Marketing is a big part of building a successful writing business. And you need time to market your books. Time to create emails for your mailing list and short messages on social media. All of those things take time to create unless you’re able to whip them up in minutes.
We’re writers. We need time to brainstorm ideas, flesh out characters and plots, and create character and story outlines. We also need time to write.
But what’s important?
Numbers are important. Selling our books and bringing in income is important. But staying focused on our work and getting the writing done is important, too.
Writerly activities don’t happen overnight. And if we’re too busy thinking about other things and not taking care of our creative side, we run the risk of having our fountain run dry. Or at least that’s how it feels.
If we want to write, we must view writing as a valid business activity. Our writing is the product. And if we’re not writing, we’re limiting our product inventory. If we’re too focused on marketing our books, we put our ability to write at risk.
There needs to be a balance between marketing and writing. Daily progress for marketing our products, and daily progress for creating new products. Unless the plan is to publish and market a small number of books, we’ll need to make sure we’re feeding our creativity regularly. The frequency and technique are up to you.
Some of the tools I use to feed my creativity and streamline my work include:
*Notebook *Pen *Timer *Mind maps
I use a timer because if I don’t, I’ll end up spending hours on a particular activity when 10 or 15 focused minutes would have been enough.
Reading is also a big part of my day. I try to make a point to read writing reference books for 30 minutes a day. I also try to spend another 30 minutes a day reading about marketing. And I read fiction during my breaks and evenings so I can stay on top of writing techniques that I want to either use or stay away from (I also get great gift ideas for our nephews this way!).
Balance is key. But we also need discipline. Marketing can be rough, and it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers. If we let the numbers get to us, we’ll feel discouraged and defeated. The best way to stay focused for our work is to do our best every single day and work at making forward progress.
Jody Calkins is a freelance writer and book editor with a passion for finding ways to live an enriched life. Topics she covers include the writing life, time management, and stress reduction, and can be found here: http://jodycalkins.com
Be sure to connect with her on Facebook (@jodycalkinsbiz) and Twitter (@jodycalkins) for daily encouragement and inspiration.