Recently, my DH gave me the gift of a lifetime - to retire from the "day job" and dedicate my time to becoming a serious author. Sounds great, right?
For the past three months I've been depressed and overwhelmed. The entire task of organizing my life as an author seemed too big - there were so many things to worry about. Promotion. Submissions. Self publish or traditional. Social networking - for a shy introvert, that was the worst.
To keep my mind busy, I wrote and finished a book. But then I had to face reality. Now I have yet ANOTHER book, joining half a dozen others in folders on my laptop. I can't keep writing and ignoring the rest. I took two classes through my writing groups. One was for social media, the other for self publishing. After reading some of the assignments, I realized I could achieve peace of mind by doing one simple thing: making a spreadsheet, to help me keep track of what I'm doing.
You can all design yours to fit your needs, but these are my tabs:
Submissions - I have a list of agents, contact info, their specific guidelines and I can track when I sent and when I hear back from them
2013 Goals - this includes my daily writing goals, submission goals and blogging goals. Also, specific weekly and monthly goals.
5 Year Goals - Self explanatory - where I would like to see my career in five years.
Expenses - I like to buy small promo items to hand out. This also includes conferences, contests, etc.
Income - This is still blank for 2013. I do have a few books published by small presses, but I need to get more out there (back to 2013 goals).
Blogs I Follow - So I can keep track of blogs in my genre that I will follow and comment on without feeling overwhelmed.
My Books - A page to keep track of my titles and the progress (word count) of all WIP's.
Book Reviewers - If you want to be noticed on Amazon, the more reviews the better. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of review sites out there. Make a list, get your books out there.
Twitter - I made a list of people in my genre who I wanted to keep in touch with, to follow and re-post their tweets.
Every author needs to establish a platform. Being social is a big part of that. I know it can seem daunting. That's why I suggest the spreadsheet - you can see your goals in a black and white, quantitative way.
I hope this helps! I'd love if you would share some of your tools on keeping organized.
See you for Foodie Friday!