Balancing writing with blogging and building your online platform.
Building an author platform is a must these days. Especially before you finish your novel – once it’s published, it’s too late. The momentum has gone. But with all the time it takes to create, grow, and maintain your online platform mainly with social media posts and content creation – will there be enough time to complete your novel?
Previously I’ve blogged about time management, but when it comes to final edits where you need huge chunks of time to remain in the headspace of your WIP, the author platform can get in the way.
Maybe you can avoid this ahead of time by scheduling posts well in advance. But some social media sites do not allow you to schedule unless you pay for a management program (like hootsuite.) The idea is nice, but I don’t want to fork out money for website and application subscriptions if I don’t actually have a product to market. So I still do things manually, schedule on most sites, but only ever a week or two in advance.
So when it came time for the copy edit, or final draft of my latest novel, it meant taking a break from blogging for a while. I usually spend 1-2 hours on content creation, and 1-2 hours interacting with my social network a day when I’m in my writing phase, which I take 4-5 hours to indulge in. But that is not sustainable for the final draft. I need full concentration to track plot points, continuity, flow, pacing; and leaving the narrative for too long means losing the headspace I need in order to keep the project moving forward.
Am I alone in this? Does anyone else out there need to block out consecutive clumps of time to do that final tweak and read-through?
I’m fine writing multiple projects, but when it comes to the last edit before sending it out to and editor or publisher, I practically lock myself in a sensory deprivation chamber to focus. Only because other things like eating, sleeping, getting chores done, shopping also steal my time, so I cherish every moment I get to work my novel.
So if any of you who read my blog regularly have noticed my absence, well, that’s why. I’m wrapping up a few projects and needed the time to dot my i’s and cross my t’s. And ideally I’d love to schedule posts months in advance to avoid this in the future, but the amount of time to achieve this also steals away my writing time. I’ve made a deal with myself that I need to spend at least double the amount of time on writing as I do on social media. It helps to stop falling down the k-hole of status updates and scrolling through feeds if you have a time limit. Stick to the priorities. Set an alarm. Achieve something every day.
Do you track how much time you spend on your author platform vs. writing? Or marketing activity vs. creating your novel?
Maybe my activities will change once I start to earn more money from my writing and can afford to employ a team, or outsource certain tasks… but until then, it’s going to mean I disappear from the internet for a while every now and then. But that’s good news. I’m not ignoring you, I’m finishing up a novel that will hopefully provide you with hours of entertainment and enrich your reading life.
#amwriting #amediting #ampublishing
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