As a writer with the same 24 hours in a day as the average joe, I state emphatically that I need more time. I can't seem to find enough hours in the day for everything that I should do, the things I want to do, and the things that I love to do in a timely fashion. This has left me wondering this month if what I am doing for my writing is making the best use of my time? I believe writers everywhere run into this same dilema and we need to take a moment or a week or a month to evaluate where our writing time goes, not only where the time goes but how productive is the time we spend?
The letter I stands for Investigate and Initiate. Investigate the writing tasks you do and determine if they are working towards your three main writing goals for 2012. Many times we writers do tasks for ourselves and others that we might think are improving our chances of being noticed or may look good on a writing resume. Every once in a while we need to investigate the true results of our efforts. Initiate a change if you discover that some of the tasks, especially the social media tasks are making no progress towards your writing goals.
The letter J means for me.... Just do it. It also reminds me that the word Just is one of those empty words that should be edited from the text of my articles and stories because it is not active, doesn't move the story, and is an empty word. It is more effective for example to state: Do it.
K is for know thy self. I know in my heart where I can recoup some of my writing time and I also know that some of the activities, clubs, and groups that I think are benefiting me might also be stealing my writing time. I bet that most of you know the same thing. It is important to sort those activities into groups according to purpose.
- Activities that you enjoy, help you socialize and network, yet may not move your career forward but you cannot give up. Here is an opportunity to designate a time frame for these activities to keep them from intruding on your productive writing time.
- Activities that are centered around your personal writing career goals and that help you to hone your skills, improve your chances of publication, and DO move your writing career forward. These activities should take a front row seat in your daily writing plan.
- Activities that do neither move your career forward, hone your skills, or build your writing platform-( excluding job and family obligations which must be included in your life plan) These are the activities that should either be limited or eliminated from your writing schedule to keep you productive.