5 Textbook authoring time management tips

Good time management skills are crucial for authors. Manage your time well and you can maximize your efficiency, allowing you to meet or beat deadlines and still have time for other activities. Five successful textbook authors share the following time management tips:

  1. Prioritize writing and other work and life commitments. “Ask yourself: What’s most important? If family life ranks highest, then set aside writing in favor of spending time with loved ones. When you return to your desk, you’ll focus far more effectively and get more accomplished because you will not be distracted by thoughts of having sacrificed life experiences that are deeply important to you.” —Laura Berk, author of Exploring Lifespan Development

Q&A: Strategies for bringing your writing projects to completion, overcoming writer’s block, and managing your time

Q: “How do you bring your writing projects to completion? Do you write daily, in large blocks? What strategies do you use to overcome ‘writer’s block’? What have you done to improve your writing skills? How do you manage your time so that you find time for writing?”

A: Joan Carnosso RN, PhD(c), CCRN, Associate Professor, Nursing Department, Boise State University:

“I am new to authoring and writing for that matter. I am working on finishing my dissertation and it has been a struggle for me since I really never believed that I liked to write and I sure didn’t believe I was good at it. So I knew that I needed to do something to boost my confidence. I applied and got accepted to two workshops. One is Writing Across the Curriculum, and the other is the National Writing Project. Both of which take place in the summer.

Q&A: How to efficiently blend multiple writing drafts

Q: “I find that I am forever writing different versions of the same thing, leaving me with the problem of collating them, or blending them together. It also wastes time, of course, to duplicate effort like that. Can you share some ideas for a more efficient process?”

A: Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of Holistic Education, Department of Special Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato:

Q&A: Make journal revisions efficiently to get published faster

Q: “I probably will have to submit my article to several journals before it is accepted. Each of the ones I am likely to send it to has a different style for footnotes and references. How do I make revisions efficiently and not spend undue hours with trivia?”

A: Richard Hull, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy:

“There are excellent reference management software programs available. You type your references in once; subsequent revisions are often possible by simply giving the periodical’s name, or by providing a simple template that will, for example, cause first and middle names to be replaced by initials (followed or not followed by periods), journal volume numbers to be preceded or not preceded by “vol.”, the year of the publication to be placed just after the author’s name or after the volume number (surrounded or nor surrounded by parentheses), and so forth. End Note and Reference Manager are two common ones, and they are sometimes freely provided to faculty by their educational institution’s Instructional Technology centers.”