What part of your writing workday is actually spent writing? How much time do you invest in Social Networking? [InfoGraphic]
Time spent Writing versus Social Networking, for aspiring authors [InfoGraphic]
After months of careful observations and interactions with people like me — folks with more than one job who host small-market websites and write for grocery money — I’ve crafted this wildly unscientific “pie” chart. Have a look, and see how your distribution of work tasks compares.
For comparison, So Write Us talked to five published authors about their average workdays.
I asked each writer to consider what percentage of his or her workday was spent writing (or editing, revising, creating new content of any sort), versus engaging in any aspect of Social Networking.
Here are their answers:
- Andrew E. Kaufman, bestselling author of The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted sent a detailed reply that boiled down to “less than an hour a day” spent on Social outreach.
- Nathan Bransford, former literary agent and now popular author of the Jacob Wonderbar series said, “on writing days it’s about 90/10.”
- Rebecca Forster is the USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of the Witness Series (and more). She wrote: “I work … seven days a week. Writing is perhaps 50% of the day and social media 50%.”
- Jake Needham lives in Asia and pens the bestselling Jack Shepherd thrillers. An expert Twitter user with over 26,000 followers, Jake agrees with Nathan “at about 90/10.”
- Robin Tidwell was interviewed here after she released her debut novel Reduced. She estimated that her typical workday was “about 5 hours writing and about 3 hours social networking.”
Why such a big difference between the two pie charts?*
*(doesn’t that pie look absolutely delicious? I had to go out and buy one last night. Seriously.)
Here are some of the advantages published authors have over those of us still struggling along:
- Agents to handle the business stuff
- Editors to polish that final draft to perfection
- Predictable pay for their writing efforts allows greater focus on writing
- Author websites are complete and don’t need constant attention
- Larger audience for Social Networking gives better return for less work
Meanwhile, many of us continue to spend hours each week reading advice articles and help forums online. We visit our friends’ and peers’ websites to leave comments and encouragement.
We use Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and StumbleUpon and Google+ and email to try to maintain and grow our networks and get the word out when we publish articles.
We do what we can.
Some of us have found ways to streamline our Social efforts and to earn some decent money from the time we do spend writing. Others among us may be poised to join the ranks of authors like the ones I listed above, and all that work will have paid off.
I’ll bet each of those successful authors once had a pie that looked a lot like the one at the top of the page.
»original Cherry Pie image from jessicafm
How does your workday compare to the chopped-up cherry pie up top? Have you sworn off Twitter or cut back on Facebook time? Have you found a way to make your writing pay the bills?