Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wanted: Clones. Or More Hours in the Day.

I realize I've been slacking here on Blogger, so I feel it's time to regurgitate some thoughts regarding writing and the necessary promotion thereof.

Quite some time ago I learned there are only twenty-four hours in a day. I devote nine of those precious hours to sleep (Excessive? Nah.), six to my part-time job, one driving to and from said job, and one to cooking/eating. That leaves me seven hours to spend time with loved ones, work out, write, pray, read, write some more, and market the things I have written. (I think that housework falls in there somewhere, but we'll forget that for the time being because I always do.)

Now let's look at the latter point. Marketing. Readers have to know that we authors exist or nobody will read the stories we have spent months or years laboring over. This is why I spend so much time on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Blogger: to form relationships and network with other authors, bloggers, and readers to slowly grow a devoted readership. It's hard. Especially when it cuts into the time I should be doing something else, namely writing and developing my craft. Not to mention that nasty housework I've we've conveniently forgotten about.

One solution to my lack of time would be to duplicate myself in the form of clones, who may or may not turn evil and conquer the world pretending to be me. Or I could cut back on sleep, which would probably be a bad idea because I would become VERY cranky and start acting like my theoretical evil clones.

So, authors, here is my question: How do YOU balance out God, family, work, writing, and marketing? Share your tips in a comment below!

The white armor is optional.

1 comment:

  1. I can completely relate with your issue of time and the need for clones. I especially love the Star Wars reference. I'm a stay-at-home dad of a 1-year old, and I wake up around 5:30-6 every morning to start my day before my wife goes to work at 7:15. When my son takes naps, I work on writing/marketing/blogging/networking and the like. In the evenings, after dinner, my wife takes care of the little guy and I work on writing/marketing/blogging/networking through until about 11 or midnight - sometimes later if I don't care for sleep that day. On nights we have family stuff going on, I miss out on a lot of the 'work' side of things, but I find I can use Saturdays to catch up usually. I usually only get about 5 1/2-6 hours of sleep a night and that seems to be a magic number for me, but some weeks it catches up to me and I find myself stumbling into a day full of naps at my desk.

    It's tough to balance it all out as a writer, but I think it's even harder for a self-published writer because we have all the hats (marketing/networking/etc) that we have to juggle on top of everything else. And somewhere in there we actually have to find time to write.

    For me personally, networking felt like a chore because I'm an introvert by nature. But over the last few weeks I've found that it's gotten easier and easier to make connections with others who are facing the same dilemmas (such as the time juggling) and it makes it a more natural process.

    One thing that has helped me juggle everything is this free online checklist-type program called Trello ( I input the tasks I want to get done the night before and the next day I check them off as I go along. It helps me keep track of what I have to do and there's also a mobile app so you can keep an eye on your tasks while you're on the go.