Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jacqui Murray: Authors Supporting Authors Group

A Writer’s Day

by Jacqui Murray

There are three big jobs for writers:
  • writing–duh. That’s what we do
  • publishing–self-publish? Find an agent?
  • marketing–publishers don’t do it for you anymore

 If I apply those to my life as a writer, here’s how they translate:
  1. finish the tech thriller I’ve been working on for a year. I’m still in the draft phase
  2. figure out how to get my current stable of books available as ebooks–Nook, iPad, Kindle, etc.
  3. market the 9 books I’ve already published. My marketing is the free sort and includes:
·         my publisher’s website
·         my blogs(i.e., my writer’s blog and my techie blog)
·         the column I write for
·         wikis for my classrooms
·         social networks (follow me on twitter @askatechteacher)
·         word-of-mouth
I’m one month into the two months of freedom I get before returning to my classroom and I already feel stressed.

If you’ve looked at how I write (see how I use an Excel spreadsheet in my draft mode), you know I’m a detail oriented person. You say that doesn’t sound creative? How’s this: I write the story as it flows. Then I use Excel to be sure all the details are followed through on. Excel does the hard part so I can be creative.
I set up a schedule that I hoped would accomplish those three goals while satisfying the three jobs that writer’s must do. Three jobs–three parts to the day. Sounds simple enough:


  1. post to my five blogs
  2. write book reviews–I like reading reviews of books I might buy, and it turns out, so do my readers.
  3. keep in touch with my social network of writers, friends, colleagues
  4. respond to requests to guest blog, emails that come in overnight–that sort of thing
  5. update my website (must do that weekly or Google will stop finding me)


  1. Work on my current techno-thriller, To Hunt a Cruiser
  2. If I need a creativity break, read other people’s writing. I find lots of inspiration in that


  1. Market my current books on my current outlets
  2. Find new outlets. I’m looking at Google Books and DocStoc right now.
So how am I doing? The morning jobs are leaking into afternoon big time. It takes a long time to write blog posts because I get into them. I get distracted by the fun-ness of it. The social networks are a black hole of time. There’s no way I can find to stay on top of them.

The afternoon writing is going better than planned. It’s nice to get into the story without having to put it aside for the day job. Keeping track of plots and POVs is so much easier if I stick with it. I need six-eight hours a day of writing, which I’m not getting with just ‘afternoons’, so I’m going to have to rework the schedule.
The evening stuff–if I’m being truthful, I’m pretty brain tired by evenings and not terribly effective. I keep watching the clock, waiting for 9pm when I call it a day. That’s not to say I don’t get a lot done; it’s just not as much fun as the rest of the day.

So a month into my summer, I realize there’s not enough writing going on. I’m going to have to work on the schedule.

What’s your day like?


book publishers said...

Very interesting article - interestingly more and more book publishers are now using twitter, the way social media is being employed seems to be changing the marketing landscape for how books are reaching the reading public.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Without social networks, I don't know how I'd market my books. I only get so far with word-of-mouth among my friends!

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