Monday, December 7, 2009

Time Saving Tips For Writers

We're all looking for ways to save time. As far as I know, there's still only 24 hours in a day, so that's not going to change. BUT what can change is how you spend those hours--it's the saying "work smarter, not harder." With those thoughts in mind, I give you my five time saving tips for writers:

1. Use paper plates.
Environmentalists, don't freak out--you're not going to be writing feverishly forever. As soon as the editing phase starts, you can pull back out all the fine China and dinnerware you want. But for now, stick with paper. One less dish to wash is one more minute devoted to writing.

2. Do household chores around your writing schedule. Sitting on the dryer and writing is actually very practical. While the clothes dry, I write. When the buzzer sounds, I finish my scene, switch loads and go back to writing. The same goes for when I'm stumped. Instead of staring at the screen, I'll do the dishes, vacuum, make the bed, etc. You're the boss. Do the cleaning and writing when you want to! Not when the sink is overflowing and no one has any clean underwear.

3. Find a schedule that works for you. Just like working out, you have to make time to write. Are you a morning person? Night owl? Middle of the day kinda gal? Figure out what works for you, and then stick with it! If you devote even one hour a day to writing, you can write a novel in 4 months! (That's 60,000 words averaging only 500 words a day. And you can write 500 words in an hour, easy peasy).

4. Take notes. Lots and lots of notes. Whenever a piece of dialogue, or a scene comes to you, write it down! Sometimes it just takes a spark to get the story going. I love my little notes. I've actually started using the voice record feature on my cell phone. It's a lot easier (and safer) to talk into my phone while driving (as opposed to scribbling down thoughts frantically at red lights).

5. Unplug the Internet.
Yes, I said it. Unplug the Internet and get writing (after you've finished reading this post, of course). How much writing time do you waste every day online? Unplug your router for an hour and see how much writing you can really get done. Trust me, you'll be amazed.

15 comments:

Diana Paz said...

Such good advice! Especially the unplugging part. I need to do that more often!!

Bane of Anubis said...

Yeah, it's the last piece of advice that's the most useful, and the hardest to follow :)

Laura Martone said...

We don't do paper plates in my house, and we don't have a dishwasher. I AM the dishwasher. But often, I find chores (like dishes, laundry, etc.) relaxing and recharging. I'm weird that way.

Notes I've got covered, too - I write so tiny in fact that Dan jokes that I'm a serial killer in training (see Seven if that makes no sense).

As for a schedule, I'm still working on that one. Of all of these wonderful tips, however, it's the "Internet" one that confounds me the most. Must. Unplug. Ugh.

Laura Martone said...

Oh, and naturally, I'm so dizzy sometimes that I failed to notice the other two comments. Oops. Seems I'm not the only one who finds the last tip hardest to follow. Phew. I hate being alone.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great tips, Stephanie!

Girl, I don't even WANT to know how much time I waste online - Ugh! :)

Steph Damore said...

Yep, I'm with you all on the internet one. It's the one I struggle with the most. (What? It's been 30 minutes since I've checked my email?!)

Laura - I don't have a dishwasher either. Someday I will... I hope so at least :)

Voidwalker said...

LOL... I still think that's hillarious how you write on your dryer :P

Good advice though, especially "unplugging the router"

Stephanie Thornton said...

Are you sure you can't just squeeze an extra hour into each day for me? Puh-lease?

I just finished Revision #3 so I'm taking a week off to read. I need it- my students are turning in a gazillion assignments between now and the end of next week. I'm a ball of stress!

J.J. Bennett said...

Great post. I needed it... I'm leaving now and I want you to know I use the paper plates! One thing that is a great time saver!

Steph Damore said...

Steph - I'll work on it and see what I can do. Today's the end of the semester for my student's, so I can relate to the gazillion assignments. I need to start grading right now.

Steph Damore said...

Void - All the cool kids are doing it--you should try it!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Yes! Unplugging is HUGE!

Voidwalker said...

LOL... I may just try. It's probably the one place in my home where I wouldn't be bombarded by the 5 kiddos haha.

If I get addicted to Dryer-Writing, I'm blaming you :P

Stephanie said...

I have two kids, so once #1 is ready and off on the bus, it's just me and #2! I try to catch up on laundry and other miscellaneous cleaning...he climbs on me while I try to exercise...stuff like that. Then I make him lunch and he goes inf or a nap. And then he gives me 3-1/2 glorious hours of peacefulness!!!! I know the end of that will come but for now I thoroughly enjoy it!!! That is MY time and I could have piles of dishes and I do not care one bit!!

Internet is my downfall though...I try to limit it tot he first hour but then things happen and there are a million new posts on Facebook and a lengthy email that I NEED to send!! Then I get on blogger and read all the new blog posts!!!

Rhiannon Hart said...

God yes, unplug the internet. But it's a toughie! Fun blog, I just found my way over here from Sara's. Hope the writing is going well!