Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Healthy Writing by Pat Hatt

How do I do it? Do you ever sleep?

Two questions I get asked frequently on my blog. People always get hung up on the time it must take to do everything I do. I blog every day, both the cat and I have over 80K Twitter followers, over 100,000 blog comments, release a book every month, comment on 50-100 blogs every day, etc. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, that's the cat's job. That is just to show there is a lot that goes on. But is there a lot of time involved? Not as much as you might think. Can you do it as well? Yes!

Time is only a factor if you let it be a factor. Yes, social media takes time, blogging takes time, book writing takes time, it all takes time. But get ahead of the 8-ball and the time factor is a distant memory.

Pre-blog posts - have posts set up in advance. You should post at least once a week to stay relevant. So have a few set up and ready to go.

Pre-social media posts - From Facebook to Twitter to any other site out there, there is a program that will do the work for you. For instance you can use Hootsuite and set up tweets, status updates, etc. in bulk. In one day you can have content scheduled for three months out.

Pre is the word of the day. You are always told to live healthy and prevent disease, while write healthy and prevent writer's block, burn out and other pitfalls.

Just think, if you don't have to fret about the need for a post or the need to tweet you will be in a happier state of being and it will show in your writing. Those things will be done and you can enjoy doing what you want to do, write. You can visit more blogs, leaving a worthwhile comment of course, follow more on Twitter, and all the while you are still building content. Your content will be seen by others and they will follow back, return comments, etc.

People will enjoy your content when you enjoy your content. One by one your numbers rise, your reach will rise and you will remain a healthy writer. When content isn't forced it will flow. When you don't "need" to write a post, it will come. It takes some time to get ahead, but after that time works for you and you no longer work for it.

If I want to take a week off or if I want to write a new book, I can and no one will notice. There is no need to take a blog break or shut anything down and there is no need to divide my time. All because I've made time work on my schedule.

Healthy writing is just as important for your writing as exercise is for your health. So get ahead, stay ahead and get back to what you love to do, writing.

Pat Hatt can be found in the East Coast of Canada. He hates writing these things but doesn't mind talking in the third person. He is owned by two cats, one of whom has his own blog, It's Rhyme Time. Yeah a rhyming cat, who knew?

He is also quite the movie and TV buff and a bit of a health nut. As you can probably tell he does not take himself seriously and has more stuff in his head than is needed. Thus the 7 novels and 37 children's books that he has released so far. His newest release being Max Blizzard and The Gem of Camelot. He just likes to set his imagination free and have fun along the way.

Find Pat here - Blog, Website, Twitter – Pat, and Twitter – Cool Cat
Pick up Max Blizzard at Amazon


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patt - good to see you here and to show that preparedness is the key - you're obviously highly organised ... glad the cats keep you in check,and you get out of their way to do your healthy living, while they can catch up and cat-nap!!

Cheers Hilary

The Cranky said...

I always wondered how you did it Pat... thanks for sharing this info.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now if you can preschedule the news and events for me, I'd appreciate it!
Thanks again, Pat.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I keep meaning to check out Hootsuite. I know people swear by it.

Truedessa said...

It certainly works well for you as you plan ahead and then have time to work on other projects. Now, you have time working for you or what you perceive to be time. Nice interview as always.

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic post! I love it when I get ahead with my scheduling of blog posts. I need to work on balancing my time a little more, but I'm a good far planner.

Pat Hatt said...

Hilary - Being prepared is sure key and let's the cat and Pat have some fun.

Jacqueline - stay ahead and beat the dread

Alex - well could always write your wed and mon posts as just about you and for you, trivia, reviews and such, Then do a fri post again and just have it be all the events and book releases and stuff for the entire week. Serve both purposes with that. Get it more about you and shout out others too. Then you could plan ahead with the mon and wed ones at least.

Diane - Hootsuite works great, keeps everything in line.

Truedessa - haha yeah time is what we perceive indeed, stay ahead and much can take seed

Christine - far planning is sure a good start in balancing time.

Manzanita said...

Pat, what a guy you are. You spread the word so everyone can understand at "their" level. Your writing and your style is valuable to the world. I have watched you bring unbelievers into awareness and although I've never written this, I think of you as the "Canadian Patrol."
Good interview and high-five, my friend. said...

Sound advice regarding "pre." Yet does he sleep? His skill and speed still perplexes me.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Thanks for the advice. I wondered how you did so much. Now I must get organized.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Ooh... "Time is only a factor if you let it be a factor." That's good. I'll have to totally remember that.

I've heard about bulk social media. Does it really work like that? I was a afraid I'd become a bother to peeps - like the girl who takes up your personal space and won't shut up. Maybe not. Maybe you're right. I'll check it out. Thx!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I always enjoy seeing Pat's picture. He looks so uptight.
Even with all the scheduling advice, I'm in awe of how much he gets done.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Aww, Pat, you are an inspiration! The key to not fretting is to stay ahead of things.

