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….