Feeling Overwhelmed? Join the Club

There is WAAAAY too much on my plate… I’ve gone from a plate to a platter to service for eight.

Yeah.

I don’t know how other writers do it… all the Facebook, Tweets, blogging (writing theirs and reading others), forums… when the hell do they get a chance to write books?

Hell, when do they go to the bathroom?

I know authors who do all of the above AND raise kids and hold full time jobs. I can’t hold it together anymore… Goodreads, Badreads, Noreads… whatever. There are hundreds of places on the internet for writers to gather and discuss and pour their blinking hearts out. Jeesh.

You know that old adage about your closet — that if you haven’t worn something in a year, throw it out?

I’m keeping the clothes in the closet because if I ever get my figure back (you know, like if I get a tapeworm or something), I’ll have plenty of clothes. With a little bit of luck they’ll all be in fashion again.

I am not, however, keeping any site that I haven’t visited in the last ten days. TEN DAYS. Yeah, I’m being aggressive about this; I mean it: ten days.

I like Facebook (every day I meet someone really neat); I definitely want to get my new  blog, The Windy City Author, rolling (I have all kinds of ideas and neat things to post) and I want to continue blogging at Author’s Lounge. Of course, I need to answer lots of daily emails and I certainly want to read the news and a selection of blogs every few days. I need to stay on top of my website (change the content from time to time) and I MUST get really, really serious about marketing January Moon… OK, that should probably be a priority ahead of all else: marketing January Moon.

Oh yeah, and then there’s the Historical Fiction Group over at the AiA (Association of Independent Authors) that I recently joined and promised to moderate and haven’t been back to in several weeks. 

And you know what? I also need to finish writing January Moon’s sequel and then start the next book to wrap up the Del Carter trilogy.

I’d like to also read the many excellent books on my Reading List and probably write some reviews and from time to time I want to continue to write and publish social commentary.

Damn. I’m getting hyper just writing this… OK, so where was I?

Oh yeah: SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE.

Tonite I went into a half dozen internet sites for authors and readers — none of which I had entered in the last 10 days (sometimes 30+ days) — and DELETED MY ACCOUNTS.

POOF! Shazam. No More. Whew.

Feeling better already.

What about you? What do you really need to make yourself or your career or your dreams grow? What can you live without?

Facebook? Blogging? Twitter? Goodreads?

What’s essential and what’s not?

16 Comments

  1. Ha ha! I ‘m with you! Between twitter, facebook, blogging, family and book covers (I have nine right now to work on!) I have written three chapters of my book this month. I can’t figure out how to peel any of it loose. Makes me wanna just shriek sometimes… LOL!

    1. Maureen Gill says:

      Yeah, “shriek” is definitely spot-on!

  2. You’re not alone, Maureen. This is why I have to cut back on everything but Facebook and my blogs. I dropped Twitter (the whole retweet, #WW, #FF, etc was too stressful because of the Twitter-etiquette I couldn’t remember). I don’t go to Amazon boards or Goodreads or Kindle Boards (those suck a lot of time). This year I’m cutting back everything I don’t enjoy so that I can do the stuff I do enjoy, which is writing, blogging and keeping in touch with my author friends. 😀 It might mean a loss in sales, but better that than my sanity. LOL

    1. Oh, and I only chime in on Facebook twice a week. Other times, I have my blog automatically make posts for me so I look ‘active’ when I’m not.

    2. Maureen Gill says:

      Ruth, I think you nail it with “cutting back everything I don’t enjoy so that I can do the stuff I do enjoy….” That’s one of the best prescriptions for the maintenance of sanity I’ve heard in a long time.

      1. Maureen Gill says:

        Your blog can automatically generate posts? I have to check that out! Which brings me to another tragedy of the Chaotic Purely-Led Life: I haven’t had the time to become more familiary with your books, your blog, etc and that also goes for Joleene and Stephannie and everyone else who makes contributions here at AL. So NOT good. 😦

        1. Yep. Go to your dashboard. Then in the first box on your left is a ‘My Blogs’ option. If you go there, you should get a list of all your blogs with a publicize option. If you click on Twitter and Facebook, your blog posts will automatically go to your Twitter and Facebook feed. It saves on the time to have to do the links yourself and makes you look like your out there working away.

          Don’t worry about reading my books anytime soon. I’m backed up from November, and thanks to all the snow days and shoveling, I haven’t read a book since December, though I think I did finish one early this month. To be honest, it’s all such a blur. The days blend into each other. But I’m with you. I want to check out everyone’s book on this blog. That’s why I thought having a nifty Indie Books section would help me know which books to pick. It’s really my way of keeping organized. 😉 And if it benefits others, then all the better.

  3. artmills says:

    I’m a full-time father, husband, and Soldier (According to the Army, I’m only a full-time Soldier). I wish I had more time to write and read. I’m up at 8:00 a.m. and off to work by 9:00 a.m. I’m home by 6:00 p.m. (If I come home at all) and off to the gym until 8:00 p.m. I then eat dinner and hang out with the kids and wife. The kids and wife go off to sleep around 10:00 p.m. as I start my Facebook, Goodreads, and blog hopping tour. I finally bed down around 4:30 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. just to wake up in three hours to do it all over again. I lasted a year and a half writing my book, The Empty Lot Next Door this way. But I don’t know how much more I can take of this.
    I wish I can find more time to write but time isn’t on my side. I can’t—and will not –give up time with my wife and children. I can’t stop going to work either! How do I do it? How can I continue to write and be a working man, father, and husband all at the same time?

