Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indie Authors: Time Management Challenges

Welcome to Indie Authors Second Wednesday Thingy-ma-Bob. In case you haven't heard of it, that may very well be because I can't recall the name at the mo, but it is a group of fabulous Indie Authors offering each other support and offering everyone ELSE a bit of a view into the world of this new ever-changing thing..

As to Time Management...

If you think my title implies you are going to find answers here, I will just give you a heads up now that I don't have them.

I just need a bit of a vent on the matter.

Cuz see... I have a lot of obligations, some more critical than others... I am a full time worker which is the only reason my family isn't starving on the street. I am a mom. I am traditionally published with obligations to people who have my name on a dotted line... and I am TRYING to be an Indie Author with all that entails...

You know... writing, editing, formatting (several versions), publishing, promoting...

I am TRYING to do it all, but some days it feels fairly impossible.

Take last night for instance:

I had a blog to write *waves at all of you*
I had prizes from a promotion to send out.
I had revisions for book 7 to enter.
And I had book 8 to finish writing. (my NaNoProject is books 7-10 for my serial)

And on Monday I had a medical procedure (just preventative) that caused me to be 'out of it' half of Sunday and all of Monday.

THANKFULLY, I was ahead on NaNoWriMo, so partially losing 2 days isn't the end of the world.  (I'm sitting at about 29K)  Though losing most of last night because nobody warned me the Windows 8.1 update would take that long really irked me. Especially as it would have been totally unnecessary if Windows 8.0 didn't suck so bad.

But enough grumbles... How do I TRY to cope?

Depends on the thing. The writing to me, isn't optional. It is my identity. I try to WORK AHEAD as much as possible... for the obligations to others on writing, too. I still find myself scrambling ALL the time, but if I hadn't tried to work ahead, that is a lot of lateness that would have crashed in on me.

NEGLECT MY FAMILY. *cough* I don't recommend this strategy, but it is one of the few things with any give. My kids are both teens and prefer it this way. It is only my husband who gets annoyed. Mr. Tart would prefer I cleaned more and parented more actively.

Learn the publishing IN PIECES. I am publishing serially—100 page installments of a longer story. The one-at-a-time ones I published to Kindle Direct first—get them OUT THERE, but only learn ONE system right off. It has given me free days to promote my first. Then in December I am going to begin that whole 'learn all the other formats for the collections' thing. Probably I should have published a stand-alone first so I didn't have to keep turning around and doing it all again, but I'm not known for doing things rationally... I CHOSE self-publishing because I wanted to do a serial and it was the only way. (my temperament is really better suited for traditional—I'm just not a details girl)

So that's my story and I'm sticking with it. How about you? Any time management tricks you want to share?

HA!  Indie Life!  That's it!  Find the list of authors here!


Sandra Almazan said...

As a working mom, I'm in the same boat as you are. Working ahead definitely helps, as does finding uses for down time. (Sometimes when we go somewhere, I bring my laptop and write while my husband drives.) You can't do everything all of the time; I think the long-term solution is to cut down on the obligations we have. You can't do everything all of the time.

Cherie Reich said...

About the only "time management" skill I have is list making. I make lists, so I can keep track of what I've done and what is left to do. There's something very satisfying about marking an item off the list too.

Good luck with everything!

Andrew Leon said...

Time management? What's that? I'm waiting for someone to invent a time machine that manufactures time so that I can insert extra where I need it.

Helena said...

I ain't got NO time management skills, it seems, so how you do as much as you do astonishes me. And indie publishing is HARD. It's one thing to be a writer and write a book -- that should be enough. But then we have to edit, edit again, get readers to give us feedback, proof, polish, and then format, hire the artist, and on and on. Indie publishing is not for the faint of heart.

You're doing fantastically well, Hart, and if you feel you're falling behind it's only 'cause you're so ambitious and doing so much. And pesky life is always getting in the way or our writing, isn't it?

Phick Steven said...

Dear hart,

i can understand how difficult it can be for a mom to manage the time when she is a also a working professional. Even if I am not a mom, I can understand them better as I understand my wife. I have advised my wife to work just like me and have asked her to go with cloud based Replicon's time tracking software ( which I use in my office and all the way she gets organized and well mannered to work precisely with high level of productivity.

Arlee Bird said...

Time is my enemy. We have an uneasy truce, but when it can Time stabs me in the back. Ol' Time will continue to inflict its wounds and laugh at me until it has won.

No time management secrets from this old vet of the time battle.

A Faraway View

Roland D. Yeomans said...

John D MacDonald wrote, THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH, & EVERYTHING in which there was a pocket watch that could stop time for an hour for the holder. I used to lust after that pocket watch. You could get 10 hours sleep in ten seconds!

Time management is hard. As a rare blood courier who works sometimes 11 hours a day and drives 500 miles in a day -- finding time to write is very hard.

Wish you luck with your time challenges. Some tend to place dreams last in priorities. But without dreams, life is just existence, right? :-)

Maurice Mitchell said...

Those are a lot of things to deal with at once Hart. Hopefully you'll be out of the fray soon.

Larry Kollar said...

"Time management" is a misnomer. You're navigating a difficult rapids when you (like me) have a day job & family, and try to have a writing career. The river pulls you forward, and all you can do is make minor sideways adjustments.

What I do is: 1) look for odd moments, especially recurring ones, where there's a chance to write; 2) always have writing materials at hand. Hope that helps!

Talli Roland said...

Ack, I am trying to juggle writing and baby wrangling - I can't imagine another full-time job on top of all that. Hats off to you!