The Writing Life: It’s just 30 minutes…

I’m tired. I’d rather go to bed, but I’ve bargained with myself and asked for thirty minutes of writing, just thirty minutes and then bed. See what I can produce now (Wednesday night) to make it easier to get my blog out on time tomorrow, after another long day.

I realized yesterday that I have lost sight of a simple job I should have worked harder at for the entirety of the last year, and something I can probably profitably expend thirty minutes on, here and there, to great effect. I’ve talked about it before, but because it is always just a thirty minute job, I put if off for another day, thinking how easy it will be to find the time later.

But 30 minutes can be quite elusive, don’t you know. And yes I’m not being consistent with my numerals vs. letters. I’ll let that go tonight, see if I choose to fix it tomorrow.

My friend Jesper Schmidt reminded me, via his Facebook group, of the need to run effective Amazon ads. I’ve known this for the last year and a half. At various times I have had multiple ads running. I think for the last 6 months I’ve maybe had one, and it really needs freshening up/some allies in the field. I mean, I got my Kirkus review months ago, and half the point was to use it to season a new batch of ads, and I’ve just always found other uses for the thirty minutes or so required to get something started, or write some ad copy, or edit the ad copy I have mouldering in a file somewhere. Can the electronic moulder effectively, I wonder? I think not: no black spots across curling pages, that grow fat and fuzzy, or brittle and flaking along their exposed edges. Or welded together with dust. In Venice, I saw in various palace walk-throughs, the ledgers of storied antiquity, most often and importantly of lineage, all gummed up with years, pages indistinct behind a ribbed wall of dust and damp accretion. Looked beautiful, in their own decayed way, and so difficult to open, to peruse the history without breaking or marring it. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but tonight I lack the wit to trace it. I did once play with well preserved medieval manuscripts, golden with illuminations, rich in cobalt blue, the price of diamonds in its era. That was a rare privilege, for which I am now grateful: I took it entirely for granted then, callow swine that I was!

But anyway: advertising. I need to do that. Another thirty minutes (maybe multiples thereof, I can’t be sure) should be spent learning how to employ KDP Rocket or some similar tool to find effective keywords for my ads. All things I should have done forever ago (a different multiple of 30), and I should have been experimenting with different keywords, different bid points per click, the whole shebang. I have been quite remiss to not have done so as much as I should this past year. But I was writing the next book, you see, and so lacked the bandwidth. In the writing life you can’t afford to lack the bandwidth for multiple activities if you intend to manage those activities yourself.

So a pre-Valentine’s resolution, which I hope shall last longer that the ones typical of New Year: I’m going to spend some time, maybe even thirty minutes or so, working on my advertising copy, strategy, output every other day (every day is way too much to ask) for the next month. If I spend hours on one day, that may buy me some days off. I’ll give myself that.

And lookee here! I’m at the bottom of a page, and maybe only twenty minutes have passed since I started this ramble. 25 tops. Score. I shall to bed now, and dream of typos, links and corrections. Thirty minutes tomorrow and I might just gather them all up. (I may not have, I’m similarly zoned out today (Thursday – Happy Valentine’s day folks!), and bed almost beckoned me away from getting this disjointed effort out – but I persevered!)

Keep moving everyone, keep striving and pushing, even little bursts of activity can sometimes go a long way. Au revoir, mes amis!

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