Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Time Management Tuesday: What To Do? What To Do? Decision-making.

Over the years, I've done a couple of posts on decision-making, because decision-making takes time. In 2012, it was about making decisions related to concrete things you can hold in  your hand, so we can try to keep ourselves from becoming overwhelmed with...ah...concrete things. Overwhelm takes up time, too.  In 2015, I discussed making decisions about what tasks we're going to do

This second kind of decision making is particularly important. What we spend our time on involves risk. Just because we're doing something doesn't mean we're going to be successful with it. Say we can't do both Task A and Task B, so we choose to do A. But we don't get the result we were hoping for from it. What would have happened if we'd chosen Task B?

This topic is coming up for me again, because I've had to make some work decisions.

Real Life Work Decision 1

As I said in a post on Sunday, I am giving up the monthly childlit book release posts I've been doing for nearly a year and a half. I got more action at my blog as a result of doing those posts and an increase in Twitter followers, almost entirely because I've promoted those blog posts on Twitter. But I haven't been able to do other kinds of blog writing, because the book release posts--and promoting them--is so time consuming. And my fiction and essay writing has suffered, too.

Decision Made! After a couple of months on the fence, I finally decided to let the monthly book release posts go, so I can spend more time on other things. This is a feel good decision. I'm already working on a Time Management Tuesday post (yes, this one) for the first time in many months.

Real Life Work Decision 2

I was planning to spend October and November working on the YA mystery I've been talking about here for, what? Years? Then December I was going to take part in a flash writing program I did last year. All was good. I was looking forward to this.

Then I learned last week that Medium, where I have been publishing humor and essays this past year, will be changing its partnership program at the end of 2021. I presently have 41 followers on Medium. If I can't bump the figure up to 100 by December 31, I'll be dropped from said partnership program. One way to increase my followers would be to spend time writing and publishing more material on Medium and promoting it. The wider you spread your net, the more people see you and become interested.

Now, being dropped from the partnership program is not a major loss. All the partnership program does is allow writers to get paid a small amount when dues-paying Medium members read their work there. I have never made more than $5 a month through Medium, and usually much less. If I'm dropped from the partnership program, I can continue to publish on Medium, I'll just have no potential for payment. However, if I continue publishing there, without payment, and bring my followers up to 100, I can then reapply for the partnership program and presumably get back in and get paid for future work.  One of my initial goals for publishing at Medium was to develop a reputation/following as a short form writer. I don't need the tiny partnership program income to do that.

There is a bit of an ego bruising involved with getting dropped from anything, though.

So I could spend the next three months hustling to try to, maybe, collect enough followers to stay with a program where I'm making very little money, anyway. Or I can stick with my plan to get closer to finishing a book that I can then revise and submit to a multitude of agents who have rejected my other work. Yeah, six of one, half a dozen of another.

Struggling With A Decision. In the 2015 decision-making blog post I mentioned earlier, I refer to a group that advised determining which of the tasks you have to choose among will give you the biggest payoff. I felt that goals and objectives could help with working that out. 

This year, I have two goals that apply here:

  • Finish a draft of YA thriller that could become an adult thriller. It has a name this year, 143 Canterbury Road
  • Work on short-form writing, essays and short stories.   

Decision Made! I didn't find that helpful, at first. Then I realized, something is missing from that short-form writing goal. And that's publishing at Medium. That was never a goal for this year.

I've got over a week before the beginning of October. I've got another piece just about ready to publish at Medium, myself, not through one of the publications there. I'll take care of that before the end of the month. Then I'll lean hard on the YA manuscript in October and November, as I planned. December I'm doing flash, as I planned. I may be able to work some of those pieces, or some of the pieces from last year, into a Medium essay or humor submission to use before the end of the year.

If some kind of surge of interest in my work occurs on Medium this year, good for Gail. If not, meeting the new criteria for the Medium partnership program will become a goal for next year. 

I just want to say that writing this blog post was hugely helpful in making this decision. 

And, also, yes, that is a new Time Management Tuesday logo we're experimenting with.

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