Confessions of a Scheduling Newbie
Things have been a little crazy for me lately, though it’s pretty much my own fault. I’ve given myself way too much to do. I’ve put off writing a blog post for the past couple of weeks because each time I think of it, it’s like I revert back to being a 10-year old, stomping my foot and complaining that I don’t want to.
The truth of the matter is that when I feel like this, on the edge of burn-out, it’s hard to create new writing–creative or otherwise. It’s also hard for me to write about something as if I didn’t have all these clouds looming overhead, like I’m being insincere. Honestly, though, I think I just need to vent my brain on occasion–acknowledge that big hairy monster in the closet so that I can move beyond it. That’s the hope, anyway. Lucky for you, you get to be here to witness the mess. You’re welcome.
Anyway, here’s basically what I’ve saddled myself with:
Getting A Shadowed Spirit ready for publication
For the sake of brevity, let me just say this includes the final editing, and working with awesome artist Ferdinand Ladera in finishing the cover art. When these are done, then it’s time to format and get the cover layout designed with the title, back copy, and all that.
Ugh, I still need to write the back copy…
Keeping up with Hazel and Holly
So far, I’m keeping up. Barely. I’ll start to lag behind my schedule, then I’ll have a good day and get a couple chapters done and then I’m caught up again. Of course, I gave myself a healthy buffer, so as far as posts go, we’re good to go for a few months.
I’ve also been busy with getting a cover made for when it’s published into a book (which has always been part of the plan). It’s totally premature as the series is nowhere near being ready for publication, but we thought it’d be fun to have a cover now to use on the blog with the series, and which will allow me to make a nice landing page for it. Which, of course, brings me to the next item on the list…
Upgrading the website
This is where things start getting convoluted. See, I’m currently taking a marketing course on how to get one’s online business going. That led me to realize my book landing pages were woefully inadequate. So… I’m upgrading them. Slowly. I’ve only done the one for The Thirteenth Tower so far. I’m pretty pleased with it, but it took me a few days to make. And it’s just one page. I still need to do the other books, as well as all the opt-in pages I plan on making for the purpose of trying to build my email list.
Finish the marketing course
This is actually a product launch course – Product Launch Formula by Jeff Walker. It was not cheap. But, so far, I’m really pleased with it. I’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of course content, and yet I feel like it’s already completely changing the way I think about marketing. I’m actually getting excited about marketing my book, which is something I never, ever thought would happen. Having my mind so utterly blown so early into the course, well, I’m feeling confident that it will end up paying for itself in the long run.
The course and the website stuff are what have been causing most of my feelings of being overwhelmed. I have a tendency to work very systematically, in that I often feel like I need to complete one step before moving onto the next. This is sometimes a good thing. It’s worked well for writing books so far, and was great when I took Latin. (I actually miss my Latin homework… is that weird?)
But in this case, I’m not sure it’s going to work. I’m rather slow in implementing some of the changes I need to make and, at the same time, I feel like I’m missing out on the course as I let it sit while I’m making said changes. Ugh. Deep breath.
I’m currently writing full-time at home, and I love it, but part of me feels like I shouldn’t completely throw myself under the bus of unwashed hermitdom. A nice part-time job in an archive or creating websites is something I’d enjoy, and would hopefully keep my brain from going to scary places as often as it does. Which leads us to…
Staying away from scary rabbit holes
I’m pretty sure other writers know what I’m talking about. You’ll just be surfing the ‘Net, maybe doing some casual research or whatever, and the next thing you know, it’s night time, the cats have knocked all the books off the shelves, and you still haven’t showered or eaten. Nor have you written a single word or done anything else productive.
This happened to me as I was checking out the Patreon website, which appears to be a promising platform for artists and content creators to make a little bit of money for whatever they create. This includes writers. Man, I seriously got sucked into a black hole of obsessive scariness as I tried to figure out how I could make that work for me and exploring the various possibilities. For now, I’ve decided to leave that particular beast alone. I might revisit it later, because I still think it could potentially be a good thing and fun besides. Just… not right now. My sanity depends on it.
Sweet, sweet clarity
The good thing with all of this, though, is I’m coming to the realization that I need to schedule my time. Actually, it was Anders that pointed that out for me when he was at the receiving end of my most recent panic-stricken brain-vomit. “You need to schedule your time,” he said, and I just stood there, blinking, like it was the greatest revelation ever.
I haven’t really done this–schedule my time. Before, it was mostly just “write, and when you’re tired of writing, either write something else or do blog or marketing stuff.”
Now the “marketing stuff” is becoming a prominent player in my life, and it’s not working just shoving it to the side as the ugly step-child it’s always been to me. It’s kind of exciting, but also scary. At the end of the day, I’m a writer. I still need to keep writing, and I’m generally resistant to things that pull me away from it, however necessary they might be.
So, here’s to scheduling and booting hairy monsters out of my closet. Also, here’s to shooting radioactive mutants in the face, which is what I’ll be doing tomorrow. Good times.