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  • April 6th, 2009 | 10:49 AM
How many hours? How many emails?

Just wondering....

How much time a day/week do you spend:

Writing blog posts?
Reading/responding to blog posts?

How many emails do you get a day?

Do you respond to them all the same day?

I am trying to figure out my own answers on this, maybe a couple of hours writing/reading/responding? I need to do more commenting because of course that is the reciprocal key to having people eventually come back and take a look at what you are writing.

The email is killing me. I get a lot. Or at least for me it's a lot. Depending on the day it's between 100 and 200 emails. A day. Sometimes more. I only have a couple of listservs that I have mail sent to me. Most of it I check on the web. Just trying to keep the in-box down is a huge time suck. I am doing several Life Hacker tips and really trying to only process an email, most emails, once. And trying to get the in-box to 0 every day. It's so hard.

Lest anyone think I have this even partially together I edited this to add that I flag almost all of my mails to follow-up and then move them to another box which has about 5000 emails in it. Argh!

What about you? How do you balance your blogging and email?

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There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 14 comments — Leave comment )
April 6th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to figure it out myself. The first answer is "too much," but some of it feels right and good. I'm going to watch myself the next week or so and try to get OFF when I'm not actually doing something, then see where I can go on organizing from there.
April 6th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm trying to track myself but it's hard because I think I might be afraid of the answer. :)
April 6th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
Writing blog posts? About .5 hour

Reading/responding to blog posts? About 1.5 hour, spread throughout the day

Twittering? Zero - I don't have time to support it as yet-another-social-network

How many emails do you get a day? Including personal and all writing-related accounts, around 150, give or take 50, depending on the day

Do you respond to them all the same day? I respond to family email the day received, personal friend email the day received, work email (from editor or agent) the day (and often the hour) received. Fan mail I respond to within 48 hours, not counting weekends.

I've placed as many listservs as possible on digest, so that I cut down on those emails. I'm tempted to put services like Facebook and LJ on "no email notice" but I worry about missing posts, so I haven't done that. Yet. (MySpace automatically gets caught by my spam filter, so I get the notices, but they don't interrupt me.) I'm also considering locking myself out of LJ, Facebook, and MySpace during working hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., so that the time spent there comes out of my personal life, not my writing life (but I don't want to hamper my personal life too much.)
April 6th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks for such a detailed reply, Mindy. I appreciate it. I didn't include in my count all those notifications from other places because I do have them just filtered to a folder but I just realilzed that they are, indeed, still "noise."

It's hard balancing act.
April 6th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
To me, one of the biggest challenges is one some "event" rocks the social world. I run the wiki for an authors' group, and so I need to follow those messages in close to real time. When a major to-do is going on, I can easily get 100 messages a day just from that list.


You might try responding to *nothing* (except life or death) for three days at a time, and gauge the effect on you, your contacts, and your career. One of the things I always taught my library staff is that responding *too* rapidly to requests can be dangerous, because you condition respondents to expect it (hence, my delayed response to readers.)
April 6th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
Good point to try and respond to nothing... but it's hard. Especially here on the blog as I am trying to rebuild readship.

I'm intrigued by your comment of an author's wiki. Could you share more about that? (Huge wiki fan here.)
April 7th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
The wiki is for a group of science fiction and fantasy writers. We hold discussions on a Google Group, and then preserve some of our group so-called knowledge on a wiki. It's been interesting trying to build a structure that is organized enough for some of us, but flexible enough for all of us!
April 6th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
A lot of the mass emails I get just sit in my inbox until I have a chance to look at them. Sometimes that chance doesnt' come until months later when I decide to do some housecleaning.

I'm also terrible at putting off personal emails. Wish I had some good suggestions for me.

It's hard for me to gauge the rest of my online time. I'm online at least eight hours a day thanks to my day job, and most of my online interaction happens at odd times, when I have a minute to check blogs or respond to comments.
April 6th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
Yes, I do that too, let things sit in the inbox until I have time. Alas I am also nosy as heck so I often open them, read them, and then mark them unread so I can deal with them later.

Ditto on being online all the time. I'm online from the moment I get up until I go to bed at night so stuff is staggered.
April 6th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
Hahah. My personal inbox has almost 4000 messages in it (I had it down to 2000 a few months back) and my work inbox 2000. I can't even estimate how many I get every day. I am continually deleting all day. Almost none of them require responses; more on the work side than the personal side. It's a disease.
April 6th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, my inbox is only low because I tag things to "follow up" and then move them. My follow up box has about 5000 messages. Sad. It is a disease. But let me tell you how much happier I am that I don't have to do with the work in-box now too!

I'm looking forward to seeing your garden on the tour.
April 6th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
I only update my blog about every two weeks or so. More often if I have something to say :)

Reading other blogs and commenting takes me about two hours a day, spread throughout.

We get about 30 emails a day. Personal stuff usually gets an almost immediate response. I consider the same day 'almost immediate.'

No twittering yet. Also no MySpace or Facebook until there are more hours in the day. Or I'm the Next Big Thing, whichever comes first :)
April 7th, 2009 05:45 am (UTC)
You sound much more balanced than I am. :)
(Deleted comment)
April 7th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
I think dividing it up into tasks as you did makes a lot of sense. I've been doing a lot of research on how folks handle their social media stuff and most of them do have a system similar to what you describe.
( 14 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

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Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

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