Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Time Management Tuesday: When To Take Advantage Of New Opportunities

I'm a big believer in staying on goal, particularly writing goals. Flitting from one random new task to another rarely results in completed projects. Dropping everything to create some new work for a publication we've just heard about that has requirements that don't quite fit what we have on hand or to develop a new workshop so we can respond to a conference's request for proposals rarely, in my experience, brings results.

But we've probably all heard that we should be open to, and take advantage of, new opportunities. And we've also heard stories about writers who did commit three days to conferences where they did meet  agents who did sell their first books and they did become wildly successful. My impression is that the number of writers that happens for is very low compared to the number of writers spending time at conferences instead of writing, hoping that the conference will be an opportunity for them.

How do we balance staying on writing goals with recognizing a new opportunity that really might benefit us and taking advantage of it? I'm going to suggest that we should recognize and take advantage of opportunities that support our goals.

Some Examples From The Life o' Gail

  • A year or two ago, I was offered the opportunity to expand the Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar to all of New England. This would have brought me some more name recognition from the members of the organization that would sponsor the new calendar, and I think I would have received free access to a regional conference. It doesn't take much to stroke my ego, so I was interested. But a little research on my part indicated that this would have been an extremely time consuming task, and I'd be doing it every month. The time it would take from my own writing (goals) wouldn't have been worth it. I passed on this opportunity.
  • Last summer I heard about a virtual six-week flash fiction writing workshop. I jumped on it. As it turns out, last year one of my goals was "work on short-form writing, essays and short stories." An objective for another goal was "be open to attending events for writers of adult literature." So this workshop supported two goals. As it turned out, I came away from it with a short piece that was published by a humor publication and more work I'll be able to submit elsewhere. I wasn't thinking in terms of taking that course because it supported my goals, but the reality that it did may have been a factor in coming away from it with usable material. 

The Inspiration For This Subject

This past Saturday, April 3, Michelle Cusolito posted on Facebook about #authorlifemonth, a social media challenge that authors can take part in on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook (maybe other ways) to promote themselves and/or or a book. There are daily prompts/topics, this year's being:

Now, if you look at those topics, you'll see that some of them can relate to a specific book "intro an MC," for instance, "meme your book," "swag/stationery," etc. As it turned out, just two days before, I had pinned a tweet to my Twitter profile:

April is #EarthDay month. Time for an eco-comedy in an ebook edition. #environmentalism #YA #adult https:/www.amazon.com/dp/B00BAFA0NQ/A
That pin was about all I was planning to do for new Saving the Planet & Stuff ebook promotion. But then the #authorlifemonth  opportunity came up. I could continue to tweet about STPS, off and on, without being hard sell. In addition, I already have promotional material for this book. This was an opportunity that wouldn't require a lot of work from me.
And, finally, I have a "community building/general marketing/branding" goal this year. What is happening here is that #authorlifemonth has become a new objective to support that goal.

Our Takeaway

Be open to new opportunities that support your goals and could even become objectives to help you meet them.


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