Challenge #4: Lack of Time

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The past few weeks, I’ve been talking a lot about challenges writers face and how to deal with them. If you missed previous posts, check them out:

This last challenge—lack of time—is one shared by almost every writer I’ve ever met. Why? Because writers seldom have the luxury of doing nothing but write. Most of us have part time jobs—or full time jobs—or young children who need attention—or older relatives who need care—or….

You get the idea!

Even the lucky ones who DO make a living by the written word usually have an array  of projects to balance. Sometimes the “money-making” work can edge out time for the projects closer to the heart.

So what’s a writer to do? I have the answer! Okay, I have “answers”, because like most answers, these aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions. Instead, they’re starting points to help you figure out what will be helpful in your particular situation.

Step 1: Own your time.

When kids are screaming for attention, something in the oven is starting to smoke, and you have three activities to attend before bedtime, it probably doesn’t feel like your time is your own. When you take a hard look at your days, though, you’ll discover that most of your time demands stem from YOUR priorities and choices. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • You stay late at the office for the third day in a row because you’re working on a deadline—and you’re determined to give your boss (or client) good work, on time. Priority: Professional excellence is important to you.
  • You spend Saturday shuttling kids between play dates, soccer practices, and violin lessons. By the day’s end, you’re too exhausted to do anything, much less spend that hour with your novel. Priority: You love your children and believe these activities will help them grow to be confident, successful, and good friends.
  • You planned to write this evening, but your significant other seems down. Instead of curling up with your computer, you curl up with your sweetheart to watch a movie. Priority: You value and nurture your relationships.

Obviously, there are exceptions, but in most instances we choose where to spend our time. The first step in finding more is to recognize that YOU are in control of it. More tomorrow…

:) Cheryl

The hidden price of "productivity" every writer needs to know - www.cherylreif.com

You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]