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Time Management Techniques for Writers

When you are getting ready to practice your craft, you need to know how to set aside adequate time for transitioning into and out of the experience. Whether you are exploring creative writing to enrich your artistic skills, academic writing to help you through school, or professional writing you have to take on as part of your career, all writing processes require this transition time. They also require time for planning, for editing, and for a variety of other tasks.

It might seem simplistic to bring up process writing if you have been creating for some time, but often when writers find their “inspiration” has dried up, what’s actually happened is the time for writing has been abridged, and one or more parts of their process is being cut short. Here are three things you can do to make your time management more effective.

  1. Develop a writing map. Pay attention to all the other things you do between steps while you are writing, and incorporate them into your plans for writing. For some people, that means acknowledging the need to include recreational reading or some time for video games in the mix to provide breaks.
  2. Create milestones. If you limit the time you take on a particular phase of your writing, it often causes you to overlook things you need to cover. At the same time, though, you want clear goals that you can use to prioritize tasks and to make decisions about what can wait for your next session if you are running low on time.
  3. Put deadlines on your calendar, put everything else on a to-do list. That way, you can approach the tasks you need to cover for each writing project as you are ready to do them instead of over-scheduling your time.

If you can use these three tips to help yourself gain control over your writing time, you’ll start to have a better sense of how much time you will need for different projects, and a much better sense of your own progress through them as you go.

Help! I am a Writer and I’m Sick of Being Poor

by admin

If you want to be able to fund all of your creative endeavors without having to be chained to the responsibilities of a day job, there are ways to make sure your career takes off in a direction that allows you to write full time. The key is being committed to writing, not doing anything else for money. That means being willing to do the writing that is available to avoid having to do anything else, even if that means writing advertising copy for local small businesses because that is what is available. When you are committed and ready to do that, there are a few ways to break into writing for pay.

The first and most well-known route is to go to school for journalism or to find a place willing to hire based on your portfolio. That way, you will be able to make a good appeal for the job based on your merits. Journalism will also have the benefit of disciplining your writing, because you will learn several genres and methods for discerning the rules of new genres of writing fact-oriented nonfiction as you work.

Another route to take is to develop your skills as a technical writer. Technical writers often work for a single company in-house, but if you find an employer who understands the way writers operate most efficiently, you can probably talk about working from a remote location. That will allow you to make your own hours so you have the opportunity to attend study abroad programs and take advantage of other opportunities.

Last but not least, the world of online content is booming, and for those who are disciplined and willing to write in volume, there are careers to be made. The best part about online content is that the work is always available and the pay is per piece completed, so you can work as much or as little as needed, allowing you to fund your writing with your writing.

When you get that opportunity, it gets much easier to take the time you need to focus on your next creative project.

Finding Creative Writing Opportunities

by admin

One of the toughest parts about being a career creative writer is finding the opportunities you need to be able to make money without having to work in other industries. Many fill in the gaps with writing in other industries, but the fact is that there are various paying opportunities for creative writers out there if you know where to look, and without having to invest the up-front money it will take to go into publishing for yourself.

The first place you should be checking is Craigslist. While it’s true that there are books out there full of places taking submissions, those established outlets also get inundated with manuscripts from writers looking to get their next break. Frankly, they can usually afford to go with writers who have worked their way up to that level of publication, and they don’t always pay better than the startup places you will find outside the literary mainstream.

If you want to be successful writing creative work for money, you also have to be willing to work in volume like other full-time writers do. That means putting in the hours it will take to make sure you meet your income goals, even if you have to write at volume to do it. That might also mean learning to write to a prompt and sending in work according to the genres that are currently popular. None of this prevents you from focusing most of your efforts on a novel that really covers what you most want to write about, but it does mean that you need to learn to depart from it to build up the name recognition that will bring you the opportunity to publish that longer piece.

Once you get a few paying gigs through Craigslist, start keeping a database of the outlets that pay promptly and in full, and resubmit there because the editors will be friendly. As you find more and more success online, remember to search out aggregator sites that pull from various Craigslists around the country, as well as other sources. It’s also worth getting yourself onto Twitter, because the literary fandom there is pretty big and you will be able to connect to various outlets and ‘zines that collect submission guidelines to find more opportunities.