Monday, July 20, 2009

Invasion of the Time-Suckers...

WORKING ON: Final revisions for Firestarter, a prospective Nocturne Bites submission, plus a new wip kicks off tonight, currently called Desire Dark Blue, but that'll probably change.
READING: The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger (Audio). Different from my usual, but okay. Am a bit hard up for audio.
FEELING: Introspective, and a bit hot - it's ten degrees over normal winter temp here!
LAST SONG LISTENED TO: Beyonce's Naughty Girl.

As we sat at the table post-kids in bed, hubby was telling me how his workmate thinks its a cracker that I write "porn" [NOTE: I don't, not that there's anything wrong with that. It's not even erotica. It's sensual paranormal romance. Get it right, dearest.]. After smacking him upside the head for the porn comment (he was being deliberately general, and was in the market for a smack), I asked him if it was a cracker as in, "Your wife must be good at the sex thing" nudge, nudge, or if it was actually something like envy that his own wife is a pregnant ex-baker [EDIT: Not that there's anything wrong with that, either. On re-reading, that sounded dicey. She is a very lovely person *slap hand*]. Hubster had to think, and decided it may have been envy.

"So, did you tell him what I write? You're not embarassed by it?"

Yes, he had (Good. I didn't remember doing it). No, Hubby said. He thought it was good that I was doing something that makes me feel happy and productive. [NOTE: Hubby is one of those people with a will of iron. If his pants get tight, he will run up and down the driveway for days after the kids are in bed, until the weight is gone, or he breaks a hamstring. Whichever comes first. He still has clothes from his teens that he still wears. Ewww. Actually, that's foul.]

"So, you don't think I'm an idiot?"

No, he liked that I how my reading and writing went together, and all in all, he thought I was kinda cool. I should make more time for writing. You know, work hard towards publication.

Oh. Well. That's nice. Sorry about the smack in the head, sweetie.

Hang on, what do you mean, make more time? I'm on the computer, like seven hours a day!

Yes, he said. You are. But are you writing?

"Not all of the time, no. *cough* I'm networking"

Ah, he said. That's different. He then went on to dangle a sodding big carrot, telling me that if I spent more time on the actual writing, and less on facebook, twitter, blogs and communities, he might agree about that new laptop I've been on about (it's red, dudes. I know! Red!). This current one has a dicey screen...

Man, he fights dirrrrty. Isn't it sweet, though, that he knows me well enough to realise that I'm open to bribery? That's where 14.5 years gets you. [Less for murder, he says. Ha ha. Shut up, dear...]

So. Well..., um. On the off chance (I mean, let's be serious here, what are the chances?), that he has a point, I've decided to take a look at what I do... (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER...)

