Daylight Savings Time occurs this weekend in many portion of the United States. What will you do with your extra hour?
You might be tempted to sleep in (that’s my temptation, anyway). But perhaps we could better utilize that hour … and our time in general, regardless of which equinox we’re in.
Back when I was in track, all runners – even us distance runners – were required to run sprints at practice. These short, concentrated bursts of energy pushed our bodies and stretched our muscles in new ways, ultimately helping us build endurance while also making us faster overall.
Sometimes we didn’t feel like running.
Sometimes our finish times were lousy.
by the end of the season, we had developed critical skills, formed good habits, and improved our speed, even if ever-so-slightly.
Writing is very similar. We have to make the time to write, not just once, but regularly in order to ultimately write better and faster. Sometimes we won’t feel like writing, and sometimes at the end of our writing sessions, we are disappointed at how few words we added to the manuscript.
But if you continue to persevere, you’ll discover that you actually ARE making progress, building good habits, and improving your craft.
It takes TIME and it takes MENTAL EFFORT.
5 Time & Mind Management Tips
- Write to your strengths
* night owl vs. morning rooster
* listen to music or not
* write in public or in seclusion at home
if you’re not sure which works better for you, try several different things out!
- Concede to your season
* Have a newborn baby or caregiving a parent? Writing on the side while working a full-time job? You’re naturally going to have less time during those seasons and it’s okay. Just make the most of what time you do have.
* Do you have a looming deadline? Upcoming family relocation? You’re going to need to write more often and closely guard your boundaries so you can finish your writing on time.
* Each season is just that – a momentary segment of time. New seasons will come, which will provide you with more – or less – time to write. Be mindful of this fact and keep writing, regardless.
- Take a seat
* Literally. Put your tush in the chair in front of your computer, open up your document, and write.
* Fight FOMO, push through squirrel syndrome, stop scrolling and simply write.
* If you don’t physically put yourself in a place to write, you won’t write. You might dictate, you might take notes, you might think all day log about your book. But it won’t come together into a finished manuscript until you sit down, pull it all together, revise it. Revision, by the way, is an essential part of writing.
John 9:4 – “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.”
- Create a schedule
* Establish a deadline for your finished manuscript
* Work backwards from that date and, based on the number of chapters you plan to write, determine how many chapters you need to write per month to reach your deadline.
* Consider approximately how many pages/words you’re going to need to write per chapter and then plan your weekly writing sessions around that. If you’ve been writing 500-1,000 word blog posts, you should have a good idea how long it takes you to write each one of those posts. Use that as a reference for scheduling your manuscript sessions.
Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”
- Protect your space
* set a timer (but not on your phone!)
* place a do not disturb sign on your door
* put your phone AND smartwatch in another room
* close your email (not just minimize it) to prevent distracting popup notifications
Ephesians 5:15-17 “So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
Bonus #6 – Seek Support
Yes, you can write your book all on your own. We writers tend to be a little introverted; not all of us, but a lot of us, and we tend to want to write alone. That is fine for the most part. But there is so much value and being surrounded by fellow writers!
People who understand what you’re going through; who can celebrate with you when things are going really great. And who can commiserate with you when you’re really struggling. Those who can give you the encouragement you need to keep going.
If you are looking for a place that offers support for Christian writers just like you, I encourage you to check out the Inkwell Collective, my new community.
The Inkwell Collective
Have you signed up for the new Inkwell Collective yet?
There’s a free general membership to test the waters to connect with other writers. Ask your questions, share your successes, ask for prayer. In addition, once a month we have a free writing session at the Inkwell via Zoom and that’s at 10am Eastern Time and 2pm Eastern Time. You’re free to take advantage of both of those sessions on the second Wednesday of every month, so be sure to check that out!
Again, the basic membership is free, and you can upgrade for a very low monthly price to get weekly writing sessions plus access to the monthly q&a craft chat. This past month, we had a great discussion on the q&a about plagiarism, grifter, reprints, and copyright issues. So there was a lot of really good information that was shared and discussed. Each month we’re going to discuss a different topic. Everything is recorded for the paid members to go back and review at their leisure if they’re not able to join live.
Join the Inkwell Collective. On this landing page, you will see a video tutorial so you get to see actually what it looks like inside. Remember, you can join for free to get a feel for it and see if you like it!
Come get connected with other Christian writers who don’t just support each other, but also encourage each other and grow in the Lord together.
Question of the Month
I am excited to bring this segment back to the podcast; it’s been a while since I’ve offered the question of the month!
This month’s question:
How often do you visit author websites and what info do you look for while there?
Your responses to these monthly questions are going to provide helpful feedback for all of those listening. It’s going to help other writers hear what people are looking for when they’re going to author websites so that they can streamline their own author website.
And this is what I’m so excited about: It’s also free promotion for you because in addition to answering the question, it’s an opportunity for you to be featured on the podcast!
Be sure to share:
Your response to the question,
your most recent book or blog title and its genre, and
the website address that you would like listeners to go to.
How exciting is that?! I hope that you will take me up on this opportunity!
Listen to the podcast to learn how to submit your response by midnight EST March 31.
Did you find this episode helpful?
If so, I would be ever so grateful if you’d spread the word about this podcast. I know there are many Christian writers out there, and I’d love to help support as many of them as I can, wherever they are in the world!
How to do that?
On Spotify, simply go to one of the episodes and click the share icon. You’ll then see that you can copy the episode link or share directly into a multitude of social media platforms.
I’m sure it’s similar on Apple – sorry, I’m an Android user.
Or, when sending emails or talking with other writers, simply direct them to inkandimpact.com
Thank you for your support, and I look forward to sharing more with you next week!
EPISODE 2 – Are You Focusing on the Right Thing?