Hi readers! I published this post around 8:00 a.m. this morning but something happened with WordPress and me. Apparently Google says I can’t be found. Which is VERY ironic given the title and nature of this post.:) Oy. If you’re getting this twice, I apologize. Actually, this is the better version….
Just another Magic Monday and today I’m excited because I’ve found two blog posts that dovetail nicely with my post last Monday, Laptop on Fire!
To give you the gist of last weeks post, I talked about not having the creative energy left over for social media because I was immersed in my work in progress. This also led me to a discussion of the delicate balance of having the time to write and having the time to be on social media building my platform. I desperately want to find my balance.
Enter the always brilliant Jane Friedman with a post on Writer Unboxed called Should You Focus On Your Writing Or Your Platform? Please note: the following lists are just a few paragraphs taken out of Jane’s post. Please read the entire post when you get time, she imparts tons more valuable wisdom and information.
Here’s how Jane broke it down:
“Balance is the key word here. Focusing on your writing probably means spending 10%-25% of your available writing time on platform activities. I never recommend abandoning platform activities entirely, because you want to be open to new possibilities. Being active online—while still focused on your writing—could mean finding a new mentor or the perfect critique partner, connecting with an important influencer, or pursuing a new writing retreat or fellowship opportunity.”
Hmmm…. ten to twenty-five percent. Here’s how I broke it down:
Most days I work seven to eight hours a day on my writing and try to take weekends off. Some of that time is spent on research, reading, craft, keeping up with the market. If you crunch the numbers using an eight hour day, 7 days a week, ten percent would mean 48 minutes for building your platform. Wait, 48 minutes?????? To write a blog post, tweet, reciprocate and socialize? Twenty percent would be 96 minutes or an hour and a half. I know I spend two to three hours every day and much, much more on weekends. Crunch your own numbers.
I’ve always looked at social media as tasks and goals and sometimes it takes longer to get those tasks and goals done than others. I know I have a time limit, I use a schedule and that schedule says two hours, most times I go over. I’m not entirely sure what to do with this except tell myself and you to pay attention to your time. Picture me shaking my finger. “Time’s up Missy! or Mister!”
Back to Jane Friedman at Writer Unboxed….
When to focus more on your writing
- If you are within the first five years of seriously attempting to write with the goal of publication
- For novelists: If you have not yet completed and revised one or two full-length manuscripts
- If you can tell that what you’re writing is falling short of where you want and need to be
- If you see a direct correlation between the amount of writing you put out and the amount of money that comes into your bank account (the JA Konrath model)
- If you are working on deadline
When to focus more on your platform
- If you start to realize you’re on the verge of publication
- If you have a firm book release date of any kind
- If you want to sell a nonfiction book concept (non-narrative)
- If you intend to profit from online/digital writing that you are creating, distributing, and selling on your own
- If you need to prove to a publisher or agent that your work has an audience
I think the lists are helpful. By happy co-oincidence I also found Science Fiction author Jen Reese’s, My Social Media Survival Guide. Her guide totally blew my socks off because she echoed everything I’ve been saying about balance, writing, guilt, and put it into an easy to read guide. Finally an author on the frontlines has laid it all out in a way that makes sense to me and an author who’s smart enough to not to tell us to do it her way BUT that we each must do it our OWN way. I also give her credit for being brutally honest.
Jen echos my thoughts about guilt, comments, etc. Talk about serenidipity! When you have time, please go and it, it’s definitely worth your time even if you’re happy with what you’re doing right now. Jane and Jen’s links are going on Kate’s Quickie page too so you can find them in the future.
We all hear and see the words “it’s about balance” and “do what’s right for you” but now I finally think I know what it means and I’m getting closer to finding a happy balance. I think I might be able to let the guilt go too.
Let me know what your think of this post and if you had any epiphanies of your own from reading it. Also, if you have links or great insights about blogging balance, please share.
By the way it took me 45 minutes to polish the post that didn’t go out and another fifteen minutes to figure how that my link was down. “Time’s up Missy!”
Onward with book stuff!
Have a happy, healthy day!