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HOW DO YOU ALLOT YOUR TIME?

January 27, 2016

As writers, we have to dedicate so much time to each aspect of our craft. Whether it be the actual writing of our stories, social media, or querying, all of this takes time. How do you allot for each of those?

WHY YOU’RE DOING THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE

The main reason you’re even in this passion is to write. Without creating stories, you’d have nothing else to do. Depending on how proficient you are, you’ll whip out short stories, novels and articles in varying time frames. Then there’s the editing, proofing, maybe getting them beta read, or going through them with a writer’s group. All of this takes time. This is time away from the rest of your daily life which includes family, sickness, work, and fun (hey, I consider this passion just as much fun as everything else).

Depending on your proficiency and your work process, your writing time can be more or less. Since this is your primary creative force, and the source (hey, that rhymes!) of what is to follow, you would naturally think that most time should be allotted to that. At the outset, that’s true. However, once you have a substantial body of work, or one good published work in the can, the allotted time can skew another way.

FINDING REPRESENTATION/QUERYING/NETWORKING

Part of the process of writing is getting to know the players and getting others to know you exist. You can’t just write in a vacuum and expect everyone else to read it. Your stuff won’t automatically get published polished and trumpeted as the greatest of the greatest by you sitting at your computer and just pumping this stuff out. You have to seek out others that are willing to publish it. This arduous and often highly frustrating process can take a lot of time and sometimes many years. How much time are you willing to allot to that task? How much time do you take away from your primary mission of writing to deal with it? How much time do you take away from the rest of your life to let others know your writing is the best thing since sliced bread?

SOCIAL MEDIA

Whether you have something published, are just networking and on the way, social media is one of the great tools to help you. While it may not be the only avenue, a lot of people embrace it. I’ve seen and talked with a few writers who completely disregard social media. They have nothing to do with it, are happy and say they’re successful. I have no idea because I’ve never heard of them! Go figure.

Social media, like everything else, takes time. While a great tool, you need to allot so much time for the various sites to chat with friends and/or fans, co-conspirators or what have you. While in my opinion it’s invaluable, social media can also become a time consuming monster that devours all the time you need to do your primary mission, which is writing. However, it is also an essential tool to get the word out when you have something to market.

Social media is the way to let fans and others know what’s happening with you and your writing. Events, progress, just what’s on your mind. Activity to keep your writing in the forefront.

That takes time, but it’s your common sense that will have to keep it from becoming that time-consuming monster. How much time will you dedicate to it?

BOOTS ON THE GROUND MARKETING

Now, this is for those of you that actually have a published work, regardless of format. You may be required (or compelled) to do book signings, a book release event, public speaking, radio or TV interviews, writer’s conferences, book festivals or what have you.

This all takes time away from everything else, and can cost money out of pocket unless you get it sponsored. How much time will you dedicate to that?

BALANCING ACT

It’s all a balancing act. Writing is your passion, your hobby, whatever you want to call it. There are many aspects involved and each one takes time. You have to proportion your time to each piece of the puzzle and work it so you don’t slack too much on one and neglect the others. It’s not rocket science, but it can call for a bit of strategic planning. It’s nothing to fret over, but you should at least have a general plan to keep things sane. Also, don’t be afraid to step back, look with fresh eyes and adjust.

Happy writing!

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