  1. FACEBOOK - I have a personal facebook account, that was originally used for keeping in touch with friends, but now has quite a few authors from around the globe on it. Authors have personal sites as well as fan sites (I think a fan site works best for authors, btw), so I might be friends with or a fan of the one person twice (Michele Hauf is an example I can think of). I really just use it for contacting friends (oh, and there was that one time I did the quiz to find out what Hogwarts teacher I was. Er, and the one that said which 80's song I was. I didn't do the one that gives my boobs nicknames (I mean, really). I keep the Anna Hackett Fanpage, a) because I'm a fan and b) I believe in what goes around comes around and c) I want her to sell more books, because this will make her happy and a happy critique partner is a good one. It is easy, because I already have access to a load of writers on my personal page. VERDICT: I think FB is more useful than it is not. I keep in touch with people from school, university etc, that I would never keep in touch with otherwise. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? Yes. Maybe I could curb my quizzes, but they're not rampant...
  2. BLOG READING - I keep in touch with quite a few blogs, and the list gets added to all the time. It's mainly just reading what people are up to, releases, guests spots, pictures. I enter competitions sometimes, although many that I have entered from the start are getting busy now. I think I have streamlined the blogs - I subscribed to them through googlereader, and I read them on the iPhone. From time to time I might unsubscribe from one or two. VERDICT: Definitely a time suck, but if I want people to read my blog, I think it's important that I read theirs. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? I will, because at any point in time, I can flick through, mark all as read and it's like they were never there. Having them on the phone rocks... But I just need highlights, not the full web surfing experience.
  3. TWITTER - You know, I am in two minds about twitter. I have a few buddies that I correspond with, but when I log in, I might have one or two mentions and a direct message. But, you've got to work for those. Most are tweeps I am conversing with. To read through the unrelated stuff about coffee, shoes and dogs is time-consuming, but every now and then, you find a gem. I don't want to miss those gems! I have tweetdeck on the laptop. It buzzes when someone new tweets, and also pushes FB status updates through. It also have tweetdeck on the phone. VERDICT: Yers. Time Sucker. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? I will, but I need to go in once or twice a day, and not in everytime the damn thing buzzes (which I don't do, but the option is there). I need to go in, hit people up, then get the hell out. I like the idea of hashtags, and am tweeting my writing goals before I sit down to achieve them. This works well for me. I wonder if there's a weight loss one?
  4. COMMUNITY - I am at the eHarlequin community. I used to be there a lot, but have toned it down. I visit the Nocturne Bites thread, and the subcare group. VERDICT: Not so much time suck as before. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? I will, because I think it's an important way to keep track if what's happening with the line I'm targeting. I don't chat, though. That scares me.
  5. YAHOO GROUPS - I am a member at a number of yahoo groups, and although I like to go there and keep up to date, I can't help feeling that they're for readers more than writers. And rightly so. VERDICT: Yep. You guessed it. Sucker. WILL I KEEP DOING IT: Maybe not. I get the digest on email for most of them (I might be in 6 or 7, not all are very active).
  6. MY BLOG - Would you believe that writing this thing takes up time? I only really do it once a week. And it's not the best out there, but I do believe in building a presence. And I like it. I like having a record of what I do, I like recording what books I read. I like saying to authors, "Hey, check it out, I read your stuff!" It's gotta be nice - they might go look. The only downer is - you don't know if anyone is reading it. They might comment, but if they don't, you've no idea who has just read your intimate thoughts. It's kinda depressing... VERDICT: Once, a week, it does suck. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? I will, because later on I might have something very cool to say (or sell!) and I want a platform to shout it from. Also, I think I could get better at it. More efficient. Stop fiddling with how it looks. Yep, Em, do that.
  7. SHELFARI - or other library sites. God - Shelfari. I don't know. I used to keep hard lists and lists of books read, mainly to see which in the series I had or hadn't done. I hate it when I get all excited about a book I've brought home, only to discover I've already read it. I'm currently torn between keeping my Shelfari shelf up to date, or keeping a hard record on a phone app (which is hard to copy and share). Mmmm. I might feel happier if Shelfari had a better mobile page, or if they had a better FB box. VERDICT: Time waste, yes. Important to do? I think so. I like the record. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? Sigh. Yes. I suppose. I need to get a plan though...
  8. WEB SURFING. I would have said I don't do much of this. But I do. Not all of it is necessary. I mainly look at author pages, but sometimes, I'm just looking at clutch purses (I have a thing). VERDICT *insert sucky noise* WILL I KEEP DOING IT? No. I will stop. From now on, no more surfing. HAHAHA! Had you there! But I will be aware of what I'm looking at...
  9. iTUNES -I live in mortal fear that there is an iPhone app out there I REALLY need to be using, and haven't discovered yet. VERDICT: Sucks through a straw. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? No. The time I save with that perfect app was already wasted in the time I spent looking for it. STOP. IT. NOW.

My writing buddy, Anna Hackett is a writing machine. Our situations are different, I know. But it is discipline that gets her there, which I am slowly accumulating, but doesn't come to me naturally. But I also know she is very aware of the soul-sucking nature of some of these web things. It's not that she doesn't have a presence, it's just that she's off writing. Which is what we want to do. There is also not much point in building a profile - this wonderful platform - if you have nothing to say from it. I need to remember this.

See, now. There. That was cathartic. I will show this to the boy. This, the underside of my new leaf. You never know...

