Want to do More with Your Writing—Learn to Say NO

Sometimes saying yes means first saying no!
I
don’t mean no to writing opportunities—say no to some other things in your
life. We all only have so much time in a day. And if you’re like me, it’s
filled to overflowing. So that means changing some priorities. 
Sounds
easy, but for anyone who’s tried, it can be tough to carve out time for
writing. 
Here are some tips I’ve used to help me realign my life.
  • Decide where you want to go with your writing. You don’t have to
    schedule your time to get there overnight, but to get there, you do need to
    know where you’re going.
  • Take an inventory at what’s happening in your life right now. This is also going
    affect how much time you can realistically spend on writing.
Decide what’s most important.
Now answer these two question:
  1. What
    are you doing now, that you love MORE than writing?
  2. What
    are you doing now that you DON’T love more than writing?

These
are the factors you need to consider to begin to map out a plan that works for
you.
To
help you see how to apply what you’ve learned I’ll share my answers when I
first started writing. This will help you see how it gave me a plan for my
writing.
I
was a stay-at-home mom with three school-age boys when I began. I had a goal to eventually
earn a full-time living with my writing. I also didn’t want to loose family
time or even what little adult time my husband and I had to spend together in
the evening.
My writing schedule developed from these parameters.
My
writing schedule developed from these parameters. Every night after family
time, I’d retire with my husband. When he went to sleep, I’d get up and start
writing. I’d usually write until three or four o’clock in the morning, then I’d
go to bed.
In
the morning, my husband would get up with the boys and get them off to school.
I’d get up later in the morning and be fresh when the boys got home from
school. It might have been unorthodox, but it worked perfectly.
What
did I give up? Lunches with friends and other daytime activities. I also stayed
on a budget so I could afford to attend at least two writing conferences every
year.
I’ve
never found a way to do it all. But I have
discovered there is time enough for what I truly love.
What
about you? How do you make time for writing?
Edie Melson is the author of four books, a freelance writer and editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. She’s also the social media columnist for Southern Writers Magazine and social media mentor for My Book Therapy. Connect with her through Twitter,  Facebook, and her popular blog for writers, www.thewriteconversation.com