Blog Revisit: Time Is of the Essence

Originally posted on July 8, 2014.  Knew I wrote about this once before.

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One thing we always wish we had is more time.  In the day, in the week, in the year, in life, etc.  This runs amazingly true with authors.  This is why you see so many people using word goals or chapters per week.  We decide on our progress by the speed that we get through a product.  Slow and steady can be good, but there is a sense of urgency for the career author.  For traditionally published, you have deadlines.  For indie authors, you have a fear of fading away if you take too long.  Look at your authors who release a 99 cent novella every month and you can find that time is a part of the equation.

I’ve gone on about the distractions in my life a lot and received a lot of suggestions.  Also, people tend to point at the toddler as the main distraction.  We seem to think kids are the root cause of author parents, but that’s another story.  Something I’ve noticed is that nearly every writer is in a unique situation.  Some are parents with great support and have all the time in the world.  Retirees, 9-5ers, single parents, college students, and the list can keep going on.  Each person has different time management methods and mentalities for handling these distractions.  We’re not all the same, so you have to find a way to get the time you need or accept delays.  Though some delays are more acceptable than others, but I digress.

One important point about time and writing is that you shouldn’t rush.  Go at the speed that the story evolves and flows from you.  Too fast means you have a higher risk of making continuity mistakes or simply writing a bad story.  Never fear to take a break for research on something.  For example, I took 30 minutes off from writing Book 7 to find out what peacocks eat and how well they are at flying.  Answer: they will eat snakes and not the most graceful things.  This is part of the process of writing and it’s a good sacrifice of writing time.

On the other end of the spectrum, you could take too much time at one stage.  There are times where you simply have to go.  Moving on from idea to outline to first draft to edits to publish is scary.  Each stage has authors stuck in a quest for perfection, which can last decades.  We all want to write the best, but getting that first draft down will be a boon of confidence and open the flood gates.  Same with hitting that publish button.  Once you do it, the fear dissipates and you realize you’re in debut mode.  So, try very hard not to fall into the trap of thinking you have all the time in the world.  It is a finite resource and very precious.

Are there any tricks to making time work for you?  Yes, but it depends on your situation.  I have a lot to contend with in this house.  Some days are better than others, so I’ve had to utilize late nights, begging, screaming for quiet, zoning out on music, and hiding in the room when the chaos is high.  Other people I know rarely have distractions or are more hard-pressed than me.  Location can factor into it if you don’t have an office/desk, but you just have to try whatever you can think of to get that writing time.  Though I hear accepting writing breaks is a method.  I haven’t willingly tried it due to my ‘3 day of no writing depressions’, but if you’re not insane like me then give it a shot.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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36 Responses to Blog Revisit: Time Is of the Essence

  1. L. Marie says:

    This post will always be relevant, since we’re always waging a war against time. I slept through my alarm so I woke up an hour late. Now I’m frantically rushing around. I do the same thing with my manuscript. If I feel I’m not being productive enough, I’ll rush a scene, instead of taking my time with it. I’ve discovered several continuity mistakes that way and have later had to delete whole scenes.


    • I’ve done that rush. My editor actually pinpoints where I’m trying to write while people are around me. She’s pretty good at that. As for today, I got stuff done early and made room for editing. Now I have the kid at home because his asthma was causing trouble and it’s gym day. Oh well.


  2. Elle Knowles says:

    Reblogged this on Finding Myself Through Writing and commented:
    Charles is right. Everyone is different and distractions from writing that bother some may not bother others. Time is of the essence. Do not delay and get that book written and published! I had to lose all my work on my sequel to get at a place now where I really want to be. Great advice here Charles! ~Elle


  3. Pingback: Blog Revisit: Time Is of the Essence | Finding Myself Through Writing

  4. I have a lot of time – time I can’t use because the brain doesn’t work. I try to get my writing done in a couple of hours in the morning when, but judicious use of everything, I can get a period of focus.

    You need more than time.


  5. Ah, the elusive time… I’m resigned to the realization that no matter what I do it will still not be enough, so all I can do is pace myself, make sure I rest enough and keep hydrated 😀


  6. Time is always a challenge. I finished my fourth book initial edit so I decided to fix the screened porch. That’s done so back to edits.


  7. BTW are all your comments going into moderation or are you tired of hearing mine.


  8. I really enjoyed reading this Charles and I will take all this advice to heart.


  9. M T McGuire says:

    There’s a brilliant post on Chuck Wendig’s blog about this in which he says, basically, it takes as long as it takes and you will know when it is done. It took me 13 years to write my first book but I was learning how. Now they take about 18 months each but they are LONG. 🙂 however, now that I have a completed series out there I feel a bit less of that urgency and I’m more content to just write. Interestingly, I have a 6 year old and a lot more time than I had before… Although I now have to do all the stuff I didn’t do before because I was writing the series…. And I manage my time very badly. 🙂 so I’m trying to improve on that aspect as well as my writing.




  10. julz says:

    hi Charles – got here thro’ Elle’s reblog – not currently a writer – maybe – but just too busy doing nothing just now – smile

    What I wanted to ask was – who did the clock? I love it – where did you get it from?


    • I found the clock during a Yahoo image search a while back. Been so long that I don’t remember what phrase I used to find it.

      Amazing how doing nothing can be so busy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • julz says:

        thanks anyway – smile – if I want to use it I can always copy it of your post – doing nothing – but the A-Z challenge that’s taking up more time than I believed writing a daily post ever could – if you want to see what doing nothing is – have a look at!


      • Thanks. I’ve been seeing a lot of the A-Z challenge stuff. Impressed at everyone getting through that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • julz says:

        its a real slog – tho’ quite interesting to HAVE to find something to talk about – have done research on stuff I hadn’t thought of doing!

        However, I will NEVER do it again – smile
        thanks for clicking the follow button – will reciprocate…am off site at the moment, so it won’t appear just yet!


      • Thanks. Good luck finishing the challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

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