Tag Archives: time management

New year’s resolutions

English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

English: Two New Year’s Resolutions postcards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy new year! *clicks champagne glasses*

I hope you all had a great holiday season, whatever it meant to you, and that you and your family all made it through to the other side intact and in the same number of pieces in which you started it. :)

In honour of the new year, today I’m going to talk about new year’s resolutions.

You know, I’m not normally a resolution type of girl. I don’t see much point in making decisions to change my life just because the calendar has ticked over to a new day, nor waiting for such a time to implement any changes. If I want to do something, I just do it, rather than waiting till the next January. In addition, the normal kinds of new year’s resolutions – giving up smoking, cutting down on drinking, losing weight – don’t really work for someone who doesn’t smoke, barely drinks and is probably technically underweight as it is.

This year, though, I’m making some, and they’re all writing related. Why? Well, it’s not because it’s suddenly 2013 and my life has started flashing before my eyes, or because I have a sudden recognition of my own mortality. No, it’s more because I’ve been at home these last two weeks and had time to think about where I want to be this time next year. So, without further ado, here they are (in no particular order):

  1. Get novel #1 edited to a point where I’m happy with it, and send it out to my trusty beta readers.
  2. Write the bulk of novel #2. I had the plot bunny for it suddenly attack me late last year, so I’ve written out a bunch of notes that just need to be put in some kind of order and fleshed out. If I can get the first draft done that will be incredible, but I’m not holding my breath.
  3. Get better at answering comments on my blog. If you’re taking the trouble to comment on it, then the least I can do is acknowledge that, right?
  4. In that vein, get better at commenting on other people’s blogs. I read them, but it’s normally on my phone and I have a really bad habit of not getting around to getting on my computer and actually writing out a comment. I’ll try to improve on that this year.
  5. Keep up to date with my reviewing and remember to cross-post reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Again, it’s a bad habit I have of forgetting to do it and then I get to the point I’m at now of having about a dozen that need to be done. *adds it to her to-do list*
  6. Try to be more active on social media. It’s my own fault – for example, I have three Twitter accounts, all for different purposes, and in trying to keep up with them all I tend to keep up with none. But if I’m going to be professional about this writing thing then I probably need to have a bit more of a profile and really work on that. I’m not sure how hard I’m going to work at it this year (the full-on thing isn’t going to happen, for instance), but just making a point of paying more attention and posting more often isn’t a bad idea, right?
  7. Do more guest posts for other blogs, and participate in things like the Third Sunday Blog Carnival. I’ve been meaning to do it for months but just never got around to it. Better now than never, I figure. :)

So, those are my resolutions for 2013. The idea is that if I put them out in the open like this, rather than just on a piece of paper stuck to my fridge door, then I’m more likely to keep to them. (Though the fridge door isn’t a bad idea either, in that it will be something I see every day.) And if I look like lagging behind in anything, then feel free to beat me about the head a little bit. I’m not averse to a little encouragement if I’m going astray.

What about you? Are you doing resolutions for the new year, or just plodding on as usual without worrying about it? What works best for you? I’d love to hear about it. :)

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Balancing time

It is, I’m sure, a common conundrum. Aspiring writers, like me, who are trying to both write their book and establish an online profile at the same time. I’ve been working diligently – well, as diligently as I can while looking after young children – to try to get this blog, and my Twitter and Facebook profiles, up and running. And, well, while it’s great to get followers and feel like you’ve reached out to people, it is time-consuming.

And therein lies the conundrum. I have limited time on the computer due to real life commitments, and I have to ask myself: Am I better off spending this time getting my profile established, writing blogs like this one and posting on Twitter and Facebook and the like, or should I instead be working on my manuscript, without which there will be no book and, therefore, no need for an online profile?

I find myself doing a little of both, but not giving either enough of the time they really require or deserve, and I feel as though I’m short-changing my book, my profile and myself. Add this to traditional mother-guilt, and that’s a lot on my conscience, almost all of it self-inflicted. And this is not a good thing. Therefore, I feel the need to streamline my activities in order to simplify things.

Today is Wednesday. As I said on the weekend, Wednesday is my writing day, especially now holidays are over so I have no distractions in the form of small children. That is, aside from the baby, who is another matter for another day.  This means I will spend most of the day concentrating on my manuscript. I will also (obviously) blog on Wednesdays, as I’ll be at the computer anyway. However, other social media like Facebook and Twitter can be reserved for use on my phone, when I’m off the computer. Thus, fewer distractions from my writing, which is what I’m trying to focus on anyway.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for how to manage limited computer time yet still get everything done? Has anyone managed to strike a compromise that works? Am I on the right path or getting totally lost? Any feedback would be most welcome.

Thank you!

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“So you want to be a writer?”

I know, I know. There are countless websites about the above, and countless blogs giving advice. Me, I’m one of the ones scouring said websites and blogs to try to find information, and to be frank, it’s confusing.  Some people say you MUST have a blog, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Google+, and a website with your own domain name, and that in order to be considered for publication you must have what is called a platform. Others say that for first-time fiction writers there is no such need, and that every case is considered on its own merit.  Well, I’m a novice fiction writer, with a half-finished book that I would like to get out there to the world of agents and publishers one of these days (when it’s done, of course), and I don’t have a platform. Really, I don’t have much at all.

However, I’m trying. (Some would say I’m very trying, but that’s another story entirely.) While it may not be essential, who’s to say a blog wouldn’t help?  If nothing else it will improve my writing, and perhaps might even get some people to recognise my name. That is, some people who aren’t related to me or on speed dial on my phone. Hence, this blog.  I’ve also started tweeting under this name in order to try to help find my niche in this rather scary world of professional writing. Facebook and Google+ are yet to come, as is the webpage, but I figured I have to start somewhere.

My trouble, however, in establishing this platform, is the same trouble most people have.  Time.  While I’m not working at the moment, as I am still on leave following the birth of my youngest child nine months ago, I don’t exactly have a lot of spare time.  I have resolved this year to spend at least one day each week writing, but that can only be during school term when I only have the baby at home with me, and even then I’d be lucky to get three hours writing in during the whole school day. Ideally I’d like to spend that time working on my novel, so that leaves blogging, tweeting and anything else as essentially extracurricular activities that need their own time allocated for them. At the moment, it’s school holidays and I’m lucky to get two hours a week on the computer, and then I spend much of that time doing horribly practical things like banking and ordering stick-on name labels for my children. Once term begins, I will have some more time. *crosses fingers*

I guess what I’m really doing here is, like my youngest son, taking baby steps. For him it’s literal, whereas for me it’s the figurative steps into a world I really know nothing about. And I will still devour blogs and websites that offer conflicting advice, and sift through trying to make my own sense of things and work out what’s best for me. I’m sure I’ll make mistakes along the way, but then again, who doesn’t? After all, I’m only human.

If you stumbled across this page, let me know if I made a real hash of this or not.  After all, I’ve not blogged much before, and certainly not  like this, so I know I have a lot to learn. But we all have to start somewhere, right?

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