Life Sentences, Day 115: Thanks, Everyone

January 24th, 2011

Well, the responses to yesterday’s cry for help were what I needed.

Thanks to all of you: Everett, Lil, Joyce, Peg, Debbi, Laren, Rachel, Elizabeth Rose, and all those who e-mailed me directly to tell me to get hold of myself.

Every one of you offered good advice, and after sifting through it and looking again at the burst of panic and frustration I posted yesterday, here’s what I’ve decided:

The BIG PROJECT — in this case, PULPED — is the only creative project I work on five days out of every week.  And there’s a goal: finish it in fifteen to twenty writing sessions.

The short-term projects — for example, proofing INCINERATOR and integrating changes into LITTLE ELVISES — get the other two days of the week in order of deadline: that is, two days this week will be spend doing NOTHING creative except proofing INCINERATOR, at the end of which, it will probably be done, since it’s already quite clean.  Then next week, the two non-PULPED days will be given to integrating two sets of changes into LITTLE ELVISES.

E-mail and blogging gets handled in a 90-minute period in the AM with my first dose of caffeine.  Anything that doesn’t get handled that day gets postponed to the next morning.

The new books will get a few minutes of time — just inputting ideas, since they persist in coming to me — at the end of each day.

Everything else can go to hell.

The BIG PROBLEM is that I could easily spend three days each week on the bottomless pit of online e-book promotion.  The problem with that, aside from the fact that it’s endless, is that it’s what I hate most, blowing my own horn.  The good thing about it is that it produces almost immediate money.   This is the only flaw in the ointment, as a friend of mine used to say.  (She also describe the cars in an accident has having been “Torn from rim to rim.”  I haven’t solved this one.

And here’s something very nice, a “5+” review of the first Junior Bender thriller, CRASHED, from online critic Syria Evans:

I know I should be out there nailing down more of this kind of exposure, but I wouldn’t be writing.  Maybe I need one day a week just for that.  Anyone know how to qualify for an eight-day week?

14 Responses to “Life Sentences, Day 115: Thanks, Everyone”

  1. Peg Brantley Says:

    Sounds like you could use a publicist. Or, at the very least, a team of people willing to volunteer and do some of the grunt work for you.

    If you can use me, I’m willing to help. I’m pretty sure I could squeeze you into my schedule.

    Even a control freak (which I’m not accusing you of) needs help from time to time.

  2. Larissa Says:

    haha that would be awesome! I could use one right now. I have a fundraising project I’m trying to put together, artists to coordinate, a mardi gras costume to make, an 8’x6′ backdrop to paint and a job…and a boyfriend…

    ok, I can’t think about all of it right now or I’ll go crazy.

    I’m glad you got some remedy for your ailment yesterday from all your wonderful readers. I’m going to go back and reread a few choice comments myself and see if I can’t borrow some good advice.


  3. EverettK Says:

    Wow, ya can’t BUY reviews like that! (Can you?)

    It sounds like maybe you’ve got a handle on a way to make things work (and that will work for you). If there’s anything else we can’t do for you, you will let us know, right? 🙂

  4. Debbi Says:

    Everything else can go to hell.

    lol That’s the spirit!

    And for online book promotion, just remember three simple words: Kindle Nation Daily. 🙂

  5. Robb Royer Says:

    Well, at least you’re moving up the Google ladder. When I typed your name I used to get things like ‘Tim Hall in an exciting come-from-behind victory…’ now I can get to you with just part of your name.

  6. Robb Royer Says:

    S**t, sorry Bonnie and Everett, I forgot how to get out of italics.

  7. Lil Gluckstern Says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling more in charge and better. The review is great, and wasn’t that a Beatles’ song-Eight Days a Week?

  8. Bonnie Says:

    Ha, ha, your problem is worse than you think: I’m over halfway through proofing Little Elvises.

    In case you are wondering why no suggestions, helpful or otherwise, came from me, well, you wouldn’t be wondering, would you, since it’s quite apparent time management is not a thing I’ve got any sort of handle on myself.

