Migration

For so many reasons that I cannot fully communicate yet, my website is moving to a new host. As such, those of you who follow me here, will not see the new posts until/unless you go to the new site. ūüė¶ sorry.

It’s under construction right now, so the page is pretty odd looking…but you can find me at http://www.savannahverte.com

Thanks for the hang!

Another Tuesday

Yep, it’s been a couple of weeks since the last Time Management Tuesday post and I’ve been running and gunning. Guess you could say my time usage has been helter-skelter for actual management, but it’s all good.

Last week, the final cover revealed for Book of Change, VERY EXCITING because I LOVE this cover:

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It is perfect to me…so I’m sharing it everywhere! I hope you like it too!

I have also been shipping swag to various events, some I’ll be attending- to go into the goodie bags, and others I’m not going to be able to physically be present, but still wanted to share goodies with readers! The gal at the post and I are fast friends again and my credit card and I are in negotiations to just charge itself when I cross the threshold at the post. It would be easier. ūüôā

Time was spent laying groundwork for The Custos, which is the rough & dirty title for the series that Book of Change is from. Book of Time is technically the first book, and it’s a mini…but a much better introduction to The Custos and White Diamond, which are central to the series. In order to have them come out in order, for those who have been aware that Book of Change was coming…hang on just a smidge longer. Book of Time and Book of Change will come out essentially simultaneously while the dog days of summer linger long, hot, and needing distractions.

I realized the need for Book of Time after Change was put to bed and to do it right, I don’t see another way but to get them out together. So, those attending Authors After Dark in Savannah Georgia will get first option on both, but then they will be out for the masses and Jillian (my PA) and I will have a belated release party to celebrate them when I return from the south. Also coming in the series will be Book of Mysteries, Book of Revelations, & Book of Prophecy. I’m rather excited, even though the full plotting isn’t ready for the latter three titles.

Still, with Time Management being the focus, let’s visit a bit about that. No matter how structured your time is, you need to remember to have flexibility to change and shift as other things come up. The last two weeks have been a lot of ebb & flow and going with the wind for me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t need to recoup some of the time I lost, I do. What it does mean, is that while inspiration was hot and things were working, I allowed myself to take the opportunity presented and maximize the time to the fullest potential that had been unrealized and unrecognized in my planning stages.

And that, is really what time management is about at the core…it is about using the time we have to make it work for us¬†instead of us working for more of it. When we are able to get time to work to our advantage is when we can truly claim to have managed it. As we said from the beginning, you can’t make more of it for yourself in any given day. If we do it right though, it can seem like we did because we have accomplished more in less than we thought we required.

Until next time…plan your work, work your plan, BUT remember that the best laid plans are just plans. Life happens and has to be accounted for in the accounting too.

All the best to you!

 

 

Time Management Tuesday

To date, we’ve talked about divided folders for organization, as well as an event planner work sheets for keeping track of expenses, the reality of how quickly time can fly past when we are pre-occupied, and cherishing each moment we are given…but there’s more to consider. I pointed out that we all have the same amount of time in each day, down to the second…but how do we maximize what we have? This is the subject of this weeks post. Like everything else, a plan is integral for managing time usage on any given day. I’m not suggesting a regimented, set the timer, when the bell goes off switch tasks kind of plan but rather a take accounting for what needs to be accomplished, prioritize the tasks based on what must, should, and might need to be done, and factor in how much time we realistically need to complete everything on our list.

The other thing to consider is that every task does not need to be part of the plan every day. As an author the task board is fairly consistent with duties; write, edit, promote, interact with readers are the main components. Let’s start with these knowing that there are multiple other items that infiltrate the list on any given day.

Write. First and foremost, to be called author one must do the dirty deed…put words on the page. Writing for some is a habit, and one that must be completed daily. For others, the act of writing takes so long to reach cohesion that a long stretch of hours is necessary to find the force of will to stay in the chair.¬†Which are you?

For some, the writing process is one of sitting down and letting their fingers fly to create. Commonly, this is called Pantser writing. The opposite is the Plotter, where the actual act of the writing is the final step of a long journey that began with research, outlines, character developments, scene by scene plotting, and verbal or mental fleshing out of the story to the degree that when the time comes to write the tale, it can essentially write itself.  Again, which are you?

Knowing your writing style is essential to understanding how to use your time. If you are a Pantser, you have your epiphany and will spend more time in the chair writing and re-writing initially, and then in editing to streamline the work. When you plan your time for this style of writing it is a good idea to have a word count, chapter count, or other goal in mind for knowing when you have completed the task for the time.

For the plotter, the lead time to finding a comfortable way to sit is a long stretch. Managing the story for this type of author is more structured, thus the time management aspect is as well. How much time do we set aside to research locations, or to build characters, how do we plot the scenes and find the arcing threads that tie the tale together? These are the questions that plague a plotter, and once managed liberate them to sit and tell the story essentially from start to end very quickly. Because the mistakes, missteps, and detours have occurred during the plotting phase, the writing and editing phases are more streamlined. The overall process is not significantly shorter or longer for this type of writer, just different.

I’m a plotter if you didn’t know. I thank Cherry Adair every time I finally sit to write for teaching me how to hone that skill set. I fought with a story for a couple of years before I learned it, and once I did…and plotted it out, it took less than 2 weeks to write and about that long¬†to edit, though the plotting and structuring phase took over a month to get down. It was the same couple of months it takes many pantser writers to accomplish the same story…just a different use of the time.

