Writing

A Promise To The Writer In Me

Most of you have seen my countdown to 500 readers.  Many of you actually encouraged it.  I reached the goal today, and for that, I am proud of my work.

What I am not proud of is how the obsession to hit this goal has taken over my entire existence.  Ugh.

For those of you who know me, you know that if something interests me, I go after it 100%.  I don’t believe in doing a half-ass job if it’s something I want to do.  Why waste my time?  I don’t.

In trying to get to 500, I spent all of my time either promoting the book or checking the stats from the various websites I sell from to see if people were buying/downloading the books.  I’m not saying I spent a little time doing this… I’m saying it was pretty much all I did for about four days.  I’m ashamed of that.  Even last night at dinner with one of my best friends, I was reloading a page on my iPhone to see if anyone else had downloaded the book.  It was a little disgusting, really.

It was such a distraction that the thought to write never really even popped into my head.  In fact, I had the Pages file for my current work-in-progress in the background through the madness… I wouldn’t close it, but I kept minimizing it to get it out of the way.  It was meant to be a reminder of the end-goal… to get back to writing… but instead, it was just in the way of all the checking checking tracking checking marketing checking checking updating-blog checking marketing.

You get the picture.

I read the posts by and about Amanda Hocking.  I took it to heart what she said, that she didn’t sell all those millions of books without doing a significant amount of marketing.  She even mentioned that she was sad it took away from her writing.  That scares me.  I want to spend any extra time I have on the books– on writing them, not checking to see if they’re selling.

I don’t have an agent, though.  I chose a different path, so I accept that this is part of what I have to do if I want to make a living (or at least make a little money) off of them.  But I need to set boundaries.

So I’m going to make a deal with Writer-Lori right now.  I will check sales statistics twice a week to see how the book is faring out in the real world.  Right now, those days will be Thursday and Sunday.  And even on those days, I will allow myself to check them once from each of the sites I sell on.

I will also turn off sales notification emails from Smashwords.  They just try to lure me back into that world.

Thursdays and Sundays will also be the days that I allow myself to work on marketing materials.  This includes changing up my twitter campaigns, creating and sending email campaigns, or contributing to my blog and/or other people’s blogs.

will spend the other free nights writing or consorting with other writers.  I will do things that inspire my creativity.  I will not concern myself with sales.  I will allow myself to schedule the twitter campaigns, since this has to be done daily, but I will not allow more than 15 minutes a day for this task.

I will also make sure I allot some time for my friends… time that isn’t spent focused on the books, which I do feel my life has become centered around.  I don’t mind it, but I think I become very one-dimensional to others.  And I’m quite multi-faceted when people get to know me.

Anyway.  So it’s in writing, so that means it’s law.  If you find me breaking the law, you have my permission to a) de-friend me on facebook, b) un-like my author page, c) un-follow my twitter feed, or d) unsubscribe to my mailing list.  You could also just give me a friendly reminder, because I may not even realize what I’m doing.

Oh, and as a side note, you may notice content being generated on the blog, on facebook, or on twitter on days other than Thursday and Sunday.  For those of you out of the techno-loop, you can schedule these in advance, which I have been doing and will continue to do.

And as always, thanks for supporting me in my attempts to better myself as an author.  I appreciate it.

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