When I first became serious about becoming a children’s book writer, there were many items I picked up along the way to help me learn the craft and to get organized. Among the first of these items were various books with words like “Dummies” and “Complete Idiot” in their titles. Along the way, I also added a dictionary, thesaurus, and grammar guides. All of these items helped me avoid making the obvious mistakes that would make an editor groan and reach for a form rejection letter. Doing my homework and using the right tools definitely made a difference.
Now that I am published, my focus has shifted to learning how to promote myself. Because let’s face it…what good is spending all the time and effort involved in creating a book and seeing it to publication, if nobody knows that you have written it? To aid me in this endeavor, I have found a new “high tech” ally, my Smartphone.
In addition to my writing, I also have a full time day job and a family. My free time is definitely in short supply. This is where my Smartphone has become my time-management savior. I commute every day by train into New York City for my day job. I used to spend this time reading the newspaper or staring out the window. Now the train has become my mobile office. I answer emails, check social media sites, do research for my next book, or even write blog posts. In short, I’ve been able to squeeze another productive hour out of my day that I didn’t have before.
I have apps on my phone for all my email and social media sites. I have shortcuts on it to my online critique groups. I have a word processing app to proof my work and make quick revisions. And of course, I have downloaded a few games to play because I need to have some fun. I do try to apply discipline to this new found hour of productivity though. It’s just as easy to waste time on a smart phone as it is on a computer.
So if you happen to be traveling into New York City on a commuter train and you see me intensely focused on my Smartphone screen, you may be seeing my creative process at work as I proofread my latest manuscript. Then again, there’s always the chance that I’ll just be playing Spider Solitaire.
Kevin McNamee is a writer and poet living in Yonkers, NY. He is the author of seven children’s picture books. Kevin’s poetry has been published in the collection, An Eyeball in My Garden: And Other Spine-Tingling Poems.
To find out more about Kevin, please visit his website at www.kevinmcnamee.com or his blog at www.kevinmcnameechildrensauthor.blogspot.com.