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The Secret To Finding More Time On Your Hands

The Secret To Finding More Time On Your Hands

As a fairly new author, I have researched hundreds of ways to be consistent in the art of self-publishing, marketing, staying on top of social media – and still find a block of time to write. It’s even harder if you hold down a paying job at the same time. 

Recently, I read an article (because I’m always reading those articles) that explained exactly why some authors are engaged favorably on all social media with tons of comments and followers while others struggle to rise to the top. Writing good content is a surefire means of drawing a crowd, but you still have to get your name and content in the eyes of the public. The only way for a self-published author to do this is on social media. 

The great authors who have been around for a time have made their name and platform known well before social media was King. They already had dedicated followers who grabbed their books off the shelves as soon as they hit the bookstores. Then the digital age arrived and e-books were the norm with Amazon hitting the market hard. It was then easier for these authors when social media took control of our lives, to waltz right in and jump on board the social media train – starting at the top of the charts. 

Seriously, how many well known authors do you follow on social media? I, for one, follow many of my favorites as do millions of readers and authors. I’ve read tons of their books and now, through social media, I can know their story. I keep hoping I will also find their secret to success! 

Unlike little-known author’s as myself, these authors already had a following. Their books are selling in the millions and reviews are not rare on Amazon in this digital age. They engage with their readers regularly with ease and still have the time to knock out a book or two – sometimes more – each year. 

I’ll be honest with you. I struggle. I struggle with social media in all forms. Each one has a learning curve and there is so much information on the internet it’s hard to consume all that I need to know. What’s right? What’s wrong? There never seems to be enough time. If I cut back will I be forgotten? What works for others doesn’t always work for me. There is no magic number of posts, no magic words in a magic order. I know. I’m whining. 

Consistency helps but after all the consistency I’m putting in on social media, I’m burned out on the writing of my newest book. I’m constantly telling myself, “tomorrow’s another day.” Then “tomorrow” comes and the social media game starts all over again. 

I can break down my social media following into three groups –  

1) fellow bloggers

2) family/friends

3) fans/random readers

The majority of those following on my blog are also bloggers from group # 1 and my numbers increase weekly as long as I’m posting regularly and interacting on other blogs. 

Most of my friends and family haven’t quite figured out the blogging business. They read of course because they come across my blog posts by following me on Facebook through my personal or author FB page and Instagram. That takes care of group # 2.

Group # 3 is a smaller but very welcomed number. These numbers include most of my Twitter followers along with LinkedIn and Goodreads. Some have also clicked to follow along on Facebook and my blog. 

I also struggle with marketing and advertising. It’s not easy to ask of strangers even if you are certain your writing won’t disappoint. 

BUY MY BOOK! FOLLOW ME! DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A REVIEW! 

This line gets old after awhile – to yourself and to the public. 

I knew self-publishing wouldn’t be a piece of cake when I started this adventure. My head was in the clouds though and I believed I was above the rat race of struggling artists. I wrote a book and published. Then I wrote another book and published. Of course there was three years, a partially lost manuscript, and a lot of hard work between the publications. 

Now I’m working on another book but I find there is no time. I know from reading (those articles again) that the more publications with good content you get out to your readers, the better chance you have of climbing higher on the ladder to success. 

I must back away a bit from social media if I want to get this next book finished. This result will be I may not be seen as often on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Instagram….. Have I forgotten any? There are soooooo many. Will anyone notice? Will anyone miss me? 

I most definitely will have to play catch-up when I jump into the social media pool again, but I’m hoping it will be worth it.

My blog will be more consistent than my other social media posts so stay tuned….

~Elle

Lots Of Stress and A Little Secret – Am I ready for It? Oh Yeah!

Lots Of Stress and A Little Secret – Am I ready for It? Oh Yeah!

So…..I’ve been thinking. Now that’s not always a good thing, but I think this time it was. 🙂 Here’s a couple of ideas that have been rolling around in my head for a few days. When I’m off doing band stuff with H there’s a lot of time to think and read. So I think about what I need to do and how to do it and I read more articles than you can even imagine about what, when, where, and why these things need to be done.

If I can just keep a block of time scheduled for writing everyday I should be finished with ‘What Line’ by the end of March. Yay! The scary part is that after I finish with all that writing and editing, I’ll have to put it in book and e-book format, decide on a book cover, and start all that marketing and promoting again. Uggh!

