Wednesday, April 06, 2011

#WW - Doing it All

Aren't you so lucky that every week you get a fresh glimpse of what challenges I'm facing at the time? (yes, that's sarcasm. You're probably not feeling super lucky at all). Today I'm going to talk about doing it all, juggling projects, what I'm good at, where I fall short, and ultimately what the solution is.

On my to-do list this week is:

word count - this book is due May 15. I don't have enough done on it. Some books go together more quickly than others. This one is going slowly. It just is.

a critique - my Authors for Japan winner has sent through her synop and three chapters, and I don't like to keep people waiting

edits for Off The Clock - my novella edits have come through, and the sooner I get them back the better, for various reasons

web update - I do a monthly update. Usually on the first day of the month. And here we are on the 6th. I believe in the necessity for fresh, up-to-date content. Not having this done is driving me crazy.

Harlequin Webinar - tomorrow I have a one hour webinar. Harlequin hosts these for their authors. Last week I did one on websites, and so while I'm doing a lot right on mine, I made notes for tweaks. Which is why this month's update is taking so long (I've prioritized the changes, doing the most important ones first). Tomorrow's is on building a mailing list/newsletters.

In addition to the work to-do list, I have running club twice, my eldest has 2 tournaments in different areas of the city, and I have a dental appointment on Friday morning (getting the stitches out from the second surgery).

This week exemplified the "doing it all" principle. And it also exemplifies the "I can't do it all" response.

Is there anything I can drop? I confess, I have put the critique at the bottom of the list. Partly because I have so much work and partly because I want to give it my undivided attention. This person paid good money for a crit and I don't want to rush through it. I know that by next week, several things on the list will be gone and I will be able to sit down and really look at it. And I could drop the webinar, BUT after doing the first one, I realized how great they are and after all this is one of the things HQ does for its authors. I will make time for the hour.

The word count and edits? Have to be done. The web update? Well, I got the main things done yesterday, so the rest I can putter with. Like I mentioned - I prioritized. I have changes to make to each individual book page, so I've started with the most recent first, and I'm working my way backward. The home page etc. changes are done. We won't get into the total technology fail from yesterday, though. Even after a dripping-with-sweat work out and a hot shower, I was too keyed up last night to get to sleep very easily.

This is what you can expect after you embark on this crazy career, people. And the only one who will be able to figure out how to handle it best is YOU. For example, I found delegating certain tasks didn't work all that well because I still spent a large amount of time putting materials together, and, to be honest, doing it myself saves money. And it's not ALWAYS like this. It just so happens that there are weeks where everything seems to hit at once and my solution is simple:

Do the best you can.

There's no sense beating yourself up about it because it will only take you longer. I am trying to work through each item and cross it off the list.  I've tried working on more than one thing at once and it makes me panic because I feel like nothing is being accomplished and my focus is split. Personally I'm far better off to tackle one thing and finish and move on to the next. That's just me. You'll find what works for you.

And I'm refusing to be chained to my desk. I'm going to the tournament and I'm going to enjoy watching my kid. I'm not skipping running club - the run is good for me. I need the time away so that I can be productive when I sit down. Which at this point is STILL more of a 12 hour day than a 7 or 8.

Anyway like most things, this too will pass, and it will all get done because it always does. Can you do it all? Yes. And you can do it well. You just have to figure out what works for you. And give yourself a break. You don't need to do it all TODAY.

Now I'm off to do the dog walk, and then come back to knuckle down!


  1. Time management is one of my weaknesses and learning just how much there is to do as a published author makes me really nervous.You've given me hope that it can be done. Thanks. I discovered you over on Rachelle Gardners blog!

  2. Hi Donna, I love your books so I'm glad you are taking care of yourself. Busy people like you get so much done in a day. I love that you have figured out a method that works.

  3. You do have an incredibly busy week Donna =) Lots of luck to your eldest!