Why some authors can’t do it all (and that’s okay)

Desk Experiment 003

Photo credit: John Lambert Pearson via Compfight

 

Ever feel like you don’t have enough time to finish what’s on your to-do list? Of course you do–everyone does! But somehow we always manage to deplete our available time and try as we might to cram every possible task into our busy schedules, something always suffers. Our writing isn’t up to snuff. The house is still a mess. Quality time with family is shorter than we expected. And the list goes on.

Recently, the lack of time to get things done has become very prevalent for me as an author. It’s particularly bad with regard to content marketing. I love to create content for readers and visitors of this website–blog posts, podcast episodes, writer resources, etc. But man does it take time to do. As an author who still has a day job, it’s tough to balance writing and content marketing in the little free time I have. So for those who are in the same boat, I feel your pain.

when I watched some of the content marketing videos from last week’s IndieReCon, I became even more discouraged. Don’t get me wrong, there is a wealth of amazing information on the IndieReCon site and I highly recommend every author check it out. But be forewarned, you’ll be overwhelmed by all the marketing plans, tactics, and strategies that you won’t have time to implement.

That’s where I’m at right now. I’ve gotten dozens of great ideas for content marketing that I’d love to implement, but there isn’t enough time to do it all without multiple areas of life suffering. That’s why I appreciate Nathan Barry’s recent post. At the end of his long list of marketing ideas, he actually tells you to only pick three things to do. I don’t think we hear this enough as authors: you can’t do it all. In my pursuit of a successful author career, I often get so caught up in the content marketing piece that I lose my focus on everything else. My best advice to those feeling overwhelmed like me is to limit yourself to 1-3 content marketing tasks a week, especially if you work a day job. You don’t want to be in the anxiety zone that I’ve been in–it’s dark and there’s no cookies.

Plus remember why you’re doing this to begin with. You love to write. It sucks when the thing you love becomes a chore. So keep focused on writing and sprinkle some content marketing stuff here and there. I’ve often heard this authorpreneur thing is a long game and for me, I definitely think that’s the case. Sure, I’d love to be a bestselling author tomorrow, but I’ll likely be a “20 year overnight success” as Jim Kukral famously put it.

Don’t rush the author process. Prioritize what you can in your schedule and keep moving forward. You needn’t be a slave to a to-do list. That goes double for me.


 

How have you managed your time as an author? Does content marketing create roadblocks for your writing time? Please leave a comment below.