February 6, 2013

How to Balance It All! (Crazy Life Of A part-time Independent Author)

By Lauren Klever

Let’s face it... it’s a crazy world!  If you’re an independent writer you’re probably not rich yet, but you work like a dog.  You probably have a day job or two and a life with responsibilities.  So how do you get it all done?  Advice is everywhere and you have to choose what to listen to.  If you choose to remember once piece of advice from this article, I hope it’s this one... Don’t forget to breathe.  Before you can take care of anything or anyone else you have to take care of you.

I frequently run around like a chicken with my head cut off, so whose advice do I need to take?  Mine – back to step one – breathe!  Once your breathing is under control carve out a little time each day to write.  I take a journal wherever I go and write ideas every chance I get.  I once wrote a whole scene at my son’s orchestra concert.  The wonderful conductor had left the house lights on.  To me it felt like Christmas.  Talk about multitasking!

I set aside special time for editing.  I plug it right into my calendar or it gets back burnered or doesn’t get done.  I choose a four hour block once a week just to edit.  Sometimes I need more, but I always schedule it.  The vacuuming can be put off and don’t look at my dust, but writing is my passion and the housework will wait for me.  Where are the good fairies when you need them?  Garden gnomes?  Anyone?

Now that you are breathing, writing and editing, you need to squeeze in a little social media, self promoting and advertising.  I know, I know... you’re already breathing, writing and editing, but if no one sees your work, what’s the point? So here we go... Be warm and friendly.  Be approachable and always remember to be yourself.  You are now a brand.  What flavor are you?  What describes you?  I write young adult action/ adventure novels.  That means that I keep all my social media sites PG -13 or milder.  I try to help other new authors but my primary goal is to educate, entertain, help and motivate readers twelve and up.  That is my brand!

I choose to spend a couple of hours every day among my social media platforms.  During that two hours I work on my website, answer my Tweeps, look for things to reTweet, answer fans on my Facebook pages, look for things to share, like or comment on and most of all I try really hard to THANK everyone.  I make an effort to be warm, friendly and gracious.  That is another part of my brand.  I find that when you appreciate people, they help you back!

I am still working on building my presence everywhere that my fans and potential fans hang out but it is all a work in progress.  Keep breathing, never give up and try to do one thing to improve YOU every day!  Best of luck, dream big and happy writing!!!
Lauren Klever is the author of The Secret Watchers series.  Book one, Visions, is available now and book two, Whispers, is due to release this winter.  She is a K-12 educator, volunteer and parent.  Lauren can be found at any of the following places...
Website and blog:
Facebook, Author Fan Page: 
Facebook, The Secret Watchers Fan Page:  
Twitter:  @SecretWatchers

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