Planning Time To Write

In his book, "Achieving Financial Independence as a Freelance Writer," Ray Dreyfack, a full-time freelancer for 30 years, suggests that writers "ease" into full-time writing while maintaining their day jobs. If you're following this advice, either by choice or by necessity, you know that it's not always easy. Obligations to jobs and families tend to take priority over writing. It's easy to lose focus of your writing goals when you have so many distractions in your life.

It is possible to pursue a career as a freelance writer, even though you can't commit yourself to it full time. All you need are three things: time management skills, desire, and a day-planner. If you have the first two, you can get the third after you read this article!

Schedule Your Week

As in any part-time job, you must determine your hours of availability. Every Sunday evening check your calendar for the upcoming week. Schedule yourself "off" for the days filled other obligations. Establish what your work hours will be before you do anything else. Write your work days and times in your planner.

Writing Goals

Most experts promote the practice of setting writing goals. However, plans such as, "write something everyday" or "research on Mondays, write queries on Tuesdays," (you get the picture), are too vague for writers operating on a time crunch. What happens if your child has a band concert on Tuesday? Not only will that throw you off course for this week, chances are, it will also set you back the following week. These disruptions in such a loose plan can cause frustration and weaken your writing resolve. For greater productivity, set your goals on a weekly basis, after you've determined your hours of availability. Plan what you will do at each work session, according to the time available, and write it in your planner. This way, you'll be focused the minute you sit down, instead of trying to decide what you should do.

Create A Secondary "To Do" List

This list is separate from your weekly plan. It contains tasks that require a small block of time to complete. Organizing files, writing greeting card ditties, sending out reprint offers, and researching markets are some examples. This list is where you turn when you unexpectedly find yourself with extra work time. It will also come in handy on those days when your work time has been unavoidably reduced. Without this list, you may end up spending this precious time trying to decide what to do with it. Designate an area in your planner for this list. Remember to cross off your accomplishments and add to your list as needed.

Organize Your Supplies

Keep everything you need in one area. Nothing wastes time like repeatedly getting up to retrieve items you need. If you have an office or work area, keep your most important tools of the trade close at hand. If you don't have an area designated for your writing, a bin with everything you'll need works just fine.

Use an area in your planner to keep track of your writing supplies. Make a list of everything you use. As you begin to run low on any of the items, make a note to replenish your stock as soon as possible.

Show Up For Work

This is probably the most difficult part of all, because there are always going to be reasons for not writing. After you've made your schedule, do everything in your power to stick to it. No employer in their right mind would pay an employee who always makes excuses for not showing up. If you want to get paid for your writing, you must plan time to write!

Karen Bianchi is a freelance writer who also holds a part-time "day job." She has 4 kids and is the editor of http://www.AwesomeMomsNetwork.com

Writing For The Web: Where To Get Article Ideas

A friend and I were talking the other day about writing. He liked to write,... Read More

Timer Magic for Writers

If your writing muscle isn't in shape, writing a novel may seem like a sheer,... Read More

Freewriting: A Strategy That Will Bring Your Writing To Life

Freewriting is a release from the prison of rules. It allows the fastest and deepest... Read More

The Work Flow Cycle of the Editorial Industry

As an editorial professional, I'm sure you're aware of the market slump right now. What... Read More

The Blank Mind

Many writers stare at the blank page or clean computer screen and wait for inspiration... Read More

Power Writing 101: Tips and Tricks to Get You Taken Seriously!

In my ten years as an advertiser, I've encountered plenty of folks with a flair... Read More

10 Tips on Writing Effective Dialogue

1. Become an EavesdropperListen carefully to the way people REALLY talk. They tend to talk... Read More

A Perfect Day for Writers

In one of the exercises in my "Getting Started as a Freelance Writer" workshop, I... Read More

Turbo-Charging Your Writing Career - 6 High-Yield Strategies

Hands up all those who'd like to have a successful writing career.(What's that you say?... Read More

An Inside Look at Proofreading

This is the ideal topic for us all to think about. We do it everyday,... Read More

8 Ways to Improve Your Writing Immediately

Is it possible to improve your writing instantly? The answer, happily, is "yes."While researching a... Read More

Dialogue Tags - A Study in Common Errors

Verb and SubjectIncorrect:"I bet you two had a fine time," said Ben.When using tags, it's... Read More

Graphology - Unleash Inner Personality & Talent of Child

|| Graphology & Graphotherapy ||Everybody wants to know more about peoples inner personality, Especially peoples... Read More

3 Tips to Achieve Your Writing Goals

1. Make your goals achievable.By achievable, we mean realistic and attainable. You might unconsciously have... Read More

7 Weapons to Conquer the Giant Procrastination Keeping You from Your Book Dream

Have you been guilty of procrastinating on your book project, lately? Like the author, many... Read More

Does Your Theme Contain Character, Conflict, Resolution?