    1. Maureen Gill says:

      Hi Art; so nice to hear from you! You’re actually one of the very busy people that was on my mind when I wrote my post. I know the load on your plate and it is tremendous. One thing that may be on your side right now is that you’re still a relatively young man but nonetheless at the rate you’re going you’ll age too soon! Your priorities are excellent. I don’t have any answers of course maybe others will help…

    2. Family and career definitely comes first. The only reason I’m able to write as much as I do now is because my husband is in the Air Force and I stay at home with the kids who then go to school. But when he retires in Feb. 2012, I might have to work outside the home to help make ends meet. This, of course, will push writing to the side where you’re currently at. I heard someone suggest writing one page a day. I think that is what I’ll aim for. In less than a year, I could have a full-length novel if I go at that pace.

      Anyway, it’s a suggestion. Maybe one page every two days could even work.

  4. lukeraftl says:

    Hi Maureen.

    This is so true. Clearly authordom and all it encompasses (from blogging to research to reading others’ websites to just generally trying to stay in the loop) is effectively a second full-time job. Unfortunately most people only really get paid for the other, less exciting, less rewarding vocation. I had been out of work for a couple of weeks which allowed me to get my blog up and running and posting, but the return of the work I need to pay my bills has meant that everything else needs to fit around it somehow … and I would still enjoy a social life once in a while!

    It’s interesting to read how others are doing with it all (Art here is particularly inspiring!). The key for me is cutting back on all the time spent on ‘filler’ – that time you notice yourself aimlessly wandering around the internet, procrastinating, even without being aware of it – and focusing energy on the important tasks at hand. It’s incredible for me to see how much of the day I have wasted even when I resolved to be particularly productive. Removing this often subconscious wastage is my most pressing self-improvement, and I believe it just may have become my new years resolution!

  5. David Knight says:

    Wow, what a post Maureen and all the comments too. Someone said t me last night that i looked / behaved like my old self. Of late, last few weeks i have had no work ( self employed painter – decorator) and on top of the Xmas hols thst a long long time for me. Prior to this some nights i was going to bed at 2, 3 or 4 am and getting a few hours sleep till 5.30 – 6 am ( Similar to you art) Things were getting ridiculous. I was trying to write, learn about seetting up a website…trying to keep up on all the forums etc. Dont mention emails…sometimes 50 + a day. If i had hair then i would have torn it out.
    Dont get me wrong, my wife still gets fed up – apparently all i do is eat sleep work and use the computer. AND i dont have kids so all who do- you deserve medals ( art should get two as he’s in the forces) The danger there would be the kids calling mum or dad Uncle or Aunty….thats when you know its got silly! I was well shattered…we are meant to take care of our bodies but i guess we all put to much pressure on ourselves. I really ought to follow Maureen…. maybe T / FB and AL… havent been on forums / Good reads or even AiA much of late ( AiA – that needs renewing another $50 – what do i do as not much cash at moment?
    It’s funny that in reality WE ARE ALL THE SAME. Making our way in the world. Lets just take one day at a time….yes, make goals, have ambitions but if we haven’t got our health we’re not much use to anyone let alone ourselves! Prioritize stuff by all means but most of all DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. ( Notice my text on here is shot – sorry- I feel amongst friends so not overly concerned! Take it easy guys and gals. WRITE ON ! Dave

  6. LA Hilden says:

    Hi Maureen,

    I agree marketing and writing is a juggling act. For now, I’m keeping my web page, FB, Goodreads, and Shelfari going. I also pop in to make comments on some of Amazon threads and of course this site. I do not have the time to do more right now, but I’ve met alot of great people. I’ve started my ninth book, and really it is just a matter of limiting my time online. For the first hour in the morning, I respond to emails and comments on the sites I mentioned. And then I switch to writing. I take breaks for laundry and such but for the most part, I write close to a chapter a day and that always makes me happy.

    After publishing A Necessary Heir I took time off to market the book and I began to worry about when I’d feel like writing the next. And then poof a new story enters my head and I’m off to type. I think it’s great you rid yourself of sites you rarely visit, if you are like me, too many sites needing a pop in can be overwhelming. So now go and write that sequel. 🙂

  7. Maureen Gill says:

    Thanks darlin’! Yes, I’m off to write the sequel… ! Well, need a few days of serious work on the blog & need to deal w/a few loose ends and then I’m going into full court press re: the sequel. As I think I’ve said, when I start writing fiction I go into the equivalent of a damn trance and can’t easily go in & out of it so I’ll be “off the grid” for many other things and what I’ve been trying to do is figure out which of the things I’m doing now still need to be done and then toss the rest. It’s interesting to hear how we make those decisions and decide what we want to keep, isn’t it. 🙂

  8. Barb says:

    I’ll stick to blogging and Facebook for the time being, I think… and my graphic novels remain unsold! 😉 We’ll see what happens when I start churning out prose and book trailers… 😀

    1. Maureen Gill says:

      Well, you keep persevering, OK? You have a lot of talent, Barb!

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