Monday, March 1, 2010

In Like a Lion, Out Like One of Those Flying Dragons From Avatar

In exactly one month, DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD will be released.

I'd better get busy!

Here's some of what I've got on tap this month:

This weekend, I have two guest speaker gigs. They will serve as the "shakedown" presentations for the set of PowerPoint slides I've been working on.

In about two weeks, I tape an interview for a local cable TV program.

In about three weeks, I'm going to attend the Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, VA. I won't be on any panels; I'll just be sitting in on others' panels and meeting some great people.

I'll also be working on my World Blog Tour--scheduling and writing guest blogs--and I'll be planning and preparing for a host of other future promotional activities. And then I've got that little matter of writing the sequel to KILLER ROUTINE.

Organization and efficiency will be this month's "points of emphasis."

Unfortunately, I tend to work on a "don't drop any of the juggling balls" system for prioritizing tasks. In other words, I wait until the last possible moment to get something done, hoping to get it accomplished before it hits the floor with a splat.

I don't think that's going to work very well in the next few months. Too many balls in the air. Too many opportunities for some major splats.

How do you prioritize your tasks? Short of hiring an assistant, any suggestions?



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

It seems to be a "what fire is raging most out of control?" kind of a process for me. I don't recommend it!

Sounds like you're doing all the right things, promo-wise!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Mason Canyon said...

No suggestions from me. You seem to have the same system I do - wait until the last possible moment to get it down. Good luck on the coming month's activities and the tour.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

You are certainly one busy writer. I was hoping you were going to tell me how to priortize! Right now I manage to muddle my way through, but I could certainly use more organization and efficiency in my daily routine.

Elspeth Futcher said...

I've found last minute panic is my usual approach! I'd suggest marking everything on a calendar and giving yourself preparation deadlines a week before the real ones.

What an exciting time for you - juggle on!

Alan Orloff said...

Elizabeth - Hope you have some fire extinguishers handy. Of course, you need a pretty good flame to brew up some Memphis BBQ!

Mason - Waiting until the last moment was how I made it thru college. Makes life more exciting.

Jane - I make a lot of lists. Then, at the end of the day, my lists are usually longer. So I think I need to stop making lists.

Elspeth - Panic is always useful. Gets the adrenaline flowing. Fake deadlines are good, too.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Well, you know my answer. I use free, project management software to task organize. It works great; you can see all the tasks in a time line and prioritize those that need to come first. Let me know if you want a couple recommendations.

Best Wishes, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Alan Orloff said...

Galen - That software sounds great. If only I had the time to learn how to use it...

Unknown said...

Alan what a busy and exciting month you have ahead of you! Just take one thing at a time, and before you know it, Diamonds will be on the shelves and you can sigh and smile — for a minute. Then work on that sequel! :)

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

What works for me is a combo of your process and Elizabeth's: I juggle flaming balls. If one drops, it won't go "splat," it will set me on fire, and not in a good way. Therefore, I don't drop the balls. It's call the FEAR process. I also keep an old fashion hand written calendar on my wall next to my computer, as well as an electronic one with reminder pop-ups. If all that fails, I crawl back into bed.

Can't wait for your book, Alan!