Balancing Your Time

Authors complain a lot about how much time must be spent on promotion and how that takes away from their writing time.

In this day and age with so may writers self-pubbing and their books appearing on Kindle and Nook and other e-readers, if a writer doesn't promote he or she will not even be noticed.

So what's the answer? It's a dilemma I face every day. When you write two series a year, as I do, you have to spend at least half of your writing time producing a book.

As any writers knows, writing the book isn't just sitting down and cranking out the chapters. A lot of thought and research must happen first. In my case, I start developing characters and what I think will happen to them.

Once I'm actually writing, often I have to stop and do more research. When the first draft is done, taking about three months, I read it chapter by chapter to my critique group and then fix the things they've suggested and other things I've found along the way. When that's done, I go over it again myself. I either have an editor look at then or an early reader who I know will find mistakes and discrepancies.

While all this is going on, I'm promoting whichever of my books happens to be out at the time. If I'm doing a blog tour it means checking each blog several times a day to see if I need to make a comment or answer a question.

I'm also on lists which often have good promotion tips that I take advantage of and of course I post on Facebook and Twitter.

Often I'm gone from home going to a writers or mystery conference which curtails a lot of what I'd be doing if I were home. I attend book and craft fairs too as a means to sell my books and get acquainted with readers.

On top of all that, I do have a life. I have a husband who I like to spend time with, we're movie buffs and try to go two to three times a month and we watch Netflix movies too. I have a big family and like to visit with them too. I'm the chief cook in this house, fortunately I enjoy cooking--but I only do the evening meal--everyone can forage for themselves for the others. And of course that means I do grocery shop too.

So, how do I manage all this. I make lists of what has to be done. I try to keep the list to something I can accomplish in a day. I have another list for those projects that are long-lasting.
I've always been someone who likes to accomplish things, so once I'm done with something I am happy to cross it off the list.

When I was younger I could do far more than what I do now. My brain doesn't function as well in the afternoon as it does in the morning, so I try to do most of my actual writing then. Other chores can wait.

I know this isn't going to work for everyone, but this is what works for me.



James Garcia Jr said…
Hello, stranger. How have you been?
Figuring out how to juggle the time is the real trick, isn't it? I have actually just turned over a new leaf, as it were. I am now posting once a week on Monday, promoting the heck out of that post all week, and spending all of the rest of the time networking.
Obviously, since we both write for KRL, I have to schedule all of that around current assignments. But before that, I have my 11-hour day-job...
Notice I didn't say anything about writing fiction? I'm waiting for the edits to return on book two. Once that is back in publisher's hands, I will have to begin writing book three... Sigh!
Thanks for the tips.

jacqueline vick said…
My brain hasn't been functioning at all, lately. I'd be grateful for mornings!

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