Marketing Director for Realm Makers.

I am Troop Shepherd for our local American Heritage Girls troop.

I am a freelance editor.

I am a freelance writer.

I am a fantasy author.

And sometimes I actually sleep. You can probably imagine all the time suckers that fall under each of the above categories. Back a few months ago, I could have added a couple of other things like teacher's assistant at homeschool co-op and president of the local ACFW chapter. However, since we're moving, I've started relinquishing many duties I would no longer be able to hold. Did I mention we're MOVING in a month? 

Many of you can probably relate to the "stuff" that fills up our days—to the millions of things we want to say yes to. Some of them are even important. But how many of them are beneficial to us as Christians, to our calling, to the path God has asked us to walk?

Priorities are critical to not overwhelming our lives. Priorities offer us a clear picture of what is important in our lives and where the important stuff falls. They help us figure out when to say yes and when to decline new opportunities. We've heard the new adage, "You have to say no to lots of good things to be able to say yes to a lot great things." We can only be aware of the great things if we have our priorities straight!

How do you set priorities?
  • Pray! This is the most important step. Your priorities should be between you and God. His input is the most important. Invite his participation and be open to his leading.
  • Evaluate your calling(s) and your life. What is important to you? What has God called you to do? 
  • Write out solid statements that reflect your priorities and WHY they are important. Keep them in a place where you can regularly go over them. 
  • Use these priorities the next time you need to evaluate a new opportunity. If the opportunity does not fall under your priorities, it is likely not the best investment of your time at this point. Learn to say no. 
  • Realize the priorities may change given the season of your life. As an example, while kids may be important when they are living at home, they may not need quite as much active attention when they are out of the house. So be sure to revaluate on a yearly basis!

Hopefully, as I revaluate all the activities in my life, I can determine which is most important based on my current priorities. Maybe that will help me hit my next deadline. And maybe priorities will help us all feel a little less guilty and a little less stressed about the things going on around us.

Breathe deep, my friends, and get those priorities straight!

When was the last time you sat down an evaluated your priorities?

Tips to Help Writers Manage Deadlines & Priorities - @RaleneB on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

All writers must learn to manage deadline & priorities - tips from @RaleneB on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a social media wand, or a freelance editor’s sword, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to help everyone #SHINE Beyond their circumstances! Her novels, Bellanok and Armor of Aletheia, are available on Amazon. More fantasy novels coming soon!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all-around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . . You can also find her on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or at her website.


  1. Priorities Rock! Thank you foe an outstanding post.

  2. This is a timely post for me -- thanks so much!

    1. You're welcome! Don't you love it when a post swoops in at just the right time?