Creative Writing Tips ?For a theme to work and the story, which will revolve around... Read More

What you Dont Know About Book Publishing Can Cost You

Dream that your book can be a number one best seller? Read ... Read More

Balance Your Life

Balance your life ... Read More

10 Secrets For Everyday Writing Success

During my 25-year career in a variety of professional positions in both the private and... Read More

Character Motivation - Always Ask WHY

For many years, I've been a tutor for students undertaking courses in writing romance, crime... Read More

If The Viewpoint Character Is A Secondary Character, Have You Established Who He is?

Creative Writing Tips ?I have said above that if a secondary character tells the story... Read More

7 Book Publicity Tips for Authors and Small Publishers

The biggest mistake authors make when trying to get free publicity is pitching either themselves... Read More

6 Ways to Jump-Start Your Writing Day

1. PLAY A GAME LIKE SOLITAIRE....for half an hour or so before you start to... Read More

Becoming the Total Package

Being a great writer is no longer enough if you plan to score a big... Read More

Authors-Stop Expensive Mistakes Before you Spend on Professional Services

So many clients come to me as a book or marketing coach telling me... Read More

How To Write Cover Letters That Work

Sometimes there is confusion about the exact meaning of the term "cover letter".That's because when... Read More

Business Writing: 10 Great Authors

Great business writers combine narrative skills with sound judgment to create classics that help both... Read More

The Spectre Hound

And a dreadful thing from the cliff did spring, and its wild bark thrill'd around,... Read More

8 Reasons Why A Freelance Writer Should Use the Internet

What a wonderful resource the Internet is!Students find information to help them with their studies;... Read More

Get Rich Writing With Your Computer Word Processor

Your computer is a writing machine, a word processor, a desktop publishing system that can... Read More

Creative Writing Tips - Does The Name You Chose Suit Your Character?

How do you choose a name? Do you put down the first name that pops... Read More

Amazing Ways Writing Articles Can Improve Your Business

How to get a lot of traffic to your website FREE? Writing articles. This is... Read More

Publication Road

The journey to having my first novel for children published has been riddled with road... Read More

Sharpen Your Writing With Structure

At some point, every serious writer is forced to sit down and conclude that there... Read More

Story Building with Imagination

In the words of Aristotle, "happiness is self contentedness helping to make children deeply and... Read More

Writing Tips for your Journey

Tips for your writing journeySo, you'd like to be a writer? Congrats! Writing not only... Read More

Reasons for Recording Your Life Story

1. No one else will do it for you.2. No one else knows the stories... Read More

Imagine The Imagination

Imagine a three hundred page book was in the author's mind before it was poured... Read More

Writing Requires Self-Control

The only way to become a writer is to write. That requires a great deal... Read More

Make Your Readers Cry

You know, I really hate it when someone catches me crying over a book.I surreptitiously... Read More

How Three Publishing Myths Kill the Author

Agents and publishing houses have their best interests at heart, not the author's. Save yourself... Read More

Does Your Plot Suit Your Characters And Vice-Versa?

Creative Writing Tips ?When an idea comes to us for a short story, we either... Read More

Discover the Magic of the Most Beautiful Words in the English Language

'Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful... Read More

How to Multiply Your Freelance Writing Work

You can turn your $200 fee to write a press release into $2,000 to carry... Read More

Is Now the Time for a Play about the War in Iraq?

Everone knows that comedy is mostly about timing. If you hit upon the right nerve... Read More

A Checklist For Drafting Business Letters And Emails

Write Right - You have an all important business letter or email drafted, proof read... Read More

Publish Your Novel on the First Try

Rejection. This scary word plagues virtually every writer this side of John Grisham. It stops... Read More

Arouse Your Short Story And See It Published

Are you ready to abandon your short stories? Before you toss your newest story in... Read More

Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 5 of 6

PASSED, PASTPassed is the past tense of pass. Past means a time that has gone.... Read More

How to Write Articles, Reports, and Books Quickly

Do you have trouble getting your thoughts and ideas down into an article? Do you... Read More