There are three big jobs for writers–as my friend S0BeUrself reminded me:
- writing–duh. That’s what we do
- publishing–self-publish? Find an agent?
- marketing–publishers don’t do it for you anymore
If I apply those to my life as a writer, here’s how they translate:
- finish the tech thriller I’ve been working on for a year. I’m still in the draft phase
- figure out how to get my current stable of books available as ebooks–Nook, iPad, Kindle, etc.
- market the 9 books I’ve already published. My marketing is the free sort and includes:
- my publisher’s website
- social networks
I’m one week into the two months of freedom I get before returning to my classroom and I already feel stressed.
If you’ve looked at how I write (see how I use an Excel spreadsheet in my draft mode), you know I’m a detail oriented person. You say that doesn’t sound creative? How’s this: I write the story as it flows. Then I use Excel to be sure all the details are followed through on. Excel does the hard part so I can be creative.
So, I set up a schedule that I hoped would accomplish those two goals while satisfying the three jobs that writer’s must do. Three jobs–three parts to the day. Sounds simple enough:
- post to my five blogs
- write book reviews–I like reading reviews of books I might buy, and it turns out, so do my readers.
- keep in touch with my social network of writers, friends, colleagues
- respond to requests to guest blog, emails that come in overnight–that sort of thing
- update my website (must do that weekly or Google will stop finding me)
- Work on my current novel, To Hunt a Cruiser
- If I need a creativity break, read other people’s writing. I find lots of inspiration in that
- Market my current books on my current outlets
- Find new outlets. I’m looking at Google Books and DocStoc right now.
So how am I doing? The morning jobs are leaking into afternoon big time. It takes a long time to write blog posts because I get into them. I get distracted by the fun-ness of it. The social networks are a black hole of time. There’s no way I can find to stay on top of them.
The afternoon writing is going better than planned. It’s nice to get into the story without having to put it aside for the day job and keeping track of plots and POVs is so much easier if I stick with it. I need six-eight hours a day of writing, which I’m not getting with just ‘afternoons’, so I’m going to have to rework the schedule.
The evening stuff–if I’m being truthful, I’m pretty brain tired by evenings and not terribly effective. I keep watching the clock, waiting for 9pm when I call it a day. That’s not to say I don’t get a lot done; it’s just not as much fun as the rest of the day.
So a week into my summer, I realize there’s not enough writing going on. I’m going to have to work on the schedule.
What’s your day like? Give me some suggestions that might help me!