Expect no pearls of wisdom #mrfwauthor

Once again, here’s the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. For this week, the writing prompt is:

Managing My Writing Time

Uh . . . shouldn’t you be asking people who know what they’re talking about?  You know, like efficiency experts? Or at least folks with willpower?

(Actually, I have lots of willpower. I used the word ‘willpower’ five times in my current WIP. So there.)

Okay, okay, I’ll get serious. But I warn you, I have no great insights.

I’m lucky, not good

First off, a confession. I’m far luckier than most people, and I know it.  I was able to retire early, and though I’d had six books published in the twenty years I doubled as an author/wage slave, I’ve had nine published in the six years since.

Thus the only pearl of wisdom I can offer (and it’s pretty iffy) is quit the day job. If you follow my advice and starve to death, I disclaim all responsibility.

I have a lot of writing time to manage, but I try to maintain a reasonable life-work balance, so I don’t always put in 40-50 hours per week . . . even if I put in that much time at my computer. Distractions, you know? For example, while I’m typing this, I also have a baseball game running on MLB.com. (My team’s getting killed.)

So, if I’m serious about working, I turn off the Internet.  Or write at the library, or a nearby coffee shop that’s usually pretty quiet.

I do that . . .  sometimes. If I’m really engrossed in a story, or if I have a deadline, I do it more often.

Courtesy Cartoon Stock dot com

The wife and I babysit the two grandsons four days a week, and while I love ’em to pieces, they take some time. I do the cooking, dish washing, and most of the grocery shopping. I’m sure it’s not as much as most women, but the household does gobble time.

I have other family members, too — my sister, three sons, and a daughter. And of course a wife.  I say hello to them occasionally.

And then there’s marketing. I try to con myself into thinking marketing is part of writing — but then why does it feel like wasted time? My superego considers the hour I spent today entering four books into upcoming cross promotions as equivalent to watching an hour of Loonie Toons reruns.

Another thing that cuts into my writing time is social media. I try to control it by using social media only (uh, mostly?) for career purposes — like the post you’re reading.

And that sounds like my cue to cut this post short.

What about you?

I’m sure a lot of you are better at BIC (bum in chair) than I am. Please, please, share your secrets! Check out the diligent, hard-working writers taking part in this blog hop.




  1. Peggy Jaeger · · Reply

    Ed – I can relate! I’ve never worked so hard since I retired ( Heehee) At least now I’m working at something I love instead of something I despise!

    1. I hear you! In my case, though, I didn’t despise technical writing (only some of the unrealistic deadlines). I just didn’t love it like I do fiction.

  2. LOL…..I swear my computer has a beacon that blares to my family “Mom is not paying attention to you!” whenever I sit down to WORK. I can be on social media, email, whatever….but the moment I open a document, someone *needs* me ASAP.

    1. Now this I can help you with. Clearly the family added the Inattention Beacon app to your computer when you weren’t looking. Simply delete it and voila! Problem solved.

  3. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    Great post. It’s good you find balance. I am still searching for mine. My computer died this week and is hopefully being repaired so my post will be late.

    1. You missed a couple words, Cathy. I said I TRY TO find balance. Sometimes it’s there. Other times I fall flat on my face. I follow your blog, so I’ll be alerted when you post.

  4. Uh oh–two boys, four days a week? I’m amazed you get any writing done at all!

    1. My wife does most of the child care; I’m backup.

  5. Lots of pearls of wisdom Ed. I’ve already followed your advice. I quit my day job about 10 yrs ago (luckily The Husband kept his) but that didn’t give me free time since I do have the kiddos.

    I can’t manage my time still, even with hours free during the day. And marketing…UGH I wrote a post this week for another blog hop (Insecure Writers Support Group) talking about my fear and unease on marketing.

    1. Most writers feel as you do about marketing. Some, perhaps the ones who sell the most, don’t feel that way. Sigh.

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