What I’m Trying to Learn About Prioritization

 In Kell's Blog

Prioritization. I’m not so good that. It’s much more fun to skip from project to project, to work on the least important thing, to live life without a plan …

At least, it is for me. Other people feel differently and are better at planning and scoping out their life. I’m just not one of those people!

But prioritization is an important part of every writer’s life! (And people in general, but I’m writing about writing, so.) Let’s talk about that! 😅

What is prioritization?

The action or process of deciding the relative importance or urgency of a thing or things.

I love that the Google definition of prioritization is actually a good one. Like, sometimes they’re way too vague or whatever.

Anyways, moving on.

Prioritization is essentially the act of deciding what comes first in your life. What is more important, either right now or all the time?

What comes first?

Well, God. That’s plain. There’s nothing more important than glorifying God – that’s your purpose on earth, after all.

However, everyone else has a different set of priorities for other things (that don’t have to do with, you know, the Creator of the world). Everyone chooses* what they have more or less time for.

*Some people have babies that need fed and day jobs to support themselves and their family. They can’t really “choose” those; at least not exactly. Has to be done! But I don’t have those kind of responsibilities. Just note that I do realize that you can’t choose to abandon your children or quit your job to prioritize miniature golf. But yeah, I don’t want to talk about that too much, so this is just a little note!

I prioritize writing, blogging, and border collies. You may prioritize boring old things like … eating. Sleeping. Cats. I don’t know. That’s your business.

My points is … we all have our priorities. And for writers, one of those priorities often is – usually MUST be – writing!

But there are prioritizations inside writing.

What do I mean?

There are so many aspects to writing other than just … writing.

Yeah, sitting there and pounding out a first draft is great, but there’s also outlining, rewrites & revisions, edits, proofreading, formatting, cover design, preparing to publish, and publishing.

And after the book is published, you still have tons of marketing to do! And it’s hard work.

That’s not it, either. Most writers don’t stop after one book! They keep writing, keep working on another project, which begins the process all over again.

It’s exhausting. And it’s easy to feel like you’re running all over the place, so much to do, too much to think about. It’s overwhelming.

So what? How to choose what to do first?

My Personal Status

I need to explain where I am to explain my current process of prioritization, so here goes.

When I finish draft one of a book, I’ll put it aside. Then I’ll start another. And do the same thing. Again and again.

Except sometimes I don’t quite get through draft one before finishing if the story doesn’t achieve .

So just now I have Souls Astray, The Lady of the Vineyard, From Now ‘Til Forever, and Once a Stratton that need edits, Interpreting Callie James, Wilted Love (Wattpad), and Flowers in Her Heart that need written (all novellas, weirdly enough), and Alone in Berlin needing major research and outlining. (I have a lot of ideas teasing me but AIB is the only one I’m letting be real in my mind.)

This is added to the novels I’ve already written that need marketed (or … edited again … but that’s another story).

How to choose … just one?

It’s plain that I need to choose one project to work on and maybe a secondary to fall back on if I’m absolutely exhausted.

So how to choose?

Here’s my process of elimination (step-by-step because why not?).

  • #1: Make a list of the books (leaving out duties outside of getting these books ready to be published because … yeah. That’s enough thinking!). You can safely leave out anything that’s not super important (e.g. plot bunnies, etc.)

  • #2: Write down your goals next to the titles. It can be hard to come up with these if you don’t already have goals, but … I already do.

  • #3: Cross out anything that you’re not working on for logical reasons. Like, I’m for sure just working on AIB because I … want to. Wanting to is not logical. Cross it out!

  • #4: Figure out which things definitely need to get done first. This might be more difficult to figure out if you don’t have ironclad publishing dates, so you can just decide on which one you want to finish first!

  • #5: Write the #1 book-to-finish below this list + what you want to do with it before moving on! Just so you’re clear to yourself on what you need to do.

  • #6: Pick a secondary project and write it below, too. You have two choices here: you can do your #2 project … or you can save that for later and have something fun to do when you’re chilling!

And there you have it! I’ve chosen a project and something fun to do while relaxing. 😀

But you don’t have ironclad deadlines?

