Another A to Z accomplished and now to jump right into our insecurities as writers as we join Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. I'm not too keen about focusing on my writing insecurities after successfully completing my 26 A to Z posts on all four of my blogs with a few additional posts on the A to Z Blog. But I'll be reflecting more on the A to Z Challenge this coming Friday May 3rd right here on Tossing It Out. For more information about the annual Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Post please visit the A to Z Blog.
So what insecurities to bring up today? Let me delve back to my post from February 25th of this year. At that time I announced my intent to start a Wednesday series called "Ask Arlee" and requested that readers submit questions to which I might offer my solutions. Now that April is done and we are back to normal in a sense, I will resume this feature. And today being Wednesday we'll start with a question that I get a bit insecure about myself.
This dilemma comes from Julie Anne Nelson, Young Adult Author:
All right, here's my question:
How do I find time to do the business/marketing side of writing when I am already working two full-time jobs with the job that supports me and the writing that creates the books?
(I am also starting a garden this year and getting a new puppy... neither of which is negotiable... although I do see some comical dichotomies in those two events. Mental note: must put fences around the garden... or the puppy... or both.) :)
Oh boy, this hits straight home on one of the problems that seems to continually vex me. There's never enough time in the day to do everything I need to do and would like to get done and still have time to watch a movie now and then or take a really adequate afternoon nap. I don't know how anyone with a full time job (let alone two jobs!) can take on writing and life in general. You add in the business/marketing side and you've got more than seems feasible.
It almost seems trivial to mention prioritizing things, but I know that's what I need to do in my life. I'm sure you're probably prioritizing already. The regular job is a must unless you can find some other kind of income flow or the writing really breaks loose in a big way. Gardens and puppies are probably good to maintain your sanity and keep balance in your life.
If you haven't tried making a list or schedule to see where your time is going then that might be an approach to take. Maybe you're losing some time or even wasting it somewhere. I keep intending to do this list thing, but procrastination is one of my big enemies along with the issue of available time. You can't add any hours to your day, but maybe you can juggle things around to create more efficient time use.
Another good solution is delegating work to others. Recruit whoever you can to help with the garden, the puppy, household duties, or whatever. I don't know your circumstances, but you might be able to take some of the burden off yourself and let some kind souls in your life circle to help you out. Especially if it might mean that you may become rich and famous one day, they might be more than willing to share in your success.
The business/marketing end is where the social networking comes into play so nicely. Initially you may have to invest a bit of time getting this aspect organized and honed to a greater precision. You already have your start with the blog and Facebook. If you get these tools along with Twitter, Goodreads, and an array of other networking media coordinated and automated wherever possible, then those should keep you in the web radar on a regular basis.
Don't forget your network of friends and fellow authors. It takes some time investment to build the platform, but it's time well spent. Once you've got a solid base of support out there, your friends can help with the marketing through tours, mentions, and whatever support they are willing to muster. Be sure to give back what you can in return, but don't just try to do it all on your own.
Perhaps most importantly let your fans do a good part of your marketing for you. If you are turning out good product that readers like, they will be anxious to pick up on your next offering and to tell others about it. Maybe put out a newsletter for the fans and supporters to provide monthly updates of what's happening.
The Pay Off
Sure, it all takes some time to do this. But it takes time to make time. What you invest now should pay off in the end if you've done it right. Maybe you know all of this already. If not I hope my suggestions help you. And since this post is for all of the readers, I hope it helps a number of you to consider your options. This applies to more things than just writing. Time is the nemesis we all face, but if we are able to manage it better, time can be our friend. Well, kind of a friend.
Are you challenged by keeping your time managed well? Do you live by a strict schedule? What are some time saving tricks that you use in order to get more things done in your life?