Time Flies

Can you believe we're halfway through March? I've been uncomfortably aware that I've been neglecting my writing for two and three days at a time. At this rate my deadline date will pass me by before I'm ready, but I promised my editor . . . and reiterated my promise to my new old editor (I refer to her that way because I've worked with her before) that I will absolutely be on time with this manuscript.

I'm happy to say that I've been working at a steady clip. Even with a visit from family this past weekend I've devoted a few hours to this facet of my life most days in the last week. I also carved out time for a special project I've been dying to do just for the heck of it (I'll tell you more about that when it's ready, which won't be for several months at the soonest). I've kept distractions to a minimum . . . which raises a question I've always been curious about.

How do writers manage to find time to host Yahoo groups, maintain pages at Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Shelfari, and all the other Internet networking sites out there and still write? I usually receive several invitations each month, which I have to turn down because of time restrictions. I have a web site and a blog, and I visit other people's blogs, and that's all I can handle.

Are you an aspiring writer, or an avid reader? What are your distractions, and how do you deal with them?


Patricia W. said...

Bettye, you know my story. I read waaaay too many writer loops and blogs on a daily basis. But this doesn't detract much from my writing time because I typically do so in stolen moments between other necessary tasks. As far as my own blog, I do a lot of advance writing of posts and schedule them out, with minor updates to make them relevant.

I absolutely shun MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. although I do have a Shelfari page where I keep my books I've read updated but stay away from the forums. I stay away from Ning groups except for one that encourages me spiritually and one where there's an interactive writing project going on that I'm learning from.

I think those social networks are more important for published authors but I also think you have to pick and choose. You have to find creative, simple ways to have a presence. Anything that requires constant input/update from you may not be worth it.

Ultimately, if you're not putting books on the shelves, your energies are in the wrong place. But then, if you're not selling the books on the shelves, you have to find a way to participate that you can live with.

DonnaD said...

Where oh where do I begin?

I have a blog that I typically ignore for a while then post several items at once. Not a good thing.

I'm on Facebook, but way too much during the day.

I have a Myspace page that I haven't checked in months. It's ridiculously unfriendly.

I read two blogs (yours and Patricia's) on a regular basis and Blogging in Black when they have new (and interesting columns). I will print BIB to read on the train or at lunch.

My TBR list is constantly growing but I haven't been reading. I just started one of Bettye's book with two others checked out from the library. Good lunchtime reading.

I have nearly 6-8 months worth of back issues of mags that I haven't read.

I just started working on my presentation for BWRC and now that I have a lightweight laptop for traveling, I picked up my WIP again and managed to get in 2 pages in my 30 minute train ride.

We won't even get into all the other stuff that's going on (Avon, kid, etc.).

Whew, I'm tired just writing about this. :)

bettye griffin said...

Patricia, I've heard published authors say that they find MySpace a tremendous help with interacting with readers, but the whole idea of communicating with dozens of strangers creeps me out a little. It's all about selling, I suppose. I'd like to sell as much as the next writer, but . . . .

Donna, I love your blog posts. I wish you'd post on a more regular basis. Blogging sharpens your writing skills, as well. I'm tired just reading about all you do. And I certainly do appreciate your reading my blog regularly (and I'm sure Patricia does, too!)

Thanks for commenting!

shelia said...

Bettye, when I'm not on deadline, I usually check blogs first thing in the morning or when I'm taking a break during the day. I'll check blogs/sites when I'm on the phone. I'm always multi-tasking (except when I'm writing).

Lately though I've had back to back deadlines so I don't surf the net as much as I used to. When I have a longer lead time for due dates, I can pace myself, but when the due dates are so close together, I have to let the daily blog visits go (I'm sure you can tell, I don't visit every day like I used to...but I still come by several times a week).

shelia said...

"I also think you have to pick and choose. You have to find creative, simple ways to have a presence. Anything that requires constant input/update from you may not be worth it."

Patricia, you definately have to pick and choose which ones to sign up with. I prefer blogs but because of the networking, I am signed up with myspace and facebook and some of the others. I know some folks are reading myspace bulletins because I've had people show up to events and let me know they saw my announcement on myspace. I will see if Facebook works when I have my booksigning in 2 months.

I really need a trusted assistant and that would make life so much easier.

DonnaD said...

I hear you, Bettye. I'm going to get a schedule together to post at least once - maybe twice - a week. I have no excuses now. My little portable baby can go anywhere in the house or wherever I go. I just need to write down my blog thoughts and copy and paste into the blog.