Want To Do More With Your Writing? Learn to Say No

By Edie Melson

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 to 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 of what’s happening in your life right now. This is also going affect how much time you can realistically spend on writing.

Now answer these two questions:
What are you doing now, that you love MORE than writing?
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. I had a goal to eventually earn a full-time living with my writing. I also didn’t want to lose 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. 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?

**

photo-1 copyEdie Melson is a leading professional in the writing industry. She’s a sought after writing instructor; and her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers all over the country. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others.

Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle is her latest book, a devotional for military families. You can find her on her blog, www.thewriteconversation.com or coaching new writers on social media at www.mybooktherapy.com.

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