I made a plan, and it was quite a simple one. I was going to write four books. They were going to be about one place, the fictional village of Kearton Bay. I would write one a year and I would limit my social media to a bit of Facebook and the odd tweet, and all would be well, and I could easily manage and there would be no problems whatsoever.
Oh, how I laugh when I think back to that plan! Things never work out the way you expect, do they, and nothing is ever that straightforward. For a start, someone told me I should have a blog. ‘You have to a blog,’ they said. ‘It’s what every writer needs. You can’t be a writer without a blog.’
I listened because, well, why wouldn’t I? They knew best. So I set up a blog, thinking, ‘I’ll just post a few lines every couple of weeks or so.’ Well, how was I to know it was going to become one of the best tools for wasting time known to man? Stuck on chapter seven? Oh well, might as well pop off to the blog and have a play with the header picture, or change the font, and should I alter the background colour? Characters not doing what they should? What about a new theme for my blog? That will help unblock my mind, for sure.
As for Facebook – apart from my own page, I was also encouraged to set up a writer’s page. So that meant double the work. Then there were all the groups to join, and then I became a Write Romantic, so I spend ages now trawling through our own little group and reading and commenting on all the posts there. Twitter is another thing – you have to tweet! It’s a great tool for promotion – more of other people’s stuff than mine, to be honest. I do advertise my blog posts, Write Romantic blog posts, other people’s blog posts, books that are on offer or free or new, and the occasional funny tweet that has amused me enough to want to pass it on to others. You can follow me on Twitter here.
Oh but the best was yet to come! I discovered Pinterest. Brilliant, I thought. I can set up a board and pin pictures of things that inspire me for when I’m writing There Must Be An Angel. Except, I didn’t stop at one board. Well, people were posting such lovely things. I simply had to pin them, and they didn’t fit in with Angel, so I had to create a new board for them. A pretty archway here, a quote from Doctor Who there, a gorgeous country kitchen one day, a favourite book the next. So I created more boards and pinned more pins. Presently I have twenty-four public boards and five secret boards. You can see the public ones here. Having Pinterest means that for every picture I see online that I really like, I simply click the “pin it” button and add it to a suitable board. Great fun but, oh, so time consuming!
I can’t remember how I discovered Photofunia, but I know when. It was around the time we released Winter Tales, and I thought it would be great fun to use it to promote the anthology. Photofunia is a simple idea. You simply choose an effect you want and upload a photo to the site. They convert it to the picture you’ve chosen. So, for example, I used the cover of Winter Tales and turned it into a billboard poster in New York, or a poster on a bus shelter in a wintry street. It’s very easy. Try it for yourself here.
I’d noticed on Facebook a lot of pictures of famous people with captions on them, and I wondered how they did that. So I Googled it. Ah, Google…the greatest procrastination tool of them all. The hours and hours I’ve spent Googling. Now there’s a sentence I’d never have believed I’d be saying twenty years ago. Best not get me started on Google, because that really would take forever…Anyway, back to these pictures, which I discovered were called memes. I found a site that enabled me to create my own and, oh, the hours of fun I’ve had! What a fabulous way to put off writing a scene. This is the site I use here, though I’m sure there are loads more.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of things that take up my time and stop me writing as much as I should, and that’s without the day job, the grandchildren, the kids, the mother, the sister and brother, the husband, the shopping, the meetings with friends…How I find time to write anything at all is the real mystery!
I’ve decided that I am going to make a strict schedule and cut down on all my illicit procrastination activities. Honestly. I really am. In fact, I might just announce the fact on Twitter and Facebook right now…
Have a great day xx
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