Category: Time Management & Deadlines

5 Tips to Turn Slow Writers into Fast Drafters

Category: Time Management & Deadlines

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Can writers train themselves to write faster? This question is much debated. Many people say that yes, writers can learn to write fast, but (at least in my opinion) those people are short on actionable ways to make that happen. The common advice seems to be: 1) time yourself, 2) create self-imposed deadlines, and 3) give yourself permission to write a sh*t first draft.

I especially hate that last one. Of course a first draft doesn’t have to be perfect (not at all!), but it has to be readable enough to edit. You cannot edit total sh*t. So all that time you spent writing fast is wasted because you now have to flush that crap down the toilet and start again. There must be a better way! So I set out to find one. Or rather, a couple clients forced me to find one…

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com


#AtoZChallenge : Productivity + Theme Reveal

Category: Time Management & Deadlines

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The April Blogging From A to Z Challenge is upon us, and for the third consecutive year, the Write On Sisters are doing it! In 2014 we didn’t have a theme; it was kind of a free-for-all about writing between four bloggers. In 2015 Robin and I focused our efforts on writing craft with the “3, 2, 1 BLASTOFF to Stellar Writing” theme in which each post had 3 quick tips on an aspect of writing, 2 examples of good technique, and 1 resource for more in-depth help. And our 2016 theme is…

Actually, hold the curtains! I’ll reveal this year’s theme by the end of this post (promise), but first, because of the demands of the A to Z Challenge, we should share some tips on writer productivity…

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


Writers: Should You Quit Your Day Job?

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life, Money

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This question has been on my mind a lot considering that over the past year I’ve gone from no day job to two concurrent part-time jobs. How much to work while pursuing a creative dream is a common dilemma. There’s no easy answer and the approach you take depends on your writing habits and where you’re at in your life and your career. However, if you’re considering quitting your day job, or reducing your hours to part-time, or even going back to work full-time, maybe I can help by sharing what I’ve learned over the last decade pursuing my dream while working part-time, full-time, overtime, and not at all…

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com


Deadlines: Helpful or Harmful?

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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September is always a time for self-reflection. In a way, the start of the school year makes it feel like the end of the year, though not quite. I find myself thinking of the goals and deadlines I set for 2015. Back in January I wrote a post called The 7 Deadly Do’s and Don’ts of Deadlines, and I created a calendar of writing deadlines for myself.

Now nine months later, how is that going? Was setting self-imposed deadlines harmful or helpful to my writing process?

Click here to find out what my fate was on WriteOnSisters.com


5 Excuses to Protect Your Writing Time

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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One of the benefits of being a freelance writer is making my own schedule, and having the flexibility to change that schedule if I want to. For instance, I am not a morning person, and in fact joked that I’m part vampire in this post here because I write best after sunset and terribly at sunrise. Luckily, as a freelancer, I have the freedom to write well into the night and sleep in in the morning. My flexible schedule also enables me to take long lunches with friends, visit my parents mid-week when renting a car is cheaper, and enrol in a weekly trampoline class that starts at 4pm – all because I don’t have to complete my work during a regular 9-to-5 schedule. However, it’s important to note that doing these things means I have to make up work hours in the evening or on the weekend.

Now, when I’m working for a client, it’s easy to protect those hours. Everyone understands having a deadline and a boss. But when I’m working on my novel, not so much…

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com


#WeekendCoffeeShare – Timetable Edition

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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If we were having coffee, I’d be tempted to cancel on you. Nothing personal, I’m just feeling like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish what I’ve set out to do and I want to be working on the novel more. Remember back in January when I set deadlines and downloaded an internet blocker to be more productive? I’m doing all that and it’s been helpful, but I still don’t have enough time. I’m missing most of my personal deadlines, not because I’m procrastinating but because writing is taking longer than I ever anticipated. It feels like time is running away from me and I can’t catch it.

Read the full post on Writeonsisters.com to find out how I will catch time!


Writers & Productivity: The 7 Deadly Do’s & Don’ts of Deadlines

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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A little over a year ago I wrote a post called How To Stay Motivated Without Deadlines or Money. In it are seven productivity tips (which I still follow today), but of course not one of them is set my own deadlines.” Why? And what’s changed?

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


Writers & Productivity: Do you need an Internet blocker?

