In the olden days I’d switch off the computer, and that’d be it for the day. But oh dear me no, not nowadays, not with this constant 24-hours-a-day stream of information. The laptop’s on from around 8.15 a.m. until 6.15 p.m. Then as soon as that’s off, the iPhone starts pinging with emails coming in, largely from the United States.
And when else am I supposed to fulfil my part of my publisher’s marketing plan? My new publisher is based in Seattle, eight hours behind the UK. Their big thing at the moment is book blog tours, and requiring me to give interviews to a number of online book specialists. Oh, and don’t forget the ubiquitous Twitter and specialist groups on Facebook. They play an absolutely essential role in book marketing in this electronic age.
The author’s role in promoting our books is almost as time-consuming nowadays as writing the masterpiece in the first place. And all this e-work was interspersed with playing chess online against a variety of opponents around the world.
The upshot was that I was using electronic media every day, including weekends, until just before going to bed. So was it any wonder that my mind was still highly active and unable to switch off? A few weeks ago I decided a major change was needed. Somehow I’ve managed to squeeze my evening work of marketing my book through Twitter and Facebook into a much shorter time. Some of the more fun side of those two social media outlets has been sacrificed, and reluctantly I’ve had to put the electronic chess pieces back into their virtual box.
I now make a point of not looking at any electronic screen (other than the TV, of course!) after 8.30 p.m. And only trashy and escapism TV at that. Just slap me if you catch me watching anything intellectual. And my sleep pattern has reasserted itself as good as gold.