The online diary of a dreamer creating Contemporary Romantic Fiction - because Every Woman needs Love and Laughter in her Life.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Time Management for Writers

How do you spend your time? What makes your brain buzz?

Business versus Creativity?

For the sake of discussion, let’s say that I have to divide my working life as a writer of fiction into three basic - and very broad- categories.

1. Organisation of Time. Energy. Money.

*Time Management. Focus
*Developing Skills and Techniques
*Vision and Planning - Goals
*Discipline and Focus on Key Objectives

2. Marketing

*Brand Creation
*Writing Proposals and Query Letters
*Finding an Agent.
*Promotion of Self - Speaking, Blogging, Internet Presence
*Promotion of your work
*Attending Conferences and Meetings

3. Creating

*Story Development
*Building the Outline and Synopsis or Treatment
*Writing the Text
*Editing to Blockbuster quality
*Rewriting and Polishing

For some people, creating the manuscript is the number one priority.
Without a wonderful story to promote, you don’t have anything to sell, but what if you were a beginner - or were being published by small press publishers, who did not have a large budget for promotion and marketing, how would you manage your time to achieve all of these tasks?

You have a book you want to sell.
AND you want to learn your craft.
AND you have a deadline for a bigger, better, more compelling book in your contract.

How do you manage your time? By hours each day? By hours each week?

Talking to other writers, this seems to depend upon :

*what stage you are at in your career. Published authors feel obliged to spend a lot more time on promotion and less of learning craft techniques than unpublished authors.

*the kind of writing you have chosen to specialise in. Graphic novels, mainstream commercial fiction, childrens’ books, romance etc. Each specific genre has their own specialist interest groups and online networks. Other non-genre fiction writers may struggle to compete with that word of mouth connection and persuade reviewers to take their books

*how interested you are in maintaining an online presence. Many writers are not keen on MySpace or FaceBook but are willing to blog a paragraph now and then
the writing.

* Some people love to write flat out for several hours. Others like to write in short bursts of perhaps an hour then break. They use the down time for the other tasks

*being organised and disciplined. Let’s be honest. Not everyone is talented in this direction. And most of use do have lives.

Overall conclusions?
If you imagine a self-employed entrepreneur, who is creating a unique product which they then want to promote and sell to a manufacturer/ investor… would that person not need to work in all three categories?
For example. A person making silver jewellery.
That person would need to work on learning the skills in silver smithing that they would need to create the finest version of their design.
Then find markets for their stunning work.

Time Management. Easy to say, hard to do..

1 comment:

Debs said...

Such true words. There's so much to think about and take into account.

I prioritize and try and put what I'm hoping to achieve into some sort of manageable order.

I think time management is a habit that is worth forming but it takes a bit of trial and error to get it right.