Hey There! Distraction. It visits us all, this pesky little creeper. And in all ways, shapes and forms, right? With the advent of social media 24/7 online distractions are prevalent more than ever. I thought little Joey in the back of the class shooting spit wads at the back of my head or two-hour episodes of The Bachelor and Survivor Reunion were bad distractions. Now we’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Pinterest…. This is just the surface. And I don’t even tweet. Or twit. Or twat. Whatever that bird does.
But I can’t complain. Social media marketing is the name of my business as I blog and market online as a part-time job for wedding vendors (when I’m not being an indie author). It’s my bread and butter, and my author-ing is my marmalade.
Social media is pretty cool; it’s a great way to keep in touch, especially for someone like me who hates telephones and who lives thousands of miles away from most of my family and nearly all of my friends. It can be fun, too. (Come on, who doesn’t love checking out gossip lines or funky photos of random “friends” on Facebook?) But social media is also distracting. Darn distracting.
Unfortunately, since all of my wedding vendor work is social media marketing, and a good portion of time as an indie-author should be spent self-marketing or at least trying to engage with one’s public, social media platforms are always around me. And I can’t check out my author Facebook Page or clients’ Facebook Pages without scrolling through the home page to find the latest news from random peeps.
And then little pings and dings on the iPhone. Those don’t help (I know, I can turn notifications off. And I’ve done that for a lot already.)
And emails…can’t forget that ancient online distraction.
Getting distracted is getting easier and easier, and then we’ve got Pinterest! That’s something that I find helpful in the wedding marketing area, which I can write off as “work related.” But when I’m scanning through cartoon blurbs from Star Wars characters and pinning vacation get-away scenes I call that distraction.
And my Kindle and my bookshelves of books! Sometimes I’m just in the mood to read. I just want to shirk work and writing responsibilities and just read. In peace. Some Vivaldi or Kenny G streaming through the speakers, and time spent flipping page after page or clicking virtual page after virtual page. I know if I flip open my Kindle cover I’m in trouble. I could be heavy in a book for awhile before I realize I’ve been distracted, yet again, from getting what needs to be done done.
This blog here. I consider it half indie-author-work-related, because it is. And half distraction or just fun. And my personal blog is purely fun, too. This author blog is something that I, as the indie author Savannah Page, decided I wanted to give to the reading community. (Whether anyone actually reads it is another topic, but I try to ignore the possibility that I write into an abyss.) I don’t have to do it, but it’s not a bad idea if you’re in the indie author realm. Many do it, and if you enjoy it, why not?
Indie authors have to work extra hard at getting a public because we don’t have agents (most of us don’t). We don’t have brick and mortar publishing houses. We don’t have a team of proofreaders and editors or cover artists. We don’t have a marketing and PR team behind us, freeing up all of our time so we can just write and write away. Nope. We do it all. Or, if we’re lucky, we have our husband design the book cover. ;0 It’s a juggling act, for sure, trying to balance writing with marketing with editing with sales with everything. And then having some semblance of a quote normal life.
Having this blog takes time, obviously. Precious time away from getting that next novel out. But it’s part of the “job”—I’ve made it part of my job—and I enjoy it. And that’s most important—enjoying it. Figuring out how much time to spend blogging, and dedicating to the novel-in-progress is tough. And making sure I’m not babysitting sales numbers of Bumped to Berlin is important, too. Time is precious and it’s worth more than money because there’s no getting it back once it’s gone. And these darn distractions just don’t help.
Now I’m not complaining. At all. I love the career path I’ve chosen and the journey I’m on. I’m currently reading Scott Nicholson’s book, The Indie Journey: Secrets to Writing Success and he preaches that up and down. You have to love what you do, whether you’re selling one book, or one million. An indie author is a journey…and one that should be embraced and loved if it’s to be taken.
So on this indie author journey I have to be bigger than the distractions and say, “Today I’m doing this.” And do it. That means Tiny Tower on the iPhone and Pinterest seductions and Facebook comments and Kindle sales ranks and author forums need to be kept in check. And that means keeping my blog post amounts (and more importantly, lengths) in check. I love blogging. I’ve been doing it professionally since 2008, and I’ve been doing it personally even longer. It’s hard not to get caught up in writing into an oblivion, hoping someone is out there reading it. I’ve got to do a little bit of blogging. A little bit of marketing. A little of keeping sales numbers in check. And a lot of working and writing that next novel!
Distractions. They’re nasty little buggers, but they can be a lot of fun. As yet another way to distract myself from actually getting down to business and writing that next novel, I’ve formed a small list of distractions that have been keeping me from my character chart and plot setup for my next book. Here they are. Then I promise I’ll be quiet and get back to work…no distractions invited.
Distractions That Are Distracting
*Went to IKEA to buy a better bulletin and white board so I can get my book ideas laid out and have a place to keep timelines and deadline reminders. 4 hours later I left with an awesome board that now needs to be hung. (I’ve gotten distracted. Haha) No, I just leave construction jobs to the husband since I am a klutz and could end up with a giant hole in the wall if I take a nail and hammer to it.
*Made this blog post 700 words longer than I had intended. (Gotta get a hold of that!)
*Whipped up another delicious latte that I didn’t need at this hour.
*Organized the kitchen cupboards (I stopped after three shelves as my writing side of my brain was incessantly shouting, “You are distracted and are ignoring meeeeee!”
*Went to H&M and bought a super cute waist-length coat that was on serious discount and spent more money (and time) post-Christmas shopping than I should have.
*Spent an hour in the Christmas aisle of the department store deciding what color and theme I’d go for in terms of Christmas wrapping paper for the next two years. (Glad to report that next Christmas we’re going with purple and silver because I felt like it.)
*Fully stocked my Tiny Tower a few times over (the most awesome game on the iPhone, next to Sally’s Spa).
*Madly scrubbed the actual drain stopper to the master bathroom sink, after pulling it out of the drain, because I apparently thought I had nothing better to do.
*Browsing through random photos on Facebook from friend’s vacations that they took in 2009 that I know I already spent several minutes looking through back in 2009.
*Assembling this list. And now typing it.
Setting goals— I like doing that. 2012 will welcome my second novel. I need an additional goal though… Next blog post will be a max of 500 words.