Most established writers have deadlines to follow. They are either pressed to complete an article by a certain time or they have a novel or non-fiction book that must be handed in by a deadline. In each case they have either a mandatory of self-imposed daily word count they need to complete in order to finish on time.
The primary components to time management for writers should encompass several things.
1. Writing – By actually identifying what your purpose is you take the first step in making sure it is included in your thinking.
2. Research – Take the time to conduct research on your subject matter, if you don’t factor time for this you have to borrow from other categories and you will likely fall behind in your writing.
3. Market Research – When you research the intended audience for your work it can help you more closely guide the work in the right direction.
4. Rest and Recreation – If you don’t factor time for these two things they will get lost. At the root of recreation is re-create. Our creative juices are revitalized in down time. If we spend all our time writing we will likely lose perspective and our work will suffer.
5. Family and friends – This is a close cousin to the last time management component, but your work should never trump your family. If you borrow too much from this category the damaging effects can be long-term.
The old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is true. Most of the zeal you have for writing is to express the very things that life has brought your way. If you have no life because of your writing you may well lose the zeal you have for writing. It is a cycle that many writers have encountered when they placed so much emphasis on the writing that the other categories of time management went bankrupt.
Finding a balance between life and writing is a hard task. However once you understand writing should be a component of your life instead of the dictator you can assimilate your writing into a schedule that has more than one category.
It is important to set writing goals, but they should be done with the understanding that even writers need a life. Know your limits and always try to work within those limits.
Of necessity, deadlines are important component in the process of publication. A smart writer will learn to gain a clear perspective on their abilities and refuse to put something together at the last minute. They will also make room for life in the midst of their writing.
“Every man dies – not every man really lives.” – William Ross Wallace
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