Monday, October 15, 2012

Demands on Your Time

I face the same dilemma as most authors -- finding time to actually write when faced with living and with book promotions. I've heard from authors who devote most of their waking lives to their craft -- honing writing skills, plot and character research, interacting with agents and publishers -- often at the expense of less time with family and friends, much less with social contacts and organizations. Authors can become "hermits", separated from the world and immersed in their stories. The price paid is in fewer contacts, but their rewards could be great in terms of self-satisfaction, literary and financial success.

The majority of authors I know do not make their living from writing. That includes me. We try to schedule  time to write (which includes research), time for physical activity, time for family matters and for friends, etc. I am not always successful. This is especially true for authors who are independent publishers like many of us who have released our books as electronic publications. Some bloggers recommend e-book authors spend 80 percent of their time on publicity and 20 percent on writing. Getting your work noticed among over an estimated 3 million ebook releases a year is no simple feat. In the last couple of weeks I've sent electronic press releases about Ransomed Earth to hundreds of organizations hoping that the addressee will read it and not delete the information, or that it doesn't end up in the junk mail box. Included were releases to international organizations and eco-tourism companies given the plot themes in Ransomed Earth. It is very satisfying to see that over two dozen page visits were recorded on my web page from the international community -- primarily China and Norway. At least someone read the press release. Whether that ends up in a sale or spreading the word to others remain to be seen. But it is a payback for the many hours of work.

Most of the time my schedule becomes skewed as I am pulled to work in the yard because the weather is fine, or visit family because it's a birthday, or just to read. I have not accepted a schedule that is firm which is my own fault. I usually do better as the story takes shape and I am called by the characters or the muses to the keyboard very early in the morning....thank goodness for naps!

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