Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time Management: Do You Dream of Squeezing More Words Out of Your Computer Time?

Time management. What a wonderful concept! Everyone would love to write a publishable novel in a month of sitting. Most people take longer. Some because they hop around from one web site to another. Others because they are just plain slooow. Actually thousands of reasons keep writers from pounding out as many words as they want each day. Probably as many reasons as there are writers.

But really. Do you dream of squeezing the most production out of your time on the computer? I don't. I accept I'm a snail writer ... It seems I spend hours staring at my computer screen with little production to show for it because I'm always going back to correct or add things to what I've written before. [Yeah, I know about getting the ending on your story and then revising. But it doesn't work for me. It's too much work trying to find all the pieces ... and I might not even find them all.]

Got so annoyed at my feeble writing results, I did a time analysis to answer just what I was doing. What were the culprits slowing down my word production?

The easy target is social media. At least I read a lot of other writers and authors complaining about procrastination interfering with their writing. For me, it's LinkedIn that's both one of the most useful and the most time-consuming networking site I visit. ... every day. I made the mistake of keeping the little green check in the "I want the comments emailed" box. It was taking me a half hour to delete them all and I just joined a few writer groups.

Most writers I know personally complain about wasting time of Twitter the most. Alan Kealey at  Indie Author News offers some solutions: Twitter Tips for Authors. He offers some valuable suggestions on getting the most out of your Twitter time. -- Kealey reinforced one thing I've been moving towards -- not doing the "buy my book bit" over and over again. You turn people off, he says.

[Of course, I'd love it if you did buy my books, but ... you don't want to hear another writer begging.] My decision is to promote my two Facebook fan pages, one for the Far Isle Half-Elven and the other's my author page. ... Of course, there are my two websites too. ... And my blog. By the time I retweet and follow on Twitter my social media time is up. ... Oh. I forgot I gotta blog too. -- Did someone say a writer's work is never done?

Then, there are the promo sites that you join and don't do anything with. Goodreads is probably the one I should spend more time on, but I really haven't figured it out. ... More important. I run out of social media time before I get there.  --  The sneaky writing elf behind my ear says: "You don't want to spend the time to figure it out."

So ... you're still here reading this long post? Well, check the time. Chances are you've already spent more time visiting social media sites than you have time for. Yeah. The best way to get the most word production from your time at the computer is write first and play later. It's called setting priorities.

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Just wanted to let you know I did get something done during my winter doldrums. The Pig Wars has been sent to an e-publisher to be rejected. -- No. I don't have an optimistic bone in my body. The same goes for all the agents I'm querying Bad Luck Emma to. [You can read an excerpt of Emma at my author blog.]
 
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