I’m an organized person. There’s a file clerk inside me that loves to come out and play in the field of my life. I make lists, schedule
blocks of time, fret when anything interrupts my work.
But lately, I find myself overwhelmed. Sure, I have a day job–most authors I know do. We work for eight to ten hours, then spend time with our mss evenings and weekends. Some authors (not me) squeeze writing in before work. Me, I need a block of time at least an hour long to get my mind into the characters and story so I can figure out where it’s going.
Here’s my schedule:
- Work 6:45-4:15
- Clean my email box 4:15-5. That includes comments on my blogs, friend requests, tweets, Goodreads announcements, book sales from my outlets. This is all reactive–nothing proactive to move my new story forward or market the books I’ve written
- Dinner! I only eat two meals a day, so dinner is exciting. Of course, I multitask by watching the news (usually depressing) or reading in my genre (a thriller).
- Write 6-9. This starts with my daily/weekly blog posts (about 12 a week), my weekly column on technology for a Ning, my thrice weekly columns on tech and the military for an online newspaper, and my bi-weekly column for a friend’s writing blog. I also have to do a nominal amount of interaction on my Twitter accounts (one on writing, one on tech and one on USNA), Facebook, Scribd, and Goodreads. Then, I get to work on my book.
That last bullet point is where the problem has developed. My conference two weeks ago convinced me I have to reach out more, develop a larger fan base of readers and followers. I write for the joy of writing, to share with others, but if I’m writing in a vacuum how will anyone know my words are out there? Since my publisher doesn’t market my books, it’s up to me.
I doubled sales this past year, but they are still not enough to live on without the Real Job, so my goal is to double them again, free up those eight hours spent at work for writing.
Often, it takes me the entirety of the three evening hours to do my social networking. I have to respond to requests, chat with people I’m developing online friendships with, seek out kindred spirits. Sometimes, I get to peak at my novel, wordsmith part of a chapter, lose myself in the world I’ve created. Usually, my clerk side raises its ugly head–stick to the schedule. Be disciplined! Only in that way can I achieve my goals.
I started another overarching marketing project: I purchased my URL. If you haven’t done that, I recommend you do. I’ve been planning to for quite a while, checked to be sure jacquimurray.com was still available several times. Two weeks ago when I decided to pull the trigger, no more jacquimurray.com. A State Farm agent grabbed it. I now am the proud owner of jacquimurray.net. Go ahead–click the link. You can check on my progress. I haven’t touched it since I started. I plan to collect all my personas there, in one spot. Remember my clerk side. I’m getting confused with the too-many locations of my disparate parts. I need one place where I am whole. Even if it gets no traffic, it’ll make me feel calmer, more pulled-together.
Well, I’ve run out of time. I had planned to update you on my limping progress with my thriller. That’ll have to be rescheduled for the next post.