Meet Writer Lorraine Reguly Who Shares As My Guest – ‘How to Optimize Our Writing Time.’

Welcome Writers, Authors, and Bloggers

Please meet my friend Lorraine Reguly who like me wears many literary hats. Actually, funny story, and don’t know if Lorraine will remember this as it HOW we first met.  When I first set up my recovery blog here on WordPress, I had NO IDEA what I was doing as I wrote my very first blog post. Lorraine came and gave it read.  She then was kind enough to leave me a comment about how I wasn’t using correct spacing and paragraphing. Now, at first, I felt embarrassed, which then lead to me thinking, what the hell I am doing!!? Lol.  Which lead me to, how dare her! Doesn’t she know I am not a writer? And my goodness! How dare she leave me such a rude comment? LOL!!

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Well, if my first blogging and writing experience didn’t happen like this? I would not be writing today!  Yes, I got over myself after and knew she was only trying to help guide me. We connected together all over social media and I have been learning from her ever since! So, thank you, Lorraine, for making me better at all that I do today. You know I love you to pieces! So, I was on Facebook and my dear friend and Author, Max Ivy., Jr. happened to reshare an article Lorraine had up on her site that is so informative I needed and asked her permission to share it with all of you. I thank her for doing so!

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How to Optimize Your Writing Time to Achieve Your Writing Goals

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There are 6 things you can do to optimize your writing time so you can achieve your writing goals:

1: Determine your “best” time.

2: Determine your realistic writing time.

3: Determine the days you will write.

4: Make writing a priority.

5: Write during your spare pockets of time.

6: Optimize your writing time by getting help and outsourcing tasks/chores.

Now, let’s look at each of these in-depth.

NOTE: Two different planners are available to you in this post (for FREE)!

 

1: Determine your “best” time

The first thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to determine your best writing time. You can determine the best time to write if you know your body’s rhythms.

Do you write best in the morning, afternoon, or night?

When do you have the most energy? Write during that time!

A lot of people get tired in the late afternoon, but after they get their second wind, they are more energetic. When do you get your second wind? Write right after that!

Do you have more time on weekends? Write on weekends!

Do you exercise and eat healthily? Once you consider your diet and exercise habits, you can improve your energy levels. Some people feel more energetic when they drink caffeine (found in coffee, tea, and most sodas), while others find they are more energetic when they consume more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and avoid sugar. Most people also function better when they exercise every day.

If you have a hard time finding your peak writing time, do some self-experiments. Write in the morning. Write in the afternoon. Then write at night. See what times you enjoy best, and see when you are most productive. Write during those times!

2: Determine your realistic writing time

The second thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to determine your realistic writing time. By this, I mean how long you can actually write for.

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of writing after a while. I certainly can’t sit and write for hours on end! I can write for only an hour or so before I get bored or tired of the task.

(Even when I’m editing, I only edit for two hours at a time, at most!)

By determining your real writing time, you will be able to schedule the times you write. By doing this, you will become more realistic with your goals, too. And when you are writing, you will simply write, because you know that, after an hour passes, you can move on to doing something else!

I like this concept because I also apply it to exercising. I hate the moments leading up to it and find it hard to motivate myself to exercise. But once I am actually doing that task, I know it’s not going to last forever. I know that it will soon come to an end! I can then force myself to finish my 30 minutes easily. Also, I always feel great afterward, so that is another added benefit!

3: Determine the days you will write

The third is, we all have busy schedules and often make the excuse that we can’t find the time to write.  So how can you find time to do your best writing, even when you’re busy?

Make a schedule!
You need to do this to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals. You can use this FREE PLANNER to help you. This planner is specifically tailored toward bloggers.

The other planner (the downloadable one) is for every writer to use.

Alternatively, you can use this planner. It’s also free and requires you to sign up to my email list but it’s a much better planner!!!

Look at your weekly routine. It is probably not feasible for you to plan to write every day. But if you know that you can write on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7 and 9 p.m., then you should plan to write on those days.

