If you were able to take advantage of the Twitter chats yesterday, great! If not, no worries. We'll have another one on the 20th--probably just at the 11 a.m. time. It'll be a good chance to ask questions and catch up with everyone. The chats yesterday actually inspired me to switch the order of a few tasks for this month, including today's...
Create a Time Management Plan
For today's platform-building task, create a time management plan.
You may be wondering why I didn't start out the challenge with a time management plan, and here's the reason: I don't think some people would've had any idea how long it takes them to write a blog post, share a link on Twitter and Facebook, respond to social media messages, etc. Now, many of you have a basic idea--even if you're still getting the hang of things.
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Creating a Time Management Plan
So the next step is to create a time management plan that enables you to be "active" socially and connect with other writers and potential readers while also spending a majority of your time writing. Simple, right?
Here are a few time management tips:
- Make the plan as simple or complicated as you need. For instance, my plan is to do 15 minutes or less of social media time after completing each decent-sized task on my daily task list. I use social media time as a sort of break, which I consider more productive than watching TV or playing video games.
- Put writing first and make sure to include that. While I think extracurricular activities like platform development and submitting writing are super important for a successful writing career (and they are), what good are they without the writing to back it up? So make sure to include writing in your time management plan.
- Be flexible. Set goals, deadlines, and whatever else you need to motivate you to get things done, but allow yourself flexibility in scheduling--because there will be times when everything goes wrong. Having a flexibility allows a writer to have an off-day (or off-month) and still be able to get back to it when things calm down a little.
Remember: A writing platform is a life-long investment in your writing career. It's not a sprint, so you have to pace yourself. Also, it's not something that happens overnight (as much as we wish it were), so you can't wait until you need a platform to start building one. Begin today and build over time--so that it's there when you need it.
But for today, just start figuring out how to manage your time, it's one of your most valuable assets--not only as a writer, but as a human being.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.
A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.