Writing: time, the illusion of control?

My grandson, Nate, laughs at me, because when I leave the house, I always wear a watch. He’s eighteen. Time still stretches before him. He goes to school and works, but if he can get together with his friends often enough, he’s happy. For me, time flies by, and I try to squeeze in writing, marketing, friends, and family, plus my favorite TV shows and reading at the end of the night. Time keeps growing more and more precious. Somehow, no matter how organized I am, something doesn’t get done. If I write all day, I don’t weed a flower bed, dust the house, or take my daily walk. If I play 3 games of Spider Solitaire, I might not get enough time to read. Everything is about choices.

Nate laughs at me because he says my watch and the clocks that grace every single room of my house are simply illusions. Just because I watch their minute hands tick by, I can’t buy myself any more time.

I’m not the only one who frets about time. I have brilliant friends at my writers’ club. I love the work they do, and most of it has eventually found its way into e-books. But they’re so serious about the writing process that they grow impatient with marketing. After all, they could write three or four pages in the amount of time it takes to twitter, facebook, and connect. So they don’t market. In my opinion, a mistake. A person might write a mind-blowing book, but no one’s going to find it unless the author lets them know it’s there.

When the kids were little, I was happy to write one book a year. I timed the opening scene for the first week the kids went back to school and I outlined it out so that I finished the last draft before their last day of school in early June. Then I’d send out queries to agents and editors during the summer, and if nothing happened (I got enough rejections to wallpaper my entire home), I’d toss the manuscript in a drawer and start a new book the next Fall. But that was carefree, hope-for-the-best writing and marketing. I’m more serious now, and I have too many ideas to be satisfied with one book a year. I’d feel like I was doing the books I’ve finished a disservice if I didn’t promote them now and then. So these days, I spend the first hour of my work time every day, doing marketing/connecting before I write the first word. I twitter on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays and try to hit twitter again every evening after supper for fifteen to twenty minutes. I facebook on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays–even though I’m not sure how or if Facebook works. But it might. So I don’t want to ignore it. And on Sundays, I write my blog.

I write at least three to four hours most week days. Some days, the words flow. Some days, they don’t. But if I sit there long enough and pound on them, I usually end up with something I can work with. That was NOT true when I hit periods of high stress and worry in my life. I forced msyelf to keep writing, but the results were brittle and sad. And I could only work for an hour or so. But it did keep me disciplined.

Everyone has different amounts of time to divide into chunks for the passions in their lives. But the truth is, writing is hard work. It takes time. So does marketing. And that’s why I wear a watch. I know if I skimp on my writing too many days in a row, a chapter or a scene won’t get finished. If I don’t twitter or connect, my rankings will drop. None of us has more than 24 hours in each day. So choose wisely.

Thought I’d add this. It’s a great blog on how to twitter effectively: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5564139-the-captain-s-blog-

Also, here’s my webpage, with a new, free short story, The Pied Piper, on the last page, if you’re interested.

Last, but NOT least, I want to thank Stephanie at http://stephanieneighbour.com/ for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger Award. I love Stephanie’s blog. It makes me laugh or smile every Monday morning. There are rules that go with this nomination, so I’m going to fly through them (because I love Stephanie), but I’m not fond of rules. So here goes:

I need to list 15 bloggers that I admire:

1. http://stephanieneighbour.com/ (Stephanie has to be numero uno this time around)
2. http://www.rachelsroberts.com/ (I just love Rachel’s voice)
3. http://rachelintheoc.com/ (A very practical Rachel with great tips)
4. http://findingfaeries.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/there-is-no-lif/ (my friend, who believes in magic)
5. http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2014/05/character-reactions.html (make your writing great)
6. http://sia4215.blogspot.com/ (original and creative)
7. http://www.ilona-andrews.com/ (because she’s one of my favorite authors)
8. http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ (This blog hits everything–writing & marketing)
9. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/04/16/ten-things-id-like-to-say-to-young-writers/ (to shock you & it’s darned good!)
10. http://www.lindsayburoker.com/ (always informative)
11. http://kriswrites.com/#sthash.KZathY2S.dpbs (because I bow before her writing skills)
12. http://www.cainer.com/yearahead/librat.html# (because everyone should read their horoscope)
13. http://lisagardner.com/writers-toolbox (honestly, awesome!)
14. http://lesedgertononwriting.blogspot.com/2012/03/character-actions.html?spref=fb (more awesome)
15. http://www.writing-world.com/romance/love.shtml (because I’m starting work on a romance novel:)

I’ll tell you 7 things about myself next time. I want you to have a nice week:) And this blog is getting long. Why bore you now?

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