Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction

A Step in the Write Direction
July 9, 2012

Thought for the Day:

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said He, “pour on him all we can.” (from “The Pulley,” George Herbert; 17th century English clergyman and poet)

Laugh for Today:
A father was cutting the lawn on his birthday when his teenage son came home. Seeing his father at work, he exclaimed, "Oh, Dad, you shouldn't have to mow the lawn on your birthday." Touched, the dad was about to turn the mower over to him when the son added, "You should wait until tomorrow!"

Challenge: The following link gives a list of 100 books you should read before you die. Although I read some of them years ago, I’m going to take the challenge and start at the top.

We develop and produce a wide variety of non-denominational Christian material for individual and church use. We publish devotionals for bulletins, children's coloring and activity books, and greeting cards. Pays $35 upon acceptance. Deadline July 31, 2012. (I got this information from the free writers newsletter Funds for Writers—a great one to subscribe to. Hope Clark also has newsletters for Young Writers and for Small Markets.)

Writer’s Tips: The next few weeks we’re going to pass on some hints on time management. (These are discussed in more detail in my book A Step in the Write Direction. By the way, if you know a young person interested in writing, a student edition of Step is also available with writing assignments throughout. Some adults even like this.)

12 Ways to Add More Hours to Your Writing Day

Someone once said, “Some self-employed persons work only half a day. It’s
up to them to decide which twelve hours it will be.” As writers, we are self-employed. However, many writers also work full-time at an outside job. They struggle to fit their writing around this job, along with home and family responsibilities.

If you find yourself complaining, “I don’t have time to write,” it may be that you don’t need more time; rather, that you make better use of the time you already have. How can you do this?

1. Keep Track of Your Time

T. Suzanne Eller tells of a time when she just couldn’t settle down and focus on a
writing project. Watching a favorite television program, she sensed God saying to her,
“You’re restless because you aren’t making good use of your time.” She decided to take
an honest look at her life and her schedule which, at that time, was overflowing with
three kids in college, speaking engagements, teaching a discipleship class for teens, and
volunteering at her church. God showed her that these activities weren’t the problems;
rather, it was the time stealers that had crept into her days.

When Eller looked closer at the flow of a typical day, she realized she operated at a
spastic level—writing for 30 minutes, playing computer games for 30 minutes, starting
a load of laundry, watching a half hour of television, then writing for another half hour.
Eller shared her dilemma with a friend who called the problem “hummingbird head
syndrome”—flitting from one activity to the next but accomplishing little.

After this discussion, Eller decided to tackle the situation head-on, identifying the
time stealers that caused her to squander precious moments. (Suzanne Eller. Used by permission)

Can you relate to Eller? If so, take one day and keep a minute-by-minute account
of your activities—from the time you arise till you drop into bed at night. Include even
minor things such as showering, brushing your teeth, and getting dressed. Also write
down time spent on such things as television, phone calls, computer games, answering
e-mails, and visiting social networks such as MySpace or Facebook.

After doing this for one or two days, you’ll get an idea of where you’re spending your
time. Then comes the hard part of deciding which of those activities you can spend less
time on or eliminate completely.

Have a good week writing (now that you’ll have more time to do it!).

Donna Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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