10 Things To Do When You’re Not Writing

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10 Things To Do When You’re Not Writing


April Aragam

Copyright © 2011, April Aragam, All Rights Reserved



The job of a writer is not only the act of writing. A writer has many things to do during the course of a day, week and month. When you are not writing you don’t have feel like you are not working. Here are ten other things you can do:

1. Read

Whether reading for fun or reading about the writing business, reading benefits every writer. Read a novel you haven’t had time to get into. You can also catch up on the newsletters and blogs that you haven’t had time to read thoroughly. Do you have a list of books that you’ve been wanting to read? Why not start delving into them!


2. Edit

You probably have pieces written that could use an edit. Now is a good time to read them with fresh eyes and make any necessary changes. Editing is an important part of being a writer. If you think you need to spend more time polishing your pieces, do it.


3. Organize files

On your desktop or papers on piled on your desk, your files could probably use some organization. Use this time to put things in folders, clean out folders as well as seeing what you need to finish or send out. Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t keep up with our organization as much as we would like.


4. Catch up on email

It doesn’t have to be work related email only. You can catch up on personal emails as well. Clearing out an inbox is very freeing. Going into your inbox every day and seeing dozens of emails you need to reply to or deal with can be overwhelming. You can also include following up on submissions you haven’t heard about during this time.


5. Make a fresh to-do list

Got a crumpled piece of paper with a never-ending list of things you must do and the odd one scratched off? Make a fresh list for yourself. It’s far more inspiring than looking at a 4 week old list that’s made you feel unproductive. To make your list feel less overwhelming, create a couple different lists, one for work and one for other things.


6. Back up your files

Have you ever lost all of the hard work you’ve produced simply because you have not backed up your files? Enough said.


7. Submit reprints

This is something that many writers intend to do, but seem to always put on the back burner. Selling reprints can bring in a nice amount of extra money if you’re willing to put in the time submitting them. The next time you don’t know what to do, submit those reprints.


8. Update your calendar

You probably have a calendar, either on your computer or in paper, where you keep track of deadlines, submissions and other various things. Add in all the new information you’ve collected since you last updated it.


9. Update your portfolio

If you don’t have an online portfolio, you can set one up now. It’s a good way to allow editors to see where you’ve been published and even view your clips. Any articles that you have online should be linked to. Having a portfolio to show the editor gives them the choice to look at it or not.


10. Send out invoices

Maybe you’ve been putting off this sometimes unpleasant task of writing up and sending out invoices for money owed. As long as you have to do it, you may as well get them out of the way at the same time.


Bonus: Get out

It’s important when you work from home to get out whenever you can. Go for a walk or to coffee with a friend. Getting out will refresh and inspire you to come back home and write well.


Being a writer involves so much more than actual writing, so next time you’re not in the mood to write you will have a list of other tasks you can do and still be working.