Maybe Sunday is a good day for you to write. If you work a full-time job from Monday to Friday and run errands on Saturday, then that leaves Sunday as the best day for you to write.

You don’t need to write every day. Even writing just one day a week (and being faithful to that schedule) will bring you closer and closer to reaching your writing goal!


Think about it.

In one year, there are 52 weeks. That means there are 52 Sundays for you two write. If you spend one hour each Sunday writing and write (on average) 1000-2000 words each Sunday, you will have written a full-length novel within a year!

Any writing goal is easy to achieve if you look at the big picture and then break your goal down into small steps that are easily achievable!

4: Make writing a priority

The fourth thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to make writing a priority.

You will need to make sacrifices in order to reach your goals. That is just a fact of life if you want to be successful!

By making writing a priority, you will have to sacrifice some of the time you spend elsewhere. This might mean giving up an hour of TV time each night. It might mean waking up an hour earlier. Or it might mean hiring someone to come in once a week to clean the house, thus allowing that time to focus on your writing goals.  Whatever you do, make sure you find a good work-life balance!

5: Write during your spare pockets of time

The fifth thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to write during your spare pockets of time.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Make the most of the time you have available to you!

Maybe you have 20 minutes to spare in the morning while the kids are getting dressed. Maybe you can write during the time it takes to cook a casserole in the oven. Maybe you can use that 30 minutes in the evening while your child is bathing to get some writing done.


“The key is to take advantage of every opportunity you have to write!”  ~Lorraine


Another example is to write while waiting for an appointment (like when you’re at the doctor’s office). Just simply pull out your phone and write in a Google Doc. I have this app on my phone (it’s one of the many apps I have to make my life easier), and I have set so that writing offline is enabled. That way, I don’t even need Internet access to write!

I have taken this one step further by enabling the speech-to-text function on my phone. I don’t need to fiddle with tiny keyboard buttons on my phone to write. I can simply say what it is that I want to write, and the speech-to-text function will record what I’m saying!

It also doesn’t matter if other people are around because this feature is set to record the sound of my voice, not everyone else’s. It is a very neat way to write, and I love it. I’ve been using this feature for over a year now, and I even use it to record emails and Facebook comments (when I am checking my Facebook notifications from my phone).

I highly recommend writing using the speech-to-text function. I actually learned about this feature from my blind author friend, Maxwell Ivy Jr. ~ The Blind Blogger & Life Coach.

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6: Optimize your writing time by getting help

The sixth and final thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to get help.

Bloggers automate their scheduling. Businesses hire employees to work for them. You can apply similar principles to your own life by outsourcing some of your weekly tasks.

For example, can you hire someone to clean your house, do your laundry, or cook for you once a week? Can you get your groceries delivered so you can save time on grocery shopping?

What can you do to free up more time for you to write?

Can you automate your bill-paying practices with online banking?

If you think about every task you have to do (especially ones you don’t enjoy doing), perhaps you can brainstorm some ways for you to reduce your workload so you have more writing time.

You don’t always have to look at solutions that cost money, either. Maybe you have a family member or a friend (or both) who is willing to help you out once a week, for free. If you take the time to explain to them how important it is for you to find some uninterrupted writing time, they will be more likely to help you.

Maybe the solution is as simple as asking for a little help. As my good friend Max Ivey says, “If you don’t ask, they can’t say YES!” He is a Life Coach after all and just may be of help!

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Image of Max's saying
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(Note: This saying is so popular that Max even had T-shirts made that say this! You can order yours by following the links from his page that advertises them.)


Your Turn!

Do you know your peak energy time? How long is your realistic writing time?

How can you optimize your time more effectively? Share your experiences in the comments!

Also, tell us what other things have helped you become a more productive writer!

Let’s learn from each other!  ~ Lorraine ~

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About Lorraine Reguly:

Lorraine Reguly is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger who provides stellar services at superb rates. Lorraine is a reliable, highly skilled, Canadian-based freelance writer, editor, and blogger who has written for many top blogs online. (Check out her portfolio.)  

