Friday, April 22, 2011

Life Changes Fast and What to Do or Not Do

Cleo and I and Bruce and Puck

Cleo passed away a little over a year ago and now we have a new dog, Puck, who was not a dog when we got him a little less than a year ago.Life changes fast! Since I'm a writer, my head is spinning from the whole world of publishing changing every moment now. How do I keep up? How do I decide what's next for my books? What would be best to do? Every day I see blog posts about this and apps and other wild stuff for promoting and social networking. What's Tweepi? What's Amazon vine? What's....Aargh! When do I write?
And yet, I love this new world too, and want to KEEP UP! I love my new e-reader! I love the ease of e-books, except for one small problem, reading in the bath tub by candlelight...ah well. Now I have plenty to read. So when do I write?!

After asking myself this question several times and realized the answer is simple: Content is King! Write first and foremost. If I don't have product, I won't have anything to sell. So I'm working to avoid the incredible time suck of the electronic world (although, as I now get e-mail on my phone, it can be hard) and write first!

Readers, are you having the same problem and if so what are you doing about it?


Anonymous said...

When DO we write? I think all of us writers have asked ourselves this question at least once. I've recently decided I'm going to limit my time online, to get more organized, and to just DO it!
Ann Carbine Best’s Long Journey Home

Elisabeth said...

We do our best, Conda, but as you say it's tough. Where do you draw the line in a world saturated with words?

Aubrie said...

What's Tweepie? Is that like Twitter?

Your dog is soooo big now! He's still cute, though.

Jim Murdoch said...

Repeat after me: I will never keep up and there is no point trying. It’s shear madness to imagine that anyone could keep up with this total onslaught – and there is no better word for it – of information. In the past the most we had to contend with was our own backyard. Now it’s the whole world. We go to sleep and eight hours (if we’re lucky) later we get up to find our inboxes full and it’s not just e-mail, it’s RSS feeds, Facebook entries, tweets and God alone knows what else: READ THIS! SEE THIS! CLICK HERE! DO THIS! BUY THIS! WATCH THIS!

I’m tired this morning. I woke up at 5:50 which is when I used to get up when I was working and I feel burdened. Actually it’s a quiet morning, only three e-mails, thirty-one RSS feeds, sixty-one Facebook entries and no tweets (I only follow my daughter so that’s not so unusual). Once I get through that, and whatever comes in while I’m working my way through them, I can then start work. I’ve long ago stopped trying to read everything. I scan it all but I only read a fraction, what catches my eye but I’ll be honest I retain very little. It takes time to remember; it’s a process.

What is the point to all of this? It’s a serious question. We’re terrified we’re going to miss out on something but we don’t have the time to relish: we gobble, we don’t chew properly, we get indigestion. And we’re not alone. And no one else is coping either. We imagine they are. But they’re not. No sooner has one shiny thing caught there eye than there’s another one cooing at them in the corner.

How do I cope? The first thing I do when I switch on in the morning is close down Windows Messenger and once I’ve answered my e-mails, responded to all the comments on my blog, read (or at least scanned) everyone else’s blogs and gone through Facebook to see if there’s anything I’m even remotely interested in … then I close down the lot. That usually takes me two or three hours. I seriously wonder what the return to investment ratio is. Not good I imagine.

Beth said...

Wow, Puck has grown so much!

My head is spinning in the same circles, Conda. What direction do I put my energies into? But you're right, it's all about the story.

Until we come up with a definitive answer, I guess we just have to keep learning. And enjoying it all!

Cynthia Reed said...

Oh, dear, is there comfort in finding ourselves in the same boat?

Jim Murdoch has hit the mail squarely on the head, it seems to me.

The trouble I have is a lack of discipline (or something) when it comes to turning it off and getting back to my priorities.

It's compounded by the fact that I *enjoy* social media, learning, reading, blogs, ideas, friends, family, sharing...and I seem to have an endless list of things I want to respond to, want to do and really care about.

It's a balancing act and it's really hard to balance when one's head is spinning in circles, isn't it?

Good post, Conda, thanks for the opportunity to think about these things.

Conda Douglas said...

Ann, my decision too! I'm staying offline until after I write!

Conda Douglas said...

Elisabeth, yes, exactly, and now it seems to me that the words/images are increasing every second!

Laura said...

Yes I definitely have this problem... writing for two blogs now, doing the A-Z challenge, working full time... the actual writing started to shrink. I now get up an hour earlier. This is my writing time when the internet is not plugged in... if I get any more done that day, it is a bonus!
interesting post and thanks for your comment over at Chick Lit Love

Conda Douglas said...

Aubrie--tweepie is like tweetdeck, it manages your twitter account, and that's all I know!

Dave King said...

I thought at first you were asking what I do in the tub, but no, I think I understand you now! I have times for reading and times for writing. I didn't choose them that way, they just developed. The writing bit - the vital writing bit, the ideas bit - comes last thing at night and first thing in the morning - incubating while I sleep.I also read last thing at night - the two are not mutually exclusive. Actually typing up what is written goes in anywhere I can find the time.