Monday, January 19, 2009

checking in: an assessment

So far, my writing/reading resolutions are not going well. The culprit? Facebook!
It's very addictive. And yet, something terrific has happened in that I've reconnected w/ childhood friends, friends that, in some cases, I have been sending the yearly Christmas card and that's it, others I've not seen or spoken to in 20 years. That's been immensely gratifying. I feel like I'm home when I'm "talking" to them. (Don't get me started on that irony...)

What's more, it's been a great tool for promoting Faking It. The fan page has recruited 65 members (in less than two weeks), and I've sold at least three units, not counting the other two from friends (one of whom wouldn't have known had we not reconnected on FB) that I ordered and signed (check's in the mail, so they say, haha!). Doesn't sound like much, but consider the time span. And that's not the grand total of sales.

But... I'm spending too much time chatting, commenting, scouting other people's pages, etc. It's fun, but it's time I could be spending on any of the major writing projects I've got going on right now, which is about four, counting Faking It.

I suspect that those who have difficulty balancing their careers and families w/ their writing are really having difficulty committing to attending to their writing and making it just as much of a priority as their other life areas. This is not a judgement, mind you -- I put myself at the top of those to whom I refer. I believe this is a choice that we have to make. We need to value our writing careers (if we've decided that we want our writing to be a career) the same way we value our full-time job that pays the bills. We need to act as if writing is what brings home the bacon.

That means turning off the screens. Turn off the boob-tube. Turn off Facebook. Turn off the Black Berry. Etc. Keep Word open, of course. But shut down and sign out of the rest.

So here's my new intention: I intend to commit at least one hour each night to one of my writing projects. (Monday night for Faking It, Tuesday for Daily Presents, Wednesday for WILS, and so on.) One hour is more than do-able. It means sacrificing watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (but really, how funny is it gonna be now that the Obama Admin is taking office?). But if I had a second job (and I do), then I'd be missing them anyway. Priorities. It's like saving $20 a week by not buying the grande latte.

It's time for me to walk the walk. I've been saying that I want the scales to tip, that I want to make a living as a full-time published author rather than a full-time instructor. It's time to make that happen. Start by devoting a minimum of 5-7 hours a week. That's still part-time, meager, even, but it's a start. It's clocking in.

It's a plan.

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