She has also written several articles and letters, which have been published in local papers in Thunder Bay, Ontario, including The Argus, Lakehead University’s newspaper. These particular articles focus on her life experiences, which have been vast.  Lorraine has many hobbies, loves to read, and has a passion for the English language.  She prides herself to a high standard and is a perfectionist! Connect with on social media.    TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, or Google+.

( Cat knows this first hand! Lol! ) Thank You, Lorraine, for writing and letting me share this informative POST!  ~Catherine Lyon

 

 

Holiday Guest Post ~ 9 Ways to Write Better By JayDee of Author Wall & Being Author Book Promo…

writing

WRITERS? Are you happy with your way of writing? Do you stick to a certain style, format, or outline? Well, today my friend Jay explains how to write better in this special “Writers Spotlight.” He owns and runs Being Author an Author Promotion and Writer Blog and the new Free Book Promo site

9 Ways to Write Better:

We are all writers now. Whether you write books, blog posts, emails, tweets, or text messages, you are a writer. No matter your preferred medium, here are a few tips to help you write more effectively:

Treat text messages like prose. Before hitting the send button, look over your text: check spelling, content, punctuation. Ask yourself: What am I attempting to communicate? What am I attempting to express? Be more deliberate with your most common form of casual writing, and you’ll automatically become more deliberate in other mediums.

Words are tools. Expand your vocabulary to make your writing more precise. There’s no need to use a ten-dollar word when a ten-cent word will suffice, but having more tools in your toolbox will allow you to select the most appropriate tool for the job. Because sometimes you need an ax, sometimes you need a scalpel. So pick one new word each day, and then use it at least 21 times in your conversations with others that day. The most useful words will stick, and your vocabulary will expand over time.

Do it daily. If you want to improve your writing, write every day—make it a daily habit. Writing is a muscle: if you don’t use it, you lose it. For me, the best way to guarantee consistent writing was to start a blog.

Punctuation. Is. Pace. To add variety, velocity, and cadence to your writing, play around with different punctuation: periods, commas, em dashes, colons, semicolons. Short sentences communicate tension. Longer run-on sentences, on the other hand, help establish a frantic, hurried rhythm—a feeling that the pace is picking up as the words tumble onto the page.

Avoid throat-clearing. Blogs, books, and social media posts are littered with unnecessary intros, solipsistic digressions, and avoidable drivel. Ditch the nonsense and state your points. When in doubt, delete your first two paragraphs and see whether the writing improves.

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Don’t waste the reader’s time. Our time and our attention are two of our most precious resources. It is selfish to force a reader to spend fifteen minutes reading something you could’ve and should’ve communicated in 90 seconds. If you want to earn your reader’s trust, don’t waste her time.

30% composition, 70% editing. For every hour you spend writing, spend three hours editing, shaping your work into something more concise, more powerful—more beautiful. Writing truly is rewriting.

Narrative urgency. Every sentence must serve a purpose: Your first sentence must make the reader want to read the second. The second sentence must propel the reader to the third. So forth and so on until the very end. If a sentence doesn’t move the narrative forward—if it doesn’t make the writing more urgent—then it must hit the cutting-room floor, no matter how clever or precious it seems.

Avoid too many adverbs. A sure sign of amateur writing is the overuse of adverbs, especially -ly adverbs. A woman in a story isn’t incredibly pretty—she’s beautiful; the sky isn’t very blue—it’s azure. Find the right words to avoid using adverbs as crutches.

24174535_1675190495878642_1151751025571020341_n  Author Wall Free Book Promo

About Author Wall 

Most Authors spend a lot of money on Book promotion but they don’t get expected results. To solve this issue we have built Author wall… JayDee 

 

Need Help As A Writer? Check Out “Be A Best Seller”

Hello Writers, Readers, and Authors,

What is one of my favorite places to visit for all things writing?
Be A Best Seller of course!
http://www.beabestseller.com/

Be A Best Seller
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It is a great place for writers and here is what they send out free every Monday when you sign up. Loads of writing tips and advice to be a best-selling author! I was a featured ‘Author’ a couple months ago through their, “Make It Happen” voice matters.
When you join, you get an awesome free interview by Jennifer of Oprah’s sweetie, ‘Stedman Graham’ that’s fantastic. They send out a newsletter and here is a little of what’s going on this Monday/week on Be A Best Seller!

