If you’re a writer, time is your most precious commodity. So how do you spend your writing time? If you’re struggling to become a fulltime freelance writer or a best selling author, you need to be particularly mindful of how you spend your time each day during your working hours. Generally, freelance writers are ALWAYS doing one of two things: 1) they’re promoting themselves and looking for new assignments, and 2) they’re completing existing assignments. Best-selling authors who don’t freelance may work a bit differently since, generally, they don’t look for writing assignments. Instead, they sell their novels or nonfiction books to publishers or they self-publish them. That means they are always doing one of three things: 1) writing a book, 2) working with an agent to sell that book or submitting the manuscript directly to publishers or publishing it themselves, and 3) promoting their published book(s). Look at your marketing plan and writing schedule for this week. If you’re a freelance writer, you should be planning to spend 50% of your workdays writing. You should be spending 25% of each work day promoting yourself and looking for new assignments, and another 25% of each workday working on your own creative writing projects (like your own novel or nonfiction book). If you don’t have enough assignments yet to keep you busy 50% of each day, then spend more time searching for assignments until you DO have enough assignments to work on for 50% of each workday (but make sure each assignment is worth your time and effort—don’t take on dozens of low paying assignments just to stay busy and to make a few bucks. You won’t make the best use of your time that way either). If you hope to become a best-selling author, you need to spend 75% of your workday working on your book and 25% of your time searching for an agent or researching the markets so you know which publishers to submit your manuscript to if you choose to work without an agent. You don’t need to worry about social networking yet, or blogging about your writing experience. You just need to write your book and figure out how you will sell it. Don’t waste your precious time on activities that will NOT help you accomplish your writing/career goals. Make an honest appraisal of how you’ve been spending each workday. Then make the necessary changes to get what you really, really want from your writing career. Try it!