Thursday, 23 September 2021

T The Pro-Active Author

Three Ways to Redeem Time

Everyone has the same time constraints. Years ago I noticed some people who accomplished more than others. They were prolific writers in several different areas such as blogs, magazine and books. One of the ways to accomplish more is to redeem the time. I want to give you three different ways to accomplish more in your writing life.

1. Look for wasted time and redeem it

      Assessment and evaluation of when you are wasting time is the first step. Maybe you get in your car and immediately turn on your radio listening to music or talk radio. Instead could you be listening to a book or some how-to write information? Make a written notice of specific times when you are wasting it and not making good use of it. Admittedly some times it is helpful to have no agenda and waste time but if you do it day after day, then that is time to be redeemed. Are you watching cat videos on YouTube or playing Solitaire or some other computer game? Could this time be invested in your writing or learning about writing?

For example, when I walk for exercise, I've been listening to an audio book on my iPhone. I enjoy audio books and recently learned about two services through my local library. I signed up to Hoopla with my library card and accessed some audio books. Then a librarian told me our library has a greater selection through Overdrive. I downloaded the Overdrive phone app and signed up through my library card. Just like a regular book, you can check out the audio book for a period of days and download the full book on your phone.

Now when I walk, I've been listening to more of the same audio book. For my first Overdrive book, I selectedThis is the Story of A Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett.  I've read about this novelist and bookseller but never read any of her books. This is the Story of A Happy Marriage is nonfiction but filled with relevant and fascinating writing information. As I exercise, I'm listening to Patchett read her book and gaining more insight into the writing world.  I tell this story to give you ideas how to redeem your own time.

Bestselling novelist James Scott Bell has a short yetvaluable video about how to snatch time. I recommend it as another resource. 

2. Set a writing goal and stick with it

This morning a young novelist asked if he has a deadline. I answered there is no deadline for submitting a book. AtMorgan James, we receive submissions daily from authors around the world. As a writer, you have to set your own deadlines and writing schedule. Determine that you will write ____ words a day or a week. Then stay with this goal and you will redeem the time and increase your amount of writing. Make sure you set something that you can achieve but the regular writing will help you.

3. Take consistent action

Take a few minutes and dream about what you want to accomplish in the next month. Maybe it is to be a better writer. Maybe it is to be published in more magazines. Maybe it is to speak more.Maybe it is to sell more books. Each person's goal is different but the person who accomplishes ittakes consistent action. Small steps get it done. You need to determine to make consistent progress toward your goal.

I believe you can do it. Why? Because I've been doing it for years. Let me know in the comments how it is working for you to redeem time.

Columnist: Terry Whalin


W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former  magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. To help writers, he has created 12-lesson online course called Write A Book Proposal. His website is located at:

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