Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Snow Day in April

Time Management: Making Adjustments

There was no Writers' Block on Tuesday, April 3, because of a spring storm that dumped heavy snow knocking out power over a wide spread area of our town. I thought, "Fantastic, I can get caught up on a bunch of work!" And then I discovered my DSL modem had crashed and burned. Well, not burned exactly, but it certainly was not working.

I live by the internet. Okay, I don't actually live by the internet, but I spend a lot to time using it as a tool for my writing and other work. I had several projects with deadlines, so let it be said that not having access to the internet was a huge inconvenience. All I could think was, "Crap, I'll have to wait three to four days minimum to get my system back up and running!" I was not a happy blogger/writer/radio show host/church volunteer/busy body.

Imagine my surprise when I was told I could pick up a replacement at Wal Mart or Radio Shack. I found just what I needed in town and was back in business before the afternoon was over.

Problem solved, now on to the next thing, or things to be honest.

Setting Priorities

I do not know what it is at the moment, but I suddenly find myself overwhelmed because I've taken on so many new projects. I've thrown my arms wide and embraced everything! Is that why Im feeling a little pressured? Well, duh!

Speaking strictly from a writing perspective I'm learning a lot and feel the time I'm investing in reading the blogs of people whose work I respect, taking online writing and blogging classes, and participating in poetry and platform building challenges is time well spent. The trick is to fit everything into my schedule. Oh, and Im taking part in a virtual book club!

Time management for writers is to a degree a matter of personal preference. Some people are early birds and work better in the morning; others are night owls and find their creative muse at the witching hour. Either way setting priorities and having goals is critical to getting from the first page of a manuscript to the last.


Set your Agenda: 

  • Keep a "to do" list and check items off as you accomplish them. My list is sometimes longer than my arm and some items repeat from day to day. Creating the list forces me to focus and organize.
  • Prioritize. My list gets shorter as I set my agenda for the day.
  • Schedule projects on a calendar you can see throughout the day. Digital calendars are great, but they don't grab my attention the way a calendar on my desk does.
  • Set realistic goals. No, it's not the same as prioritizing. Prioritizing is timing; goal setting is all about accomplishment.
  • Schedule down time. I tend to think I must be busy all the time. Not so. Relaxation and rejuvenation are essential. I walk at least three times a week for three miles or more. Writers tend to spend a lot of time sitting down, whether at a computer or noodling ideas around in their heads. Moving around is good for the body and it's good for the brain.

I write two other blogs besides this one (Rambling Prose and Joy in the Morning) and am working on three books. I say that with some reservation because these are all books that are in various stages of development. The novel is close to finished first draft, but the other two are in outline form. Being organized is my sanity.

Not included in the above list is making time for the business of writing. That is my Waterloo. I write like a mad woman, but dollars and cents success eludes me. In the coming months I'm going to be spending quality time trying to figure out how to turn my words into wealth. (That's me thinking positive!)

Tune in on Tuesday, April 10, 9 a.m. MST to KFUN for Writers' Block, this week featuring Bob Johnston, a 90-plus poet from Las Vegas, NM, and Clifford John Murray, a retired minister from Canada, and author of "If We Only Knew." Writers' Block streams live at



  1. As a professional nag and someone who developed a program dedicated to the to-do list, I tip my hat to you. You have a lot of the pieces in place!

    Especially useful suggestions you made:
    *Keep a "to do" list and check items off as you accomplish them
    *Schedule down time.

    I am excited to see how you create sufficient income. I sense you can do it!

  2. Thanks, Rachael, me too (about the income thing)!

  3. I'm a congenital over-committer, and I've come to grips with the fact that I have to come up with some sort of system, or I'm going to drown. The one I have seems to be a lot like yours! I'm going to take that as a vote of confidence in myself, and a nod of appreciation for you!

    ~:) Samantha

  4. We're sisters! Hang in there, my dear, life is one commitment too many right after another for people like us.