Blogger: Mary Keeley
We all have moments (okay days, months, seasons, YEARS) when we feel so overwhelmed by demands, responsibilities, troubles, and other preoccupations that we often feel as though it’s necessary to add “breathe” to the to-do list just so it gets done. Starting off as we did yesterday, remember that God is the author of your life—and your writing. Prioritize a timeout—even when it seems counterproductive . . . ESPECIALLY when it seems counterproductive—just to be quiet with him for a few minutes. A frazzled brain can’t function or think effectively.
Then follow these tips to keep up with the publishing world:
1. Instead of following ten blogs, choose two or three you think have an eye for the pulse of this industry. You may get more out of a few than a little out of scanning many.
2. I know several writers (and agents) who set a timer to stick with allotted social-networking time each day. A wise discipline.
3. Most of us have a long list of books we want to read . . . just as soon as we can finish the three we’re reading now. Commit to one or two chapters a day, or possibly choose a reading time that’s set aside for catching up on industry news. Keep a book in the car in case you forget your eReader when you run errands. You can get a chapter or two in while waiting for a freight train. (However, don’t do what I did once when I wanted to finish reading a chapter before going into the grocery store. An hour passed before I remembered the groceries. Should have had my timer with me.)
4. Read an article in an industry magazine one day per week, visit ECPA’s website the second day, CBA’s site the third day, and so on. Learn about online writing loops (such as ACFW’s for you fiction writers). Join in, and subscribe to the “digest” feed so you receive numerous comments in one e-mail a couple of times a day instead of one by one all day long.
Out of necessity, you most likely have developed some time-efficient habits that will help all of us. What enables you to keep up with the industry without chewing up entire hours at a time?