I’m so ready to get this book done, but I’m not sure if I even remember how to add the content to my template for CreateSpace. If it’s not one of those things that I do over and over and over again, then sometimes I don’t retain all the information!  You see what I mean about scary? It’s been a year and all I remember is that it seemed to take forever to get the template formatted correctly and looking just the way I wanted it to. Even then, there were some problems. I also seem, to remember a lot of stress – a whole lot of stress!

I’ve got a preview up of ‘What Line’ on CreateSpace, but to make it a little easier for you I’m going to add my preview to this post.

If you are new to my blog, ‘What Line’ is the sequel to ‘Crossing The Line’, my first  self-published book. After all, there are always two sides to every story.  🙂

Click here for the preview to ‘Crossing The Line’ or click on that book cover up a bit and over to your right to go to Amazon and make a purchase. Then you’ll be ready and waiting for the release of ‘What Line’. 🙂

Here’s a little secret. I’m also planning on revamping the cover of ‘Crossing The Line’ to coincide with the publishing of ‘What Line’. Wish me luck. I think you’ll like it.

Now here’s what I promised – the preview of ‘What Line’.  Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Elle

 What Line Preview

Helena wasn’t giving Jim much hope of them getting back together and he was getting a little frustrated trying to live his life Helena’s way to make her happy. His therapist appointment had been made, Lori was being sent to Melton for a few months, and he had moved out of the house. What more did she want? It had only been about a week since they had separated, but it felt like forever to him.

Tomorrow was Saturday and Jim and Helena were supposed to go to Carrie and Rich’s for the afternoon to have dinner. He felt Helena was trying everything she could to wiggle out of honoring that commitment with him. Jim knew it was because the kids had not been told about the separation yet and she felt uncomfortable pretending around them.

He felt as though he was lost with nowhere to go. Lori had been texting and calling all afternoon and it was getting harder and harder to tune her out. When he left the office he headed for the boardwalk to find a place to have a drink. Boy did need one after the week he’d had! Sitting at the bar he ordered a beer and asked for a menu. After two beers he had still not ordered and his phone was constantly buzzing with calls from Lori. She just would not give up! Feeling really sorry for himself by then Jim finally answered her next call.

Immediately before Jim could ask her how she was Lori said with a note of exasperation in her voice, “It’s about time! I’ve been trying to get you all afternoon. I’ve called and called and left you numerous text messages. Why haven’t you answered any of them?”

“I’ve been working Lori. I do have a job you know and sometimes it’s very demanding.”

Lori changed the tone of her voice to pleading, “Baby. I need you to come see me and I know you have time now that Helena isn’t hogging all your time. You know how good we are together. You do remember don’t you?”

It was hard to ignore the fact that she was right about that. “Okay, Lori. Why don’t you come meet me for a drink? We can have dinner together tonight.”

“Did you forget that I don’t have a car to drive?”

“Can’t you get Elise to drop you off? I’ll get you back home,” he said, giving her the name of the bar.

“I’ll try, but if she can’t you’ll have to come get me. I’ll call you back if I need a ride. Listen for your phone!”

It had been almost thirty minutes before Lori showed up at the bar with a smile on her face. They found a table at the back of the room where the lighting was dimmed, then ordered some food and more drinks.

Lori was not impressed with the way she had been treated and let Jim know it right away. “You can’t just turn me on and off like a faucet, Jim. I have feelings, too. I’ll be back at work on Monday and then what are you going to do? We have to work together so you can’t ignore me.”

Yes I can he thought, knowing she would not be working with him for the next few months. Before he knew it he had blurted out, “By the way, Ray Brown needs some help, so you have to go to Melton to work on Monday. You’ll be working out of his office for a few months.”

“What? Did I hear you correctly? You loaned me out to Ray for a few months? You can’t do that Jim! We have the festival to finish planning and the summer programs to run. Helena sure won’t be around to help on the festival this year. You need me here – not in Melton.”

“Ray needs you more right now. I couldn’t turn him down when he asked and you are the only one qualified besides Jeremy. I can’t do without him because you can’t do his job. What else could I do?”

“You did this on purpose to get rid of me,” Lori hissed through clenched teeth. “I bet Helena is behind all of this! I won’t go! I won’t! I wasn’t hired to work in Melton.”

“I’m sorry, but you have to go,” Jim said calmly. “And yes, it is in your contract. I can show you the exact paragraph, so don’t try to get me to change my mind. There is no other way. Maybe this came at a good time. Helena may back off and leave us alone if you aren’t around so much. If she insists on this divorce, I don’t want it to get messy. I have my job and my family to think about and so do you.”

