Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Right and the Right Way of Things? Is That How it Goes?

October continues to bring us surprises, and articles and features just a little different from the monthly norm here at A Pen for Your Thoughts. We now have another of our author contributor here  to share with you about what the average "joe" does with her time. If you, too, are an average "joe," take a few moments with me to chew on  Linore Rose Burkard's "take" on time management. Read what she has to share about how a person can get a better handle on that one thing all of us must learn.

Read on and then let us know your thoughts.

Writing and Time Management
By Linore Rose Burkard, Historical Novelist

As writers, we like to think that if we could only fall upon the "right" way to order our time, or organize that book, we'd have a lifelong success plan. For instance, when I wrote my first novel, BEFORE THE SEASON ENDS,
I did it by getting the kids into bed and then sitting up at night working. But the by the time I needed to finish my second book, THE HOUSE IN GROSVENOR SQUARE, the kids weren't as young anymore, and weren't going to bed as early. Writing at night wasn't happening. What gave me success for one book was no longer the "right" way.
Life is like that, isn't it? One year, we can drop a few pounds by going low-carb, when the following year, the
weight won't budge without adding exercise. Things change, schedules change, and it can affect how or when we write. For this reason I've used numerous time-management tools to help me get work done. I've followed methods given by experts such as
Brian Tracy, and stream-lined my day with productivity tips from Mike Hyatt.  Most of the tools I pick up here or there have proven useful in their way, and for a time, but I have yet to find one that can take the place in overall effectiveness of sheer determination. I speak only for myself,
but the very creativity that makes me a writer is the same force that prevents me from sticking to the same rules, the same schedule every day, no matter how helpful it might have been while I did. When life changes fast, it is really only your determination that can keep you productive through the changes.

Nevertheless, I encourage every writer who has difficulty focusing on a project to experiment with various time-management tools. When you find one that works, use it until it no longer fits with who you are and what you're faced with at the moment. 

Some writers find challenges useful. Next month is
NaNoWriMo, or, National Novel Writing Month. This is basically an organized writing challenge in which each participant decides their own parameters, and helps many writers kick their creative juices into gear.  It's a solid month of meeting a daily writing goal, and it's fast and furious. The very fact of its lasting only one month is what encourages many to get on board and give it a shot. 

What about you? Do you follow a hard and fast writing schedule? Do you use time-management tools? And what about NaNoWriMo? Will you be participating?
Leave a comment and let us know what works for you.  Lenore plans to select one commenter to get a free copy of her book.


  1. I am no good a managing my time, Lenore. But I really liked what you said.
    Betty F

  2. Getting a grip on my time is like holding onto a bowl of jell-o without the bowl. It wiggles and wobbles and slops onto the floor...and I scramble to clean up the mess!

    Your observation that time management changes like the seasons is encouraging. I'll keep hunting for the perfect solution for what works right NOW, and not sweat the small stuff.

  3. So, it's not just me! i wrote my first book in three months doing exactly what you did. Putting the kids to bed and writing at night. It was wonderful...and deceiving. I thought it would always be like that. Now my second book is nearly done, but I can't find the time to finish it. My husband lost his job, so now he's home all day, and I swear he's worse than the kids when it comes to finding something to do and leaving me alone. :)

    I wanted to do NaNo and even prepped for it with research and plotting, but I think I need to finish my second before starting another.

    I, too, will keep looking for that perfect time system.

    Katy Lee

  4. I don't have any perfect system either. What seemed to come easy, but turned out not so professional the first time, showed me I'm not one to be able to rush at anything. When I went to my second novel, and saw how long it took me to finally get it to how I wanted it, I had a pretty good inkling that time management and I don't get along that well. NOW, as I work on this particular manuscript, there are so many other things going on in this old girl's life, I sometimes wonder if it will EVER get done. Is there really an answer?

  5. Somehow, we manage, don't we? When I left my day job I discovered my prime hours of flying fingers were between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. That lasted 6 months. Since then, life and running to appointments and being called from my study by my hubby and taking calls from grown kids and spending time with grandchildren...and church involvement...
    Well, if I begin by giving my day to the Lord before I'm even out of bed, I somehow get done what I'm meant to.
    Loved Anne's description. Time is Jell-O all right. What has eternal value, though, will last throughout eternity.