Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The Business Side: Taking Time to Reward Yourself

 This Week's Topic: The Business Side -- Time Devoted, etc.

How much time do I devote to the business side of being an author? Depends on where I am in the cycle of production. Could be as little as an hour or as much as a whole damn day.

Promotions, sales planning and analysis, data tracking and analysis, advertising revisions and analysis, graphics design and analysis, website design and maintenance, social media, budgeting, continuing education, backmatter updates, and more are all part of the business side of writing. Were I in a cycle of pitching to traditional publishing, then the querying, synopses, submissions, and tracking would fall under this massive umbrella too. Heck, even penning this blog post falls under the business category.

So, how much time do I spend working on the business side? Normally, 1-2 hours a day. Yes, that includes social media time too. Haha, no I'm not particularly active on the socials, and I've gotten more reticent as the years march on. It's because I have nothing particularly interesting to share with the world. Instead, I'm all up in my head, playing in the fantasy I'm building. 

Naturally, if I'm putting out a new product (aka releasing a book), then I spend more time getting all the ducks in a row for the release, but that rarely takes more than a week. A day for ARCs (list cleanup, file distribution, etc). A day to handle any crises that came up during production. A day for all the uploads. A day to update the website. A day to build and schedule the promotions. A day for the newsletter (content creation and list cleanup). For anything that involves playing with technology, I automatically add an extra 25% in estimated time to complete the requirements because technology is great when it works and an expensive frisbee when it doesn't. Also, while I set aside the day for certain tasks, if the poltergeists don't attack, then once I'm done, I have free time. Ya know, the rarity of having no other obligations or responsibilities while still having the reward of completing the day's assignment?

Y'all do that for yourselves, right

Give yourselves breathing room? 

Celebrate the routine and minor accomplishments?

For those of you gasping over me taking a whole day to devote to business stuff, thus inferring that I do not work on the WiP on those days...you're correct. I don't. It's a micro-holiday. A mind refresher. A chance for my subconscious to fribble around with whatever plot point or impending sticky wicket in the story. Letting your analytical brain dominate while your creative mind cogitates belly button lint is a good thing. If your WiP is always on your mind--if it's a slave driver whipping you with guilt--then burnout is on its way. We don't want that. That's no fun. That takes forever to get past. 

Micro-holidays. Tiny rewards. Breathing room. Embrace them. Think of them as team building, if you must. You and your awesome team of one. Any decent business manager knows the importance of rewarding their employees. So, don't be a dick, especially to yourself.