And you probably do too, because most people hate change. But I really hate change to a well-established routine. But after attending a writer's conference last September, I got hit in the face with the awful reality that I need to spend more time marketing and less time writing.
Come-to-Jesus moments are not fun at all.
One highly successful author in particular said something that struck me like a hand-axe to the chest: If you're not gaining readers, you're losing readers. And she was right. Her challenge to us was to do something every week that gained us new readers.
So. More time marketing.
The problem was, I had a great little routine. Or at least I'd thought I did. I knocked out a chapter by 9 AM, took a break with my Tai Chi group, came home and did a bit of marketing, met my sister for lunch, then spent the rest of the afternoon editing.
But change was inevitable. I swapped my marketing and editing times, giving myself the entire afternoon for marketing. (No, the idea of giving up morning Tai Chi did not cross my mind).
The first week was hell. I was stressed. I was mad. The world wasn't fair.
And I didn't fall all that far behind in my editing.
It turned out that I'm good at intense, focused work in the mornings. But in the afternoon, my attention wanders. A lot of the time I'd been spending "editing" in the afternoons had actually been wasted on staring out the window, getting diverted by YouTube videos, and the like. But my marketing tasks run in short bursts. Ten minutes looking at Facebook ads, a few minutes on Goodreads, twenty minutes to work on a blog... In short, all that attention switching was perfect for my afternoons.
I should have shifted to this schedule years ago, because deep down, I'd known I was wasting time during my afternoon editing sessions.
Funny how that works. It all seems so obvious now--do focused work when I'm best at it, and task switching when I'm best at that.
When are you best at focused work?
My newest Wits' End mystery, Night of the Cupid, launches October 31st!
Roses, chocolate, and a completed to-do list. Is that too much to ask for Valentine’s Day? When you own the Sierra’s best UFO-themed B&B, it might be. Because murder is about to collide with all of Susan’s carefully laid plans…
The Valentine’s special at her B&B has attracted all the wrong guests—a group of Bigfoot seekers and the ex-con who shared the worst night of Susan’s life in a small-town jail. At least she’s got her boyfriend Arsen for moral support.
Or does she? Because as the big day approaches, Arsen’s acting even more unpredictable than usual.
And when she discovers the body of a woman with a bevy of boyfriends, she learns that love gone wrong, means nothing will go right. But will Susan’s determination to set things straight land her on the wrong end of Cupid’s arrow?
If you love quirky heroines, twisty mysteries, and laugh-out-loud humor, you’ll love Night of the Cupid, book seven in the Wits’ End cozy mystery novels. Buy Night of the Cupid and start the hilarious caper today!