Purple Prose + time management

Guest Post: Time and Time Again

One of the most frequent complaints I hear from writers is that they don’t have enough time to write. My friend and time juggler extraordinaire, Tawny Stokes, has some suggestion as to how she does it.

In the last six years, I have written close to 20 books, 10 novellas, several short stories, 5 scripts, 3 TV pilots and numerous blog posts. *grins* So I understand about time management. Often I hear writers say, oh if I only had the time, or if I could find some time I would do such and such. The fact of the matter is we all have the same amount of time in a day. 24 hrs. It’s how you schedule it that matters.

We also all have other responsibilities in our lives. Some of us have day time jobs, or night time jobs. We’re mothers with little ones, or with kids that play every imaginable sport possible and play every instrument ever built, so there are lessons and games we need to ferry them to. I get that. I understand that. Been there, done that, still doing it.

Before I became a full time writer, I had a night job, and I homeschooled my daughter and my niece during the day. During this time I also kept up the domestic chores, because I’m a single parent. And all the while I wrote. A lot. During this time I secured an agent and got my first book deal. So I definitely know what it’s like. I now write full time, but I still homeschool my daughter and am still a single parent who does all the domestic stuff around the house. Like feeding my child. Which I find is very important. I also serve on the board of my local writing chapter, serve on a screenwriting group, and once a month I host a TV writer’s chat on twitter. Oh and I attend monthly writing meetings and go to conferences. Oh and I also do all my marketing for my books myself. So believe me I understand busy.

Here are some of my tips to help you become better managers of your time and be able to produce work.

1. Write every day at the same time, it forms habit, it will train your brain to produce during that time

2. If you like to work on several things at once, like I do, set up time periods for each project, if you have 3 hrs. to write, set aside an hr. for each project, when that hour is up, go to the next project

3. Do all your prep work, like outlining, if you do, character sheets, research on non-writing time, like at night before you go to sleep, or that hour you have at lunch time, or during your commute to work or appointments, or when you are waiting for your child at their dance lesson, use writing time for WRITING

4. Carry a notebook with you wherever you go, for those instant moments of genius, or breakthroughs on plot problems, or to write down snippets of dialogue

5. If you are feeling blocked at the compute or at your laptop, get off it, and grab a pen and paper to write, sometimes the tactile feel of the pen on paper will help your creativity flow

6. Never wait for inspiration, or for your muse to sing out, that is a farce, to be a professional working writer you MUST learn discipline and train your brain into working for you

7. If something is not working for you, for whatever reason, get up and go for a walk, or better yet do some dishes or have a shower, that always helps me move forward, or work on something else

8. Use an egg timer and do writing sprints, or use write or die online, or challenge your friends on twitter to a sprint, you’d be surprised what you can get down in an hour without any distractions and without your internal editor banging on your skull

9. When you are writing, turn off your phone, your email, your internet, and your family, put a sign on your office door that says do not disturb, make sure you set the rules with your kids/spouse that when you are in your office you are working and not to be disturbed, unless there is at least a quart of blood

10. Have fun. If this isn’t fun, then what the heck are you doing it for?

About the author:

Tawny Stokes lives in Canada with her fantastical daughter, two cats, and spends most of her time creating new stories for teens. You can visit her at YA website or follow her on twitter @TawnyStokes. Tawny also writes adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy under the name Vivi Anna. You can find Vivi Anna on her other website or follower her on twitter @authorViviAnna.

Here's a blurb for her new YA paranormal novel, Static, which is on my TBR list. For more info check out her website.

During the summer before her senior year, 17 year old band groupie, Salem Vale, has been following her favorite punk rockers, Malice, from gig to gig hoping that one night she might get backstage and meet the sinisterly sexy guys. She’s been saving her virginity for the lead singer Thane. One fateful evening she gets her wish. It’s a dream come true.

Except the dream turns to a nightmare when she wakes up in a dumpster, tossed away like yesterday’s trash, with no memory of what happened the night before. She feels strange, different, as if something is trying to get out. Soon she realizes she’s changing…turning into something not quite human.

Now a hunger deep inside claws at her to feed, to siphon energy from those around her. Before she can do just that, Trevor, the band’s roadie shows up and stops her from killing. With his help she learns to control the hunger inside, because he’s just like her. And in return he wants her help to do one little thing…

Help him kill the members of Malice.


Have a great week everyone!

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Guest Post: Time and Time Again + time management