    Now, who knows how we can get Tim on Fresh Air w/Terry Gross?

  9. EverettK Says:

    Robb: 🙂 You close italics with </i>

    Tim: knowing your love of Dickens, I thought you’d find this article of interest:

    BBC to finish Charles Dickens’s Edwin Drood

    Apparently the ‘completion’ is based upon this:

    “Before Dickens died after having a stroke, he gave his friend and biographer John Forster a brief outline of the story.”

  10. Laren Bright Says:

    Hey, Tim — I don’t know why I didn’t think of it yesterday, however there’s a 3-hour workshop tomorrow night (Wednesday) in Santa Monica called Workarounds that Work based on new book by a guy named Russell Bishop. Since I don’t know (yet) what the workshop will really be about, my suspicion is that it will address some of the work/time issues that you (and I) are dealing with at the moment. It’s only 99 bucks and may be a good investment.

    Anyway, things will sort themselves out. They always do.

  11. Phil Hanson Says:

    “Anyone know how to qualify for an eight-day week?”

    Become a truck driver, run with two log books. Hey, it worked for me.

  12. Sharai Says:

    Sounds like whining in public worked pretty good. Why give it up?

    Glad to see another great review. Even gladder to know PULPED is getting a front row seat for your time.

  13. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Peg, that’s an immensely generous offer, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I’ve met so many people through the blog and the site in general who are helpful that it shouldn’t amaze me when someone else offers, but it does. I’ll keep it in mind, but only if my current scheme fails completely, and only in an emergency.

    But you’re right in that the totally unmanageable chore is publicity — and I loathe it, too. I HATE going out there and hocking my work. So thanks again for a very generous offer.

    Larissa, just remember the story at the center of Anne Lamott’s “Bird By Bird” and do everything one thing at a time, giving each of them your total attention. God, it sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

    Hi, Everett, and there’s no way on earth I would ask you for more help. I’m already embarrassed by how much you’re doing. No, you can’t buy reviews like that. The problem is that there are about 250 sites like that one, with new ones popping up every day, and I SHOULD be pitching all of them while the Edgar nom is hot, so to speak. But then I wouldn’t be writing, so I’m not. And besides, I hate doing it.

    Thanks for the three words, Debbi — problem is they’re booked up until like April 18. I know, I should do it anyway, and I undoubtedly will, but not tomorrow.

    Hi, Robb– what I like is that on Amazon, you can type “Timo” and my name comes up. Famous I’m not, but I am getting more convenient. Sorry about not calling you back a few days ago; another phone problem. You see, I keep forgetting to take it anywhere. Will call about Michelle tomorrow.

    Mas manana.

  14. Timothy Hallinan Says:

    Timmy’s BACK.

    Lil, it was indeed a Beatles song, and a great one. And so far, so good — making better progress on PULPED and will proof all of INCINERATOR on Sunday, no matter how long it takes. That’s a big one to cross off the list.

    Oh, God, Bonnie — well, all correx are eagerly accepted. I’ll go to work on LITTLE ELVISES once I’ve turned INCINERATOR over to Hitch, who will magically transmute it into an e-book. So I should be ready to start LE in about 8-10 days.

    Very interesting about Drood, Everett — there’s a cottage industry around finishing it — there have probably been 15-20 attempts. Dan Simmons’ doorstop novel from last year, Drood, was an interesting take if not actually a completion.

    Hi, Laren, and thanks for the suggestion. I’m going to give the present system a try for a few weeks before integrating anything else. I’ve been referring to David Allen’s books, which have been helpful, but the most effective tactics seem to be to reduce the number of scheduled tasks in any given day and to concentrate solely on the one at hand.

    Phil, double booking, huh? IRS know about that? Are you there, Agent Smirnoff? Seriously, sounds like accounting for a restaurant, which is always double since so many expenses and inflows are basically untraceable.

    Sharai, I’ve never been ashamed to whine. And PULPED get 80% of my working consciousness at the time, not only because it deserves it, but also because I can’t start another book until it’s done.

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