How fast do things move off your desk? Do you let tasks and requests pile up until you can find enough time to handle it all? Do you spend X amount of time on these accumulating items each day/week? Or do you take care of business as it comes in?
I tend to be of the latter type. It is rare that you will find a small or even medium “to do” item on my desk for a week or even a few days. Larger tasks, and those that I consider a bit distasteful, may hang around a little longer.
I often get interview requests: “Please respond to the interview questions and return them to me.” I generally tackle them with joy (I love interviews) early the following morning and send them off before my daily walk.
I also receive a lot of questions from clients, SPAWN members and writers/authors at large. It is rare that I don’t respond as soon as I open the email request. If it is a complex question that needs a little research or if it is a list of questions (generally from a client), I may wait until I have the appropriate slot of time in order to respond. This would rarely extend beyond a 12-hour period.
Article requests and manuscript evaluations are typically handled within a few days. I respond to most emails as soon as I receive them and I’m rarely away from my computer for more than 8 hours at a time.
How do you handle the things that come across your desk on a daily basis? What if you’re working on a client project or your own book or article manuscript? How do you handle interruptions? I take regular breaks (go off the clock, if it’s client work) and refresh my tea or coffee, grab lunch, take a walk or do a few stretching exercises. That’s also when I check email and respond to quick questions or simple requests. So I’m keeping up with what’s coming in every few hours or so. This may not be the most effective, efficient way, but it works for me. And my desk, as we speak, is clean. What about you?
I mentioned SPAWN above. To remind you, SPAWN is Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network. If you are interested in publishing, at any level, consider joining SPAWN. We are a networking organization and resource center for anyone interested in publishing. Dues: $45/year. Benefits: Numerous! http://www.spawn.org
Resources for Writers and Authors
If you are writing or promoting a book, seeking an agent or publisher or trying to establish a career as a freelance writer, I have resources for you. Between the SPAWN website and my own, you have access to hundreds of articles and resources. I also have several books for authors and freelance writers at http://www.matilijapress.com Most particularly, you’ll want to order The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book. http://www.matilijapress.com/rightway.html
Book Proposal Course Starting Soon
I’m teaching my 8-week online book proposal course starting September 15. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get professional assistance writing your book proposal. You could pay as much as $1,000 if you were working one-on-one with a professional. Sign up for my course and work one-on-one with a professional for only $200.
By the way, it’s all done via private email—there is no sharing of materials with other students.
You weren’t planning to write a book proposal? You just want to write your book? I urge you to rethink your tactics. Remember, as soon as you decide that you are writing (or have written) a book for publication, as opposed to one for just family and friends, your book becomes a product and you have entered into the realm of business. A book proposal is a business plan for your book. Without one, you are just guessing that you’ve written the right book for the right audience. You are just assuming that there is a spot in the marketplace for your book.
Tell me, is this how you would enter into a business of any other type—blindly without knowledge of the industry, the competition, your customers or the market? Would you open a deli without checking to see if there are others in the neighborhood, how much business they are doing, if there is access to suppliers in your area, what the county/state requirements are and without a marketing plan? I don’t think so!!!
Sign up for my Book Proposal Course at http://www.matilijapress.com/course_bookproposal.htm Or sign up for another one of my on demand, online courses at http://www.matilijapress.com/courses.htm