Tag Archives: time management

Practical Prompt 12-10-18

Don’t let the holidays stall your writing. Now is the time to test out new strategies to keep making progress on your manuscript. Try dictating into your phone when you’re away from your computer. Or, keep a notebook in your pocket while you’re shopping to capture brilliant lines before you lose them.  Experiment with a few voice-to-text apps for your portable device. If you’re revising, print out a hard copy of one of the scenes you’re working on and keep it with you. Then, if you’re stuck somewhere waiting, you can use that time to edit it. By getting creative, you’ll be able to move your project forward despite your busy schedule.

Write Now, Research Later

Laura Ayo

I’m five days into one of the biggest personal challenges I’ve ever taken on as a writer. Like thousands of other writers across the globe this month, I’m attempting to write a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days during National Novel Writing Month. To hit the target, I need to write 1,667 words a day. I’ve either met or come close to that goal all but one day. On Nov. 2, I only wrote about 400 words. I’d love to say that life got in the way that day. I had work to do, children to mother and other responsibilities that needed my attention. But the reality of the matter is I spent four hours working on my novel that day. So, what happened to result in such a low output? I got sucked down the research rabbit hole. Continue reading

Write By Midnight Pep Talk 10-29-2018

If you’ve been keeping up with the daily writing habits you established during the 2018 Write by Midnight challenge, consider putting your skills to the test in the coming months as you prep for 2019’s WBM session in February. November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), when writers from across the globe pound out a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days. Joining them is one way you can take your writing to the next level, or get back into the swing of things if you’ve let your day-to-day writing falter. If NaNoWriMo isn’t up your alley, push yourself to write for a longer period of time each day, or to put more words on the page than you’ve previously been logging. However you decide to keep the words flowing, share your thoughts and strategies with us. Hearing from you encourages us to stay the course, as well.

Make Your Deadlines

Megan Norris Jones

My writing background is in journalism, and every good journalist learns how to write under deadline. You have a story due. You report it. You write it. You turn it in. You repeat. Because your editor is counting on you. And because it really is going to be published with your name on it, so it had better be good.

But even though I know how to write on deadline, I have difficulty moving my fiction forward at the same efficient pace of my nonfiction because (1) there is no editor waiting on it, and (2) I have no assurance it will ever be published anyway.

So how can I simulate the efficiency-producing deadlines of journalism in my fiction writing? Through a combination of written deadlines and external accountability. Continue reading

Finishing a Novel One Step at a Time

Laura Ayo

I had the privilege of meeting Newbery winner Linda Sue Park when she visited my daughter’s school last month. In preparation for her visit, I re-read “A Long Walk to Water.” The novel is based on the true story of Salva Dut, one of thousands of Sudanese “Lost Boys” who were separated from their families during the country’s civil war in 1985 and traveled on foot for hundreds of desolate miles to reach a refugee camp in Ethiopia. In the story, Salva’s uncle motivates his nephew to keep putting one foot in front of the other by breaking up the daunting trek into smaller, manageable parts. Continue reading