I NEED A TIME MACHINE! (Or, “Not enough hours in the day!” – an Indie Author’s lament)


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Gif: clipartsheep.com

As a fan of science-fiction, I’ve often thought how useful a time machine would be for a writer. Just think: you could hop into your TARDIS (surely the most recognisable time machine since HG Wells’ comfy armchair) write five thousand words whilst hovering in no-time (a.k.a. ‘the void’ or the ‘time vortex’) and be back in time for tea without anyone even knowing that you’ve been away!

More to the point (of this blog entry, at least) is that you’d have time to catch up on all those ‘How To: write/find your audience/get an agent-slash-publishing deal’  etc. emails flooding into your InBox each day.

How do you (and this is a serious question) ever find time to read them all? Should you even try, when surely typing your query into Google will likely bring up links to all those blog entries anyway? And assuming, of course, that the author has entered the relevant tags into their post.

The answer is, I believe, that you can’t.  How many hours of writing time do we regularly sacrifice to reading blogs that just might give us a new insight and improve our writing/audience reach/chances of landing a publishing deal  (which may or may not be the  ultimate goal of every Indie Author – opinions vary) etc.?

This from someone (me) who regularly works their way through a groaning InBox, painstakingly un-subscribing to all those blogs/feeds that I subscribed to weeks/months ago, in the hope that they might help me to become a better/more successful writer. I regularly ignore my own advice and (perhaps) common sense, which tells me to find a few select blogs to follow and ignore the rest – flagging them as ‘spam’ if need be (which always feels like a horrible thing to do, because sometimes the author is another Indie like me, just trying to increase their Reach.)

“But,” I hear you cry, “I might miss something useful!”  This is true, you might.  But many blog sites have options to switch off email notifications altogether, or to consolidate them into a weekly digest.  Either of these options is probably preferable to having a daily flood of material you know you will never find the time to read, although the first option only works if you do remember to check the site every once in a while!

I would love to hear from other Indie Authors on the subject. How do you manage your reading/writing time, what criteria do you use for deciding which blogs to subscribe to, and do you read everything that comes into your mailbox?  I considered setting up an online survey – but since not everyone reading this will have time to take part, I decided that there probably wouldn’t be much point.

In parting, I should probably apologise for the time it may have taken you to read this, time you might otherwise have spent writing….

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from clipartpanda.com

2 thoughts on “I NEED A TIME MACHINE! (Or, “Not enough hours in the day!” – an Indie Author’s lament)

  1. Hi Elaine,

    “I would love to hear from other Indie Authors on the subject. How do you manage your reading/writing time, what criteria do you use for deciding which blogs to subscribe to, and do you read everything that comes into your mailbox?”

    I diagnosed myself with mild OCD (LOL), so I do have a writing schedule that I mostly adhere to. There are times when I moved my ‘time’ around if an appointment runs later than expected, etc. I write a set number of hours each day, sometimes in one sitting, sometimes broken up depending on whatever obligations I have for that day.

    My reading time consists of what I call, ‘leftover time,’ and is usually done when checking emails or social media. I do read everything that comes into my mailbox, since there isn’t much incoming at this point. I’m very selective with what I subscribe to because I want to do due diligence to read an article, if I’ve subscribed to that blog.

    I actually prefer Twitter and clicking on articles there that interest me. If an article interests me, I’ll email it to myself and read it in its entirety later on, share it on Twitter and FB. I’ll scan through the website’s other articles and determine if it’s a blog I should subscribe to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dion,

      Firstly, my sincere apologies for taking so-ooo long to reply to your question – seems I haven’t been managing my time too well! It’s been a hectic few months!

      So…. “. How do you manage your reading/writing time, what criteria do you use for deciding which blogs to subscribe to, and do you read everything that comes into your mailbox?”

      Since I have a full-time job, my reading/writing time is limited. I tend to write early in the morning (when I’m at my freshest) and at weekends (when I can shut myself away and really motor on), and read (which includes books, correspondence, and so on) in the evening, usually before going to bed.

      “what criteria do you use for deciding which blogs to subscribe to, and do you read everything that comes into your mailbox?”

      The criteria I apply to which blogs I subscribe to used to be as simple as this – if the subject matter, or the author’s style interested me, I would sign up. But I’m interested in a lot of things… so it often gets to the point where I simply don’t have time to read all the blogs/newsletters I’ve signed up to. When that happens, I have an ‘unsubscribe purge’ ,which always makes me feel bad – but if I’m not reading half or more of the material pouring into my InBox, it feels like a fake subscription. I’d hate to think that my emails were arriving in someone’s inbox only to be deleted without being read! So I try to keep up subscriptions to subjects that might be relevant to what I’m currently writing – or at least, my main project. This still doesn’t mean I’ll find time to read them all, of course – but at least I have less to choose from (well, that’s the theory).

      I’m with you on the Twitter thing – although sometimes, rather than email the link to myself, I’ll copy, paste and print it out, and file it in the relevant project folder. That works better for me in many ways; having a hard copy means that I can scribble notes and provided I file them properly, I won’t lose it. Because who hasn’t emailed yourself a link and then months later, been unable to find it again? I’ve had upwards of fifteen thousand emails in my InBox/various folders at any one time, and even with the search function, it can take a soul-destroyingly long time to find a particular email….

      I hope that answers your question, Dion – and once again, I’m sorry it took so long for me to respond!

      Like

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