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5 Time Management Tips for Authors

authoreBooks2go  on  Wednesday |clock-iconMarch,18, 2015| 10:48 AM

One of the hardest hurdles authors face when writing a book is time management, and sometimes authors go through the writing process wondering when they can find the time to sit down and write.  This issue usually comes up most often with authors that may have other jobs, but time management problems are universal for everyone.  At one point or another everyone has had an issue with managing their time, regardless of how well they plan out their day.  Some people may not have developed their time management skills as well as others, but here are a few ideas that can help you so that you can really put some work into writing your book.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a serial procrastinator, working author, or a person who simply puts too much on your plate, these skills can help you with all facets of your life.

5 Time Management Tips for Authors

5 Time Management Tips for Authors

  1.  Set Small Goals

Setting small goals while writing helps people manage their time significantly.  This may not make sense at first, but let’s put this tip in perspective.  Imagine you had to climb a massive mountain, and you had two options to accomplish your goal.  The first option is to climb the mountain in two hours while the other option is to plan breaks throughout the climb while conquering the mountain by the end of the day.  If you thought that climbing the mountain in two hours seems like an impossible task, you’re either not a professional mountain climber or you understand the differing levels of difficulty for both options. The latter option is much easier than the first because you can pace yourself through the process.  Giving yourself bite sized goals gives you a consistent sense of triumph throughout your entire writing process.  Your small victories in the long run will propel you through other goals, and eventually get you through the largest hurdle; finishing your book.

As you’re writing your book, don’t think about it in its entirety.  Plan your writing in small chunks because it will help you successfully plan out your writing timeline.  Thinking about writing your entire book in a year sounds much more difficult than putting it in a segmented perspective.  Imagine your writing process as “I’ll write one chapter a month”, “Today, I’ll write a really good introduction for Chapter 4”, or “I will write 500 words a day”.  Smaller victories help push people forward when a large goal is in mind.  This is true for all projects and is quite relevant when writing a novel.


  1.  Set a Writing Routine

Routines are important in day to day life because it gives a person something that they are familiar with.  Imagine routines as if you were practicing piano, and relate it to your first day at a job.  When you first start learning piano, you’re probably not very good, but as you practice on a consistent basis, you’re able to play the piano keys with more ease as muscle memory sets in.  Piano practice is actually quite similar in scope for a person setting a routine for a job.  On the first day, you may not know how long it actually takes to get ready in the morning, how long the commute will be, and how long it takes you to get settled in at your job.  So, as you do your morning routine on a daily basis, you get to plan out your mornings much better since you get a stronger grasp on how long it takes you to run through your routine.  The more you do your routine, the more efficient you are with your days.

Routines are important for a writer, and almost all the Pulitzer Prize writers have a set writing schedule they have made for themselves.  Sometimes rigid writing routines do not work well with certain writers, but writing routinely is in a writer’s best interest.  Even a loose routine get’s a writer writing much more than usual because it creates a constant flow of work.  Instead of writing thousands of words at random intervals, routines allow writers to write a little bit at a time, and as your schedule sets, the more you will be able to write.  All your content does not have to be gold, that’s what editing is for, and having content to edit definitely makes writing much easier.  Start out simple, and think about writing some of your book on a certain day, and then add more times to add to your routine.

  1.  Compile Most of your Research

Sometimes writing is not all about inspiration.  There is some form of research behind the process, regardless if you’re writing a fiction or non-fiction book.  One of the things that slow down a writer is fact checking constantly while crafting their work.  Fact checking is a normal part of the writing process, but sometimes it hinders how much a writer is able to write.  Doing research the moment you come across uncertainty takes away the limited amount of time you set aside for your writing.  In addition, it allows for distractions to occur because you may be exposed to different things you shouldn’t be interacting with like Social Media, Netflix, and of course cat videos on YouTube.

When you think about your story, compile most of your research on the topic because it will allow you to have a streamlined process.  It does take time to do research, but it’s better than halting your work to look something up.  This typically saves author’s time in the long run because they’ll be able to keep writing when they are on a good groove instead of losing their train of thought.

  1.  Outline Your Work

When you first started writing, one of the first things you were probably told was to write an outline.  That’s still true today.  Writing an outline, even a bare bones one, will significantly improve how quickly you write.  The reason behind how an outline improves your writing efficiency is the fact that outlines clarify your thoughts, keeps you on target, and shows you the road map of your story.

When you write an outline, you holistically developed some of your story, and any further development comes from the actual writing process.  You won’t need to think about how characters may be connected, or how the story fits together in the end.  While writing, you don’t necessarily need to think about the last sentence, but you will know how your story wraps up.


  1.  Reward Yourself

Writing something amazing is rewarding in itself, but other rewards can help you stay motivated throughout the process.  One factor that slows down an author significantly is the lack of motivation to write.  Incentivizing your own writing can help you immensely.  Thoughts like, “I’m going to pour myself a nice cup of green tea after I finish this paragraph” can help someone push through a writing slump.  Positive incentives are proven to improve a person’s efficiency, and this does not change regardless if you gave yourself your own incentives.

Use these tips to improve your own writing process and see the results. Let us know your thoughts on Time Management. Did we miss some tips you use while working on a deadline? Share them with us!  If you’re thinking about writing a blog, check out our previous article about starting a Blog as an Author.

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