My guest today is Ann Charles. She writes part-time while working full-time and raising her family. I asked Ann how she organizes her time. This is what she shared with me:
"Per day, that depends, but I probably average the following per week:
Writing--I write one book a year currently, from Jan to June, and devote a good 20 hours a week to writing during that time.
Editing--Probably 10 hours editing per week during that Jan to June timeframe.
Networking--About 4 hours a week networking from Jan to June. From July to December (when I'm wearing my marketing/promo hat), probably more like 10 hours a week in networking-related things.
Marketing--Again, from Jan to June, maybe 3-4 hours; from July to Dec, more like 20-30 hours a week.
Queries--For the past few years, I have had an agent so I haven't spent much time at all querying.
Research--About 3 hours a week while writing my books.
"I determine how much time I devote to them based on how much time I can manage to round up in between work, kids, and my husband and life."
I also asked Ann what she thinks it means to be an organized writer.
"It seems like part of being an organized writer has to be a character trait. I'm a big-time right-brain pantser when it comes to plotting and writing my books, but when it comes to marketing/promo and goal setting, I'm disgustingly organized and left-brained. I have a five-year plan, a career plan, yearly goals, monthly goals, and weekly goals; and I keep a post-it note of "to dos" next to my keyboard that I update almost daily. I didn't always used to be this organized when it came to non-writing writing-related tasks, but I learned a couple of years ago that I work best when I have written goals to meet. Also, the more I learned and dabbled in the marketing and promo side of writing, the more messy my desk and files became. Soon, I was forced to be organized or risk losing crucial information or missing important meetings/deadlines.
"So, for me, it seems to be partly my character trait (I am a Virgo, after all) to be organized, but it's also a learned trait after wading deeper into the fiction-writing business.
"How do you get to the point of being an organized writer? Since writers these days have to wear three hats (writing hat, promo/marketing hat, socializing hat), it seems the business forces you to become more organized to succeed. OR you can just hire an assistant and be as messy as you like."
Ann, thanks for stopping by today and helping me to understand more about organizing the writing life.