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Today, I’m hosting Robert Flores IV as part of his blog tour for his latest book BROKEN TRUST.

Time Management and the Writer

Broken Trust marks my third novel in as many years. For me, that seems to be behind schedule. But many of my author friends tell me I am fast. Especially when they consider that I put out a magazine every two months in addition to working and having a family life.

I am not the best with time management, especially if I log into Facebook or Twitter. I was supposed to write this blog post first thing when I woke up. It is now almost 12:30 and I am just getting started. First I had to start the Laundry, then my sister called, then I had to do more laundry. Then the little one wanted his lunch, and then I had to eat. Next came the emails. And now, finally I am writing this post.

The truth is, if I wrote as much as I told myself I would write then I would find myself publishing two or three novels a year. But the fact remains that writing isn’t my only obligation each day. And, even if being an author was my full time job, there is so much more that goes into being an author than just writing.

You have to set up priorities for your time. And recently I took things a step further and started a schedule for myself. It got me thinking that maybe I should share with everyone how I set priorities and plan my days.

Priority number one is my family and my kids. They are still young, and while mostly independent they still need me for some things. So, weekends and weekdays after 3pm are very hard for me to get much done with writing or editing. When all three kids are home, I just can’t get much done. So I have marked that time off for them.

Of course, I have bills to pay and writing doesn’t pay those. So I do have to work. Right now, I don’t have a regular job. But I am working a summer job and when I am working, I can’t be writing. Though you can be assured that I spend a lot of time thinking about what I will write next while I am at work.

Next, I have to pencil in time for my second job of being a writer and editor. Right now that is limited to Monday-Friday until 3pm when I am not working. Eventually, when I have a laptop again, I will be able to expand this some.

But, I have to get more specific with this time. So often I find myself working on one task, then bouncing to another task. Then back to another one. And what eventually happens is that nothing gets done. So I am going one step further.

I have two main tasks to work on when I am not working or spending family time. The first is Plasma Frequency, my bi-monthly magazine of Speculative Fiction. Now, you might assume that doesn’t take much time. But you would be assuming wrong. It takes so much time that I often get overwhelmed with it all, even with my great team helping out. I have to read a lot of short stories, edit, format, write contracts, and handle payments for authors. Not to mention getting artists and business aspects together.

Then, I need to write. I have to blog, write my novels, and keep my website up to date. But, I also need to market my writing, keep in touch on social media with my fans, and format my books for publication.

So how do I manage this? I do it with weekly schedules for myself. I break down the week into hourly chunks and put myself on the clock for the “free time” I use for my writing and editing. I go through and put myself down for Plasma Frequency, or writing. And I get more specific. This day and time will be reading submissions, this block of time for a blog post, this block of time for lunch, and this block for social time.

Do I go over, get off schedule, or just plain throw the schedule out the window? Yes. But not as often as I thought I would when I started this experiment. And, I keep the schedule fluid. Meaning that if I blog when I should have been writing my novel, I’ll write the novel during the blog time. I have to adjust the schedule for my muse. But as long as I keep it fluid, it seems to be working out for me.

Maybe I can even get a second novel out before the end of the year, but don’t hold me to that.

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About Broken Trust: Released May 29, 2014

Earth is no longer teeming with human life. After a major mass extinction event, the world is no longer able to function as it once had. Governments have collapsed and those that survived are left to figure out what is next for the human race.

Liam Fisher never wanted to be a leader. But after finding survivors, protecting them, and founding the city-state of Lagoon Hills; the people demanded he be their leader. Instead, Liam agreed to sit on a Council with four other leaders.

Together with Talya Brooks, the person who saved his life after the collapse, Liam runs the militia of Lagoon Hills. And though it was tough early on, the people of the city now live in relative comfort and safety.

But Liam is fighting his own personal demons: The loss of his wife and unborn son. Rachel, a past lover he never really got over, has suddenly arrived at the city gates. And the mounting stress of a neighboring city-state threatening war.

The people of Lagoon Hills are counting on Liam for their safety. Can he keep himself together and be the leader everyone wants him to be? Or will the people closest to him be the greatest threat of all?

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About the Author:

Richard Flores IV is the author of the science fiction novels, Dissolution of Peace, Volition Agent, and Broken Trust.  He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Plasma Frequency, a bimonthly, semi-pro magazine of speculative fiction.  He lives in Auburn, Washington with his wife and three children.  When not writing, he works a day job where he daydreams about writing.  His hobbies include reading, television, video games, blogging, and watching San Jose Sharks hockey. You can find out more about Richard, his writing, and his blog by visiting http://www.floresfactor.com.

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