Lessons Learned In Autumn – You can take time off!
I didn’t write a ‘lesson’s learned’ post last month because I was away on holiday at the end of September and I came back to a mountain of catch-up work to do. My holiday was quite unique for me, it was the first time in 15 years that I have been on holiday and not kept in touch with my work by email. In recent years, this has meant I’ve taken my laptop with me; 15 years ago I was using internet cafe’s and hotel receptions to make sure I stayed on top of everything.
What I learnt was valuable; all this time I thought I was indispensable and the reality is that the world carried on turning with out me being tuned into it. This frees up to take more time off in the future without worrying that my life will come crashing down around me. I know that part of this feeling is driven by working for myself – there is no one else to pick up the pieces if something goes wrong; but it also taught me that people are (on the whole) forgiving if you set up systems that let them know what is happening.
My holiday also forced me to review how I deal with my author interviews. I wrote them all up in advance and scheduled them to publish; however what I failed to do was put in place any sort of a marketing mechanism for those interviews whilst I was away. This has now been resolved and I have a nice little system that I put in place as soon as I schedule the post.
It also made me consider writing all of my ‘standard‘ posts in advance, instead of waiting till the last minute to do so. This means I can prepare my Weekly Word posts and my interviews. To some extent I can prepare things like my writing competition updates, my author marketing blog posts and my tales of t’internet; although I do wonder if spending two or three days just on creating blog posts is actually a good use of my time each month. We shall have to see as I’m trying it this month as much as I can.
What surprised me most of all though was that even though I had scheduled eight posts for the two weeks I was away on holiday, when I came home I let it slide and it was only towards the end of last month that I found my rhythm again. Hence the reasoning I have for writing everything up that I can well in advance.
Will this activity save me any time? I have no idea, but at least I know that all I need to do is keep up with the community, read those blogs I follow and comment where I feel I can add something useful. I don’t have the panic of ‘OMG what am I going to write about‘, until this time next month