By the way, Melissa’s giving books away during her Tour! Check here
http://melissafoster.com/blog/melissas-summer-blog-tour for more information!
Writers On The Edge, by Melissa Foster
In this fast paced, ever-changing landscape of book publishing, more and more authors are feeling like their lives are moving too fast and they can’t wrap their arms around the multitude of activities that are required of them each day. Between the demands of social media, writing, family, and for most authors, day jobs, their heads are spinning. I’ve talked more than my share of authors down from the virtual ledge lately.
I could write a long post about why you need the World Literary Cafe, or what’s coming next, with Fostering Success. I could write about tips and tricks that would help you manage these parts of your life–but I’m not going to. Wipe that sneer off of your little lips, please. I’d rather focus on the heart of the matter. You.
Each day is a gift, a blessing, and I don’t mean that in any religious sense. I mean that in the black and white definition of the word, “Something given voluntarily without payment in return.” and “Something bestowed or acquired without any particular effort by the recipient or without it being earned.” These are important distinctions. We don’t do much to earn another day on this earth. We exist. Period.
It’s important to accept that before moving on, because what comes next is completely within our own control, and we have to accept and understand this in order to fix the issue at hand and pay attention to what matters. You. Your sanity. Your family. Your life.
The confines of our social world often make us feel like we need to let the parts of our life that really matter, go by the wayside, suffer for the sake of our careers. I’ve never heard so much bologna spewn about one topic so often. We create our lives. We choose when to tweet, post on Facebook, write, or relax.
Contrary to what you might hear in the great world of social media, you don’t have to be available twenty-four hours each day. Look at bestselling author Lisa Genova. She turns off her emails all weekend long. Yup, you can wait. Her family matters.
While it’s true that as authors we need a consistent online presence in order to grow our followers, there are tips and tricks to doing that without turning the rest of our lives off, and…sit down for this…if you miss a day, your followers will not unfollow you.
If you do want tips and tricks, I’m happy to provide them, you know where you can find me. However, I suggest that you start with baby steps. Try going without checking your email for a few hours, or <gasp!> try it for a weekend. There is nothing more freeing, nothing that will spark your creativity in a more effective way, then rejuvenating your mind and body.
Create your life. Own it. Take responsibility for the time you give up and the energy you put forth. Without your writing, you wouldn’t need the rest. Spark that creativity! You matter. Then, we’ll learn the rest.
Melissa’s books on Amazon
Chat w/me on The Women’s Nest
The World Literary Cafe, Where readers and authors unite!
Writers On The Edge, by Melissa Foster
21 thoughts on “Visiting blogger – Please Welcome Author Melissa Foster!”
Great post, Melissa. I know that when the animals on our sanctuary want to eat, they don’t care if I have emails to check—or anything else. They know how to focus.
Last month, hubby and I had to go out of state to a funeral. The hotel’s wi-fi wasn’t working, and when I returned home I had 435 messages. In three days! Not checking e-mail isn’t an option, because it’s too much work when I get back.
Now, limiting my social media time is something I must do. I even stopped writing on my laptop. I went back to using an Alphasmart, since it only allows text input and has no Internet access. Get a lot more done that way. 🙂
Chicki – I get about 250 emails/day. I have learned to prioritize them. We all know which ones are junk and which aren’t – half the battle is getting the Twitter alerts out of there – do a search for the emails you know are junk, and bulk delete (great time saver). Then create a few folders — Urgent, Important, To Do – and instead of spending hours at once, spend 10 mins 4x/day on email and separate into those folders, then alot an hour to answer the urgent ones, an hour later for the important, and the To-Do you can prioritize as needed.
For social media – use a timer. SERIOUSLY. 10×4 method, again – but this time it’s 10 mins 4x/day to organically tweet and answer messages – then move on. Whatever is done in 10 mins is done, and there’s always the next 10 mins.
Save your sanity, plan, organize, schedule.
Hi Jim, thanks so much for stopping by. That’s one of the things I like best about animals – their ability to ground us:-) xox
That’s a great post. I struggle with juggling being in school full time (I’m a mature student) and writing the prescribed number of pages per day, and most of all — family — and, oh yeah … sleep.
I panic over my amazon ebook not getting reviews, though I suppose I should be happy it hasn’t received low star ratings.
I agonize when I go a day or two without writing at all–you know, when I get behind on household chores and need to actually clean before I unleash a plague on the world.
I want to be prolific but life intrudes and bombards and goes UFC on me and I wonder if I will ever get even one more book out.
Riley, need reviews? Sign up for the Read and Review program on World Literary Cafe – look under the Author tab. Then tweet to bloggers and ask for reviews:-) Or join WLC’s Authors Hosting Authors and ask for reviews there.
Remember, things like laundry can be done in shifts. I do it all day long – wash, dry, throw on the bed until after my writing time.
Prioritize your cleaning, too. Make a schedule so you do one major thing/day for cleaning – if you need floors done, get up early, do it, then write. Writing is a must for my sanity, cleaning is a necessity for our health/welfare, so they have to fit, but a perfect house is highly overrated.
This a great reminder that we all need to take time to relax and enjoy life. I am both a writer and attorney. In the legal field there is also always pressure to check email and voicemail constantly, including throughout the weekends. It’s good to remember that the world will not end if we unplug for a while.
Hi Lisa, my sister-in-law uses the term “screen time” and I love it! Limit your screen time and make the most out of your nature time. I think it really does rejuvenate us in too many ways to count.
I’m so happy you stopped by. Thank you! xoox
Timely post for me, Melissa. And Jim, your comment cracks me up. We recently moved out to the country. I have two children, a dog, two cats, two rabbits, and now, two baby goats. Sometimes I write to reclaim my sanity!
We used to have goats, chickens, ducks, a miniature horse, dogs, cats, and six children (well, we still have the children), and between watering, feeding, and enjoying, there wasn’t much time for anything else. I see that time as healthy time — animals aren’t plugged in. xox
What? Play hooky from our e-mail, tweetdeck, facebook page? What a concept! 🙂
A little hooky goes a long way (boy that sounds dirty!)
Very nice site, thanks for share this article with us
I liked this post. You’re right. I have found myself checking my emails only in the evening,and taking care of my family and writing during the day. I get more done this way. 🙂
I have a schedule – I often fail with it, but it’s good to have one. I write from 9-2 and check email and social media morning, mid morning, lunchtime, mid afternoon, dinnertime, and evening
Such a wise post – balance benefits everything we do
Thanks, Dan. So true:-)
I love following you on Twitter, Melissa. Positive and informative tweets are always welcome. And yes, our lives and time is a gift. Giving of ourselves in return is only fair.
Hi Jeff, thank you so much! I’m glad you find my tweets helpful:-) It’s nice to “see” you here, too.
Balancing it all can be a recipe for disaster…but it’s hard not to try. LOL. I’m struggling with balance right now. I know I’ve got to give something up but I don’t know what. I’ve pulled back on visiting blogs, commenting and replying, and visiting Twitter, etc…and I’ve seen a drop in my numbers all around. Not followers or subscribers, but in comments and visits. Then again, I know that’s temporary too and that I need to keep the actual writing primary.
What I teach, and fully believe, is that if you don’t make writing your primary focus, you’ll have no reason for social media. That’s why I stress the 4x approach – set a timer – do social media 4x/day for ten mins at a shot and no more. When you do it, organically tweet and reach out to others by name. Make the most of building those relationships. They matter 🙂