Posted by: nancyisanders | September 3, 2014

Stuck in the Mud with Your Writing

It was great to hear from so many of you about where you are in your writing. Over the years, I’ve found that there are 3 major factors in what I accomplish as a writer:

Time Management


Chunks of Concrete Tasks

If any one of those areas isn’t working right for me, my writing suffers.

So here are 3 simple tips that I hope will help you if you’re stuck in the mud and not writing as much as you want to write:

1) Time Management: Each night before I go to bed, I sit down and plan the exact hours I will write the next day. I’ve found that when I wake up, I’m much more likely to actually sit down and write if I know that at 11:00 it’s on my calendar. I’m ready for it! What hour(s) can you write tomorrow? Put it on your calendar.

2) Motivation: Every week or month or season I figure out what motivates me and then I work to put that motivation in place. For example, when I was redecorating my kitchen, if I met my writing goals each week I gave myself $20 to go towards purchasing something small for my kitchen. What motivates you to write right now? Dangle it like a carrot in front of a rabbit and go for it!

3) Chunks of Concrete Tasks: If you have motivation and you have time to write but aren’t getting anything done, chances are you don’t know WHAT to do during your writing time. I like to figure that out, once again, each night before I go to bed. I plan to write the next scene, the next manuscript page, the next magazine puzzle, the next chapter, etc. Plus I always make sure I’m working on at least 3 different projects each week for the Triple Crown of Success…one to get published, one to earn income, and one for personal fulfillment. What’s your very next chunk of writing that you plan to accomplish? Put it on your calendar.

And for an inside peek at how one of my newest series of kids’ books came to life, check out this fun interview by my dear writing friend, Tina Cho.


  1. Thanks, Nancy, for the information above and the info in your interview.
    It was very helpful.

  2. Great advice! Thanks.

  3. Love the idea of making daily goals “concrete” on the calendar the night before, prioritizing the to-do list.

    • So glad so many of you are finding these tips helpful!

  4. Just want to say, Nancy, that one of the many things I admire about you is that you always seem to have such concrete, doable suggestions for writers. This post is another good example of that. Thank you for your willingness to share and help others.

    • Dear Ev, I always cherish your kind words.

  5. Thanks for the reminders! I do my schedule in my brain and try to meet my “quota” I like to call it. My husband just said it sounds like I’m an Egyptian slave from the Bible. Thanks for linking to the blog post!

    • Thanks for sharing how YOU manage all your writing tasks, Tina! And thank YOU for the interview. :o)

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