That’s rough and dirty writing and editing…the other two pieces, promotion and interacting with others…to me are essentially the same thing. This is where managing our time is tantamount because social media can suck you in and cause you to forget the clock quickly. In this case, the timer is not a bad idea. The same can be said for a writing buddy or family member to hold you accountable for limiting your time ‘playing.’ Another idea that my PA taught me, was to schedule regular posts or promotions¬†to help with keeping to the limits that I have set for myself. By posting say, a month of teasers, or a week of posts at a time when I’m not interacting with others, when I get online to interact, I have freed up that time to meaningfully¬†do so¬†without being tied to housekeeping or¬†getting posts up. Managing when I get to interact openly, means that I can allow myself to spend the extra time instead of racing to fit it in and get the scheduled things up too. I also enjoy it more because I don’t feel like I’m cutting myself, or someone else short on a chance to chat. win-win.

Now, I’m not going to say I’m doing it all correctly and you should do it my way. I’m not so obtuse as to presume that there aren’t other ways – there absolutely are. What I am suggesting is that the first thing you need to do as an author to help manage your time is to understand how you use it, what you need to do to maximize it, and have a sense of what works for you or doesn’t. Make time in your schedule to do some soul-searching and honestly determine what you NEED as a writer, what you WANT as a person, and how to fit those two pieces together so you don’t short-change yourself on either front. Time management is a puzzle and no two puzzles have exactly the same shape pieces. Figure out how yours goes together and build a beautiful finished product. You and your work are worth it.

Perspectives

My house smells & looks like a floral shop after the services today for my mother in law, which I love…but so does the little cat who thinks we brought home snacks. Every high shelf is now covered in blooms.

Love those with you whenever you can, life is short.

In other news, I have managed to generate the premise for yet another tale that will have to wait til Custos & Chasing Daylight are wrapped.

#thestruggleisreal #writerproblems

Color my world

How do you know you’ve arrived if you’re going somewhere you’ve never been?

Good grief, how do you write that question if you can’t figure out what you’re asking? lol.

I’m in the throes of trying to run in several directions, a process which seldom bears immense fruit, but is often unavoidable. Case in point, I’ve launched this website to help build my platform as an author and to try to expand the audience and reach of my work. Problem is, I’m really not sure what is or isn’t quality content or how to put it out there. So, I’m spending some time wandering around, looking for other pages by authors I know or am meeting to see what they are doing as well as what is and what is not working for them.

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Tips? Advice? I’m a blank canvas in need of paint.

 

(image courtesy of free clip art gallery)

 

First things first & 5 section deals

Getting started is always the hardest part for me. Once the train is in motion, I can usually count on the momentum to keep it going, but getting it off the stop – maaaaan, HARD.

I have a large and long agenda to accomplish for myself, with accountability to others along the way. That my pack has been a reproduction site for sticky notes and scraps of paper for a bit too long has made getting going daunting. I needed to take some time, sort through all the bits of paper and scraps, get them organized by what they are and where they go so I can access the information, and…the hardest part of all…dare to toss some in the trash bin. EEEEEEP!

The halfway point had the discard pile looking something like this…

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…which is actually pretty good for me. I have duplicates often because I don’t want to be caught without the piece I need. Any other paper/documentation hoarders out there? By the end, I managed to clear multiple legal pads of their random notes and get them organized into 3 primary areas…my calendar/planner, my pad-folio of ‘to do’ items, and a 5 section sorter of writer/publisher things.

On my house website, Eclectic Bard Books, I post on Mondays…last week, I posted about the business of documentation. These 5 pocket sorter things are my lifeblood until the paper makes its way to the tax files. In my daily use one, I¬†have receipts, reservations, event activity, check out/research, and WRITING sections. The last because I will invariably hit on an idea sitting in the drive thru at the bank and scribble notes on a scrap of paper…it has to go somewhere so it won’t be lost.

During events, the 5 section deal is for receipts, reservations, event calendar, commitments, running donations. An event specific calendar is easier to carry around than a planner to know what’s happening when since I try to be fully present at the event, not thumbing my calendar of other things…they will still be there when I am done. And, a commitments tab so that I know what my personal obligations are and where I can grab notes for specific panels or things I’m hosting. Lastly is the running donations section which has a tablet of sticky notes and a pen so if I run across a blogger, or do a pop up giveaway, I can record the information to log it later to my tax files. (Really, that section becomes a catch all for other things like phone numbers, websites, plot ideas, or notes for things I need to do when I get home.) When the event is done and I make it home, the filer is cleared and things for taxes go to the files, reservations-calendar-& commitments sections go into a file for the event, and the last section gets broken out and down to where the pieces need to go…Voila! It’s ready for the next time out.

Not going to say that I’m perfect at maintaining this organization track, especially given that I have to out myself at the beginning of this post as having to get my butt in gear…but having a consistent method to use is helpful. What’s your best advice? What system do you use? I’d love to know…

Like magic, at the end of my cleaning up and out, I had a stockpile of empty legal pads…which, anyone who knows me knows this is like a winning lottery ticket for my inner writer. I live by these buggers. Lookie how many I managed…

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…and I still have 2 in my bag, 1 a running ‘to do’ list, and the second in the writing section of my divider with collated notes from the other tablets so they are almost all in one place. DO NOT want to be me if I misplace that bad boy!! To think that these were also in my bag in various stages of use explains why that bugger was getting so freaking heavy.

So, now I have no excuses. I know where all the pieces are once again and can grab what I need, when I need it. Guess I better get the fire stoked, it’s time for this engine to roll out!