- writing–includes our WIP, blog posts, articles, freelance work–anything that gets our name out there as a writer and lets us practice our art. On a good day, this might be 60% of what I do.
- publishing–includes managing media outlets, getting our work and name out there, finding an agent. This varies from 5% to 80% of my day’s activities.
- marketing–finding people who are interested in our writing. Like publishing, this varies depending upon where I am in the writing cycle.
This is aside from the Real Job that pays the bills, supports our family, and keeps us in Starbucks.
With the holidays approaching, I created a TODO list to help me stay organized:
- get back into the tech thriller I’ve been working on forever.
- stay on top of trends in my technology-in-education field. That includes 3D printing, Maker Mentality, student-run Genius Bars, and an IT curriculum for high school. Just reading about this stuff, much less integrating it into my knowledge base, daunts me. But it’s the cape I wear. Sigh.
- answer daily inquiries–this includes requests for help and advice, doing interviews and radio shows, reviewing materials. These are fascinating, often unexpected. And always time consuming. Deciding whether I’m a good fit for someone takes a lot of research on my part. I don’t want to promise something I can’t deliver, or disappoint them when I do. It’s all avoidable if I spend upfront time.
- market books I’ve published. My marketing is the free sort and includes:
- my publisher’s website
- other book outlets
- social networks
I subscribe to the ‘five a day’ approach to marketing–seeking out five new people who I haven’t met each day. Sometimes, all that means is 5 tweets. Other days, it’s more involved.
So, I set up a holiday schedule that I hope will accomplish those goals while satisfying my three writer obligations. Three jobs–three parts to the day. Sounds simple. Of course, it only applies when I have full free days:
- post to my 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
- prepare and tape webinars, online classes
- let creativity flower–see what my brain is working on. That’s quite often something else entirely than my plans.
- work on my WIP–currently my tech thriller. I need to get back into it!
- if I need a creativity break, read other people’s writing. I find lots of inspiration in that
- respond to requests for information, answer emails–that sort of thing
- update my website (must do that weekly or Google will stop finding me)
- market my current books on my current outlets
- fulfill freelance writing gigs. These are fun and get me thinking outside my box. I always spend too long on these.
- read in my genre–thrillers and technology-in-education
I’ve scheduled my free time before and it didn’t go well. Morning jobs leaked into afternoon. I’d get involved in blog posts and forget to move on. Social networks–now there’s a black hole. I have no advice for staying on top of them.
What’s your day like? Give me some suggestions that might help!
More posts about writing:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.