Without deadlines, there’s no reason to finish a project. So make a deadline! Say, “I must finish this book by [blank]!” And hold yourself to it.

You can do it! It’s just another form of prioritization … deciding to making finishing your book by said date the most important thing. Even if there’s no real “reason.”

The reason is you are going to! Go forth and procrastinate no more. 😉

So yep, those are my thoughts on prioritizing writing projects … and what I’m learning {trying to} about it myself!

Hope you enjoyed this post! It wasn’t terribly exciting, but it was a cool way to update you on what I’m working on right now.

TTFN!

~Kellyn Roth~

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p.s.

What are you prioritizing right now (if anything)? Both in writing and life, I mean! What is important to you? Do you like coffee? ALSO … I just realized it’s only a couple months before Souls Astray comes out! *cue panic attack*

Showing 20 comments
  • Erika Mathews
    Reply

    This was quite helpful! Loved the step by step instructions with pictures. Right now I’m prioritizing Victory’s Voice because it’s book 2 and I want it published, because I want book 4 out ASAP, and because its rewrite is a struggle. I also need to pull out and edit Life in the Son! (Devotional series).

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Thank you, Erika! 😀 Best of luck with Victory’s Voice! You can do it. 🙂 Are you skipping book 3, or is that coming along sooner or later?

      • Erika Mathews
        Reply

        Book 3 (Surrender’s Strength) is in a similar state as VV. Half of more written, needs a rewrite. Hopefully won’t be as painful as VV though!

        • Erika Mathews
          Reply

          Half OR more. 🤦🏻‍♀️

        • Kellyn Roth
          Reply

          Ah, okay! Good for you. For some reason, I guess I never really processed Surrender’s Strength!

  • Isabel Eleison
    Reply

    Right now, I’m prioritizing school, music, and making plans for the next school year. In writing, I’m basically just prioritizing whatever I decide to start writing because I’m not really working on anything right now xD Well, ya see, I used to hate coffee until like this year, and now I’ll drink it, but it has to be a latte or something, not straight. YOU GOT THIS KELL !(^^)! Can’t wait for Souls Astray! Thanks for the prioritization tips 😀

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      That’s totally legit! Sometimes life needs to come first … and sometimes writing needs to sit out. 😉 I don’t tend to drink coffee straight, haha! I put milk in it most of the time. Too bitter for me alone, I’m afraid!

      Aww, thank you!

  • Jo (TL&HD)
    Reply

    *gulps*
    I’m gonna dieeeee.
    But I gotta do this!
    *bangs head and dies*

  • CutePolarBear
    Reply

    Hey, I made a deadline to finish the third draft of my book! (Pat me on the back XD) But then I was thinking that when I meet that deadline, I’ll have to start working on another one … and I have one in mind, but it doesn’t have much of an outline yet, so …

    CutePolarBear

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Nice! XD Haha, yeah, it’s tough to start a new story sometimes … though I always seem to have an abundance of them and very little motivation for finishing the old ones. *facepalm* Need to get better at that!

  • Parker Hankins
    Reply

    Definitely needed this!! Thanks for posting!! Writing is a huge priority in my life. So, now, I got to work on the priorities in my writing.

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      Thank you! 😀 Ah, there’s so many aspects to writing! And I admit I tend to fail at prioritization within writing – I like to work on a bunch of things at once! 😉 But that doesn’t always work out for sure!

      • Parker Hankins
        Reply

        My pleasure! Yes, me too! Definitely!

  • Julia @Lit Aflame
    Reply

    Great post! Those are some pretty helpful tips. Currently I have been working on setting up a strict schedule and goals (it all begins on Monday). We’ll see how long I can keep it up but hopefully I’ll be able to get some writing goals prioritized and accomplished XD

    • Kellyn Roth
      Reply

      I do that every couple weeks. 😛 I’m not so good with schedules; they just don’t work for me. So I’ve started using a loose to-do list instead, which has helped. As has going to bed at night, but eh, let’s say it’s the loose to-do list. 😉

  • Anna Hammer
    Reply

    I loved this post, Kellyn! Thanks for writing. <3

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