Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Promo Time vs. Writing Time

d 065I put the ‘versus’ in the title because I always feel like promoting and writing are competing with each other for time out of my day.

We’ve gotten to the point where promo takes up a large amount of a published author’s day.

Even if you’re not yet published, building a platform for yourself is still highly recommended for a strong web presence and to be a more attractive candidate to agents and editors. If you have a large imprint on the online community and you can reach a lot of people through Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, it definitely makes a difference—because those contacts represent potential sales.

A typical writer (and this is just my personal observation, looking at the writers in my Google Reader) will blog at least once a week and interacts on either Facebook or Twitter (sometimes both.) Being active on these applications means writing blog posts, reading and responding to comments, visiting other blogs, updating a Facebook status, reading and responding to the Facebook news feed….you get the idea. Usually this means about an hour out of the day—at the minimum.

But the writing still comes first—otherwise, there’s no need for the platform or the promo. But squeezing this writing time in around our online time can be really challenging.

We all have the same number of ours in our day, so there’s only so much we can do with this problem.

I’ve got Finger Lickin’ Dead releasing June 7, but I’ve also got a couple of different deadlines (for different projects) coming up at almost the same time.

For me, it has meant becoming more flexible (and I’m not usually the most flexible person in the world when it comes to my schedule.)

I used to have a very set schedule for blogging, and social media (writing is something I’ve always been flexible about). But with increased need for promo, I’ve had to learn to go with the flow a little more.

This is what I’ve been doing, which has been pretty successful so far:

Decrease the times each day that I check email—and have dedicated times that I look at it.

When my phone rings, I check to see who is calling before picking up (I always pick up for my family…friends I’ll sometimes need to call back during a break.)

Write more than one blog post at a time. Brainstorm blog posts for a week.

Timer: Y’all must be sick of hearing me talk about timers, but they really do help reel you in when you’re on social media too much.

Blog visiting: Divide the blogs you visit into days of the week (either by using Google Reader, or by jotting down the blogs on your calendar.)

Remember to prioritize writing. This might mean staying up 15-20 minutes later at night or getting up 15-20 minutes earlier in the morning.

How do you balance your online time and your writing time?


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