Online Writer's Conference 2003

Shades Of Romance Magazine

August 3-9, 2003



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Need More Time to Write? Just Say "NO"

By

Claudia N. Tynes

 

The gift of time is a precious commodity. Like writing, it is a gift that God has entrusted to us, and we are responsible for how we use and present our gifts to Him. Are you juggling multiple tasks and finding it difficult to find the time to write? If you answered "yes," this article was written with you in mind.

Many years ago I was entrapped in a time cycle that appeared endless. Enslaved by business, medical, and personal appointments, I rushed from here to there, one appointment after another. Seemingly, there was insufficient time in a day or week for me to accomplish or complete my tasks as a working woman, wife, mother, planner, organizer, and writer too. I juggled these roles for approximately 32 years.

In December 1994, after serving 25 years in the Federal Government, I took an early retirement. Now I had all the time I needed to write, right? Initially, that's what I thought too.

A few months after my retirement, I accepted a part-time position working three days a week as a staff assistant/writer within the ministry of my local church. This arrangement still allotted me the time I needed to write, so why did I still find it difficult to write? I discovered much later that the insufficiency in my writing time was not the primary issue here. My problem stemmed from the fact that I could not say "no" to some of my time stealers. You see, the time stealers masqueraded themselves as "good ideas" rather than "God ideas" to conceal their identities as the real culprits.
  
We cannot regain the time that's lost.. We can, however, conserve more of our time by planning and using it wisely. One of the first steps that helped me to end this madness was learning how to say "no" without feeling guilty. I discovered that saying "no" protected the calling of God on my personal life and my family. This small two-letter word carries an enormous amount of weight. Do you want to regain control of your writing time? Here are some practical tips that just might help you conserve some valuable time too. Remember that the key word for applying these principles is "balance."
 
JUST SAY "NO" TO PRAYERLESSNESS

Start your day by getting up at least one hour to thirty minutes earlier and seek godly wisdom for your writing projects through prayer or meditation. Listen as God gives you the guidance and direction you need for prioritizing your writing projects and daily tasks as a professional or homemaker. Starting your day with prayer will help you to prioritize, postpone or even eliminate some of your writing projects.
 

JUST SAY "NO" TO ATTENDING TOO MANY SOCIAL EVENTS

Sometimes we spread ourselves too thin by accepting too many invitations to birthday parties, weddings, cookouts, etc. I was definitely entrapped in this endless time cycle. I obligated my time to others to spare myself from feeling guilty later. By learning how to say "no" to some of these social events, we can conserve more time for writing.

JUST SAY "NO" TO SERVING ON TOO MANY CHURCH, SCHOOL, OR CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS

This principle was the hardest one for me because of my innate passions to serve others. What is your perception and definition of the word "ministry?" This is my definition of ministry after I learned how to say "no." Ministry is serving God first, my family and then others. Sometimes we allow church, school and civic organizations to consume all of our time. At one point in my life, every day of the workweek was consumed with meetings and programs related to church, school and civic organizations. Within the last two years, I have refocused my priorities and carved more writing time by using the above principles. Are there areas in your life where you are over extended because you just cannot say "no" or because you, too, have a servant's heart? Compile a list of those areas, and say "no" to those that can be delegated to others.  Take the extra time you have conserved and use it for writing.

JUST SAY "NO" TO TOO MUCH OVERTIME

Our careers and professions are resources to provide for our families and ourselves. God is our main source for all of our needs.  Time is money, and money is necessary to provide housing, clothing, educational, and medical needs for our families.  Do you find yourself spending too much time at the office working most weekends,holidays, and late nights? Ask yourself, "Is the time spent and monies earned in working overtime really making a difference?"  If you answered "no," use this extra time you have conserved for writing. 

JUST SAY "NO" TO RELATIVES AND FRIENDS

Again, remember the key word here is "balance."Sometimes we are too busy doing for others that we forget about ourselves. Take some time out for yourself and spend it in solitude. Think for a moment. When was the last time you  pampered yourself at the health spa?  When was the last time you laughed your socks off while watching a comedy or stage play?  Laughter does the heart good like a medicine.  When was the last time you read an article or novel that was a real tearjerker? Tears act as cleansing agents for the
soul.

Will you apply these principles today? Don't waste another minute, just say "no" to the time wasters and say "yes" to the good things that God has already planned for you. Glorify Him with your gift of writing by conserving and using your time wisely.


Claudia N. Tynes, entrepreneur, author, speaker and teacher.  She has authored two books, numerous articles for print magazines and e-zines, short stories, devotionals and poetry.  Claudia speaks and teaches seminars and workshops, both onsite and online, and served as a former columnist for the Southern Maryland Writers' Group News.  She resides in Clinton, Maryland with her husband James, adult son Rodney, and pet rottweiler Romeo.  For more information visit her website at: http://www4-i.tripod.com or e-mail her at www.write4-u.tripod.com