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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Like many writers, my new year’s resolutions revolve around being more productive during my writing time. And for some people, just setting their minds to this seems to make it happen. Not me! A few days into 2015, nothing had changed. I was still spending too much time daydreaming (a problem I blogged about here) and flirting with The Internet (despite my attempts at setting boundaries, we’re still seeing way too much of each other). Clearly, I needed to get my act together. But how?

So I started researching Internet blocking apps…

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


4 Tips to Beat Mental Procrastination

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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This week a writer friend suggested that I blog about the writer’s age-old enemy: procrastination. Thing is, I don’t procrastinate anymore. I don’t avoid writing by doing other things. I have set times to write and I stick to my schedule, but… sometimes I still get nothing written. How come? What’s my problem?

A few months ago I thought it was The Internet. It’s so distracting! So I broke up with the Internet (at least during writing time) and that helped a lot, but I still struggle to meet my writing goals. Seriously, what gives?

Click here to find out on Writeonsisters.com


Writer’s Back-To-School To Do List

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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I haven’t been a student in a long time, but September still feels like the beginning of the new year. I don’t always treat it as such, but this year I’ve decided I need to start fresh. Last year was a slog of, well, failing to finish a novel and I’m feeling pretty crappy about that. So rather than continuing this lackluster year, I’m declaring it OVER and wiping the slate clean. Just like when I was a kid and September was filled with happy possibilities: new teacher, new classmates, new books to read, and new stories to write.

But now that I’m an independent adult, I don’t have a parent/teacher to set up classes and assignments so that I actually accomplish stuff. I must do that all by myself. Damn. Well, here goes nothing…

Click here to find out how I’m preparing for a new year at Writeonsisters.com


Reading Overload in the Information Age

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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I read constantly. I bet you do too because, since you’re reading this blog, you have access to the Internet where there’s an infinite amount of stuff to read – emails, articles, blogs, tweets, books, essays – all at your nimbly typing fingertips. People read more now than ever, not just for work, school or fun, but also for day-to-day communication. The Information Age has also been dubbed the Age of Distractions, but the problem isn’t exterior forces distracting us from reading, it’s that we have too much reading.

Click here to read the full post at Writeonsisters.com


7 Tricks To Stay Off the Internet

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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It’s been three weeks since I wrote the Internet a letter about setting boundaries in our relationship. How’s it going? Have I managed to stay out of the Internet’s pants during working hours? Well, mostly, but it hasn’t been easy. The Internet is still pretty clingy, whispering to me constantly as I’m trying to write, seducing me with promises of kitten videos and spring weather forecasts (the last one a cruel trick – spring still has not come to Toronto, no matter how many times I check The Weather Network). But here are 7 tricks I’ve learned that help me resist the Internet’s charms…

Click here to read the whole post on Writeonsisters.com


Writer + Internet Relationship Woes

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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Dear Internet,

We’ve been seeing each other for a long time now. Remember when we met? I was researching something for a high school essay. WWII? Shakespeare? Kittens? I can’t remember, but I asked you for info and you had only five websites on the topic. Back then, you were slow, not very helpful and clingy – if I was hanging out with you, I couldn’t even use the phone! Then you upgraded from dial-up to broadband, and our relationship improved. Not only were you faster and less clingy, you introduced me to Hotmail and Messenger, and suddenly we were having tons of fun, chatting with friends and forwarding funny emails into the wee hours of the night. Those years were the best! You kept me connected to loved ones, expanded my world and helped me become the woman I am now, but in the last several years, things changed…

Click here to read the rest on Writeonsisters.com and find out whether the Internet and I break up!


4 Tricks to Make & Meet Deadlines

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life

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Working in TV again has reminded me that I write well under the pressure of a deadline. Deadlines force me to stop procrastinating. Deadlines make me write faster. Deadlines keep me off the internet!

But what if you have no real deadlines? When story editors, producers and broadcasters are all expecting a script from me on a certain day, I must finish that script or else I’ll let everybody down, screw up the production schedule, and possibly get fired. Yet when writing my novel the only person (so far) expecting anything from me is me, so it’s easy to ignore or miss deadlines when the only real consequence is my own disappointment. To counteract this, I’ve come up with a 4 Deadline Strategies to motivate, scare or trick even the most lax writers into getting stuff done.

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


How To Stay Motivated Without Deadlines or Money

Category: Time Management & Deadlines, Writing Life, Money

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A little backstory on me… I have not worked a regular, paying job this past year. I used my savings to quit everything and just write a novel. I’ve had many friends ask me how I stay motivated without the threat of deadlines or reward of money. This is how I do it…

Click here to read the full post at Writeonsisters.com