Newsletter 009 – February 25th, 2022
About the image above: Late in the afternoon on May 15th, 2010, Minay and I arrived in the town of Little Sutton, about five miles across the River Mersey from the Beatles’ original stomping grounds. I desperately wanted to go over and wander along Penny Lane and see the Cavern Club and a few other places, but we just didn’t have the time. That’s what today’s topic is about, adapting plans to accommodate the reality of your circumstances.
As a self-published author I not only write and edit my books, I also have to design and create covers for them as well as design the layout for my print books, and also handle the conversion of my manuscripts into ebook formats. In addition to that I have to market and publicize the books once they’re published (along with various husbandly chores, plus eating, showering, and occasionally sleeping, etc.). Fortunately my business background left me with some skills in most of the non-husbandly areas, and I’ve been able to accomplish all of the publishing tasks (so far) for little or no monetary outlay (aside from publicity, tech equipment, software, and web costs, of course). The real cost for me is the time I end up spending doing other things when I could be writing, and time, as we all know, is a precious commodity.
When I published my first book in 2015, I just tackled various tasks whenever they became necessary, and wrote when I could find the time, but that didn’t work well. I left too many things undone. At some point I started setting aside specific blocks of time, with deadlines for accomplishing certain items, including the writing and editing. Eventually I will likely try hiring some professionals to do the artwork and some of the marketing, but those are a cost I can’t afford right now.
At the moment I’m obviously in a Composing Newsletters block of time. I generally try to write at least two of them at a time (because the connected nature of them, I’m going for four this time). Once they are edited I’ll set up the text and images with my email marketing provider (Mailerlite), who will email them twice a month for me (each 2nd and 4th Friday). Finishing four of them means I can use that time (a couple of days or so) for something else, like writing the short story I hope to use to market my upcoming thriller, Jagged Man. Tomorrow I’ll have a different set of tasks, but I expect the short story to occupy an hour or so of each day for the next week or so.
I should also clarify something. I don’t mean to imply that I think of these newsletters as a “chore” of any kind (or creating my books for that matter). I do enjoy writing them. I simply meant that, since I have committed to mailing the newsletters twice a month, I have to include writing them in my working schedule so I won’t be caught by surprise by not having one ready when it’s due.
So, a typical “day in my life” goes something like this: Wake Up / Eat Breakfast While Checking My Email / Follow My Morning To-Do List Until Lunch / Eat Lunch While Watching TV With Minay / Tackle My Afternoon To-Do List / Then Supper / Then an Hour or so of Writing Before Finishing the Evening With Some TV and Reading. Each day will have different tasks, of course, including things like exercising three days a week, washing dishes, other household chores, shopping, etc. It’s not all just being chained to my computer.
The next several newsletters will be about upcoming books. Some of them, like Jagged Man, should be published this year, but I’ll also let you in on some others that may take a while longer to bring to market. I may also want to hear your opinions about which of them you might want to see in print first (yes, I have several possible stories begging to be written).
Do you have any favorite time-saving techniques? I’d love to hear about them.
[“It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.” Maxim 469, Publilius Syrus, 1st Century B.C.]
Oh, and just a reminder: My books, Aggravated, Chrysalis, and Emergence are all available now. Click on the image to check them out.
We did skip Liverpool, even though we were so close. By the time we arrived in Little Sutton we had already spent ten of our allotted twenty-two days in the UK, and we still needed to continue north to the Lake District the next morning, and then to Edinburgh before heading back to London for our final five days. The time was going too quickly, but we did get to see some wonderful country like these rolling hills in the Lake District.
Standard Disclaimer: Please post a comment below if you would like to. All comments are personally moderated by a grouchy old guy, though, so posts by self-promotional schemers, spammers, and lunatic ranters won’t make it through. Everyone else, whether your thoughts are positive or negative, please feel free to speak your mind. Thanks.