Life is all about balance. The balance between your personal and professional commitments; between heart and mind; between activity and rest. A perfect life is one in perfect equilibrium. In self publishing, the tricky balance is between writing, editing and marketing. Three necessary activities for a successful publishing project.
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You might not perform all these tasks yourself, but you’ll still need to manage those you hire to do so. And even if you do outsource, I’m sure you’ll end up still doing some editing and promotion yourself. So, how can you find the right balance between writing, editing and marketing to avoid leaving behind what is surely your true passion: writing?
Most authors will tell you: I want to be left alone and write. But then again, they also want to have their work shared, read and, why not, earn some money in the process. This means taking time for the rest of the publishing journey of your book (this also goes for those choosing the traditional publishing route, but here we’ll focus on indies).
Photo by Tamara Menzi on Unsplash
To safeguard your writing and still be an active publisher, I have one simple piece of advice:
Set a specific time aside in your day, week, month or year to write, and stick to it!
Decide in advance exactly how much time you want to dedicate to your writing and fit that into your calendar. The hard part will be keeping to your plan.
I’m no psychic but I can tell you right away what will happen for most of you:
● You’ll plan to write a whole new chapter, encounter a difficult section, struggle with it a minute and then just switch to another task: you’ll check your social media, do a bit of editing on another part, check the latest email from your cover designer, or just browse through your Facebook thread. Don’t! You’ll hate this time wasted not writing and not doing anything else really useful either.
● You’ll see two hours of writing in your calendar and think you’d better see to the promotion of your published book and check its sales. It’ll just take half an hour and you can then check it off your list; and anyway, you’re not even sure you would get anywhere if you stopped everything to write. Don’t! Writing isn’t any less of a priority just because it seems less efficient or longer to see a result.
I know that because that’s exactly what happens to me whenever I want to write a blog post for StreetLib’s blog
. I get new emails with users needing information, web copy to check or questions from colleagues; I also can’t be bothered to take three minutes to word a sentence without going elsewhere to check the latest tool update or user comment. And let me tell you: it is not efficient or fun! It takes most of the pleasure out of writing and makes me somewhat despise all these other tasks I use as a distraction. Not for what they entail, but for making me waste my writing time. The truth is, it’s not their fault. I just needed to stick to what I was supposed to be doing.
Protect your writing time like it’s the most important part of your day (it maybe is)! This way, when you have to spend some time editing and marketing, you won’t feel like you are giving up writing for them. They won’t be so frustrating. And, with a bit of luck, you’ll even enjoy them.
AC de Fombelle, international communication manager for StreetLib
, writes for authors and publishers around the world to help them figure out the Ins and Outs of publishing. She guides them on their journey with StreetLib.