Projects, Planning & Productivity

The weather’s been weird lately. One minute it’s boiling the next the wind is so strong I can barely open the car door without it slamming back in my face.

Windy days aren’t exactly fun when you decide you want to wear your hair out either. If I wanted a bowl out, I would’ve used a hair dryer! Sigh…of course the heat isn’t always friendly to hair either is it?

One thing that is nice about this bizarre weather is that it’s spontaneity inspires me to be more productive. The unfortunate thing is that with all I have on the go, I probably need to invest in a personal calendar. My phone just won’t cut it. I’d like to try and manage all of my projects effectively, whether that be recording which is currently my #1 priority (I’ve been recording an audio book this summer and it’s been so much fun!), or editing.

I also just started working part-time along with my job as a voice actor and the editing I do occasionally on the side. It’s nice to be working again, since the media industry is still adjusting to the changes happening during the pandemic. I’m eager to get back into the studio but I’m being as patient as possible and I’m making the most of the gigs I’ve been getting here and there during this pandemic. Plus my part-time job is loads of fun! I spend all day surrounded by books!

I do wonder if it’s possible for me to become more productive? Especially on my days off. Of course it’s important to take a break every now and then but when you have goals in mind, it’s good to stay on top of them. I try to set miniature goals for myself, of the things I’d like to accomplish in a week. I have a few set for this coming week. I’d like to get lots done in the next couple of days, but I also try to be realistic in what I can accomplish within a short span of time.

I have a habit of trying to do too many things at once which can at times be overwhelming, so I know that in order to counteract that, I have to make time for myself every so often so that I don’t burn out.

In terms of editing right now, I’m a lot further behind than I would have liked and what’s frustrating about that is the fact that I’ve got 3 chapters and 2 scenes to go. I’m at the end of the race with this 3rd round of edits but I chose to put it aside to complete other things. I think that by planning out my day and getting some sort of routine going for my editing, like I do for my at home recording sessions, I could probably get through these last few chapters more efficiently. Of course I still have to do a full read through before returning my corrections and my approvals back to my editor but I think once I get the last bit of editing done I can relieve some of the weight on my shoulders.

This is my debut. I just want everything to go smoothly.

Speaking of writing, I thought I’d do a little survey out of curiousity. If you’re a writer yourself, what is your writing style?

Planning Ahead: My Exploration of Book Marketing (So Far)

In my last post I shared some Book Trailers that I thought did a great job of engaging potential readers. Although they all had different approaches, they were great to watch, visually appealing and had me interested in learning more about the books.

As a reader, I know what I look for when buying books, and those are the same things that I like to think about when I’ve completed the first draft of my novel. I always write books that I would enjoy reading, but I get curious about the different ways authors and publishers choose to market their books. There are so many different options, that sometimes I find myself going down a marketing rabbit hole. You’d be surprised at how long a person can spend looking at everything from great book covers to how to set up a bookstagram tour.

I think it’s honestly really wonderful how much information is out there.

There are hundreds of articles on how to grow an engaged audience of potential readers as well, which is something I believe every author strives for.

I’ve thought of all of the different techniques I’ve seen, and imagined different ways I could implement them for a successful launch, when the time comes. Even just thinking about launch prep can be a lot of work. There is so much that has to go into publishing a book, regardless if you are traditionally or self-published! Luckily there are so many unique approaches to this, many of which, I’ve seen done well with fantastic results.

The main thing that I’ve noticed from these successful approaches is the amount of planning people did. They figured out their budget, they thought of how far in advance they needed to begin promoting their book, they came up with events, got a team together, made a detailed list or calendar of everything they wanted to do prior to and on launch day.

The majority of the success stories I’ve heard has been from people who took their time to plan things out in advance.

Something I wonder is how far in advance should a person begin planning? I honestly don’t know. Is it when your book is picked up for publication? Is it when you have an actual publication date? Is it when the editing is complete? I haven’t the slightest idea.

Regardless, I’d like to hope that by at least looking into these different strategies others have used, that when I get the go ahead, I’ve already got a ton of inspiration to pull from and possibly things that I’ve already decided that I want to do.

Something that I am very excited for is having Beta Readers. Although my editor and I are currently on our 3rd round of edits, seeing her feedback and enthusiasm has really got me wondering what other’s will think of my novel. Will they enjoy my characters? Will they like my style of writing? Will want to read more?

I’ve missed having people read my work. I used to share my stories with my friends, family and classmates when I was in grades 7-9, but stopped being so open with it. Instead I only shared my writing in my creative writing classes and clubs at school, or in online writing communities. Most of what I shared however, were poems. Mainly I miss talking to people about my stories and characters, and I think most storytellers long for that.

I definitely have a lot of things that I’d love to do with this debut…and because of the current situation, and the uncertainty of 2020, I’m also making sure that I have alternative ideas to each of my main ones because I saw how devastating it was for people to have launches that didn’t go as planned. I’ve still got a ways to go, but I am having fun brainstorming ideas in between editing and work.