Mistake 11: Not Managing Your Time Correctly

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70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer from The Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: Time is the most valuable asset you have. One of the biggest excuses people make for not writing is that they don’t have enough time. Yet most people never examine the way they really use their time.

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While time is the greatest and most valuable asset we all have, it is also the thing we waste with the greatest disregard. It’s easy to say “Live each day as if it were your last,” but that’s actually not good advice for a writer who knows she needs a year to write a novel. She’d stop writing and go out and run in the sand at the local beach. What a writer needs to do is prioritize her writing over distractions. A writer needs to make a decision about where writing fits in the big picture of her life, and then act upon that priority. You can’t just say you want to be a writer; you have to live like you are a writer.

The solution:
If you want to be a writer, you have to make writing important enough that you take time away from activities that aren’t as important. Sit down and write out your daily routine. Look at where you can stop doing something, such as watching TV, and make that prime writing time. Many successful authors made their time at one end or the other of their day. They got up an hour earlier or went to be an hour later and used that slice of time to write. Some people write on the train during their commute to and from work. Some people use their lunch hour.