Welcome to part 36 in my 11,789 part series on writing. In our previous adventure I told you how to make 8 million dollars on your very first independently published book like I did off of my first novel RISE OF THE PENGUINS. Just remember to follow those FIVE very important steps I told you about in parts 33 through 35 of the On Writing Stuff series on this blog. And if you haven’t subscribed, I would suggest that you do, if for no other reason than to appease my vanity. You can also subscribe to the RISE OF THE PENGUINS newsletter on riseofthepenguins.net for news on the second part in the ROTP saga titled THE ROYAL CREED. Due out late 2013/early 2014.
So now that we are all fabulously wealthy and wading around in piles of cash from our novels—hold on, my blog writing is being interrupted by the voice in my head—
What’s that you say? I’m not wealthy? I didn’t make that much money? Really…I only made that much? I can’t afford to breathe on that much money. But what about parts 33 through 35? It was all a dream? But what about the moose antlers, ballet slippers and grape seed oil? Oh. Was she mad? Well that's the last time I take ZQuil with muscle relaxers.
Okay, let’s get back to maximizing our time spent on writing. Time zombies. I was asked why not time vampires? Well it’s been done and because of popular culture, I kinda hate vampires right now. So I chose the next scary monster that is headed to the point of becoming trite: Zombies. Zombies used to terrify me, but now, not so much. I’m gonna say, that while I am happy for the achievement attained by certain television shows, and I love seeing creative people being rewarded with success, I’m at the point where I really don’t care about The Governor or Rick. Zombies are everywhere now; the movies are currently in process of butchering Max Brooks’ World War Z and I even see zombies in car commercials. It's like we live in the movie The Sixth Sense and we are all Cole Sear and we see nothing but dead people. The next thing you know somebody is going to write a zombie love story. What’s that? They have? Well at least the zombies didn’t turn into My Little Pony glitter sparkle fun time zombies.
[BTP] The next biggest time zombie…or better yet, because it can be such a huge time waster, I'll call it Time Cthulhu, is social media. For example: I just did a Google search to make sure I had spelled Cthulhu correctly because spell check was yelling at me with a squiggly red underline. I proved to myself that I was indeed correct, but during the search I got distracted by a message on Facebook and spent twenty minutes doing other stuff when I should have been writing this blog. While social media is a necessary evil (Warning: tired cliché just used) it is also, for me anyways, the biggest Time Cthulhu I have to deal with. While I may post a picture or an update on my RISE OF THE PENGUINS Facebook page every few days, I will also check to see what’s up with my family, fellow writers, my friends (a lot of whom are fellow writers and people I have met on Facebook and I am happy to call genuine friends), and, from time to time I also numb my mind by playing just one game of Bejeweled Blitz. Well one game turns into 28 and before you know it 45 minutes have been devoured by the Time Cthulhu. Add Twitter, Goodreads, Tumbler, Instagram and other things to that equation and you can easily sacrifice 2 or 3 hours to the Cthulhu.
For those of you who don’t know what a Cthulhu is, I’ve created this amazing rendering of a Cthulhu:
|Cthulhu Rising-Crayon on paper-2013|
The most difficult part about the Time Cthulhu, (A.K.A social media), is that you need it. You need it to help promote your book and to meet people in our profession, especially if you are an indie publisher like I am. But you have to learn to tame the Cthulhu. (If you are wondering why I keep using Cthulhu when I can easily use another word, it’s because I say the name every time I write it, and it’s fun to say. How many times a day or week or year does someone actually get to say Cthulhu? Say it with me. Cthulhu, Cthulhu, Cthulhu. Fun huh? Though I think we just summoned the Cthulhu from the depths). By taming the Cthulhu, I mean try to allow yourself only one part of the day to use social media. And by part I mean, restrict yourself to an hour or less. There is nothing that you have to do on Facebook or Tumbler that can’t be done in less than an hour. Whether it be six/10 minute intervals or two/30 minute sessions or whatever works, just do it and spend that extra time writing your stories. Nobody is going to write your story for you, especially not Cthulhu.
Join me next time when we discuss how to make 8 million dollars off of your first indie book.