I recently unfriended someone on Facebook. A fellow writer, not actually published, but aspiring/pre-published/whatever it’s called these days, decided to make the following comment (paraphrased):
“If I can write every day with ALL THE THINGS I HAVE TO DO, so can you. No excuses.”
I hate comments like this. My first thought is always just fuck right off. To me, remarks like this don’t encourage anyone or offer any helpful advice, it’s just the author tooting her own horn. I’m assuming since the author hasn’t been published that she hadn’t experienced the reality of being an author just yet, because all experienced authors I know will open a vein before typing something so blatantly condescending to other writers on social media. An experienced author knows that shit happens — sudden soul-crushing edits land in your inbox, a new deadline crops up, favours are called in, kids get sick, relationships bust up, or Breaking Bad comes back for another season.
Not to say you shouldn’t have any discipline whatsoever, but shit will happen and it won’t give a fuck about your writing schedule. Just deal with your shit — the stories will still be there waiting for you when you’re ready to get back to it.
And now that I have bitched, I shall tell you about the great advice coming out of the How to Write Erotic Fiction site. Lots of good tidbits about time management for those of us who need it, not to mention other fantastic tips:
“Write every day. Okay, nearly every day. If your body, mind and soul are screaming for a break, by all means take one … Be a writer not a body in a chair.” – Sommer Marsden
“Rather than just trying to “fit it in when I can,” it’s helpful to me to schedule time that’s to be purely devoted to writing.” – Emerald
“Consider it whatever works for you, whatever will keep you writing until you get there.” – KD Grace
“Write all the time. Got an idea? Grab a pen. Got no ideas? Grab a pen and pretend you have an idea. I am prolific because I never stop writing.” – Alison Tyler
There’s a fuckton of great advice out there on the web, but it’s sometimes hard to find with all the ego stroking going on out there. UF Author Jesse Peterson, who writes full time, also gave an interesting peek at her writing schedule and goal setting. Jesse also writes erotic romance under the name Jess Michaels, and her schedule is wonderfully organized, leaving room for the unexpected creative rush between projects.
My time management is non-existent. Some days I forgo the writing to get the rest of my shit sorted, and some weekends I let the dishes pile up on the counter in order to get to where I want in a story. Part of me envies writers like Jesse who have kick-ass schedules, but like KD Grace said in the quote above: “whatever works for you,” and if you’re like me, what works for you is ever evolving depending on where you are in your life.