Writer’s Wisdom 32

Social networking and chatting

Social networking sites are an excellent vehicle to promote your writing, but they can also hinder it.  The time spent on these sites, when not well spent, can cut into your writing time and schedule.  It is easy to get sidetracked by the pictures and latest adventures of family and friends.  Hours go by and your empty page is waiting, and hopefully, you will have gathered some inspiration while chatting away.  If your bread and butter is the written word, then you will have to apply some old fashion bossing to yourself:  “No personal business during working hours, and stick to the schedule.”

Freelancer’s struggle with time management is something that if not addressed seriously, can hinder your writing and your pocket.  Using writing sites to vent personal feelings is not recommended if you are planning to take your writing to a higher level.  Learn to separate your writing from your wining and you will recuperate valuable writing time, and become more productive.   

Writer’s Wisdom 27

Writer’s Time Management and Discipline

If you write for a living,  you know how important it is to keep a schedule.  No matter how you get paid:  by the contract, assignments, upfront, or any other method, time truly becomes money.  As a freelancer, you know that if you don’t put the time, you don’t get the dough.  Any minute wasted is a penny wasted, or a contract.

It is very tempting to wake up late, lolling, have a late breakfast and watch a little TV, turning on your PC and checking out your social networking sites, going into forums, and surfing the net – you get the idea.  By the time you are done playing, you feel the need to check your email again, and again; suddenly realizing that it is time for lunch.  Time flies, you think to yourself (I’m no saint here either).  It is mid afternoon and you are staring at a piece of blank paper or at a blank screen.  You end up feeling guilty, and there goes your inspiration.

If you are serious about earning money while freelancing, then the above picture tells you why it is so important to keep a schedule.  When I started working out of my home, I made up a sign that read:  Working hours from 8-6, please come back later, after 6.00 pm, except for UPS, USPS, Fed EX, and other deliveries.  Thank you.  For me, it was necessary to do this.  I woke up early, got dressed like I was going to a full-time outside job, and kept a working schedule.  That is what works for me.  You have to find your own system, and follow it.

If you listen to some interviews of Best Selling Authors, they mention that they keep a schedule, rise early, and writing is first on the to do list.  Learning to manage your priorities as a freelance writer is of the essence.

Once you become disciplined at this –  and I think this is the hard part – your workday will flow, and you won’t waste precious generating income time.  Also, family members and friends, should be made aware that just because you happen to be home, it does not mean that they can drop by at any time.  This you have to do very subtle, because feelings can be hurt easily.

Sometimes, signs are better than spoken words.