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

Turning Your Journal Into An Idea Bank

A few magazines refer to their written idea sources in assigning articles to reliable, experienced... Read More

Writing For the Joy of It

As a child, I loved to write. I can't remember ever not writing.I was lucky... Read More

Go With The Flow: Write With Transition Words and Phrases

One of the most common weaknesses I see in day-to-day writing is poor logical flow... Read More

Writing Without Style

Style manuals are all well and good, and in fact, highly desirable for newspapers. The... Read More

Got an Idea? Turn it into a Novel in Thirty Days or Less!

People can't believe I did it, but I did. I wrote my first novel, The... Read More

Revving Up Your Writing Productivity

Productivity begins by recognizing and valuing your brilliance, time, and space. It starts with awareness... Read More

How To Write for the Web

The Scanning ReaderWriting for the Web is different than writing for print. The differences are... Read More

Writing About Writing

What am I going to write about?Which topic is the best?Who is going to be... Read More

Basic Writing Tips ? Some Controversial, All Correct

As a previous article ("Making Better Word Choices ? 4 Examples") explained, writers can take... Read More

For Beginners: Ten Ways To Prepare To Get Published

(Skip directly to ten for the fastest shortcut!)Like any field, excellent writing requires study, practice... Read More

Writing Your Best-Selling Non-Fiction Book Title

Your struggling to sell just a few copies of your book, ebook, report or other... Read More

71 Ways For A Writer To Make Money

There are so many ways for writers to make good money by writing. Some people... Read More

Starting a Local Writers Group

My husband is no poet, so when I offer my carefully pruned poetry for him... Read More

What Is The Single Worst Writing Mistake?

The following answer sounds simplistic?but think about it. The single worst writing mistake is "not... Read More

A Beginners Guide to Writing a Novel

No one is born a novel writer. But do you believe that we all have... Read More

How To Co-Publish For Profits!

The Benefits of Co-Publishing There are a number of publishers, printers, and mail order dealers... Read More

Making Better Word Choices ? 4 Examples

Choosing the wrong words can have a poor effect on your writing and on you.... Read More

Generating Nonfiction Book Titles Without a Hassle

The process of developing a working title for your nonfiction book can be a hassle... Read More

How to Build Your Site with Other Peoples Content -- Part 1

Building a new website can be extremely exciting. Seeing your words in "print"--maybe for the... Read More

9 More Writing Tips for Successful Email Marketing

A few months ago, I wrote a guide entitled: 101 Writing Tips for Successful Email... Read More

Idea Mining for Writers 101

Want to write an article or book, but are stuck for ideas? Here are a... Read More

Use Real-Life Templates For Writing Success

At some point along the way, most of us have used what are commonly called... Read More

Writing Help

Whether you are working for a small business, large corporation, or are a student, there... Read More

Apostrophe Usage Made Simple

According to one of my previous articles, whenever a Southerner says "Y'all watch this," get... Read More

Mexican Living: Pasatiempo

It occurred to me one day that I needed something to do with my time... Read More

Making Freelance Writing Niche Types Fit: A Few Niche Types by Definition and Description

Our Freelance Writing Needs DefinedWe must make freelance niche types fit our needs, wants, values... Read More

How to Break In and Succeed as a Screenwriter

Screenwriting is a competitive trade. To distinguish yourself as a prize-winning writer you need to... 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

How to Have an Effective Writing Group

The works you've written are numerous, ranging from short stories to even the novel, hidden... Read More

Suspense Novels Made Easy

Suspense novels are probably the easiest novels to write. Suspense novels require a simple formula,... Read More

The Importance of Writing Clearly for Business

Creating written documents reveals so much about you and your business skills. Your writing tells... Read More

About Writing

Here's everything I know about improving your writing, publishing it electronically and in print, and... Read More

Time to Write

SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER?Many people have entertained the idea of being a... Read More

Writing Made Them Rich #3: Richard Bach

One day in the mid-1970's a young man stumbled into adiner somewhere in the United... Read More

Writing For Free: When & When Not to Do It!

Right off the bat, I want to say that there is no right or wrong... Read More

Slow Pokes: Short Story On The Changing World Of Writing

"No one will ever know who I am, I'm a nobody-writer from nowhere? I've had... Read More

Dig Deeper to Reveal Character

He ran up the steps and knocked on the door. After a few moments, it... Read More

The Blank Mind

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

Vital Verbs

Remember back in the dark days of your school years when you had to learn... Read More

Whose Story Is It?

Whenever you sit down to plot a story (or even to think about a story)... Read More

Starting a Freelance Writing Career (or Thoughts About Taking the Plunge)

Nike's ad has taken on new meaning for me of late; "Just do it!" runs... Read More

Editorial Freelancing: 5 Must-Know Tips to Getting Your Foot in the Door

So, you want to freelance as an editor, writer, copy editor, copywriter, graphic designer, proofreader,... Read More

Hunting for Markets Over the Holidays

Chances are, you'll be busy over the next several weeks. Between preparing for, celebrating, and... Read More

Sell More Books With a Powerful Back Cover

Did you know that your back cover information is, after the cover, the best way... Read More

The Top Five Mistakes That Companies Make with Regard to Technical Documentation

I've seen it time and again. One of the most common weaknesses that I've seen... Read More

Dont Get Burned: Evaluating Script Writing Contests

Hundreds of writing contests tempt screenwriters with the lure of prize money, instant film industry... Read More

How New Authors Can Keep Their Manuscripts Coherent

In large publishing houses, many manuscripts penned by first-time authors, never make it past the... Read More

Editing

EditingExpect, allow, and accept that every first draft will represent your lowest standard and have... Read More

From Book Notes to Book Reports

Writing papers and book reports has long been the bane of high school and college... Read More

Ten Quick Tips for Inexperienced Writers

One of the biggest problems that inexperienced writers have is simply knowing how to get... Read More