Lori glared at him staying silent for a few minutes, and then let him have it. “If she insists? If she doesn’t – you better! I don’t think you really care about what happens to us, Jim. You better start showing me you care or you can forget about ever being with me again. This divorce is the best thing that has happened to you – at least it should be. All you have done for the past few years is complain and whine about Helena and how she drags you down. She’s always checking up on you and accusing you of not caring about her and not paying enough attention. You need to get it over with as soon as you can because I may not wait around for you forever. You aren’t the only fish in the sea.”

Trying to calm Lori down quietly, Jim took her hand and said, “Finish your dinner and your beer. We’ll talk about this later.” He wasn’t sure how he was going to handle this situation, but he had to get Lori out of here before she made a scene. She was capable of anything.

In the privacy of his truck, Jim turned to Lori and said. “You have to stop getting so bent out of shape, Lori. Let me handle Helena and this divorce. I didn’t interfere when you divorced Stan, did I? Don’t do anything to get involved.” He started up the truck and headed out of the parking lot. “I really shouldn’t be with you tonight and I hope no one saw us together. For all I know Helena could have someone following me. She is acting too cool and too smug right now, as though she has it all together. That isn’t like her. She is out for revenge if I know her. I’ve had to make all sorts of promises just to keep her quiet.”

“What did you have to promise her?”

“For one thing, I have an appointment to see a therapist next week. She thinks I have a problem,” Jim said with a laugh. “Something about being a narcissist – whatever that means.”

Lori, snickered.“Well you need to look that one up if you don’t know the definition because it’s not a compliment. How did she even come up with that? I don’t see that trait in you. It’s probably something she came up with when she had nothing else to do but research on the internet. You said she was always researching stuff. Are you really going to see a therapist? I’ve heard they can mess you up if you aren’t messed up already. Be careful. What else do you have to do? She probably told you to get rid of me and that’s why you are sending me to Melton. Am I right about that one?”

Jim ignored Lori’s last question and continued with his explanation. “She halved the checking account with me and opened one of her own. We aren’t doing anything with our savings and other assets right away and we both agreed not to touch them. There are the credit cards and I feel like she will take one and I will take one. She said she is making enough to live on so I don’t need to give her any money. Jason has a college fund for school. I did have to draw money out of savings to pay for your car though. I told her it was to pay the medical deductible for the therapist and I think she believed me.”

“She sure has you on a short leash doesn’t she?” Lori asked. “Why do you let her get away with so much anyway?”

“I’m not letting her get away with anything. She just thinks she is.” Jim stopped his truck in front of Lori’s house and told her he would see her Monday before she went to Melton.

“What? You aren’t coming in? I thought maybe you could stay the night. Lillie is still with her dad in Panama City. She won’t be home until Sunday. You don’t have anywhere else to go, do you?”

“You know I can’t do that, Lori. I’m taking a chance just having dinner with you and dropping you off. I’ll have to come up with a good story if she confronts me about it. Now get out. I do have somewhere to go and it’s to Jeremy’s. I don’t want him to get suspicious either.”

“Just a minute,” Lori said, procrastinating. “You need to figure out a way to keep me in Riceler. I don’t want to drive to Melton every day! Who’s going to pay for the gas? You know I don’t have leftover money every month to put toward that. I barely have enough for Lillie and I to live on.”

“That’s all taken care of. You’ll get mileage. We can’t very well ask you to drive that far on your own expense every day. Pam will make you a check out weekly. She figured the mileage from your house and has your first check ready. You can get it Monday before you leave. Oh, and when you come in Monday, don’t let on that you know about this yet. We aren’t supposed to be seeing each other and I don’t want anyone to know I told you.”

“I’m going to do this for a week, Jim,” Lori said. “No more than a week! You better figure out what to do about it after that.”

“Just get out, Lori, and quit worrying about it. Don’t make such a fuss. You’ll be okay.”

Lori opened the truck door reluctantly, but not before she leaned over and put her arms around Jim’s neck, snuggling as close as she could get, rubbing up against him. “You need to try to get over here before Lillie gets home Sunday and see if you got your monies worth, Honey. I’ve got lots, and I mean lots to show you.” She slowly undid the two top buttons of her blouse exposing the flesh of her new breast.

Jim grabbed her wrist to stop her from going any farther. “Lori, this is not the time and place. We’ll be together soon,” he lied. “Save it for later.”

Later may never get here the rate you’re going. I’ll only wait so long for you.” After that was said she slid out of the truck with a smirk on her face and seductively swayed up the driveway to the front door, knowing Jim was watching her every move.

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