Stalk me elsewhere

Monday, March 12, 2012

Keeping From Drowning

Greetings and salutations, Fire Enthusiasts. Thanks so much for dropping by and hanging out with me for a few minutes. I realize that there is plenty of competition for your time and hardly any of that as it is! And this is precisely what I have come to talk about this week.

You see, I feel bad when I don’t spend enough time with you guys. When I started writing again a few years ago, finished the novel and found my publisher, it was all about me. It was about the first of many novels which would propel me into the consciousness of the world, or at least my little part of it. *laughs* Back then, I had no idea that any of you were here already or about to join me in this crazy pursuit that more often than not consumes us and drives us beyond normal means to get our words out into the world.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that there was a wonderful community of writers and/or readers out there. During that first year, many of you held me up and tirelessly encouraged me to hold the course in spite of newbie roadblocks, obstacles and potholes in the road before me…and us. Now, I feel like one of those tireless encouragers (is that even a word?), and I love that!

My part of the Packaging Department Office. Forgive the tape on the window.

The Problem: You’ll recognize it because it’s probably your problem, too. I have between 4:30 pm and 8:00 pm, and that’s it. During this time it's shuttling kids around, appointments, eating dinner and cleaning the kitchen, and occasional performances at the schools for those kids that I mentioned. It makes it tough to keep up with everything that you guys are up to, though I try.

Working and writing: I have an 11 hour day job (which I have whined about many times) which I have to wake up for at an ungodly hour. I sneak my writing in during coffee breaks and finally on Saturday morning where I have a chunk of time before the house wakes up.

Reading: I pretty much only read before bed. This also helps to tire my eyes and to induce sleep. When I’ve got something really good to read, I take trusty Kindle to work with me and read there. That’s good news for many of you guys because I’ve only been reading indie books for a year and a half. That’s how well written your books are to me. *raises glass in toast* Speaking of reading, my TBR pile is literally a mound of books. I’m getting through them as fast as I can, but…

When I need to get away from the house noise, I retreat to the bedroom.

Networking: Throughout the day I am attached to my trusty iPhone, constantly sorting through e-mail and blog posts that I have delivered to my inbox (As a side note, if you have yet to add this feature to your sites, I highly recommend it. It saves so much time, rather than readers having to go hunting for your posts). I save the ones that I really want to address and delete the rest. It hurts, but there is no time for them all. When I get home I go through what I have saved and visit everyplace that I can.

Promotion: Throughout the day, I might tweet or Facebook post about my book or my one blog post a week, but I really try and keep that to a minimum. I get so much more enjoyment re-tweeting, sharing and "liking" what you guys have going on. Any more promotion than that is really only spam, isn’t it? Eventually, it becomes invisible, skipped or deleted without a second thought. It’s sad, but the reality.

The reason my left knee hurts now. Lol!

The Why: Why did I explain all of that? Really, the answer is because I care, and want you to understand that more often than not, I’m barely treading water. You'll notice that I didn’t mention anything about articles that I write or housework or the treadmill that we just bought to help defeat this rapidly increasing middle of mine. My hope is that by the end of the week, I will have “liked” a post or two of yours, re-tweeted, or shown you some #Writer Wednesday and #Follow Friday love, and said hello to you on your blog or website. Often I read your posts but have little to add, and the last thing that I want to do is simply add some lame comment that takes up more of our time. There’s already very little time in the day as it is. #justsayin’

By the way, if I haven't thrown you some Twitter love, blame the Follow Friday app that I use. I could never forget any of you. *grins*

How do you guys keep from drowning? I'd love to hear your advice and recommendations. We've been holding each other up for a couple of years now, haven't we?

I think my cat has the best idea yet. 

We’ll talk soon.


  1. Your cat definitely has the right idea, and he probably won't die of a heart attack.

    I try not to go overboard. I prefer a small but constant internet presence so it gives me time to work on my writing and enjoy my life.

    At the end of my days, I don't want to beat myself over the head and whine that I didn't spend enough time with family and friends.

  2. Love the Nordic Track pic! ;-) Go easy on that knee.

    I think your cat has the right idea. Lately I've had to adopt the wise words of Scarlett O'Hara: "I'll think about it tomorrow for tomorrow is another day."

    The only thing I'll let consume me are family and writing. Everything else is secondary these days.

  3. It's hard, isn't it? I try not to let myself be consumed with online networking and to enjoy real life.

  4. You sure do have a busy schedule! No explanations necessary; everyone should understand people behind the blogs actually have lives outside the computer!

    I don't have children or pets (unless my husband counts, ha!) so that frees up a lot of time for me. I don't have a smart phone either, which is probably a huge time saver. People can get so wrapped up in technology that it stresses them out even more.

