E-Mail is eating my life

I have a novel I want to write.

I have this really cool new course I want to create.

I have these awesome videos I want to do for http://writercrashtests.com

I want to get Rebel Tales up and running.

And I have a notebook full to overflowing with other ideas—more novels, more courses, more freebies.

And even though I’ve burned through most of the 4000+ e-mails that Margaret didn’t take care of and that were waiting for me when we finished the move and I got back online, I’ve spent the majority of every six-hour workday this week answering e-mail.

Success kicks ass. But the benefits have drawbacks, too, and one of them is that the work becomes too much for one person.

I have resisted a help desk for years. I always prided myself on the fact that I answered my own e-mails.

This week has clobbered me with the realization that I just can’t do that anymore.

I’ve installed help desk software, and I’m putting together a Knowledge Base, and I’ll be moving all of my e-mail addresses except for my one personal address over to the help desk gradually, bringing everything online one thing at a time and then testing to make sure everything works. I’ll be hiring help.

I’m genuinely sorry to have to do this, but I’ve come to the realization that if I want to write again, I’m going to have to do the things that ONLY I can do, and hire people do to everything else.

That’s tough, especially for a control freak like me. I’ve always been a firm believer that no one could take care of my folks the way I could.

Now I have to find someone who can.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

5 comments… add one
  • Brenda Cruz May 18, 2009 @ 16:00

    Holly: I went to the library with a problem with my story and it is a very complex story. My have finish my research but, the first three chapters I keep changing to where I want to start off in getting my reader wanting to read my story.

    This is a real life experience and the plot is in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I’m am writing about A.D. Ancient History of the Viking and the year of 2000 Scandinavian, racism. Immigrants that come to the North; etc. I had relocated to Minnesota in 1993 from California. With 30 years of cultural diversity experiences on the pacific side of America. The northern part of America and the Atlantic Ocean Immigrants. Where do I start? I am the main character and the Almighty God. Real story. Anthropoly on the A.D. Vikings and I lived 15 years in Minnesota among the Scandinavian. The conflict was racism in that state. I am complex and their were many sparks. The point of view will come from my experiences and the researching of the Holy scripture and ps 83:18 is the God whom I serve. For 5 generations in America. I have knowledge of our American History.

  • MarFisk Apr 4, 2009 @ 18:10

    You forget the other benefit to having a help desk though…with the Knowledge Base, people who are comfortable with that kind of support won’t have to wait for you to get to them to handle the more straightforward problems. And you have consistent answers for the common ones instead of facing everything as if it were brand new.

    Yeah, I’ve done too much time in support, but I’m a firm believer in reuse.

  • Chuckles Apr 3, 2009 @ 16:01

    Holly,

    I suggest checking out the book “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss. One of the items he advocates is having an online personal assistant and he makes some recommendations in his book.

    Best of luck,
    — Chuck

  • TimK Apr 3, 2009 @ 14:57

    Please, do not feel like you have to apologize for that, Holly. Setting up a help desk and hiring and admin is what every successful entrepreneur needs to do eventually, and it’s a good sign, a sign that you’re doing right by all of us, because otherwise, why would we be sending you so many emails? 🙂

    -TimK

  • djmills Apr 3, 2009 @ 14:25

    Good idea, Holly. There are only so many hours in a day and family takes a big part along with doing what you love — writing, so don’t feel guilty. Those, like me, that appreciate everything you do for them will understand.

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