Ten tips I learnt from reading I Don’t Have Time to Write

I Don't Have Time to Write by Nadine Hill front coverThe title of this book instantly grabbed me when I spotted it on Amazon a few months ago. I Don’t Have Time to Write – or at least enough time – is a phrase that’s constantly popping into my head, if not being uttered out loud at least a few times a week. Luckily my clever husband checked my Amazon Wishlist and the book turned up among my presents on Christmas Day. It’s a very quick and worthwhile read but if you’re even more strapped for time then I am then just take a look below at the top ten things I took away from it.

I Don’t Have Time to Write is written by mum-of-two Nadine Hill, who’s also a business owner, writer, blogger and speaker – you can see why she’s so busy! As I said, it’s a whizz to read and as a result can feel a bit rushed in places. But that’s partly the point. The book is written using the author’s time-efficient ways of working. It shows that a busy working mum can put the advice given into practice. It’s clearly not meant to be War and Peace. What it does do is offer useful tips and ideas and, if you want added depth, you can go away and build on these.

The book is aimed at all writers but includes separate chapters for bloggers and infopreneurs.

So here are the top time-taming tips I will be focusing on:

Ten tips learnt from I Don't Have Time to Write

1. Always have an end goal in sight.

It’s pretty hard to move forward without knowing where you want to get! Knowing why you are writing – whatever that might be – gives you focus and purpose.

2. Just get started! Get something written down. Create the skeleton and you can flesh it out later.

On a bad day, I can be a big procrastinator but as Nadine says: “It doesn’t matter where you decide to start first, start somewhere and it becomes easier to see where the next logical place is.” It’s true and I do this all the time now – getting the basics of a post written down first then coming back later to finesse.

3. Be careful with multitasking.

Save the juggling act for the low level tasks you can do without thinking, like basic household chores. Don’t fry your brain trying to concentrate on too many different things at once, you won’t do the big stuff as well as you could and it takes so much longer to get anything finished. This may mean you need to prioritise how much you take on.

4. Keep day-to-day life as organised as possible.

Sometimes easier said than done, I know, but by streamlining the everyday stuff you can create extra ‘pockets of time that are spare’. It’s common sense I suppose. Super-organised Nadine suggests simple things like batching tasks together to avoid duplicating effort, using  a diary and to-do list (aha!) to keep track of it all and spending ten minutes at night planning and getting stuff ready for the following day.

5. Consider batch writing posts.

Initially this felt a bit contrived but actually it makes sense to take advantage when your creative juices are in full flow and get several posts written at once. It takes the pressure off and these can then be scheduled, meaning if events conspire to prevent you from writing further posts – and a busy mum they often do – you’ve still got something to publish.

6. Capture ideas as they happen.

Keep a notebook (I have one by my bed for midnight flashes of inspiration), save them on your phone, email yourself if you’re at work, try using Microsoft One Note or a similar programme or app on your tablet or laptop. I do all of these. I can vouch for it saving a lot of time (and mental torment) later on when you can’t quite think what that earlier brainwave was! Store up all your ideas then you’ll never be stuck for a post.

7. Keep a rolling list for blogger outreach and prioritise.

“Blogging is a marathon!” says Nadine and unlike a book there is no natural end to a blog. “It evolves, transforms, grows and develops”. As any blogger will know, they also need a lot of nurturing, promotion and outreach. This all takes time – so big blogger pats on the back all round! I always regret that I’m not able to do as much of this as I’d like. At the same time, when I’m online I often find myself distracted by the first thing I see and head off in all kinds of directions (Twitter can be a killer for this!), meaning I run out of time to look at and engage with those blogs that are actually most important to me. So I’m going to give Nadine’s suggestion of a rolling weekly list a go and make sure I spend more time regularly connecting with my favourite sites.

8. Don’t waste time overthinking post comments.

I used to do this a lot before realising it’s always better to go with my gut instinct, that initial response, rather than trying to be too witty or clever. After all it’s meant to be a natural online conversation, not a rehearsed speech. As Nadine suggests, if you have that much to say you’d be better off creating a new post and linking back to the original. Not wasting time also creates more time to visit other blogs, make more comments and generally spread the blog love!

9. If something is hard to write it may well be hard to read too.

So take a break from it. If it’s still not working for you then it’s probably not the right approach or subject matter in the first place so move on. Simple.

10. Have realistic expectations of yourself.

An obvious one but always worth remembering. I often compare myself to others and lament the fact that I’m not the kind of blogger who can turn out several posts a day, or even just one every day. At the moment, with my other commitments, I simply don’t have the time. I’m not superwoman, so I need to learn to relax and recognise the good stuff I can get done. The end!

