I wonder if schools still teach that old W.H. Davies poem?
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
It’s a relic of another age. The words of a man who chose to spend much of his early life on the road in Britain and the USA at the turn of the 20th century, sleeping rough, hustling a living, writing. If you’d offered him an iPhone, he’d probably have tossed it straight in the ditch.
I’m ashamed to confess that 20 years ago, I’d have done the same. I remember someone pleading with me to carry a pager so that people in my team could reach me out-of-hours. Selfishly, I refused point-blank: I had another life. I wrote a song: ‘Killing me softly with his bleep’.
But I’m happy to report that I’ve now seen the error of my ways, and my social rehabilitation is almost complete. Why, only this morning I signed up to the Ultimate Blog Challenge – committing myself to post 30 times in 30 days. That must surely make me a … what? Socialist? No, wrong connotations. Sociophile? I’d get banned. Help me, I’m struggling here… ah, got it – I’m a .. a TwitFacer.
Here’s my Daily TwitFace Plan:
3 hours – Twitter: Check follows, mentions, retweets and messages. Thank and follow everyone who’s included @alain_miles – unless I can see they’re going to bombard me with sales pitches. Check blogs, contribute where appropriate. Plan and schedule the day’s tweets. Repeat repeatedly.
2 hours – Facebook: Check all new messages and requests. Visit friends’ pages and show support. Remove Networked Blogs every time it tries to multi-network my blog. Puzzle over why wife gets more Likes than me.
2 hours – LinkedIn: Check my groups and responses to my discussions. Respond to responses. Link (and consider Twitter, Facebook links too: do NOT re-open Twitter!). Scan new questions posted – respond to one or two. Post a new discussion every two days and sneak in a reference to blog.
2 hours – Feeds and email: Check mails from blogs where I subscribe directly. Remove unwanted spam. Scan spam to find mail I wanted to read. Respond where appropriate. Check responses to responses of responses, and respond.
3 hours – Write today’s blog-post. Time allotted allows for thinking, blank-time, writing, editing, posting Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn notices. (Do NOT re-open Twitter!)
2 hours – Read: Find great new writers, and post reviews. Suggest reciprocal blogging – it’s such a great tool for writers.
1 hour – Amazon, Smashwords: check for new sales & reviews. Modify pricing to stimulate more sales and reviews. Check favourite Amazon groups. Make useful contributions, remembering never to mention book and offend readers. Check responses to my responses of responses to my responses, and respond.
20 mins – My next novel: research and writing time.
1 hour – Feedburner and Google Analytics: Analyze visit and subscriptions statistics; check key entry/exit points and click data. Wonder whether its all worthwhile. Make a new plan.
This is still a first draft. It’ll need tweaking to make space for eating. Note to self: remember to tweet wife to see if we can reschedule meals to a convenient slot.
Oh – and what’s a cow?
The Ultimate Blog Challenge – get your blogging on track like me – but quickly, it starts today!