Issue #100, BAB, Monday, March 30, 2015
Voice Matters. Dare To Share Yours.  Impact the World.

Hello Catherine,

Today is a special day for Be A Bestseller. Today marks the 100th issue of the inbox magazine, and in today’s Big Idea, Michaela poses a 100 Day Writing Challenge to anyone who’s game and wants to show that they truly are makin’ it happen with their writing career. 

 Also in this issue…

You’ll learn about a top rated book on Amazon that’s bursting with juicy tips and ideas to help you sell more books. Plus, you’ll get to meet this week’s Makin’ It Happen author Chris Kennedy, a fiction writer who’s also an elementary school principal. 

I hope this week’s issue ignites a spark in you to go from start to finish with a brand new publication. And as always, thank you for being a BAB subscriber!

 Write on,


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What Is The Driving Force That Made You Want To Become A Writer?  


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Celebrating 100 Issues With A 100 Days Writing Challenge!

 By Michaela Zanello

Today marks the 100th edition of the Be A Bestseller Inbox Magazine—time to break out the bubbly! It’s been a fabulous and insightful journey thus far, and I am proud to have joined Jen early in the process as she continues to build this wonderful community of writers, authors, and entrepreneurs.

Over the past 100 issues, we’ve met some amazing authors, some of whom are award winners, others have started their own publishing companies, and others still are using their unique voices to elevate their author brands and make a difference in the world.

We have also featured numerous great products and resources and had several talented writers inform and inspire us with their guest posts—writers including Dr. Morgan Giddings, Sara Hathaway, Sandra Beckwith, Dennis De Rose, Angela B. Chrysler, and Ara Grigorian.

And from pen names to podcasts, we have covered a whole slew of interesting topics in our Big Ideas.

Today, in honor of Be A Bestseller’s 100th issue, I am posing a writing challenge, one which involves starting a book from scratch and completing it along with a marketing plan in 100 days.

Meaning by June 28, 2015—100 days from today—anyone who chooses to participate will have a brand new book written and published; plus, they will have a marketing plan ready to implement. And the book can be any genre—fiction, non-fiction, memoir, a children’s book, or a collection of poems or essays.

What do you think, are you game?

100 Days Writing Challenge

The challenge will largely be up to your own scheduling and creativity. But here are a few basic tips and suggestions to get you on the right path.

What to Write

Your brain may already be teeming with brilliant ideas for what you want your book to be about. But if “On your mark, get set, WRITE!” doesn’t exactly get your creativity charging from the gates, here are 3 writing prompts you can use to help you get inspired.

Prompt #1: Location, location, location

Start by picking a scene, any scene—it could even be the room from where you are writing—and simply describe it in as much detail as possible. Be sure to include elements that capture the mood and tone as well.

Prompt #2: T.V. time

As you are watching television, take note of any interesting commercials. Then, craft a short work of fiction based on the commercial’s character dynamics and narrative. Choose one of the commercial’s characters and write from his or her perspective.

Prompt #3: Café eavesdropping

Go and sit in a nearby coffee shop. Write down everything you see, smell, and hear—from the busy barista, to the scent of java in the air, to the bits and pieces of dialogue you overhear—write it all down and try to pick up on patterns and anything that surprises you.

Character Development and Outlining

After you’ve got an idea of what you want your story to be about, it’s time to flesh your characters out and create an outline.

Basically, you want to learn as much as possible about your characters—from what they look like, to what their hopes, dreams, goals, and biggest fears entail.

TIP: Whenever I’m working on character development, I like to have my characters take the Myers-Briggs Personality Profiling test. The test helps discern things like how my characters view the world, how they interact with other people, and what their approach to problem-solving would be.

