Started this afternoon with $600 & level 15. I...

Web Log 2012.10.10:

#Writers: Choose How to Use Your Time

There’s just so much of that commodity to go around. You use it or lose it, so be sure you decide how to fill it.

00:41:38 Admiral, we’re losing precious time. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

01:24:41 If, without losing time on advertising, they can concentrate on manuscripts.
Cassandra’s Dream (2007)

Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short. –Adam Hochschild

00:23:32 We’re out of time! He’s losing oxygen, he needs to be intubated now!Scrubs (2001)

After a year of studying the craft, I spent the better part of two years assembling the bones of three novels. It seemed logical to start looking for an agent as I started editing book #1. What happened in those three years? The industry got turned upside down. So I began a new study: Publishing in the second decade of the 21st century. First and foremost, you must have a platform to market yourself and your work.

The last 3+ months were spent – enjoyably, I must admit – reading helpful blogs and training how-to’s; studying the intricacies of Twitter; tripping over WordPress as I tried to start a blog of my own, taking social media marketing webinars and discovering that I have a Klout and Kred score (albeit not an impressive one). Oh yes, and I got lost.

The last time I got lost in cyberspace, it was because a ‘good friend’ hooked me up with Facebook and their nasty, addictive games. I would work ’til 10pm, then come home to farm and cook until the sky was quickening toward dawn. I finally stripped my crops, hung a “gone writing” sign on my cafe, and turned over my medieval kingdom to an eager competitor. I don’t know what happened to my fish tank (ick!).

This time it was Twitter. Now I see others calling it “the black vortex” and other scary names, but last summer I had no idea Twitter was so addicting, so demanding. It grows by itself, so you want to feed it, care for it; and every new tweet contains a world you’ve never explored before. It is the best of the global internet in an organized box, like expensive candy being presented to you by new friends you chose to follow. Who can resist that? Or the fact that it is a social/political/commercial revolution in the making.

A couple of weeks ago I received a link to an article warning us to protect our most precious commodity: time. It suggested that if we had created our platform as advised, used our Gravatar, we should Google ourselves. If we have a presence, it’s time to get back to work. {Gulp!} Well, that made sense, so I did. And I DID! I celebrated, I danced with the dogs, we ran around the house barking (we have a strange and wonderful friendship).

Then I got depressed for two reasons:
1. Time to cut back on Twitter (and the new Facebook games My Vegas and Slotomania); and
2. I don’t have a finished book to market on my new author’s platform yet.
Rats! What good is this second childhood if I still have to act like a grownup?

Everyone’s busy; no one has enough time to do it all. The secret to life is negotiation + moderation. Even if you’re uber organized, time has a way of doing its own thing. Negotiate for time, negotiate with time, negotiate for help, negotiate with yourself. Hell, I even negotiate with the dogs. (Yesterday, I ordered Jiggy to go outside to tell Kipper to stop barking. I was tweeting. He did!).

After negotiating for help, set up a schedule that includes everything! Even if everything only gets an hour each, it’s moving forward, growing. You take it off your worry list. And if you finish a task early, give the time to something that’s dragging behind.

Last of all, save the last hour of the day for reading, with TV and computer off. You’ll feel and sleep better, especially if it’s before dawn. And if sleep is eluding you, there’s always Slotomania …

Categories: Writing Ideas
  1. October 31, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    Gosh, you’re a swell writer. You had me from, ‘Hi, my name is Linny and I’m a writeaholic.’ I’ll be back. How often do you post? I try to get in one per fortnight.


  2. October 31, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Alex, Thank you! I don’t have your experience, knowledge and style, but I do have a voice. So I decided to use my own voice on the blog. It will grow, albeit slowly! I promised myself I would post at least once per week, but now that I have another regular freelance job, it often goes past my deadlines. Thanks for your comments, you know how important they are to writers. Write On! You’re a fantastic storyteller,


  3. October 31, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Vita brevis,
    ars longa,
    occasio praeceps,
    experimentum periculosum,
    iudicium difficile.


    • October 31, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      A student of Chaucer! I’m impressed and haven’t thought of that in years. Thank you. That should be my signature quote. Thanks for visiting and commenting. It means a lot.


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