Happy Friday and Happy April everyone. So, the world’s on fire and like many of you, I’m scared, stressed, and worried about it all. Since we’ve been under a shelter in place order, I thought I’d be getting a ton of work done, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s been a real struggle trying to focus on edits and revisions in the midst of a global pandemic. But I’m doing the best I can and trying to be patient with myself during this time.
Now, I don’t want to spend this blog talking about this damn virus, so I’m going to shift gears. Today, I’m going to talk about the business side of writing and share some work-from-home tips with you all. So, grab your beverage of choice and let’s dive in.
Writing is a Business
Writing is a business. There’s more to being a writer than just the actual writing and polishing process that I talked about before. It’s more than just hitting the publish button and being done.
As a writer, you need to build a brand, grow your platform, and market yourself as well as your work. This means social media, websites, blogs, creating content, and engaging with readers and other writers. All of this takes time to grow. Much like a garden, you need to constantly nurture and water it to see it bloom. So, what else do I do besides write? Plenty.
Creating Content. I usually create new content about every couple of weeks. It’s a time-consuming process, especially when it comes to making aesthetic boards. One aesthetic board can take me several hours to make. Finding the images I need is a task all on its own. That doesn’t include selecting and adjusting the collage layout, or placing the pictures so they balance each other out and look pleasing to the eye. Many of my aesthetics never get shared publicly and stay tucked away for personal use only.
Blogging. Blogging takes commitment. One of the hardest parts for me was finding a schedule that I could stick with, because blogs can be a bit time-consuming. Some blogs I’ve written and edited within a couple of days, while others have taken weeks. It all depends on the topic and my mindset at the time.
Much like my writing process, I write up a simple outline and then just vomit a bunch of words down on the page in random order. I then let the blog rest for a couple of days before tackling edits and organizing it. Once the blog is polished to my satisfaction, I upload it to my website.
Website. Anyone who has a website knows that they’re a lot of work, especially if you’re not tech savvy or just plain impatient – like me. Uploading content and updating the site takes more than just a click of a button. It’s not always simple and things don’t always go as planned. Not all of my ideas pan out the way I envisioned them and when that happens, it’s back to the good ole drawing board I go.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my website and I love sharing content with you all. This site is one of my main marketing tools that I use to promote myself, The Witches of Luna Cove series, and engage with you all. So, thank you for bearing with me.
Marketing. My books might not be out, but I still have to market myself and them. I want to get people interested and excited about this series. So when the books finally do come out, there’s readers who are eager to get their hands on them. It’s why I create aesthetics, playlists, and share quotes and snippets from the series. I want you all to be as excited about these characters and their stories as I am.
Social Media. Social media is a great way to connect with other writers and readers alike. Much like my website, my social media is a reflection of who I am. I try my best to stay away from politics and drama. And if you’re on social media, you know there’s plenty of both. I want my pages to be an escape from all that.
Personally, I love interacting with other writers and readers via daily hashtag games. They’re a great way for people to get to know me, my work, and my characters. I also enjoy posting aesthetics and sharing snippets of my work from time-to-time – even though the latter makes me anxious. It’s always nerve-wracking putting your work out there for others to see. But the series will be out eventually and this is just part of what I signed up for. So, I suck it up and share those teasers anyway.
That about covers it for the business part of my writing life. Since so many of us are now working from home, I wanted to share a few tips with you all.
Designated Workspace. Have a designated workspace away from the TV and preferably out of the bedroom, if possible. You want a room with privacy and limited distractions where you can focus on your work. If you have a home office, now’s the perfect time to utilize it.
Change Clothes. You don’t need to get all dolled up, but you should change your clothes, even if you’re just changing into comfy sweats and a t-shirt. Changing your clothes and grooming yourself can help shift your mind into work mode.
Set Designated Work Hours. You should stay as close to your normal work schedule as possible. Pick a time to start your workday and a time to end it. The last thing you want to do from home is to work the entire time.
Limit Distractions. Log out of your social media accounts and put your phone on “Do Not Disturb,” if you can. It’s easy to get sucked into the social media black hole and fall behind in your work. Try and save the social media for your breaks.
Take Breaks. Get up and stretch your legs. All that sitting and eye strain isn’t good for anyone. It’s bad enough we’re cooped up in our homes, there’s no reason why we should be stuck to our chairs. Walk around the house. Work out for a few minutes if you can. Get the blood flowing. The last thing you want to do is throw a clot because all you do is sit.
Eat and Drink. Make sure to stay hydrated and feed yourself. I know it seems asinine to say this, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get caught up in your work and forget to eat.
Self-care. Take time for yourself after you’re done working. Reward yourself. Spend some time with your family, play a game, read a book, or watch that movie you’ve always wanted to see but never had the time for. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you stay home, and take care of you.
I added a Character Bio tab under the Extras menu. Nick’s bio is posted and Karina’s will be posted this weekend. I’m still trying to work out the kinks with the Social Media tab and hopefully I can share some of those highlights soon. In the meantime, you can always hop on Twitter or IG to find out what I’m up to.
Nick’s blog is still on schedule for Friday, April 17th. With everything going on in the world, I feel like we could all use the distraction. Feel free to leave comments for him or me, if you like. My next writing life blog will be on Friday, May 1st, the topic is still to be determined. If there’s something you want me to talk about, hit me up in the comments below.
That’s all I have for today. I want to thank you all for your continued support and bearing with me. I also want to thank all our health care professionals, first responders, delivery drivers, grocery store employees, and more. You are all in my thoughts during this stressful time.
Stay home (if you can), stay safe, and take care. Until next time.