How to Set Your Writing Priorities

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by Christopher Slater

I would be completely shocked if I am alone in saying this, but I am way too busy! I mean completely, totally, don’t-know-how-I’ll-ever-get-caught-up busy. As a parent, a husband, a teacher, and a writer, I have found myself with far too many projects, requirements, requests, and desires to do all of them, or even most of them. Obviously, the things that I need to do for my family and my career have to come first. That leaves me with a very limited time for writing. So how do I prioritize what I write?

This first thing that some writers, especially first-time writers might be asking is, “You write on your book. What else is there?” I was one of those people not very long ago. You have a story that you want to get done with and that is all that you focus on. Well, you know the old saying about how ignorance is bliss. Once that story is done and out there, that is when you realize that there is other writing that you probably should have been doing. It’s usually too late to make up for at that point and you find yourself trying to catch up, and that just adds to your stress.

So what is this other writing? Well, you are reading one right now. A blog can be a good way to get your name out into the world. Other writing includes articles, short stories, or reviews of books and stories to try and get your name to be more recognizable. It makes perfect sense from a marketing standpoint. It doesn’t make sense from a time management standpoint. This is something that I am still trying to work out myself.

So what can an amateur writer do to prioritize their writing? Well, the first thing that you can do is look at where you are in your writing process. If things are trucking along easily with your story, keep at it. There is nothing worse than trying to pick up lost momentum. Get that story completed, but before you start submitting the story, start putting out some blog posts and reviews to get yourself established in the community.

This is something that I wish that I had done, and I am still playing catch-up because of it. If you are stuck in a part of your story, then make writing blogs, reviews, and articles your priority. It can help you press the “reset” button on your brain and come back to your story with a refreshed imagination and sense of purpose. Also, some of the interactions that you have through the blog or other online discussions can yield new ideas.

The second thing that you can look at is whether you can create some shortcuts in your various writings. For me, this has usually consisted of doing a video blog instead of a written blog. I do understand that there are some that prefer to be able to read the blog instead of watching it, and I apologize to those individuals, but I can put up a vlog more quickly and still share it on a number of platforms. So whatever shortcuts you can find, take advantage of them.

Finally, you have to look at what is most important to you. Some people want to make certain that their writing sells. For that, you will need to prioritize your marketing. Blogs, reviews, and social media will have to come first. Others simply want to write a story that they feel is good. That is when you make writing on the story a priority. Of course, most people want a combination of the two, and that is when I refer them to the previous two ideas I have provided. That’s where I find myself and where I imagine most writers are.

Finding a balance is a challenge. Then again, what isn’t? I hope to get to that balance soon. In the meantime, I’ll figure out my priorities for writing as I go along. What about you? What do you do to decide what to spend your time writing on?

 

 

 

 

Guest post contributed by Christopher Slater. Christopher is a Middle School History teacher in Tennessee. He’s also a husband, father, and author.


226373498_dacf4f263f_bNeed help with your book or novel? Check out the Writer’s Toolbox, a list of free, discounted, and overall helpful links to tools and benefits to help you with what you do best: writing.


 

 

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12 thoughts on “How to Set Your Writing Priorities”

  1. Enjoyed your take on this and it’s great advice. I have one book published and wish I had worked more on my platform first, but while I’m working out details for my second plot line I’m blogging, reading and still learning.

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  2. As an aspiring writer I have this problem times one million. I’ve started about three books and haven’t finished one. I start one and then I get a totally different idea in my head and I start another. I find this article quite helpful for myself and my writing hobby so I thank you! 🙂

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  3. I made a website because I’d never done it before, and I was curious to know why so many people did it. For a while, I tried to think of it as platform building for my future novels, but I realised that I’m much happier when I think of it as sharing my experiences as a writer.

    I think the best thing about posting your ideas online is the interaction you get with other people. When I try to share writing advice, people give back advice of their own. Although I don’t always agree with or take the advice I get, I still think I’m better off for having the opportunity to talk to fellow writers. It makes me feel grounded.

    The short story: I try to write both my novel and on my website regularly. They’re both important.

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  4. That’s exactly what happened to me last year. I finished a short book and then I started my blog. But, then I have to do some research regarding the publishing of my book and how to handle pictures but I haven’t put in that time. So, almost going on two years, I have a finished product that has yet to be polished and marketed and a blog that started with daily posts, but in the middle of the following year, I decided to post every other day and sometimes every day if it’s a series I wanted to get out there.

    It is a challenge in prioritizing the writing if one is starting out and there really is no one there to say hey you’ve got a contract to fulfill.

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