I’ve got 30 minutes to write this post | Live to Write – Write to Live

I have 30 minutes to write this post.

Don’t worry, it’s not like I’m in danger and if I don’t complete it within the time frame something bad will happen to me, it’s just that my day is packed and I don’t have the time to give it much more than 30 minutes.

This is what happens when you are a freelance writer who takes on several assignments at once.

Today I must:

  • Finish a book review
  • Write a parenting magazine column
  • Write a pet magazine column
  • Write a magazine article
  • Submit newspaper story ideas for next week
  • Respond to an email from a frantic chicken owner
  • Write two other blog posts
  • Interview a restaurant owner for a feature article

I also have to pick my kids up at the pool, contact a friend about some photos, attend a town event tonight, drop off some medical forms, and somehow find the time to get food in the house, the natives are getting restless about that one.

I’ve written before about the challenges of being a writer while having children (compounded by the fact that they all have diverse summer schedules) and I know that, and let’s be honest here, I’ve whined often about this predicament.

But you know what? It has taught me to buckle down and do my work. There is nothing like a time crunch for productivity.

I know I can write this post within 30 minutes because I’ve written so many before that I’ve found a groove. Same thing goes for the articles and book review which I will give each a whopping total of 45 minutes in which to write. I’ve done it before and based on that knowledge I know I can do it again and again.

I’m always amazed by people who claim they need weeks in order to compose a blog post and get it written. Oh for crying out loud, follow Nike’s advice and JUST DO IT. While I may submit copy that has a few typos in it (the bane of my existence) I end up submitting a post that although not perfect is something that is finished. A finished piece gets payment, a perfected, thrice rewritten piece that hasn’t been submitted because you don’t know if it’s good enough – gets you zilch.

It’s amazing what time pressure can do for your writing output. Now excuse me while I turn to my other work for today.

via Live to Write – Write to Live.

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  1. I love this post, Erica. I just hate seeing typos and grammar errors in my posts and that’s why I tend to stew over them for while.

    A little off subject: what are your tips for getting into freelance writing?



  2. Glorious post. Intriguing intro! I must agree, my procrastination has put me in some binds, but I, too, feel I do the best under pressure!;) thx for sharing


  3. awesome… setting out time to beat a deadline could make you do amazing stuff.. just like they say adrenaline could make you jump over the Great Wall… just like I did a briefing paper I had no idea how to begin and end it. I’ve learnt something.. i’ve no excuse not to post more often.


  4. Funny and interesting post, Erika! I agree with you… sometimes I submit a post with several typos… that’s why on my blog, for subscribing, I have “read it while I am editing”…:o
    But it’s just so much fun… setting up time to write is great, but so is writing because you feel like you need to tell the world something.. or show pictures!!! Congrats on all your work! Greetings from sunny & inspiring Brazil


  5. I am intrigued by your freelance writing. How exciting that must be! I cant imagine it getting boring since you seem to write about different things all the time.


  6. So true. And the principles apply all over life. It is so easy to waste time worrying about how much time we don’t have…how much better, as you said, to just do it! 🙂


  7. I’m going to print this post and put it in a prominent place to remind me how much I don’t have to do, and how much more I could get done if I buckled down and wrote.


  8. You are absolutely right. “Just do it”.
    Chances are, every time you do it, you learn about what makes people response to your style and you just do it better the next time.
    After 6 months, you are probably more experienced and flexible than the post perfectionist.


  9. Reading all of the things that’s on your plate makes me tired just reading them. Maybe take a breather and good luck to you. I sure hope your schedule is not always that tight. My thought is that if you can do it, go for it.


  10. couldn’t agree more. The 80/20 rule should run through the centre of life. And being a Perfectionist should be penalised – banned – or looked down on. I always feel sorry for anyone married to a Perfectionist – you know, the chaps who take 5 years to tile a bathroom!
    When people say they completely re-write a book 15 or more times over, I wonder ‘who says the last one was better than the first?’



    You think you know them

    For living with them so long

    But you have a big problem

    You fond out you’re wrong

    They came from your genes

    Watching them romp in mirth

    They left you as has-beens

    Wondering about their birth

    Then they’ve become men and women

    They meet with problems and win

    You would see the real you only when

    And wish they had their parents in

    Friends and families you have many

    You gave them love with lullabies as they slept

    Then they treat you like the enemy

    Leaving you in winter so very cold as you wept

    In your job, firm or working place

    It maybe because of your revealed kith and kin

    Some just hate you cause of your race

    If it’s not your race it’s the colour of your skin

    You really think you know them

    But as grown ups you’re so disappointed

    Now you place them at the bottom

    For there’s a an ugly fly in their ointment


  12. Pat yourself on the back if you get even half of what’s on your list done. I’ve been in your position — thankfully no more — and know how we beat ourself up for what didn’t get done instead of feeling good for what we have done.


  13. I can take a whole day, but that is mainly because I have a learning disability and if I send out what I first write, it is generally unintelligible. Moreover, as a WOO also known as a Grannynannygoat and I worry about the pace our world not puts parents through; not healthy. So share, care, stay strong and every once in a while–slow down–roses need smelling; kids and parents need sit-around-doing-nothing time.


  14. All the things to do just to manage a home is enough to tire anyone let alone work so great job balancing things so well. Writing helps make sense out it all I’m sure. I wish groceries would just appear as it takes so much time getting them. I try to simply stock up when I can and be happy with what is in the house but I know it is difficult with kids.