Sunday, July 24, 2011

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.

Marilyn

2 comments:

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.

-Jimmy

jacqueline vick said...

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