Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Campaigning for the 36 hour day.....


Recently, I've read a few blog posts about etiquette on Twitter and in other aspects of our online lives.  

(nb: My Twitter community is based much around the world of writers, book bloggers, avid readers and moderately avid readers)

In an ideal world, all self published authors would have time to keep in touch with as many of our regular readers as possible. A priority should also be to support the wonderful book bloggers who give their time, free of charge, to help us promote our work, something I think is very important. 

As well as the book blogs, though, we see interesting posts by other authors, and want to comment on them, too, and share them around.  We want to look at their books, reading and reviewing the ones that interest us.  We want to make new contacts, be active on Goodreads, keep up our Facebook author pages, never ignore a Twitter message or an email.  We'd also like to help promote books we think are fab, reciprocate good turns done to us, and, of course, retweet back the people who retweet us (apart from those who do all their retweeting via @SomeCrapApp, of course!!).  We want to just chat to nice people who are nothing to do with the writing world, too, because writing is not all we are, right??? Yes, yes - we should do and want to do all these things!

I don't have a day job.  I don't have children.  I have a husband who doesn't make too many demands on my time, and who thinks my writing is more important than the housework.  I have very little social life - BUT!! I still find it hard to keep up with everything I 'should' be doing, although I do actually want to do most of it. I've just come back from a few days away, and have spent many hours catching up with emails, tweeting, retweeting, Goodreads fiddling about, blog reading, thanking people, following back Twitter follows - and I haven't even LOOKED at Facebook!  My plan has been to do all this today so that tomorrow I can go back to my current novel, which has been drumming its fingers and saying 'where the hell have you got to?' for the last six days.

Okay.  Look.  I try to support the blogs who feature me as much as possible. I do lots of retweets every day, but (I hope) not enough to annoy my followers, I keep up with emails, I - oh, you know.  I do as much as I can, while still leaving myself time to write, and occasionally push the hoover round and actually watch a bit of telly with my husband from about 9 pm onwards. I plan to read 2 indie books per month, but for the past two months it hasn't happened - Rose, it's not that I don't like your book, I just haven't had the time to get past 15%!  That's another thing; I've had to do quite a lot of research reading for the novel I'm currently writing, and much of my time has been taken up with that.

What I want to know is this: how on earth do people who try to do all this, AND have full or part time jobs, and children, ever find the time to write a novel to promote in the first place???? I sit back in awe of anyone who manages it!

I need 36 hours in the day, so what must it be like for them?

I suppose I just want to say, if someone doesn't RT you back, or hasn't answered your email yet, or hasn't reviewed your book when they said they would, cut them a bit of slack.  They may not be terminally rude (you soon suss out the people who are); they may just be very, very busy.

Okay, I know, I could have used the 20 minutes it took to write this post to do some retweets, instead.....


21 comments:

  1. Well said TT! I think many tend to forget that bloggers and tweeters alike, we all have other lives outside the internet that no one knows anything about.We cannot be all things to all people at the same time and everyone's doing their best. Sometimes, other stuff just gets in the way and (wonder of all wonders) takes priority…that's what life does! I cannot keep up with it all either. I'm just very glad I am in a circle of tweeters and bloggers like you who all cut me some slack.

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    1. And I think that you're one of the people who does a lot!!!!! It's the reading of other peoples' books that I wish I had more time for, mostly; I usually manage to read two when I make my quarterly visit to my father's, but this time i had to finish a book about Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley for research..... I've been doing so much of everything this year that it actually feels weird to spend time with my family and go out for a drink in the pub with friends like I did over the weekend, instead of having my face clamped to the laptop screen!!!! xx

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    2. You do an awful lot too, TT!! And you are wonderful with social media interaction as well. You're right about the reading, though. I have so many books on my Kindle that I want to read for my Twitter, Blog and FB writerly friends, but the time…what was that about a 36 hour day?….

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    3. Val, I feel permanently guilty about the fact that I keep telling people I'll have time to read their book within 2 months, and then it just... doesn't happen!!!

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  2. Ditto...to all the above, you can only do what you can do. No point turning it into something that becomes less than pleasurable...

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    1. Cathy, I so agree! The problem is that I actively WANT to do it all - I've already given up social life, housework and most telly....!!! If I spent all day doing everything there would be no problem - but then I'd have no novels to promote in the first place...!! xx

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  3. 36 hours? Is that enough? I only work part-time, but what with working, home and family, life etc I still don't have half the time I need to do for the things I need to do, should do or want to do. Something has to give somewhere. Like you and a lot of others, I do what I can when I can and I still need to find the time to write. Who said a writer's life is easy? You do an awful lot Terry, you're the last who needs to feel guilty!

