Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Writing 101: Just Say No

I'm terribly behind on my book requests (literally months and months out). I'm over a month behind my own publication schedule for my books. I'm typing this post at 2 am, and I'm going to get less than 5 hours of sleep tonight.

I have trouble saying no to stuff...and that's why I'm always drowning in work to do. Brace yourself. You're about to hear a cautionary tale.

I Am Not Leading By Example

It's me. I'm the cautionary tale. I've managed to get myself into a mess, and I'm going to do what I do best by telling other people how to avoid my mistakes.

Just say no

  • Read this book!
You don't even have to hang up a shingle, so to speak, to receive review requests from authors. You just have to have a blog. You'll get requests through your email, Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, whatever the heck you've got. Some pitches are great. Some books look amazing. Sometimes, it's really hard to say no. But if you know you don't have any time to read and you've already got books on your list you'll never get around to finishing, say no. 

  • Guest posts and interviews.
Yeah, I know why you do them. Guest posts and interviews allow you to become exposed to users on a totally different site, a book blog where you may find many new readers who are picking up whatever you're putting down. But too much of a good thing is still too much. Don't agree to so many guests posts and/or interviews that your own blog and books suffer.

  • Forums.
As faithful readers know, I'm not a big fan of writer forums. This should clearly be the first thing to go whenever you're feeling pressed for time. If you're going to make time for something, please don't let it be slogging through the forums

  • Personal limits.
My time-management problems go beyond the responsibilities I have as a self-published author. I have a hard time saying no to work assignments, and I don't back down from the exercise and cleaning commitments I've made to myself. You have to say no in your personal life as well, sometimes to your friends, your bosses and even to yourself.

It's very difficult to say no, and I understand that. But sometimes you have to...or you'll end up going for many weeks without enough sleep, and perform poorly at pretty much everything.

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