“How do you do it?”
“Do you have supernatural powers?”
“How do you get time for yourself?”
“Do you even sleep?”
These are questions I always find myself swamped with by friends, families, and admirers (not really but a boy is allowed to dream). They all seem to be mind-boggled by how I manage to use the twenty-four hours we all have in a day to do all the things I do; even I get shocked sometimes.
I am the Founder of one up and coming media firm (Otherise Media Africa) that is into journalism, blogging, writing, publication, entrepreneurship, movie and music production, humanitarian acts and many other avenues.
READ ALSO: Writing Out of Chronological Order
Aside managing this firm which demands a lot of time and attention (although I have amazing people behind me who help and support me. I am also a blogger as well and a writing coach.
I have a writing community on Wattpad too called Earnesty Community what we do there, is run writing competitions, writers’ awards, critics and editing shop, writers’ magazine, graphics shop etc which has helped and still helping a great number of Wattpad’s writing and reading population. (Shout out to KanishmaRay and luciferstempest my co-founders)
I have a job at a different firm as a proofreader and editor. I am the producer for a show on Focus FM and a student journalist as well.
Oh well, not forgetting that I am a student too and y’all can attest to the fact that school can be very demanding. Then, there’s my own life as well…watching movies, listening to music, reading, sleeping and eating (can’t leave this out).
BUT overlooking all of that, the point I want to make is: aside from all these plentiful activities I have entangled myself with, I WRITE.
Yes, you read that right.
I am the author of a number of novels, short fictions and micro-fictions and I also have a lot of poetry written down…one of my poetry books is on Amazon and might be published soon. On a side note, I also write motivational articles and quotes most at times too.
So one might ask, What is my secret?
Well, I don’t have any secrets.
What I have are ways. Ways that can help you be the writer that you desire to be while juggling between lectures, assignments, group meetings, projects, studies, exams, personal involvements and maybe work.
But before I take you through “the ways“, let’s first touch on the struggles most writers face with their time that makes it almost impossible to follow on their writing routines as planned.
Balance: Yes balance plays a key role. How do you balance between that pile of assignments in front of you and that amazing Ruby Yayra type of story or Shakespeare type of poetry or that compelling blog post dancing through your mind?
That becomes a problem.
Focus: How do you just focus on your writing when the thoughts of that pending examination won’t let you be? How can you just focus on writing when you are constantly being reminded that the deadline for submitting the assignment is almost due?
Mmmm…that is a problem too.
Expectations: Personally, I call this “egotations” one thing that acts as a bane to most writers and most individuals in general. Instead of having a realistic expectation, one that we can really accomplish, we turn to overload ourselves with unrealistic writing goals like ‘I’m going to write a whole novel book today‘, ‘I’m will write hundred poetry today’, or ‘I’m going to write hundred blog posts today‘.
Meanwhile, that assignment is left undone, that study book is not read, you haven’t prepared adequately for the impending examination. When these thoughts come in later, we tend to feel overwhelmed with too much to do then we slide into what I deem ‘the giving up zone‘.
Be true to yourself…know your writing pace. At the end of the day, it’s you keeping on writing that is important and not setting unrealistic goals that you will end up not writing at all.
Multitasking: Yeah…multitasking is also a problem. Working on multiple things at a go can also block your creativity.
Yes, you have a myriad of things to do in a day but cut yourself some slack! Take a deep breath and take tasks one after the other so you wouldn’t end up being stressed out or drained that you wouldn’t be able to flow creatively.
Now here’s what you’ve been waiting for.
THE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR TIME AS A WRITER AND/OR BLOGGER.
Note the “…as a writer and/or blogger” part. Which means these ways are ways that can help you write amidst the myriad of things you have to do.
- When you are writing, write!:
Normally, I should have started with a “Make a schedule” tip but I want to trust we are already people who schedule our days or weeks perhaps. Why not? Because our school timetables and work timetables are schedules in their own way so we squeeze other stuff we have to do within the free times they allow.
Now at a particular time indicated on your schedule, you have dedicated that time to writing. So write. Stay away from any distractions as much as possible. Put your phone on airplane mode (switch it off if you can), don’t check your messages, don’t receive calls, don’t talk to that friend in favor of writing (be alone if you can but if not, let them know they can stick around because you need them around but that they shouldn’t distract you for a certain amount of time).
Simply stay focused.
Whatever else you have to do can wait till your writing time has passed.
- Use a goal buddy:
We are lucky to find ourselves around like minds in the groups we might find ourselves in. Team up with someone and schedule a regular check-in time to keep each other accountable for what you use that “writing time” for.
Be each other’s keeper. Which means don’t be afraid to be blunt and sincere to each other. Did one of you waste that writing time and the reason they gave wasn’t that much of a reason? Maybe instead of writing, they were asleep, searching for dating tips etc, tell them that that lost time could have been better used for what it was originally scheduled for. It might seem harsh now but trust me, they will thank you later for keeping them on track when they are listed NY’s best selling author or being given best poet or blogger of the year award.
- Reward yourself:
Some schools believe that this reward system to keep you productive is overrated because why should you have to lure yourself to doing something you claim you have passion in?
Well, I see it as highly effective because why not?
Life is life and you might end up not doing what you say you have passion in because you weren’t motivated enough. If it takes rewarding yourself after writing to keep you always writing, please do it!
The reward shouldn’t be anything big.
It can be,
* searching up the dating tip you didn’t have a chance to search up early on
* A Movie
* Time with your beloved
* A stroll around campus or wherever
* Or just sleep
Just anything. Tell your brain I’m going to write for this amount of time and when I’m done, this will be your reward then start writing.
But please, my last advice will be, don’t make all your life about writing. When you are not writing and blogging, get enough downtime. You might be a busy person (everyone is actually come to think of it). You’ve got assignments, chores, studies, work etc and so it’s easy to let your daily activities get in the way of your downtime.
Your free time is your free time, watching that movie for an hour of your 24 hours wouldn’t hurt…get time for friends…simply rest your mind. You can decide not to sleep because “you are not a celebrity yet” but please rest…relax some…gain your creative energy for your next writing time. Don’t be tempted to write on a time you have indicated “free”.
Article by let_alpha_write