  5. My kids haven't gotten to the age yet where I have to shuttle them anywhere, but since they started preschool part-time, I feel like there are fewer hours in the day to do anything. Just getting the kids to bed on time and getting them up and into school on time has become a hassle.

    Thankfully our mandatory overtime has been removed for the month of March so maybe I can get caught up where I'm behind at home, with the kids, with appointments, etc.

    I think it's just a day in-day out kind of thing. You do the best you can and ignore the rest.

  6. I am probably not a good example since I was just resuscitated from drowning. But I like working out. Something about an angry workout keeps me afloat.

    I also finally had to stop trying so hard with everything. I couldn't keep up with all the emails, mentions on Twitter, comments on my blogs, etc. I do what I can do now. For those that care like you, you still put up with me disappearing. The others just block me or forget me.

    Keep your head up Jimmy!

  7. Thanks for the advice, my friends. What I seem to be hearing is not to let everything get in the way of what is important, such as family and writing pursuits. Thanks, Maria, Liz, April, Talli, Sia and Laura.


  8. Jimmy, I think you just wrote about my life. Are you sure you're not my subconscious acting up again?

    I know how you feel, really. I feel like I've sunk to the bottom with a cement block lately. Best you can do is keep moving ahead. #1 is family, #2 is your writing. We all understand and you will always be forgiven :)

    I may come and give you a poke once in awhile though if I don't see you, just to know your gills are still working ;)

  9. My schedule is nowhere as hectic as yours. You should have starred in the movie "I Don't Know How She Does It" instead of Sarah Jessica Parker. Of course, we would have changed the "she" to a "he"--unless you would have wanted to perform in drag. Up to you.

  10. I definitely know where you're coming from, and I don't even have kids or work the same crazy hours as you! I think it's just taking it one day at a time and remembering why you want to keep going.

    I also ask myself: "If I could only do 3 things today, what would they be?" I make sure to focus on those 3 important things first before I get bogged down in the little stuff. If I can't get around to doing everything, I can at least feel like I've tackled what matters the most.

    Hang in there!

  11. Oh, it has been a long winter and I need a Nordic Track as well. But finally, we have some great weather and I will be MIA tomorrow, going to go to one of our favorite parks and enjoy the 70-degree weather we've been blessed with.

    It is so hard to keep up with everyone, and like you I can only hit people's blogs once a week, if I'm lucky! I'm debating on doing another blog hop, not sure and I'm not going to jump on it as yet. Gotta get this third book done, and a couple of short stories I want to work on... the list is very long! But you do your best and we all love you for it!

    No lame comment here! *haha*

  12. @Jenny - Thanks, dear, but I can barely dress myself as it is! Too funny! I read your note at 3:30 in the morning as I was leaving for work. It was a great way to begin my day.

    @Jacquelyn - I'm pleased that so many of you are so understanding. That's why I posted this; I thought it would be good for us all to have in our heads that we're all busy doing the same things.

    @Lorelei - When do we get that team of assistants who do all of the little things for us, so we can meet at the club and chat??

    Thanks, ladies. I hope you're having a great week. Talk to you soon.


  13. A great blog, and I totally understand the lack of time! I'm not crazy enough to work 11 hour days *grins* but nine hours still drives me crazy and I'm ridiculous enough to go back for more on Saturdays. My point is ... I hear you. It's a tough gig to be a writer and it's only made worthwhile because of those like-minded people you've got standing at your back.
    Ps - I love your comments on my blog, they always put a smile on my face even if I'm techtardian enough not to have a single clue on how to answer them.

  14. Hey James! Your life mirrors mine, LOL. How do we squeeze everything in with a day job, family and so many other pulls on our time? It's the thousand million pound (or dollar in your case;-) ) question.

    Like yourself, when I wrote my first novel, it was all about that - I hadn't discovered the world of social media. Now that I have met so many lovely people out there, like yourself, to share and spend time with, the time seems even thinner.

    At least we are engaging in something we love dearly and, if persistent, we'll get there in the end, I'm sure.

    Thanks so much for sharing. Love your blog. You can sign up for email subscription to mine, any time you like;-) Speak soon - sending waves & giggles your way.

  15. And even when you have time to devote to being a write, it's all Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger, webpage updating, Google+ and more. Add in the editing, the writing, the marketing, the promoting, the networking, and this becomes a full time job!

  16. What a busy time you have. Love the cat by the way, I used to have one like that. You do a great job fitting everything in. Keep up the blood from the blood bank :)


Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you taking the time. I'll get back to you here or on one of the other social networks. It's not like we're not on all of them, right? ;) Also, if you're here to give me an award - bless you. However, your friendship and visits are more than enough. Thanks and blessings.