Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge Day 12: Create To-Do Lists

to-do lists

Welcome to day 12 of Basics of Author Online Presence Challenge. We’ve covered lots of ground thus far. If you missed something, check out the other tasks here.

You’ve come very far on your journey to increase your online presence. But you’ve probably been wondering how to fit everything in.

That’s where today’s task comes in.

Create To-Do Lists

Now that you know how long it takes to write a blog post and share everything on your different social media networks, you can plan for it.

Some writers use electronic planners and others use good old paper ones. Check out how this author from the Author Toolbox Blog Hop uses them – and there’s even a free gift of printable planners.

No matter how you do it, your to-do list (time management plan) has to enable you to be active on your social media networks while “forcing” you to spend the majority of your time writing. (It’s so much easier to just play online than it is to sit down and write the next chapter.)

Here are some tips in creating your to-do lists:

  • Do the hardest thing first every day: writing. While building your online presence and submitting work to ezines are super important, you need the writing to back it all up. Otherwise, what’s the point?
  • You can make your lists as complicated or as simple as you need. You can add 15 minute breaks for social media after every hard task on your to-do list. Set a timer if you find yourself getting lost in the black hole that’s the internet. That might be more productive than watching TV or playing video games – though those have their place too.
  • Be flexible. Having goals, deadlines and whatever else to motivate you to get things done is awesome. It makes you a more productive writer. But you need to be flexible. Sometimes everything goes wrong (lightning storms, no electricity, and trees falling over: that’s what last October – and most of November – looked like for me, though it did turn out great in the end).  Being flexible means that even if everything goes wrong for a month, you’ll still be able to go on when things calm down again.
  • Create an editorial calendar. That means: figure out how many times you’re going to blog a week. Figure out what you’re going to blog about and outline your posts. If it’s something that needs research (like writing a post filled with folklore), get the research materials ready: it’s not good to scramble for references about Brownies an hour before you want your post to be up. Add your posting schedule on your blog’s sidebar and stick to it: readers like to know when to expect a new post. (You already know what to blog about: just check out your author brand from day 2.) So take a pen and paper and plan – it will help you to set clear goals and deadlines for your blog.

All of this will help you to be a #productivewriter.

Things can always change. You can always add to your editorial calendar and to-do lists – and you can always scale down. (I went from posting a new folklore post every Thursday to only every second Thursday. Sometimes we have to be flexible to make the most important thing every day work: our writing.)

Whenever you get an idea for a post, write it down. Ideas can take you by storm and at other times be as rare as a four-leaf clover.

Remember: your online presence is a life-long investment in your writing career. It’s not a sprint, so pace yourself. It also doesn’t happen overnight (don’t we wish!), so you have to start today to be ahead tomorrow. Start now so your author online presence is healthy and growing when you need it.

Start today by figuring out how to manage your time and to get everything on your to-do list done (your goals from day 3 will steer you in the right direction) – it’s the most valuable assets for you as a writer (and perhaps as a human being).

Not sure if this will work? Check out how successful I’ve been in the last year – and what my month ahead looks like (even if it is a bit blurry).

Did you create your to-do list for the week/month? Don’t freak out if you cannot see past the next few weeks: sometimes it takes time to figure out what you want to do. Any questions? Share your experience of today’s task in the comments.

Author: Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Ronel writes dark fantasy filled with mythology and folklore, some of which can be read on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. When not leading her Rottweiler pack or arguing with her characters, she’s writing award-winning fiction.

What are your thoughts on this?