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TAA President’s Message: Love the one you’re with

Karen Morris, TAA President
Karen Morris, TAA President

As authors, we all have numerous jealous mistress equivalents. There are classes to teach, students to educate, family members to enjoy, committee work and  volunteer activities to address, and the list expands. So how do we make time for writing? And how do we keep the other demands from distracting us while we work on our latest book or article?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and I invite you to share your strategies. Here are a few suggestions to kick-off the exchange.

When I am overwhelmed by the number of duties that await me, I force myself to narrow my focus to just the next hour. This quells my preoccupation with the many tasks waiting in the wings, and frees me to concentrate on the project at hand. Crosby Stills and Nash were not just whistlin’ Dixie when they sang “Love the one you’re with”.

Setting realistic goals is another good tactic. Allocating too much time to writing in a day that holds lots of other demands, results inevitably in cutting short the writing time and leads to frustration. By assigning a more realistic time period, I can make progress and taste success.

Separating research and writing times is also productive. In the interim I marinate on the findings. When the designated writing time arrives, I am ready to hit the ground running.

Another trick is to reward myself with writing time when I complete non-favored tasks. This motivates me to work efficiently on the latter so that I can get to the former.

Occasional pruning of activities is also helpful.  Are there some that are dispensable? More a drain than a fulfilling pursuit?  If so, I cut them loose. When I make that assessment, one activity I will continue to value highly is the honor of serving as President of TAA, regardless of the time required. BTW, I am happy to report the state of our association is dynamic and progressive.

I look forward to learning about your time-capturing techniques. Please share them in the Comments section  below. In the meantime, here’s wishing you very productive writing times!