I am very pleased to introduce you to Timothy Trimble today, an author I have stalked on social media for some time now. I have always admired the commitment he brings to his writing whilst successfully juggling a very full life. Here, Timothy provides some tips on following your dreams, even if you think you don’t have time.
How Does He Do It?
I’m a night writer! It doesn’t mean I write only at night. It means I squeeze in my writing whenever I can. Actually, most of my writing happens in the early morning. Most aspiring writers start this way. They work full time jobs and find whatever time possible to squeeze in the writing. This takes dedication, commitment, focus, and sacrifice.
I have a demanding, full time job, a very loving and forgiving wife, friends and family currently living with me, and I contribute 10 to 15 hours a week in community volunteer work. How can someone with such a demanding schedule and commitments manage to write, publish, and market a full length novel, and continue to write short stories as well?
Well, there are a lot of things that go into my mind set and scheduling for accomplishing this. I really don’t have the time and space for covering all the details here, but I will cover a few key items which can help anyone reach the same goals.
Circle of Concern Versus Circle of Influence
A long, long, time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my employer sent me to a week long management training course. The course was based on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. One of the first things that stuck with me from that course was how much time we spend in our Circle of Concern instead of in our Circle of Influence. The Circle of Concern encompanses the things we are concerned with. It could be the weather, reading or listening to the news, watching our favorite sports program, playing computer games, or binge watching every single season of the IT Crowd on Netflix. All of these are fun, entertaining, or educational. However, we have entirely no influence over any of these. We can’t change the outcome.
I used to watch American Football every season. I recently did a calculation of how much time it took me to watch one game a week, several games a week during playoffs, planing and hosting a Superbowl party once a year, and the amount of time spent talking about the games with my friends and co-workers. This amounted to over 100 hours a year. Wow! During that time, aside from the enjoyment, I didn’t accomplish anything – nothing, zilch!
During the past year, I didn’t watch a single football game or F1 race – two of my favorite sports. I figured out that I gained around 140 hours of extra time, which I was able to spend writing, publishing, and marketing my writing. That’s a significant amount of time! Instead of spending my time doing things that were of concern, I adjusted my focus toward things I actually had control over – my Circle of Influence. Did I miss the football and F1? Actually, not really. I still check on the progress of Valtteri Bottas in the F1 rankings, but that’s about it.
Another one of the exercises I went through in the management course was identifying the things most important to me. I was given a stack of index cards and on each card I was to write down something important to me. Faith, family, friends, work, health, music, computers, writing, movies, reading, airplanes, hiking, rock climbing, programming, science, etc. (Not in any specific order.) I ended up with a stack of over 20 index cards.
I then had to step through each card and end up with only five cards. The others I had to rip in half. It was a very painful process. Especially when I got down to six cards. They were Faith, Family, Friends, Health, Music, and Writing. Final answer? Writing won out over music. The ability to tell stories was more important to me than playing guitar and singing songs. It was at that moment I realized I was truly a writer before being a musician. It also highlighted to me where most of my focus should be. Now, I will say, for many years I continued down the musician path while still writing. But in the end, it was the writing of stories which has won out.
There are many other things I do which helps me to be efficient and focused on accomplishing as much as I do, but I’m sure Nicola doesn’t want to publish a 30,000 word blog post. Thank you for reading and hopefully these two things will help you to find the time to be a “Night Writer.”
Timothy Trimble is a YA Sci-fi/Fantasy author of multiple books and short stories. His latest novel, “Air Born – Do You Dream of Flying” is rated as five stars and can be found on Amazon for Kindle and in Print, or can be ordered from your local book store.
He offers his short stories for free via OMNI Media at: https://omni.media/author/timothy-trimble
He can be followed, found, and contacted at: