(Some of the things you learn are more about yourself and your temperament than anything else, maybe those are the hardest lessons of all.)
As a result of hanging in there so long people do sometimes ask for my advice on all manner of things from how I structure my time, how do I get my ideas, how do I manage my social media...lots of different things about the writing life...and I try and give practical answers.
There's a lot of aery fairy information out there that isn't super helpful. Telling someone to find their muse for example, what does that even mean? And where should they look for her? And when they find her, then what, do you offer her a warm beverage?
I try to give people more practical advice for while I have the soul of a fairy godmother and would love everyone to be able to make three wishes and have them come true, in life I'm a fairly practical soul. My advice is practical usually and actionable.
People often respond with "Oh that's such a great idea!" so I figure some of what I tell them is useful.
I woke up this morning with a lot of things to do and realised that I probably haven't been taking my own advice all that much in the latter half of October. Now I'm in a pickle I could have avoided. Don't you HATE that? I know what to do.
Here's an example. When people ask what is the most important thing about social media I always tell them, be consistent. Yet have I written a blog post in the last 10 days? No. My blog posts load across the social media platforms so I get many bites at the cherry for one task...I explain this to people several times a week...yet I have ignored my own advice.
I've had two books on promotion this week. Did I send a mail out to my subscribers? No I did not.
You get the idea. I know this stuff, I tell other people to do it and I haven't done it.
There a couple of reasons - well maybe lame excuses for this - one being I always forget that I feel a bit flat the week of so after I launch a book...the truth is unless your book goes gang-busters this is pretty common. It's a huge deal to write a book, get it edited and formatted and published. Doesn't matter if you're traditionally published or indie - that's a whole lot of work. The number of people who tell you how happy for you is high, the number who buy your book or leave you a review is way lower and that always stings a little. It can take a few days to shake that off.
The real reason I haven't done all the things I meant to was I didn't have an up to date to-do list. And there's no excuse for that. The truth is without a list stuff gets forgotten or shoved aside and things just don't happen. I know this. I've essentially worked alone running a small business for fifteen years. It's not rocket science.
There are lots of great programs and apps you can do all this organisation on but I like the feeling of crossing that line of chicken scrawl off in my notebook. (I do use the apps as well).
So here's my advice...follow your own advice, sometimes that's the best advice of all.
And as part of my blog tour for Any Way You Slice It - I'm running a competition to win a $20 Amazon gift card. Please enter below.