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    1. Thanks, Clive ~ but you should see the state of my house!!!!!!!!!!!! xx

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  4. I understand exactly what you mean Terry. I hate that feeling at the end of the day when I've only got through half of my To Do list. I flit between the kitchen and the office trying to fit in a little more and the tea often ends up spoiled - ah well. At the moment I'm still tied up with promotion but I'm itching to do some writing - it's really frustrating! BTW, I loved your reference to "@SomeCrapApp".

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    1. Ha ha, thanks!!! I think I saw a review from you for Rayne Hall's Twitter book - if it WAS you, you now know about not wasting time RTing all those Roundteam @SomeCrapApp users! I only RT back about a third of my RTs these days. If I don't write at least 5 days a week my head explodes, ha ha!!!! Hope everything's going well for you xx

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  5. Forty-eight hours, at least - and someone making the all important discovery of how humans can finally function without any sleep at all without going crazy. Or caffeine drips provided free on the NHS. (I gave up caffeine. Why. WHY!?!?!?)

    Fitting it all in.... I think the mixed curse when it comes to writing is that you want to do it all the time. At the moment, I snatch an hour from 6am before the kids get up and a couple of hours every other evening for writing, and twitter, facebook, blogging, research etc etc happens on and off throughout the day depending on what we're up to. I don't "work", but home educating two small people is a full-time job, and you're never really "off call". The social media side of things I can do however tired/brain tired I am, blogging and research are best in the "too tired to work on the novel, but still some brain space available" and the novel itself for when I can give it my best and therefore get the most out of the time I have. It varies from day to day, week to week, and finding the balance, both between the various aspects of writing and between writing/other life things isn't always easy, but I'm getting there!

    On the expectations front, having limited time myself and knowing how that goes, I never expect anything from anyone else, either online or otherwise. People are busy. The things they have to do vary, but, ultimately, they are doing exactly what I'm doing - trying to do as much with those precious hours as possible. I love talking to people, and I'm always extremely grateful for retweets and mentions and even someone just taking the time to say hi. There are days when I don't get to reply or interact as much as I like, but as we're all in the same boat, I hope people understand in return.

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    1. I hope that too, Willow - I think they do!!! I can't imagine how you do it - I feel guilty for moaning at all!!! Thanks for such a lovely long reply xx

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    2. Definitely don't feel guilty - however much time we have, the list of things to fit into it is just that *bit* longer than what we have - when we *do* have more time, the "To Dos" increase too!

      Just hope it helps to know that we're all in that same ol' proverbial boat ;-)

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  6. Oh to be able to magically stretch time.

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    1. I'm always seeing that clock tick round to 11 am, Rosie - and I'm STILL doing twitter!!!!

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  7. I just got around to reading this post now - though I've already RT'ed it several times. I'm not trying to write a novel, and I just lost one of the two 20 hour a week jobs that keeps me solvent. I thought I'd catch up on a lot of things in my first week of half-unemployment, but no. I empathize with not having time to read all the books of colleagues that you'd like to. I have many wonderful friends in performance storytelling, but when the Minnesota Fringe Festival comes around each year, if I am not actually in it (which means I get an artist's pass) I can't afford the time or money to support them all. And what's sad is that something that should be a pleasure starts to become a burden. At least with blogs, I am trying to develop a systematic way to sample and rotate my reading. We'll see how that goes.

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    1. That's what the difficulty is, Paula, isn't it? Making sure it doesn't become a burden. If I didn't spend 6 hours a day writing i could do everything, but the reason I started all this twittering and blogging and everything in the first place was to promote my books, so although it now has other purposes (ie enjoyment and all the nice online relationships), the main point of it all still has to be novel writing. And now I shall go back to it! Thanks for finding time to read this :)

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  8. I wish I had more time. Multitasking for men runs along the lines of writing while watching TV and trying to stay awake.

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    1. You write whilst watching TV????? I can't even write if there's the sound of someone making coffee in the kitchen...

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  9. Great post Terry! I think if there was a pause button where we could freeze what was going on in life (like Benny Hill did in an episode years ago) we could savor so many fun moments and stretch time to our advantage, it would be wonderful.

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    1. Wouldn't it just??? 12 more hours....! xx

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