Next, it’s time to create an outline, which can eventually turn into your book’s table of contents. Break up your book into chapters and write a brief description of what is going to happen in each chapter.

TIP: You should know what your book’s ending is going to be before you start to write, because knowing your final destination makes it less likely to veer off course.

Make a Schedule

The challenge is set for 100 days, so it’s a good idea to reverse engineer that timeline. Depending on how long you expect your book to be, figure out how many days or weeks you have to write each chapter. For example, if you expect your book to have 10 chapters, you would have 10 days to write each chapter.

NOTE:  You will also need to factor in time for editing, a final read through, getting your book’s cover designed, and creating an overview of your marketing plan.

Make a schedule that works for you, but hold yourself accountable. If you set a goal to write one chapter a week, then hold yourself to it. Check out the Write or Die app to help make sure you follow through on your goals.

No excuses allowed. You’re makin’ it happen.

So, what do you say, are you going to take the 100 Days Writing Challenge? Let us know on the Be A Bestseller Facebook fan page and definitely give us a shout on June 28th too, once you’ve finished your book! We’ll check in with you closer to then. 😉

Happy 100th, BAB! And remember: Voice mattes. Dare to share yours. Impact the world.

Your “Write” Resource!

 

Sell More Books!

Written by Karen Hodges Miller, Sell Your Book! 100 Tips and Tactics was voted one of Amazon’s best books of the year in 2014. So you know it’s good stuff.

Jam-packed with marketing ideas and promotional tactics to help you sell more books, Sell Your Book! is an easy read that covers a variety of topics, including marketing on Amazon, effectively working with book distributors, and using social media to network.

Plus, in addition to the 100 tips and techniques that Karen goes over, Sell Your Book! It also has interviews with PR specialists, book marketing experts, and bookstore owners.
Get the inside scoop and fresh ideas to rev up your book marketing strategies!
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Chris Kennedy
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This week’s Makin’ It Happen author is bestselling science fiction/fantasy writer and self-publishing guru Chris Kennedy.

A fiction writer and elementary school principal turned publisher, Chris teaches students and aspiring authors how to become accomplished writers by honing their skills, inspiring their creative processes, and sharing his insider’s perspective on the world of self-publishing. 

Chris traveled a non-traditional path to becoming an author, proving there is no “right” way to get there. A naval officer for 20 years and then an elementary school principal for another 5 years, Chris finally tried his hand at writing while working as an instructional systems designer for the U.S. Navy.

Unable to find an agent to take him on, he chose to self-publish his first book Red Tide: The Chinese Invasion of Seattle, and he hasn’t looked back since.

To date, Chris has written 6 fiction novels. His first 2 books were the military fiction duology called Red Tide: The Chinese Invasion of Seattle and Occupied Seattle, which he followed with “The Theogony” science fiction trilogy: Janissaries, When the Gods Aren’t Gods, and Terra Stands Alone. His sixth novel is Can’t Look Back, which is the first installment of a new, epic fantasy trilogy.

Chris used the experience he gained publishing these books to write his non-fiction book Self-Publishing for Profit: How to Get the Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores.

Additionally, after having seen the latest version of the Nation’s Report Card, which indicated that only 27% of American 8th and 12th grade students can write at a level of “proficient” or better, Chris developed a program called “Total Engagement: Giving Young Authors a Voice,” which he is now working with schools to implement.

Chris’ program brings published authors into schools as a way of encouraging students to write more and sharpening their literacy skills. By developing and publishing classroom anthologies, Chris gets students excited about writing by enabling them to include “published author” on their college applications.

You can earn more about Chris and his work at:

http://chriskennedypublishing.com, where you can get on his mailing list or become a character in a future book.

You can also “Like” him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chriskennedypublishing.biz or follow him on Twitter at @ChrisKennedy110.

So there you have it! A great informational newsletter from, Be a Best Seller ~ Voice Matters ~ Make it Happen. . .
Make sure you go visit all the links for helpful info, and sign up today and you’ll receive some awesome writing tips and information to make you the Writer You Can BE!

Until next time friends,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Book Promoter 🙂