So You Need More Time For Writing

We all feel we need more time, how often is it said, there are not enough hours in the day or you need an extra day to do it all?
But in truth what you need is to be organised because we cannot add time, each day is twenty-four hours, each hour sixty minutes. It is not that you need more time it is that you need to make the most of what you get. Below are listed four things that give me more time and help with my writing in general. This will help you too.

BE ORGANISED: A to-do list is a must-have in my life for everything, not just for writing. Once I have it on my list I see at a glance how my day will be. Of course, this is not set in stone, life will always throw a curve ball just to distract you. But, having your list, allows you to prioritise. What is the important item that needs your attention? An urgent email to send? A blog post to be written? Check the closing date for a competition? Finish a chapter? And so on…
You can create a table of contents or use a calendar page. Beneath each day’s heading, insert what you need to do today. Once that is achieved, you can then move on. The important thing to remember is when you use this method, you will not panic because you know the day when you will deal with whatever it is you need to do.
NOTE: I have not inserted time for social media. This eats up your time and saps energy. I skim SM and unless something engages me, I am happy to tune off. I do not keep SM on my phone either. So I must open my laptop to access it and if my laptop is open, I’d rather be writing or learning a task that helps me be more organised, like how to schedule posts, etc.

1st Mon of the month blog post up/newsletter outSubmit completed story/query to publishers 500 wordsReturn emails, chat with fellow writers Check Cl. Dates for next weekwrite thoughts for next blog post/newsletter
Check next wk to-do list
Read and relax
500 words Novel/short story500 words editingediting 500 words500 words and edit
Example of How You Might Fill Your Days Regarding Writing

THINKING: Yes, thinking!! This is what gets me through a tough writing scene, characters that have me baffled, or I’m just feeling lost with my story/novel. I usually go for a walk and think about what it is I’m having difficulty with. You might like to listen to music, and often a phrase or word can spark a thought which will lead to another, and so on. Maybe you prefer to doddle while thinking and as you do so, a word appears on the paper and another and before you realise it, the foggy confusion you had is clear as a bright sunshine day.

READING: Like all creatives, we go through occasions of our mojo being lost, our energy levels low and we cannot think of anything we feel has merit. Maybe you doubt yourself and your work, and that imposter syndrome has come to keep you company. When feeling like this, I read. Reading takes my focus away from my own ‘I should be writing‘ guilt. By enjoying others’ words and allowing myself to be off duty, my love for creating worlds/stories embraces me again. The words of others recharge my batteries, they may help yours.

MEETING OTHERS: Because writing can be solitary, you must remember you are never alone. Meeting for a cuppa or zooming online, a quick phone call, whatever you do, it is important. Any time spent chatting and discussing writing is never wasted time. We need the interaction of other writers to buzz us up and remind us that we have support and we support others. You know that the doubts, plot problems, and fussy characters are the same for us all. Time away from the desk/laptop in good company is time well spent. I find I return filled with ideas and excitement to get writing again and so will you. Sharing our success and our rejections, especially our rejections, will have you realising you are never alone and that you are not unique in how you feel.

I hope you find something in this post that can help you with your writing day. If you consider applying one thing, well, that in my book is a win.
Mary x


Published by marytbradford

Family is important to Mary and her writing reflects the ups and downs of it all, and what people go through daily. She has been writing short stories for several years and enjoys success with her fiction in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies both in Ireland and abroad, namely Germany, India, and the US. Her stories have been both short/long listed in various competitions. It was because of this success, Mary took the plunge and self-published her first collection of stories titled, A Baker’s Dozen (2012). When one of her stories kept growing she ended up with her first published novel, My Husband's Sin. This novel turned into a trilogy, with book 2, Don't Call Me Mum, and book 3, No More Secrets following it. Her latest novel, To Live With A Stranger, is based on her Grandmother's country cottage and is a firm favourite with readers. Mary continues to write novels, novellas, and short stories, dabbling too in playwrighting. In 2019, Mary attended the University of Limerick and studied for a MA in Creative Writing, receiving First Class Honours. When taking a break from writing and reading Mary loves to crochet. Living in County Cork, Ireland, she is married and is a mother of four children. Having overcome open heart surgery in 2008, Mary made the decision to dedicate more time to her writing. With her children raised and starting to spread their wings, this became possible. Now, Mary is also a Nana, a role that brings her happiness and lots of love.

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