Thursday, February 20, 2014

Finding a Balance

I just read a blog online giving advice about staying on track and getting things done.  I commented to my fellow blogger that the hardest part of my day is staying focusing on my writing.  As I continue to build my writing platform, work on my blog & network with other writers, I am finding it hard to maintain a good schedule of actually getting the writing on my book accomplished.  It is all a matter of balance

So far I have gotten into a routine of spending some time each morning catching up on social media, doing some author promotion & platform building, but if I'm not careful I can get lost in Facebook or Twitter for waaaay too long and suddenly realize that I have very little time left to focus on my actual writing.  As an emerging writer, I know that I need to network and have an audience, so when I do have a book to release I will have a network to share it with, but if I don't stay on track and plan enough time for the actual writing - I won't have a book to share.  Even working on my blog (again to build a following of folks who are actually interested in reading what I have written) is time away from my book.

I am happy to say that I have successfully adhered to my 500words a day challenge for 10 days so far (I promised myself 500 words a day for 31 straight days).  While I am counting blog posts in this challenge - I have been successful at adding over 2000 words to my book so far.  Being able to write, free from distractions, and feeling creative enough to really have something to say can be difficult to 'schedule', but setting goals for myself really do help.  Each day I allow myself to focus on 1 new marketing task.  Yesterday I focused on learning how to add a Facebook like button to my blog (and it was surprisingly harder that it should be).  I know that connecting my social media and my blog is a good thing - so I was willing to spend some time in that learning curve to accomplish my task.  Being able to set limits is important though, so after getting the Facebook info on my blog, it was time to get OFF Facebook and get back to writing.  This morning I spent some time (around a half an hour) exploring Google + and adding fellow writers to my 'circle of friends'.  I am excited to learn from fellow authors and I hope they will support me as well.  After working on this I made a point of working on my manuscript.  I am happy to admit I added more than my 500 words for today.  I may try to increase my daily word count to 1000 next month, but I want to make sure its realistic - so I am not setting myself up to fail. 

 Another area that requires balance for me personally is knowing when to close my lap top and be done for the day.  There are some times I am feeling much more productive than others – so I want to capitalize on my positive energy.   I also know that sometimes I have a tendency to obsess slightly, so I need an occasional reminder from my fiancé that it is time to ‘un plug’.  As I adapt to the working from home lifestyle, I am learning how to take time for chores and household tasks as a way to take a break from writing and help me refresh my focus, but I have to be careful that I am not purposely using these chores as a way to avoid doing the hard work of writing, especially when I am not as ‘in the mood’ to be creative.  Again – it is learning the successful balance. 

I will probably need to work on balance each and everyday - but each day I get better at it, and each day I am getting more writing accomplished. 

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