Samantha March tells us what it’s like being a disciplined self published author and running a successful Blog! Take it away Sam (oh, how very Casablanca!!)
A big reason why I started Chick Lit Plus was to help me write a book. Even though I had been interested in writing for years,
I thought I needed a little advantage. Starting a book blog was not only a way for me to turn my hobby into something even bigger, but also a chance to really connect on a new level with readers and fellow writers. I’ve always said starting CLP was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had, and I still firmly stand by that.
With my blog, not only was I able to read more books, but I was able to really dig into my reviewing side, look at different styles of writing and examine character development and debate on certain topics. Has this made me a better writer? I like to think yes. I write one or two reviews a day, in addition to the “Plus” posts about beauty, health, fitness, fashion, and celebrities. And I was able to find a support base––a group of wonderful readers and successful authors that encouraged me every step of the way to keep writing and never give up. My debut novel, Destined to Fail, probably would have never made it to the light if not for the constant encouragement and support I received along the way from the wonderful book community.
But now, Destined to Fail is here. And I suddenly had a harsh wake-up call: I had no time for myself. Not only do I run Chick Lit Plus––which means constantly reading, writing reviews, interviewing authors, hosting guest posts, and the “Plus” articles––but I also am a freelance editor and run CLP Blog Tours. (I coordinate virtual tours for authors looking to gain more publicity.) Among many reasons why I didn’t fully give my all to traditional publishing––I already have so many connections with fellow book bloggers and authors. I figured I would just coordinate a tour for myself, and voila! Marketing. What I didn’t realize when I hit ‘publish’ was that I barely had any free time left to be my own coordinator. Between CLP, CLP Blog Tours, editing, and my full-time job in a hospital, my hours were being sapped up faster than I could handle. How could I fit in time for Samantha March and Destined to Fail?
My solution was better time management. For me, this meant making and sticking to a schedule. I have pieces of each day carved into separate sections: I write in the mornings, I tackle all emails around 5:00, and I prepare my posts for the next day at nine at night. I have a daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list that outlines what needs done. My Outlook calendar is my best friend, and cheerfully color-coordinated. I have folders and binders and planners and a dry erase board that showcases my schedule on it. What I’m trying to say is that organization is vital, and time management is best friend. As I was writing this, I realized that it might sound a little crazy. But really, it isn’t bad, and it’s the only way I could get anything done! My schedule helps keep me on track, my to-do lists don’t let me forget anything, and my multitude of binders and folders help keep my office from looking like a paper factory exploded. Do I follow my schedule to a T? No. Of course things pop up that are unexpected, and I’m not going to pass up a nice date night with the BF because my schedule says I need to be in the office. I know how to work around these occurrences, make time for my writing, my blog, my services, myself, and my social life. It might be hard work, but what’s the fun if it isn’t? I’m so lucky that I have found something I love, am passionate about, and can make happen. It’s been a battle to finally find the balance between work and play, but now that I have, the ticking clock doesn’t sound quite as loud.