In other news, Rach (the other one of my writing buddies - she's working on Bites, but has had numerous articles published) and I are having a writeathon. We are to report to each other that we are doing the aforementioned amount (In my case, 1k on the new wip and finish the oldy this week), and report to each other Monday am. Starts today, ends October. Cool eh? I'm starting tonight!

Also, Michele Hauf has a new blog - Vampchix. Check the button, down there on the right. [EDIT: Actually, it is UP there on the right. Who'd have thought I would write for so long...]

Also, also. I am starting to walk again - five nights a week. The count is above - keep me honest, dudes! I am doing the lifestyle change again with the intention of losing weight and getting fitter. I'm not sure if I'm ready to share the details with the whole world just yet, though...

Right, gonna go chase up that errant sub that has been in NY for nearly four and a half months. Wish me luck!


  1. Hi Emily!

    We seem to share many of the same time suckers. It's sooooo hard, isn't it! I'm pretty much trying to do more writing too and using the time suckers as my carrot.

    Good luck with your writeathon. Apparently it takes every day for three weeks to create a 'good' habit. I'm on day one...

    Btw...enjoyed reading this post with my lunch. Off to write again now. ;-)

    ~Sue~ xx

  2. Really cool post. And it does make you think where the time goes. My brother had pointed out that I do lots of writing related things but not actual writing some time back. So I try and find that balance now. Good luck with finding more time for writing!!

  3. Hey guys - thanks for dropping in! It's lovely to have people from all over the globe come and say hi...
    Can you tell I've been limiting my web (non-writing) time? I've only tweeted and FB'd just enough to keep my heart ticking over. LOL! But it is truly amaxing how much time you lose playing on the 'net, isn't it? It's like another dimension...

    Sue, three weeks for a habit? Mmmm. That long?? Tee hee... Looking forward to a habit being formed...

    Hi Eleni. God love brothers. Mine lives in another state, thank the Lord. :) Hope to see you next month at SARA - have locked the date in...

    Em x

  4. Hi Emily--
    I'm sending you discipline vibes, both for managing the time-suckers and for the write-a-thon.
    A writing machine...well, I don't want to disappoint, but I have my distracted moments, believe me!! Plus not having the three kids probably helps (-:
    Good luck with the writing and I can't wait to read the results.

  5. Hi Anna, welcome home!
    Thanks for the discipline vibes. I think some of the dudes at Australia post stole a few, but I think there's enough for me to finish this WIP. Mebbe. :)

  6. LOL! I so agree with this post. I'm on the computer for so many hours, but how many hours do I actually *write*? that is the question and I'm afriad of the answer!!!

  7. I thought I was doing so well by cutting off the time suckers. I dropped all of my Yahoo writing groups, stayed away from MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, and only read Icanhascheezburger/hotdog for blogs on a regular basis. However, I got sucked into FB. Don't check it that often, tho'. I actually have to block websites on my computer so I don't waste time on them. If I try to go to a blocked website, my browser displays a bad network connection error. (Sure I can unblock them, but that defeats the purpose. LOL)

  8. Hi Christina,
    It is a little bit scary when you make an assessment of what you do. Trust hubby to ask the hard-hitting questions. Party Pooper. Having said that, I have been limiting time spent, (hence my late response, sorry!), and I think it is better for my family, although my writing output is much the same. Interesting... Thanks for the love!

  9. Hey Michelle - I get cheezburger sent to me via mail, so I don't miss out. Love that site!
    I have culled a few Yahoo groups except for a fave or two, and I think it works. Hurts but, what if I miss something? It might just be something I'll have to get over.
    The blocking sites is a good idead. I'm actually pretty lazy, so it really might work!
    Thanks for dropping in.

  10. And yet, your email address is nearly impossible to find! Contact me, and I've got something for you as a thank you gift ;)

  11. Hi Stephanie - sorry about that. Seems my dastardly plan about less 'net time is working! I'm on my way over to you...

    I loved your Bites, "Midnight Medusa" by the way. Great heroine and story.



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