Monday, October 19, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR: J.A. Saare

First and foremost, thanks for having me on the blog, J.K. It’s great to be here, and I really appreciate it!

So about that time crunch…Remember the Rolling Stones classic, Time is on my side? Well, I hate to tell ya, Mick. It’s not on mine.

Everyone that has published a story (or is in the beginning phases of publication) knows that the real work doesn’t begin until after the book is done. Family responsibilities aside, with the promos, loops, blogs, chats, and contests, not to mention Twitter, Myspace, and Facebook, it’s a madhouse. There just aren’t enough hours in the day!

So how do I get promotion done, tend the homestead, and find time to write? Honestly? I’m not there yet. But I have implemented a few new strategies to keep me on track.

1.) Have a schedule.

As a mother to four, this rule is the hardest. Unforeseen things occur all the time and I never know if everything will have to go on the back burner while I tend to the family unit. But the basic premise applies. What I suggest is learning what days are best for each thing you need to tackle, for example, promos and loops are best done for me on Mondays and Fridays. For that reason, I only post them up on those days and have it written on my schedule to reflect it (and plan my contests according to it, so my blog will be ready for random comments). Learn what works for you and use it to your advantage.

2.) Buy a calendar…or Three.

For those that choose the electronic devices to keep up, that’s excellent too. But yours truly is a self proclaimed widget idiot and has maintained a love for pen and paper that just won’t die.

I have three calendars. One for releases of TBR books (relevant because you want to track when something is coming out so you can block off a piece of time to read it in your schedule above), one for blog visits and promotional work, and one for deadlines (that applies to blogs as well). The best investment I’ve ever made is my desk calendar. It’s a massive eyesore I can’t miss, even if I want to. Nothing feels better than when you put a nice fat line through a task, know it’s done, and can finish up the rest of the day in peace.

3.) Prioritize the blogs/websites you visit, so that if you can’t check them daily, you visit at least once per week.

Blogs, in my humble opinion, are a very important source of promotion. It’s a place people get to know you, and hopefully, gain an interest in your work. But it’s a back scratch back kind of thing. Truth is people won’t visit your blog more than once if you don’t drop in to say hello to them once in a while. I have multiple blogs and websites I enjoy, and have started visiting certain ones on particular days.

4.) Just say no to Twitter and Facebook.

I know I’m going to take heat for this, but hear me out! I’m not anti-tweet or anti-FB. My thing is moderation. Just the other day I was speaking with my husband and this. Networking sites are like a juicy game of Tetris. Once started, they become impossible to pull away from.

As I stated with the blogs above, I think scheduling a day is good if you can, or perhaps a block of time during each day. Right now, I simply can’t devote that kind of time to it, as much as I wish I could. All it takes is one good tweet or comment to get my attention, and I’m drawn in like a junkie. *smile*

5.) When the time comes to write, don’t make excuses, do it.

Believe me when I tell you that there are evenings when I glare at my computer and curse the day it was invented. Once upon a time, I would keep the laptop open and divide my time between writing and Twitter. I quickly discovered that didn’t work (who wants to write when you can enjoy #yourlame?) and reevaluated my strategy. I wasn’t getting the work done, and when I did, it was awful. Now I come into my office, turn of all distractions (minus the music with helps the process), and set a goal. The goal can vary, whether it is a word count or a chapter finished, but I don’t leave the cave until it’s done.

Five small things, but they have helped me cope with the stress of being all over the place. Now I don’t wake up with that horrible feeling I’ve forgotten to do something, or muddle through the day because I’ve waited too long to write a blog entry or submit a theme story.

What things to you do to organize your time? Share in a comment.

J.A. Saare
Blog: http://jasaare.blogspot.com/
Books available from Amira Press

8 comments:

RKCharron said...

Hi JK & JA :)
Thank you for the guest post today JA, I liked your advice for time management. I use the Franklin Planner for my time management.
Thanks for sharing,
All the best,
RKCharron
xoxo

Shelley Munro said...

Hi JK & JA,

Actually, I do pretty much what you do. I have a large calendar where I write all my obligations, I don't really do Facebook and haven't joined Twitter at all. I think it's important to do a few things well rather than trying to spread yourself too thin!

Most important of all is the writing. If you don't write then there's no product to sell!

And one final thing I'd say is do the things you enjoy when it comes to promo. If you don't enjoy something why do it?

J.K. Coi said...

Thanks for visiting JA!
I certainly understand the time sucks--and that sometimes they are inevitable (like online promotional stuff)

But when it comes time to write, I'm famous for unplugging the internet so I have no other choice than to do what I have to do. It works when I can manage it (when hubby doesn't need the internet on for his own stuff)

Take care and good luck!

Natasha A. said...

My one concession to organization is meal planning. I get sick if I don't eat, and I got tired of eating out because I hadn't planned something in advance. Now I meal plan, usually every Sunday, so that I know exactly what I am making for the week. It's gotten a little crazy right now because Hubby isn't working, and so he isn't eating as much. I seem to be having a crap load more leftovers than normal! lol

Renee said...

Eeeek, buy a calendar? LOL, I have four children, I homeschool my kids, and I'm the least put together person you'll ever meet. I can't live without chaos.

Loving the cover.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

JK, thanks so much for hosting JA today! I'm stopping by to let your readers know that she will try to be by later (as soon as she can -- though it may not be today), but has had a small family emergency.

I didn't want you to think she'd forgotten. She emailed and asked me to extend her apologies.

J.A. Saare said...

Hey RKCharron, Shelley, J.K., Natasha, and Renee! ;)

Sorry I haven't been able to respond before now (and have to be so short now, I hope to be back online this eventing). All of your ideas on time management are great! Thanks for sharing them.

Hope you all have a wonderful week.

Jaime

Cari Quinn said...

Great interview, JK and Jaime...and great tips. :) Twitter is a big weakness of mine.

*hides face because she's been playing on Twitter for an hour instead of writing*

I do better when I just don't open my internet browser at all. Glad to see I'm not the only one who battles the internet monster...