I’ve gotten into this purging habit. Around the middle of February, I clear out my filing cabinet, and shred any papers that are useless or I don’t need anymore. Bills, sales receipts, accounting documents, and manuscripts that should have never seen the light of day. This got me to thinking how I could apply shredding to my writing career. What am I doing that isn’t working anymore? What book marketing strategies need to be purged? What type of book promotions are a waste of time? Is blogging worth the effort?
Does any of these questions sound familiar?
March is the month I revise my business and life plan. So I thought, what better way to shred the old from my life (things that aren’t working), keep what’s working, and start up with new ideas. I love it when I’ve gone through the filing cabinet, cleaned out the files, then either shred any bills older than 2 years, or file the rest in a plastic container for a period of one year. The exception being our taxes, which I keep for the recommended seven years. The filing cabinet seems so much lighter after this task is done. And for some reason, so do I.
Sitting down to revise my business and life plan this year, I went through the document page by page, striking what I’ve accomplished under the WORKS IN PROGRESS subtitle (and feeling good about it), to eliminating what I thought were time wasters (blog hops, certain social media groups, dropping Tumblr) under AUTHOR BRAND AND PLATFORM. Blogging is time consuming, but I believe my name (BRAND) is getting enough weekly Google Alerts and views to continue creating posts. When it came to the subtitle PROMOTION AND MARKETING STRATEGY I added a few new ideas, and kept the old tried and true. Goodreads Giveaways and Book Blog Tours (only for new releases) seem to work well for me. I’ve recently joined Pinterest, so I’ll see how this pans out for me in the future, creating boards based on my characters, time travel historical settings, and personal interests. Wink.
I’m also very happy with the freedom I have with my new publishers, Mirror World Publishing, who have promised to keep a yearly slot open for my ongoing time travel series The Last Timekeepers. This year, I will have Book #2: The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret out sometime in the fall. I’ve already started gathering research for Book #3, and I'm looking forward to delving into a fresh story. I know the key is to focus on what I enjoy, and build for the long term. That’s what a lot of writers forget—they’re building a career, and careers take time.
So shred what’s not working for you, and lighten up your load. Remember: slowly but surely wins the race. Do you have a yearly shredding ritual? Have you removed what isn’t working for you in your life or career? Would love to hear your comments. Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!