Thursday, January 17, 2013

Managing Time as an Author

Time management as an author, can mean the difference between success and failure.  One of the biggest interference's as an author is the one thing that you use to help promote your work, social media.  I can only speak from personal experience, but it's very easy for me to get caught up talking to friends on Facebook and Twitter, when I know I should be writing, and this was causing countless hours of time to be pulled away from my work.

The best suggestion I can give when it comes to writing and time management, is to start your time on the computer by writing, and not dealing with social media until your allotted time for writing is complete.  Make a goal about how many hours (or minutes) you want to spend on writing daily, and stick to it.  Until that goal has been met don't open up the social media outlets that draw you in.  If you're anything like me, this is not an easy task to accomplish. So many interesting things are going on with my friends, and I felt like I was missing out on everything for the first week I decided to do this.  Granted, I might be a little bit of an addict.

Before my third book, I admit I didn't take my writing as seriously as I should have.  These days I have a set schedule though.  With two series ongoing, I don't have time to not take this seriously anymore.  It's much easier to develop these habits from the beginning instead of backtracking.  If you don't want to set aside a certain amount of time, at least consider setting a word count that you need to fulfill each day.  Whichever way works for you, it's going to change how much writing you're getting done.

Prior to the 10 Nights books, I never understood that you have to keep writing and not promote as much.  What no one seemed to make clear when they said keep writing, was that sooner or later if you write enough, you will find the audience for your books.  That could mean writing six or more books, or you might get lucky with the first.  No matter what anyone else tells you, luck is a very big part of success as a writer.  My advice is to write, and write even more.  The more material you have out there, the better chance of success you have.

To make the point, I started writing the Tears of Crimson series, thinking that this was all I wanted to write about, vampire romance.  To prove the point, the vampire romance proved to be a hard sale, while the new series sold with very little promotion at all.  So even though I think the Tears of Crimson Series is some of my best work, the market was more interested in BDSM Romance and that's what has sold.  I also firmly believe that there is a time and place for all book, depending on what the current interest is for readers.  With the Fifty Shades phenomenon, the 10 Nights series just happened to be the right books at the right time.

Since no one can predict what trend will happen next, it's more important than ever to continue writing.  I also believe in expanding in your writing.  As a romance author, I may not travel outside that comfort zone, but there are plenty of different avenues I can take within the romance genre.  Whatever genre you enjoy, I'm sure you can find different categories inside that topic.  No matter what you write about, managing your time while doing it is imperative.

Creating a schedule on your own terms can get you in the mode of writing daily.  Even if you are juggling a full time job, you can set aside at least an hour a day to focus on your craft.  If writing is something you truly want to do, you will find a way to manage it.  I started this by asking myself what I was willing to give up to pursue my writing career.  For me it was giving up a few hours of social media fun.  What it all boils down to is how much do you want this?  If it's your dream to be an author, then you will find a way to make it work for you.

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