You can visit Nadine’s blog Juggle Mum and buy I Don’t Have Time to Write (paperback or Kindle) here on Amazon.

And if you’ve got any other tips that help you to manage your blogging time I’d love to know what they are.

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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Categories: Blogging, Reviews, Things I've learnt..., Working mum | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Ten tips I learnt from reading I Don’t Have Time to Write

  1. Hi
    I’m so glad that the book re-affirmed many of the things you were doing. You hit the nail on the head when you said that the book isn’t War and Peace! It was never meant to be. I wanted to put down all of the things I’d learned doing my daily juggle and tips on how to get a book written amidst a busy life. The main thing I noticed after my first book was published, was that people were continually saying to me “I’d love to write a book but I just don’t have time!” This is where my second book came from!
    Thank you for your honest critique and I’m delighted that the book has spoken to you, motivating you to write this post.
    If the book has motivated a writer then it has served its purpose and that makes me happy!
    Also, kudos on your husband- what a clever bloke, noticing your wish-list!!
    All the best
    Nadine

    • Hi Nadine,

      I’m thrilled you’ve left a comment! Thank you. It’s rare that I get through any book at the moment so the fact that yours was so quick and easy to read was a huge help for me. My Dad also had a look at Christmas and was quickly hooked, although as he’s now retired I’m not sure how he can be struggling for time!

      I don’t think I’ve got a whole book in me yet – maybe one day – but I am desperate to do more with the blog, which has fast become a real passion. I only started four months ago so have so much to learn, all of which needs time. I think being more strategic and organised in the tasks I do will really help to get it to where I’d like it to be.

      Thanks again for the inspiration.

      Clare

  2. Love the point about a rolling blog list… I think I need to do that!

  3. There are some really great ideas here, some of which I already try to do (like jotting notes in the moment when I think of an idea or at least sketching out bare bones of a blog post if I don’t have time to do the whole thing), but there are others I can take away too.

    Thanks for sharing #PoCoLo

    • Hi and thanks so much for popping by. I’m glad there are things you can take away from this post. Lack of time is probably my biggest blogging hurdle at the moment so I’m hoping I can be a bit more disciplined with it (she says!).

  4. Some great tips here, which I really need to follow, I especially think batch writing would be really helpful to me so that I feel like I have some back up posts waiting in the wings for the days when I just need to crash out on the sofa!

    • Thank you, glad you like the tips. I too now need to make sure I follow them all! It does feel so much nicer when you have a post, or at least the start of one, to fall back on rather than having to start from scratch each time. Good luck.

  5. Great tips, much welcomed over here! Can be so difficult to focus, and motivate myself to write, whilst trying to find the time inbetween doing everything else! And I defo need to make time to engage in other blogs more! So hard to fit it all in! X

  6. What a great review plenty of useful tips! So glad I saw this on the Britmums website #MBPW!

  7. This sounds like a great book – and one I definitely need to take a look at properly! Lots of good tips. Sorry for not commenting before. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo and hope to see you tomorrow x

  8. This speaks to be in so many ways. I am the biggest procrastinator – so many things I want to do with my blog but always find myself rushing around so much and not getting many of my ideas down! Trying to change this, starting with a new blog design I’ve wanted to do for ages! Nadine is brilliant, I might just have to get the book x

  9. Pingback: My top five posts at 50 | Mummy's to do list

  10. wrymummy

    Great tips here! Thanks for digesting the book for us, too! Sounds like a great read.

  11. These are such good tips, and I do try to do most of them…. But I’m simply not organised enough at the moment! The point about not neglecting your favourite blogs is so true, and something I’ve been particularly bad for lately… Thanks for the reminder! #brilliantblogposts

    • I need to read them again myself, which was why this post come to mind again! I’ve really struggled to keep on top of it all this week and have so many blog posts stuck half-baked in my head. Thanks as always for reading.

  12. flesh it out later…. this is my absolute mantra!!
    #brilliantblogposts would love it if you came over and said hi! carsonsmummy.blogspot.co.uk xx

  13. Some really good tips there. I sometimes lack inspiration for writing. A notebook for keeping thoughts together is a fab idea

  14. Fab tips, must get this book! Thanks! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

    • I found it a quick and easy read. Gets you focussed on finding time for everything, though I’m very much still a work in progress!

  15. Pingback: I got 99 posts… and now my blog is one! | Mummy's to do list

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