Sunday, July 12, 2009

Turning the page

In order to turn a page, there must be pages to turn, right?

I'll be the first to admit that my writing productivity took a major nosedive when my household went wireless. Not only did dial up keep me tied to a phone line, it kept me off the internet as a result. Maybe you remember those days when going online was a major expedition.

When I knew that checking my email was going to be a 20-minute undertaking between dialing up and logging in, I set aside a designated time period to do this and was much more organized in my approach. I'd dial in. Wait. Log in. Wait. Read. Respond. And get off line. If I didn't, I was bound to miss a phone call.

Even after I installed some kind of modem monitor software to tell me when a call was coming so that I could get off line, I still stuck to my system unless the incoming call seemed to be urgent. Once I dialed in, hopping on and off line was just too much trouble.

Once I'd finished my 30-60 minute email check and quick surf, it was back to writing. How many of us can say that we only spend, let's say, 45 minutes attached to our internet? Yes, well, like I said, it's affected my productivity.

So, today is the first day of my new writing plan. I've compartmentalized my writing duties, separating the creative, from the social, administrative and promotional. Sunday eve through Friday eve is now reserved for developing manuscripts. I'll check my email, but no surfing (unless it's book research), no social networking, no non-urgent marketing. Friday night through Sunday eve gets to be Facebook, MySpace, Twitter time. That's also when I'll craft blogs, update my web site and tend to my promotional and author admin.

For me, the best way to attack this new separation of duties is through my writing journal. I already set aside a page for goals each month, I'll now add a page for web site updates, and promotional to-do's. So instead of spending chunks of time doing each of these items every night, I'll condense them into the weekends. Just as I can't be all things to all people, my time can't effectively serve all my needs all at once.

Here's to change!
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