Priorities

I read Dean Wesley Smith’s latest blog and realised I need to prioritise my time so I can write.

I also realised I waste a lot of time, reading other writer’s blogs, learning processes of developing stories and learning how to market my stories, including using Twitter.

Why? I already know that “Word of Mouth” is the best marketing strategy. I already know that more products on display will draw readers to my stories.

So why am I spending so much time doing all the other things?

I asked myself some hard questions. You may want to ask yourself the same questions, if you now realise that the joy of writing is getting swamped for the hard work of marketing.

Is my writing a Hobby or Career?
I am hoping it will become a career, even if only part time.

How many hours are available each day to write?
At least 8 hours each day, Monday to Friday.

How many hours am I actually writing new stories each day?
Two or three hours a few days a week.

How many hours editing each day?
I don’t edit until the story is completed then spend all my time using HTRYN steps to edit, and type in the changes, then a final read through using the computer to read aloud.

How many hours formatting for Smashwords?
About one hour each story.

How many hours creating covers?
One to two days for each story. Note to self, This needs to be cut back to only a few hours.

Hours writing blogs?
A few hours writing and editing once a week for my writer blog. None for my author blog. Note to self, This needs to change. I should only be blogging for my readers, not other authors.

Hours reading blogs?
Far too many. Note to self, must cut back on the number of blogs I follow.

What about you? Can you cut back time you use learning how to write, and instead use the same time to write?

I am going to work on doing just that this week, list my planned projects, and set my writing time before any other activities.

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6 comments so far

  1. Angela/Curiocat on

    It is far too easy to let everything else (esp social media stuff) take priority over writing. I’m writing first, everything else second.

    Twitter at first will suck up time. However you will pick up what you can & let go what’s not important as time goes on. Remember my complaint? People talk at you, not to you? That’s because people put stuff up there and don’t really wait or look for a reply. Professionals who use it as a marketing tool are on & off with little to no interaction.

    Having said that there was a great article by John Mayer who says Twitter & blogging sucked up his creativity and stopped both. I loved the article & I’m posting it for you to read if you haven’t already.

    http://www.berklee-blogs.com/2011/07/john-mayer-2011-clinic-manage-the-temptation-to-publish-yourself/

    There’s been some other great articles along the same lines by some well known authors who say the same thing and that it doesn’t make much difference for promoting your books.

    As for reading about writing I feel like I’ve learned a lot doing what I have been and as time goes on I hope to be confident enough to do less study, more writing. Right now I’m about 50/50.

    So I’m working on getting myself balanced. Great post. Thanks!

    • D J Mills on

      Thanks for the link. The article has some good points. Believe in yourself, keep working (writing) and improving.

  2. ekcarmel on

    I agree with a lot of this. There were days I lost a lot of time reading blogs. But I’ve gotten better about it. I’ve kept the number of blogs I read regularly down to just a few and the others I check out sporadically. I’m comfortable with that.

    I’ve definitely decided writing is my career. I’m working toward it. The biggest obstacle for me is my other major priority, my family. While I have a couple hours each morning to write free of interruption, the rest of my day (at least for the summer here) is devoted to those responsibilities. I may find a pocket of time here and there and I try to grab those for writing when I can.

    It’s a good thing to stop and think about our priorities. Life changes and we need to make a plan when it does.

    Great post, Diane.

    • D J Mills on

      Thanks for the comments. Yes, I feel that a lot of the teachings about marketing dbooks is rather over the top. I am yet to hear from readers as to what they want in an author’s blog.

  3. Michael E. Walston on

    You’re absolutlely right. A little bit of blog touring can be educational and inspirational–but you won’t have anything to publish if you don’t spend the time it takes to actually write…

    • D J Mills on

      Welcome, Michael. I hope you retrieved your data successfully, but, I agree, if you write it again using the ideas with new words, it will be better then the previous version, as Dean Wesley Smith says.

      My blog argument is I prefer to spend time writing more stories, instead of wasting time using marketing practices that are not proven or measured as a collection (no surveys with results), only stated by a few individuals, which is the same as comparing one book that is a bestseller, while another equally good book that did not take off. Luck is involved. No doubt about it.


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