5 time-wasting practices that writers must abandon

Stop squandering your most precious commodities—the minutes and hours you have each day to practice your craft. Here’s some guidance.

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I protect my writing time the way a mother bear guards her cubs.

I write first thing in the morning, and I refuse to check my email (or Facebook or Twitter or phone messages) until I’ve written at least 500 words.

This practice is allowing me to write another book while I maintain my regular roster of clients, manage a household of five and do significant volunteer work. I’m not bragging; I’m just saying it takes planning.

Here are five ways in which you’re probably mismanaging your own writing time:

1. You spend much of it with your fingers resting motionless on the keyboard, staring blankly into space.

This is not writing—it’s wasting time. You’re staring off into space for one of two reasons:

2. You don’t recognize how long writing is going to take.

I know I can write 500 words in roughly 30 minutes. This is extraordinarily valuable information for making quotes for clients and managing my own time. But that is writing time only. Depending on the type of writing, it might take me twice as long to edit.

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