Monday, September 22, 2014

Stay True to Your Writing Path by Mary Manners

Stay True to Your Writing Path

By Mary Manners 
"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time..."
~ Ephesians 5:15 ~
Many authors--count me among them--struggle with the fact that marketing tends to devour writing time. Deadlines loom, but at the same time there are books that require promotion. Often the worlds of Facebook and Twitter closely resemble black holes that suck writers in and refuse to release them. The question soon arises: How does one maintain a fine balance between marketing and writing (and let's not forget a sprinkle of family-time, as well)? Grab a piece of paper and a pen and take notes; here are a few easy solutions that I have found to be highly effective:

Set aside short blocks of time to connect with friends in the virtual world. This supportive network should not be neglected. I like to chunk out three 15 minute sessions: one first thing in the morning, one mid-day, and a third in the evening, when the day’s writing is complete. I have gone so far as to set a timer to limit myself to fifteen minutes per block to keep from being lured into overstaying my welcome. Whatever is not completed during that time can wait until later in the day or even the next morning.

When the black holes beckon, setting a writing goal and sticking to it works well for me and other writers I know. Don’t be afraid to take on a hefty challenge when it comes to getting words onto paper. My goal is usually five for five: I must write 500 words before I break for a five-minute trek through the virtual, a snack or a drink. I set a timer and strictly limit myself to five minutes. This technique works very well to help me tackle and tie up my writing projects as deadlines loom; the promise of a bite to eat or a trek through a black hole motivates me to get those words down.

When dealing with the bulk of marketing tasks, consider chunking the work into a half-day once a month with the help of a free scheduling site. This allows for scheduling several months in advance. I have found that a half-day spent in this arena provides plenty of time to plan and schedule what's needed. Additional blocking times throughout the course of a month may be used to work in last-minute posts as well as to respond to the posts of others. As an aside, it is quite beneficial to have all tweets/posts saved in a document with links already shrunk, which allows for quick cutting and pasting.

So, the next time the virtual world threatens to snatch away writing time, step back, take a deep breath, and then dive back in to WRITE. Remember these simple tips to help stay focused and enjoy the journey. Happy Writing!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Maddie Cutler loathes her status as baby sister to her three brothers. Fearing she may never be considered their equal, she goes out of her way to prove that she's capable of managing the family business. But, her careless accident shuts down Clover Cove's business district and makes Maddie the laughingstock of her family–and Clover Cove.

Gunnar Holt spends weekdays managing his garage and weekends as youth leader for a small church. But Gunnar has a secret...a mistake from the past that nearly stole his future. Not a soul in Clover Cove knows his transgression, and Gunnar plans to keep it that way. Then, Maddie Cutler plows through his garage, nearly demolishing the life he's worked to rebuild--and the wall he's erected around his heart.

As Gunnar falls for Maddie, he must tell her about his past. But, will the secret push Maddie away or pull them closer together?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Lucky and Gus.

Learn more about Mary Manners at her website: