I don’t know about you, but it feels like there are rarely enough hours in the day for all I would like to accomplish in the writing world PLUS the other important things in life… like making sure my kids have dinner and a ride to their activities…oh and time for exercise.

I divide my writing time into the following categories:

  • Drafting new stories and characters
  • Revising
  • Critiquing other’s work
  • Instagram Reviews
  • Building social media accounts (Twitter, Bluesky, Pinterest)
  • Website Posts
  • Growth & Development

These categories do NOT get an equal share of my time, but even small amounts of time going in that many directions really add up.

Making More Time

I would be a millionaire if I could tell you a way to make more time. Can’t. Sorry. Unless you are sleeping too much, then maybe you can cut back a bit and capture more time. But let’s be honest, if you have kids, you are probably already cutting your nights short.

What HAS worked well for me is to combine a good share of my growth and development time with other tasks in the day. Yes, I am talking about multitasking.

Audiobooks, Podcasts, and Webinars have replaced music and streamed TV shows when I am running on the treadmill or driving to pick my kids up from something (or waiting for them in the car). If there are points I want to take notes on, I may need to re-listen here or there, but I am fitting much more in these days and learning a lot.

Podcasts

I was recently featured on the Author(ish) Podcast with author June Smalls by our agent, Amy Nielson.

Picture of an orange microphone. Text reads AUTHOR(ISH) Podcast.

We talked about our inspiration behind writing picture books, the obligations/responsibilities of picture book authors, our current manuscripts on submission, and more. (Check it out!)

You can listen in to other episodes on the Author(ish) Podcast covering topics such as:

A Deep Dive into Querying

Getting an Agent

The Emotional Phases of Writing

Plus MORE!

Other Podcasts

Picture of a fox with a black scarf holding a book that says Picture Book Summit. Lower corner says podcast.

Another podcast I HIGHLY recommend is the Picture Book Summit Podcast. They have about 60 episodes out and I have listened to all of them. I actually think I may go through them again. They all contain fabulous little nuggets of information to help you learn more about the picture book publishing world and improve your writing.

“This is the podcast You May Contribute a Verse, where we talk to kidlit creators, share their stories, and learn from their journeys!”

I have been downing old episodes of You May Contribute a Verse and loving it!

Nick Patton started the Picturebooking Podcast in 2014, so I don’t know how I JUST discovered it! I guess the only good news here is that there are TONS of episodes to go through. Nick Patton started this from the perspective of an author/illustrator, but he features many different creators on his show.

Picture of a green owl with headphones and the text SCBWI PODCAST.

Not surprisingly, SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) has a podcast as well. I am still working my way through the episodes, but they have interviewed some AMAZING and INSPIRING creators throughout the years.

Webinars & Audio Books

I am in Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 writing group, so I will watch the webinars or replays of the webinars when I am running on the treadmill.

If you are interested in reading published craft books, check to see if your library has an audio version you can check out. I like to listen to audiobooks on writing when I am cleaning, cooking, or driving.

Do I ever sit and do growth and development? YES, of course. Some classes, webinars, and such are so content-heavy heavy, I really want notes and I want to work through the exercises. However, multitasking has proven effective for me to learn a lot more without taking more time out of the day.

Best of luck to you on your writing journey!

Jamie

Check out this HELPFUL series on YouTube for creating picture books:

University graphic with the words "Picture Book University by Pam Calvert" and symbols from YouTube