Kimberly: In the early stages of our writing journey we are inundated with you must do this or that to get published—build your platform, read books on the craft, go to writer’s conferences, and read books in the genre you want to be published in. Those are all good things, and yes, you need to do them, but it can become overwhelming, especially after you have been published and your list of must do items grows.
I currently have eleven published books and a twelfth will release June 30th. I never would manage to juggle marketing, writing, social networking, continued education, coming up with new story ideas, and the plethora of other things we do if I hadn’t learned discipline early on in my writing life. I have a weekly writing goal, and a list of things that must be accomplished each week to stay on schedule and meet my deadlines. Did you notice I didn’t say daily goals? Ideally I break my word count into five even days, but sometimes the words don’t come, life gets in the way, or I am inspired and write double what I’d planned. The key is, to reach my goal by Friday.
I would get burned out if I didn’t take at least one day off a week. This is usually Saturday. I have to give my eyes and mind a break from the business of writing. I have found I am more productive overall when I take a day off.
The key to success for me is to keep my focus on the Lord. When I get so caught up in what needs to be accomplished that I forget about Him, things don’t go as well as when I include Him in my day. I encourage you to take time out daily to spend with the Lord.
The other thing that keeps me sane and on track is knowing my limits. I refuse to over schedule myself. Yes I am busy, and yes there are times I wonder why I do this to myself, because quite frankly, I get tired. That is when I am especially thankful I didn’t over commit my time, because otherwise I wouldn’t meet my deadlines, and my final product would suffer.
I encourage you today, to take control of where your time is spent. Just as a scene should always be moving a story forward, so should your choices on how you spend your time. Make sure those choices move you in the right direction and toward your end goal, don’t over commit, and most importantly keep the Lord number one in your life.