Here in Birmingham we've started a monthly SCBWI schmooze -- something I have wanted to do for several years now! Last month's topic was "Time Management for Writers."
The fact that I am just now getting to this blog post may tell you a little something about my time management skills! Actually, it has more to do with a little thing called National Poetry Month. Yep, April is madness! In the best way possible, of course. :)
So, time management. Our speaker was the amazing Javacia Bowser, founder of See Jane Write
. One day when we were having lunch Javacia told me that she schedules her day sometimes to the HOUR. She even schedules phone conversations! Ah-ha, I thought. Here's a gal who knows how to get things done! Which is why I invited her to share her wisdom at our schmooze.
Another thing to note: Javacia posted on her blog about the schmooze the day after the event.
I'm telling you, we can all learn a lot from her!
Here's my top 5 take-aways:
1. Use a dayplanner
. Javacia likes the ones that are both daily and monthly. She uses the daily portion to list her tasks for the day. I have long used a giant desk calendar-- and sticky notes for the lists. I'm loving my new all-in-one approach... plus it's portable!
2. Try the Pomodoro method.
It's an app for your phone. It's based on the principle that you can increase productivity by taking breaks. The app uses a timer so you don't have to think about it -- just write. And then take a break. More here
3. Think of writing like brushing your teeth.
You wouldn't go a whole day without brushing your teeth, would you? Well, treat your writing like that and you will get a whole lot more writing done. No excuses!
4. Being a good writer may mean being bad at something else.
So, maybe your house won't get clean. Or you'll feed your family peanut butter sandwiches instead of cooking. That's okay. Give yourself permission to let something else go a little.
5. Write a personal mission statement to serve as your guide.
It's hard sometimes to know when to say YES and when to say NO to something. Javacia suggested writing your very own mission statement, and then, when those invitations/opportunities come around, see if they fit your mission. If not, say NO and don't feel bad about it.
Thank you, Javacia, for a great session! May's schmooze topic is "Author-Illustrator Exchange," during which Lori Nichols will lead a talk about what illustrators wish authors knew and vice versa. I will post notes eventually. :)