How I Changed My Approach to Writing to Be More Efficient

I am a writer. My four-year-old son confirmed that the other day when he told me that he wanted to be a writer just like me when he grows up. Talk about validation!

Photo Credit: 0MAK0 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: 0MAK0 via Compfight cc

 

I write blogs that I post twice a week, I am writing a book about Toxic Shame, and I have a few short ebook projects in the works.

I analyzed my work in 2014. I felt good about the blogging, but I realized that I was not getting the kind of results I wanted from the book and ebooks.

I began each day making sure I had my next blog ready. Sometimes the blog came together quickly. Other days, I felt like I was working in slow motion. I didm’t work on my other writing projects until I had my blog ready to go.

And, I also am heavily involved in two nonprofits and a foster care/adoption collaborative in the Austin area. Yes I know, probably too many irons in the fire.

But I think you get the idea. I jumped from one thing to the other trying to move each of them along just a bit, if not each day, then for sure each week.

In the end I had a lot of partially done projects. I needed to try something different.

It’s important to understand that I write only Monday through Friday from as early in the morning as I get started to no later than 5pm. I want to avoid the temptation to work all the time. Admittedly, I am involved with too many other things now that limits my time to write, but I am working on changing that over the course of this year.

Ready to hear what I changed to my approach to writing? Pretty simple really.

I am blocking out several days each month to work on only one writing project at a time.

That’s it. Not rocket science. But I already see positive results. Here is what the month looks like:

Block 1

I spend the last week of the month to plan and write all the blogs for the following month. That is 8-10 blogs. I still use a blog calendar like last year, so I can map out the timing and categories of the blogs.

I remember reading that über blogger Seth Godin said  no one would know he had died for about two years because he had that many blogs written and scheduled to publish.

I doubt I will ever blog like that, but I see some benefit to preparing enough for at least one month. One benefit is it frees up blocks of time for other writing projects.

Block 2

For the next couple of months, I am writing a series of ebooks. I will offer some free on my website for those who subscribe to get my blogs and newsletter via email. I will also upload the ebooks to Amazon for something like 99 cents. So, I am blocking out about two weeks each month until I have those completed and ready to go.

Block 3

The last week or so of  the month, I will devote to working on the Toxic Shame book. After some editing to the Introduction and Chapter 1, my book proposal will be ready to send to literary agents.

After my ebooks are composed and published, I will devote more time each month to working on this book.

So there it is! How I changed my approach to writing so I can be more efficient.

I began this approach in January and already like it. I find that I focus better on what I am working on knowing that I will work on the other projects later in the month. Or, that I have all my blogs written for the month. I can always write a quick blog if a current event calls for it or move some around.

I will let you know later in the year how this works!

If you are a writer, how do you structure your writing time?

I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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