Teaching an old dog …

Ever since I left my school days behind me, happenstance has ruled my days. As a fairly normal human and stay-at-home mother of four, I observed a schedule of certain daily activities, but I also became a queen of procrastination.

Then my household dwindled to my husband and myself. I ruled my days. As of 2008, on most days, I could spend 8 … 10 … 14 hours writing, if I wanted. And I did. Housework be damned. But as of April, I have a published book. It’s up to me to promote said book. Happenstance is no longer cutting it.

Now I’m feeling the pressure to set a schedule—and stick to it. Every fiber of my being protests. But I don’t think it’s possible to go with the flow any longer and still effectively market one book while writing another. I have to decide what is worth my time and what isn’t.

I can’t do all the things the gurus advise to promote my novel. I’ll have to pick what I think will work for me. If I’m wrong, I’ll try something else. The most important thing to me is to have time to write. I accept that the marathon sessions I had for Brevity are no longer possible. Yet, I cannot write well in 15-minute segments.

Something’s gotta give. I don’t feel like myself anymore. I don’t feel like a writer. I don’t like this life.

Your turn: Are you naturally or do you force yourself to be disciplined with your writing time?

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38 thoughts on “Teaching an old dog …

  1. It’s a dilemma for sure. How to find the time to write the next book when you’re so busy promoting / marketing the first one? When you’re writing you feel like you should be marketing. When you’re marketing you feel like you should be writing. I don’t know how people do it who have little ones at home.
    I try to set aside blocks of time for each when I come home from my day job. One hour for this. One hour for that. It sort of works. 😛

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    1. That’s exactly it, Jacquelin. It’s a constant pulling from the other side. But I like the one hour idea. I think when I sort out what parts of marketing are effective for me, I might be able to keep that to an hour a day. That would be manageable. My wild-eyes scattershot approach is not helping anything. 🙂

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      1. “wild-eyes scattershot approach” OMG! That so summed up my approach to just about everything these days. I used to think heck, I’m bound to hit on something. But now I question what that might be and will it be worth all of the time that I’ve spent?

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  2. I wish I had more time to devote to writing. I have a very demanding job that leaves me mentally wiped out at the end of the day. And, I love to garden, something else that takes up large chunks of time. I’ve discovered that if I let Saturdays be for gardening and errands and Sundays are writing days it keeps me going. Of course, I find myself praying for rain – a lot. Two birds, one stone. 😉

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    1. Oh, Kimberly, I shouldn’t complain, I know. There are so many of you with far less writing time than I have who make great use of it. I have let my gardens go to pot (not literally) and still don’t get enough writing done. I empathize with your praying for rain, though. That’s like my hoping my husband will say let’s order pizza for dinner or he’ll do the grocery shopping or wash the dishes. Of course, then he expects I’ll actually get some words down while he does that. 🙂

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      1. Oh but I’m not complaining. The trick is to always think about your story. Sometimes I’ll sit down to write a scene that’s played through my head several times over and I find that it comes out much more polished that way. It’s just quality vs. quantity.

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    1. Yes, indeed, Christa. Probably most of us would be in big trouble if all our “wishes” came true. 🙂 And Happy Doomsday back. Of course, it’s not 6pm here yet, so I could still disappear. 😉

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  3. I have to admit that I’m not very disciplined when it comes to writing. There is usually a five month period during the year when I’m not working outside the home, but the rest of the time I am. Many days I just don’t get time to write after working, but I try not to get upset about it. Even when I’m not actually writing I’m usually thinking about my characters.

    I will say I found it challenging to get back into a writing groove after my book came out. You get wrapped up in the promotion of that book and it’s not easy to think about the next. I even spent time wondering it there would be a next.

    Getting back to writing is probably a good thing, Linda. I guess it’s a matter of moving ourselves along and not staying stuck on the one book.

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