How to Prioritize Your Writing

Am I the only one who has noticed this? With things opening back up, I am finding it more and more difficult to prioritize my writing. It isn’t just family things that are getting in the way. Writing related things are as well.

Last year, when everyone was in lockdown or social distancing, we discovered Zoom and online meetings. Not only did I meet with my critique group online, but I also started meeting with several mystery writers as well as other people who used to be SCBWI regional advisors.

It seems like no one wants to let go of these meetings which, in all reality, makes sense. Writing isolates us. Doing things that bring us into contact with other writers is essential. And yet . . .

There are only so many hours in the day. There are only so many days in the week.

Then I remembered something that I read recently. I think it was about Neil Gaiman, but I have to admit that I haven’t been able to find it again. So we will call this might-be-Neil-Gaiman person Maybe Neil. Anyway, I read that Maybe Neil decided that he wanted to be a speculative writer – graphic novels, novels, etc.

He learned everything that he could on that type of writing. When he was offered an editorial job, he turned it down. It was a good job. Maybe Neil would have earned a salary. There would be no more scrabbling for sales to pay the bills. But it would not have helped him achieve his goal – to be a speculative fiction writer.

I am a nonfiction writer. I also want to write fiction.

Earlier in the week I was offered the opportunity to take place in a blog tour for a writing book. I love the other books in this line but this one is specifically on writing for television.

“Ooo that could be fun,” Sue thought.

“Wait a minute,” thought other Sue. This is the Sue who is slightly less likely to run after shiny objects. “You need time to write. You have never in your life said that you want to write for television.”

“But it would be cool,” Sue thought.

“It will not help you finish writing your two novels.” This time other Sue was fairly forceful. In fact, she was forceful enough that I’ve been looking at a lot of other opportunities through this lense.

Is it going to help me get these novels written? If the answer is no, then it does not get any of my work time.

What writing goals are you having troubles meeting? Are they things that you really want to accomplish? If so, maybe you need to use a similiar technique to prioritize your writing time.


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