I am into my third month of promoting my first book, Gateways (available at amazon.com), and I’ve had precious little time to write. This dilemma is stretching how I organize my time and forcing me to strengthen the purpose of my to-do list and still find time for my family.
Before Gateways was released, I spent about 15 minutes every Sunday evening scheduling my week: when I would work on home-schooling, when I would read, time to write, meal preparations, outing with kids, grocery shopping, and sleep. I still do that, but my writing time is now divided up into three categories:
Actual writing time
Time for marketing
This week I added a fourth category: Public Speaking, which also includes the preparation for classroom & library visits as well as the actual visit.
I will be very honest – it’s exhausting! If I don’t keep my mind and my house organized, I can feel my day slip away without accomplishing a single thing. This writing/marketing/home-schooling gig is also overwhelming if I allow it. There are sell sheets to prepare, a guest speaker flyer to design, bookstores to visit, lessons to teach, papers to grade, and schools to contact.
Here’s how I’m managing…
On Sunday night, I make a list of three to five things I can do for marketing my work. This week I will post three blogs, contact three schools to be considered as a guest speaker, and prepare several Twitter and Facebook posts for my writing profile pages. For writing, I will complete three chapters on my next book. After all, three is the magic number.
The same goes for the rest of my life – Monday through Friday, from 7:30 AM – Noon, I am a homeschooling mom. Throughout nap time – or Quiet Reading Time for my older children – I am a writer. In the evening after the family is asleep, I work on marketing. Every now and then, I have to use nap time to implement the marketing plans, but that now falls under the ‘writer’ category. When that happens, I write at night when the house is quiet.
The secret to the success in growing into a writer is the fact that I am treating my writing as a business. Imagine the job you have now…(allow dreamy music to settle in your brain)… You likely have a set start and end time. Your job description is specific. You know what to do, when to do it and what will happen if you don’t. Writing, or any big dream, is the same way. It only happens through dedication. By setting business hours, keeping appointments with writing groups and bookstores, and in maintaining a connection with my writing co-workers, I find that everything I need to make my writing dreams into publishing dreams a reality is present.
My time is up – the baby is awake! Happy Dreams-to-Reality-Planning to you!
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