How Businesslike Are You?

I recently spoke to a successful copywriter on the telephone and was impressed by the businesslike way he handled both the call and his freelance working life.

We prearranged the call for a specific time and he rang me on the dot. He opened the conversation by determining how long I had available to talk. Then he briefly explained what he’d like to cover in the call (this gave us an agenda) and kept the discussion on track. It sounds rather strict but was all done in a very friendly manner.

During the course of the call he mentioned that he only checks email twice a day, once in the morning and again at the end of the afternoon. He doesn’t do social media and he doesn’t make himself available 24/7 via electronic gadgets.

I feel there’s a lesson to be learned here. Perhaps it’s something along the lines of : Successful writers act professionally and treat writing like a ‘proper’ job with proper hours. They don’t procrastinate or pretend that commenting on another writer’s cute kitten picture is a marketing activity.

Food for thought?

  1. #1 by Keith Havers on April 15, 2016 - 10:21 am

    I can tick some of those boxes but not all. Thanks for sharing this, Sally.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on April 15, 2016 - 4:03 pm

      A pleasure, Keith. And glad you’re writing life has some degree of efficiency!

  2. #3 by Bobby Fairfield on April 15, 2016 - 10:42 am

    Reblogged this on Recommended book and blog news, poetry and tarot inspiration and commented:
    For those wondering if all the email and social media checks that you feel need to be crammed into the day are worthwhile, this does provide food for thought.

  3. #5 by juliathorley on April 15, 2016 - 12:37 pm

    I’m a great believer in time management and always try to set a finish time, as well as a start time. I check my emails reguarly during the day, because sometimes clients want me to turn something around the same day. However, I only do social media in my breaks (and that includes reading blogposts like this – I’ve just had my lunch!) and I’m training myself to switch of FaceBook when I supposed to be working. I don’t have a smart phone because I don’t want to be fielding emails at all times of the day and night. I try to be professional when it matters, but not too formal.

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on April 15, 2016 - 4:05 pm

      Sounds a brilliant way of working, Julia (& glad you find time to read this blog!)

  4. #7 by Anne Harvey on April 15, 2016 - 3:19 pm

    Impressive, Sally! Not sure I could keep to it though. I’d rather enjoy it as I go along in my own little unhurried way.

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on April 15, 2016 - 4:06 pm

      I suppose it depends on your motive for writing, Anne. If it’s to make a living then time management would be essential.

  5. #9 by Janice Preston on April 17, 2016 - 10:13 am

    Thanks for sharing this, Sally. There is certainly food for thought. I try to limit checking and responding to emails and social media to 3 times a day, but I’m conscious that lately I’m guilty of allowing the social media to ‘creep’ into my supposed working time! Yes, I’ve been promoting a book, but – a bit like lapsing from a diet – it’s hard to get back on track. Must start being stricter with myself (and with the diet too, incidentally lol)

    • #10 by Sally Jenkins on April 17, 2016 - 7:12 pm

      That self-discipline thing is SO hard isn’t it, Janice (whether it be diet or social media!)? It’s so easy to lapse if you’re working on a difficult scene or the words won’t come – social media is much easier than writing!

  6. #11 by charliebritten on April 18, 2016 - 9:28 am

    My daughter, who is a journalist, is the same. Send her an email outside her ‘office hours’ and she won’t see it until the morning.

  7. #13 by Maria Smith (@mariaAsmith) on April 18, 2016 - 10:08 pm

    I have a day job, so can only tweet before I go to work, lunchtime or after I finish. I’m not big on Facebook, but I do look in every few days, in the evening usually.
    I try to organise my writing, and treat it like an appointment. I show up and write. It’s difficult at times.

    • #14 by Sally Jenkins on April 19, 2016 - 12:06 pm

      I don’t know how you fit it all in, Maria! My day job is only 3 days a week and I still struggle for time. Well done on your appointment system.

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