Thursday, May 2, 2013

Extreme Multitasking or How to Survive as an Author by Jannine Gallant

We all know that mothers are the world's best multitaskers. As a mom, I can arrange next week's ballet car pool via phone, fold laundry, jot items on a grocery list, and yell at my daughter to put down her iPod and do her homework, all at the same time and without even thinking twice. As a writer, I can do the above plus add work out the latest plot twist in my WIP and the subject for my next blog post to the list. No, I'm not Wonder Woman. I'm an author, and as such, I've learned lesson #1. Prepare to become an efficient multitasker or lose your mind.

For those of you who picture a writer, hard at work in his or her garret, cranking out the next Great American Novel with no distractions, I must chuckle politely at your naivete. In reality, that writer is performing a juggling act. More than likely she (I'll use she since most of my author friends are female and I'm not at all sure males are capable of multitasking. LOL) is working on her current manuscript, editing the one she recently finished, and promoting the novel that just released. Sometimes my head spins, just trying to keep the characters straight. So, here's my author tip for the day. MODERATION

We can't do everything well (or even competently) if we don't learn moderation. When working on the first draft, learn to let go of that search for the perfect word and move on. It'll come to you later, probably waking you from a deep sleep, so keep a note pad handy. When working on the second or third draft, accept that it probably isn't perfect yet and hand it over to your critique partner or agent or editor. These wise souls will point out exactly what is wrong with it, and then you can make those final changes and repairs. When in the midst of final, final edits - don't drive yourself crazy reading it over and over, changing one word here or there. You could do this until those proverbial cows come home and never be 100% satisfied. And finally, there's the promotion.

Promoting can be a complete time suck. It's necessary, but you need to learn to use your time wisely. I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know what generally doesn't work.

1) Too much blogging. I've seen authors set up 20 blog stops in the first two weeks after their book releases. Who has time to write all those blogs and monitor them? Not me said the busy mother/author. Also, even your best writer buddies get sick of seeing you post on Facebook about yet another blog stop on your endless tour. I believe a few fun, informative posts that aren't strictly shouts of BUY MY NEW BOOK are more effective in the long run.

2) Too much Tweeting and too many Facebook blasts. Personally, I never bother to read tweets, so I could care less if the people on Twitter scream about their books day and night. But, I've been told it irritates those who actually do monitor their twitter stream. Same with Facebook, which  I do spend time perusing. Maybe post about the entertaining subject matter of those blogs you're writing along with the news that you have a new release. Yes, let everyone know, but don't make your Facebook and Twitter friends crazy.

So, to keep those balls in the air and become a multitasking diva, practice moderation in all aspects of your writing habits. And now, to my bit of promotion...



The final book in my Secrets of Ravenswood trilogy has just released. Go, me! You can pick up a copy of He'll Never Know at Amazon. Just click here.  Also, the first book in the series, We'll Never Tell is free today only. So, if you haven't read it yet, click here to download. These are fast paced, romantic suspense stories set in small towns with plenty of action and a few surprising twists. If you enjoy that sort of book, I hope you'll give them a try.



For more information, please visit my websiteLast but not least, if you have any tips that will help us all become better multitaskers, leave them in comments and have a great day!

12 comments:

Barbara Edwards said...

thanks for the free copy. I plan to read all three so this is a nice start.

Jannine Gallant said...

You're welcome, Barbara. Enjoy!

Alison Henderson said...

I wish I were better at multitasking, but the truth is I can't concentrate on more than one thing at a time. (Maybe my age, LOL) The best I can hope for is to switch quickly between tasks while keeping all in my mind in order of current importance.

Jannine Gallant said...

I can relate right now, Alison. I'm being extremely efficient at tracking my free book's progress up the Amazon ranking chart (this is quite a thrill because I've never seen such a little number - #12 people!) and very inefficient at writing. Time to get busy and prioritize what's important.

Jerri Hines said...

Exciting times! Hope it's just the beginning for you!

Jannine Gallant said...

Thank you, Jerri!

Miss Snark said...

Great post, Jannine! As a mother of three, I'm all too familiar with the horrors of multi-tasking. :D

Jannine Gallant said...

Horrors is a perfect word to describe it sometimes! LOL

Margo Hoornstra said...

Fun post. Like the balls in the air line. All three are fabulous books. Enjoy them, everyone!!!

Jannine Gallant said...

Yeah, Margo, I think I need balls with more loft. Hard to keep them all up there sometimes! Thanks, and happy birthday!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Jannine,
You're so right about promotion being a time suck. I've got a new release coming out May 17 and I've arranged a blog tour but this time I'm only making 7 stops over 5 days. I just couldn't face a two week blog tour this time! Hopefully I've booked just enough stops to drum up some interest without driving my writing friends crazy!
Jana

Jannine Gallant said...

Jana, seven seems like a reasonable number. It's the double digits that kill me. Best of luck with sales!