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Thursday, August 25, 2011

How I Organize My Day to Keep Writing Creative and Happening

Today I've invited Marsha Moore to be my guest and talk about how she manages her time.

I met Marsha on Twitter. I don't remember who followed who first, but I kept retweeting things she had to say. She would always thank me for retweeting as well. Between her tweets, and thank you's I was impressed. So I sent her a message asking if she would be interested in being a guest on my blog. She replied back that yes she would, but could she post on the 25th of August. I asked her near the start of July. So wow, that was cool, this gal is organized! As promised she delivered her post and links on Tuesday, and I've had a chance to set things up to run today. I've enjoyed working with Marsha, and she has some great things to share. So this is as much a treat for me as I hope it will be for all of you.

Take it away Marsha!


Lots of folks have told me I’m highly organized and the topic of time management is something I do enjoy. I was especially pleased when Dean asked me to be his guest and share my personal time management tips.

As a full-time writer, without any job organizing my day, hours can easily get lost or claimed by friends/family. Probably the most important thing I do to maintain my productivity is exercise. I exercise at least an hour six or more days a week. It keeps my mind alert and reduces stress from problems which inhibit my creativity. Also, my body is much more willing to sit at a keyboard after activity, almost glad for the rest break. I cycle an average of thirty miles per week, kayak for 90 minutes, attend yoga classes twice a week at a local studio, and do various other types of yoga at home on the other days. Most shake their heads in disbelief where I get such motivation. Truth is, I’ve had severe fibromyalgia for eleven years. We moved south to Tampa to alleviate much of the associated muscle pain. But for many years we had to remain in Ohio for family reasons, and my pain management changed from meds to total management with exercise. Simply, it gave me my life back. I accepted daily exercise as a way of life, and although virtually unnecessary now for pain control, I still find the other benefits extremely worthwhile.

After that constant, my daily schedule is all about fitting tasks into the best time slots. I’d love to exercise first thing in the morning, but that’s prime time for social media activity. I spend an hour or two with that, depending on what I need to promote, then I’m out the door. I also have obligations to care for my elderly mother, who lives nearby. She wears out early in the day, so evening time with her won’t work. Time with her fills mid-day, along with household chores and errands. Through the afternoon, between re-checking social media interactions, I do short writing work: editing; reviewing chapters for my crit group; writing blogs.

I find I need long spans of time to accomplish productive writing, so after dinner until bedtime is my prime writing time. I’m not one who can write anything useful in fifteen-minute spans of time. I like to submerge in my story and the lives of my characters. Fifteen-minute intervals don’t give me that “high” which I’ve become addicted to.

Reading happens last thing for an hour in bed. Many nights I wake up to find my Nook dutifully shut itself off.

One of my coolest time management tricks I just discovered is that I can read my Nook and knit at the same time. Floppy books make that multi-tasking impossible, but an e reader sits nice and still, requiring no hands. I’ve been squeezing out time to construct a couple costumes for DragonCon, coming up next week, and the tops require some knitting. In the process, I’ve been able to scratch a couple books off my TBR list.

As a beginning writer, it was difficult to find the correct rhythm for my day. I tried several different arrangements until this one stuck. I hope some of my tips help those still searching for what works.
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. She is the author of the novel, TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE, the first in a trilogy. Part two, TORTUGA TREASURE is contracted for release in January, 2012. Look for her first of an epic fantasy romance series, SEEKING A SCRIBE: ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS ONE, to be available late autumn.

Links to Marsha:

Website

Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

13 comments:

Marsha A. Moore said...

Thanks for inviting me to be your guest today. I'm so used to blogging about fantasy or romance topics, this is a real treat for me!

Lindsay said...

You have established priorities -- that is the key to productivity.
thank you for this very good post.

Marsha A. Moore said...

Some things must come first to keep life happy and stable, ready to create, then writing happens. Thanks for visiting, Lindsay.

Roseanne Dowell said...

With a day that full, I'm amazed you find time to write at all. I wish I was as organized as you. I'm sure you'll be very successful with your books.
ro

Marsha A. Moore said...

When the fibromyalgia took away so much, I found I valued whatever time I could steal from the illness. Really changed my outlook. Thanks lots, Ro! Luv you for visiting!

K.S. Brooks said...

Hey Marsha, great insight. Thank you for sharing it. FYI, I found that reducing the salicylates in my diet helped my fibromyalgia a lot. Thanks again for sharing you methods. I think I might give them a try.

catwoods said...

As a newly minted full-time writer, I've struggled to effectively manage my days. I'm hoping that when the kids return to school in two weeks I'll be able to carve out long periods of writing.

Right now, I simply sneak tiny minutes in between Kid-stuff.

But, you're right, exercise is key to keeping the mind and body sharp.

Thanks for your tips.

Abby said...

This is so great! Time management is crucial and excise can work more wonders than people give it credit for! Thanks for sharing with us today Marsha! This is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

K.S., managing fibromyalgia does require a routine, but having time without pain is huge incentive.

Catwoods, good luck finding your writing routine. It took me at least 6 months to find my balance. You'll get one.

Abby, exercise brings so many positives it gives back the time spent.

Lola X said...

Absolutely fantastic blog!!! Glad I found it! Love it!!!

Lola x
http://lola-x.blogspot.com

Marsha A. Moore said...

Hi Lola! Thanks for visiting. Time management for writers is an important topic which is often overlooked. Dean's blog does a great job addressing that need.

Jeff King said...

Great post, I need help in this area-BIG TIME

Dean C. Rich said...

A big thank you goes to Marsha. An outstanding post, and great feedback. Thank you again for coming over and being such a fantastic guest on The Write Time.