Secretly, I imagine that the cats help, or at least they would say they run the whole thing.

Thanks for inspiring me.

kaykuala said...

So that is how it is done! Yes one gets to be ready all the time. Write in advance and wait. Just pose it at leisure later where relevant. Healthy writing so it is. Thanks for sharing Alex!


Jax said...

Great interview, Pat! It's true that you do a lot of planning and that helps you save time...but you also enjoy it and that might make it seem like something takes less time. Bravo on all you and the cat do. :)

Pat Hatt said...

Manzi - Patrol Canada at my sea, staying worm free lol

Robyn - I catch a cat nap here and there

Beverly - Organization saves a ton of time

SA Larsen - Yep, works great. You just have to have the content to upload, then it just runs automatic. I only do like 3 or 4 messages a day, so you aren't really filling things up to look so spammy.

Susan - haha uptight and get things done with ease

T. Powell - the cats help a bit, some photo posts they help with anyway.

Hank - ready with ease and it is a breeze

Jax - very true, enjoy it and less time it is indeed.

Susan Kane said...

Now I know how you seem ever-ready with your blog posts. How many keyboards/computers do you wear out?

Sherry Ellis said...

I had never heard of HootSuite. Thanks for sharing this tip!

I have used the prepost option on Facebook. I wish I could do it on my blog, but since it's a diary, I can't. Just has to come has it flows.

You're doing an awesome job being productive!

Fundy Blue said...

Great post, Pat! And I absolutely get what you are saying. I'm working on the pre, and life and writing are much easier when I get ahead a little. I like your calling pre-writing "healthy writing." That's a great way to look at it. Happy writing!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Thanks for this post, Pat. I will definitely check out the Hootsuite. Because man do I need the help.

Chrys Fey said...

As you may remember, I've reached the half-way mark with writing my posts for next year. I always schedule my blog posts the month before they go live, as well as my FB posts, but still...keeping up with blogging, social media, and writing does take a lot of time. I don't do nearly as much as you do, Pat, but I think I got it down pat. HAHA! ;)

Birgit said...

Pre-everything eh? Not purr?? You make sense and have given some great advice. May the cat fur be with you

Pat Hatt said...

Susan - have worn out a few actually, as I've broken some buttons lol

Sherry - hootsuite can be a big time saver

Fundy Blue - health writing just came to me as I went with it at my sea

Joylene - Hootsuite helps a lot

Chrys - yeah you are ahead too, 184 posts ahead right now at my zoo.

Birgit - well purr works too as the fur flies about

Jackie Bouchard said...

I need to get better about blogging in advance. I'm usually a panicked "what can I do for tomorrow's post?!" kinda blogger. Not a method I would recommend...

humbird said...

It's really healthy writing, all pre- fascinating, more to do what you love in free time - writing! ~ I did some setting in the past, when wrote haiku...but you know, when something new pops up - some feeling arises to inform the whole world how I supposed to delay such happiness from posting...Thanks anyway for sharing! x

Shell Flower said...

It totally makes sense how you do it once you explain it. Getting ahead of the 8-ball is good advice. Scheduling posts ahead is really nice. (Sorry, couldn't resist a rhyme.) I'm still amazed you crank out a book a month. Wow.

Empty Nest Insider said...

It's amazing how organized you are! I would still need a clowder of insomniac cats just to help me catch up on reading everyone's blogs! I'm also impressed with how many books you've written.
Thanks for setting us straight,on how to be first-rate!


Pat Hatt said...

Jackie - yeah the scrambling is a pain, so I avoid it.

Humbird - well that is why you mix and match. You can post the new happy stuff and move another post until a later date. Easy peasy.

Shell - staying ahead avoids any dread. I can rhyme too, who knew lol

Empty Nest - well whatever works, put those insomniac cats to work haha

Ellie Garratt said...

Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are brilliant. I'm learning to schedule tweets days in advance, and it's a massive help.

I do have one question - how is it possible to visit 50-100 blogs a day? I've calculated that 100 blogs, at say 5 minutes each, is over 8 hours in time. 50 blog visits is 4 hours. No matter how good I am at pre-writing blog posts and scheduling tweets, I don't have the time to spend between 4-8 hours a day commenting on blogs AND then write. I guess if it were my full time job, maybe. But then I think I'd get burn-out. Spending all day sat in front of a computer would induce a migraine!

Ellie Garratt said...

I forgot to say that my point is visiting 50-100 blogs a day is NOT healthy. I wonder what other people think?

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Must give hoot site a try. Congrats Pat on figuring out how to spend your time wisely and healthily. Too few people do.

Michelle Wallace said...

So the buzzword is - PRE
I've heard about things like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.(whatever they are...?)
The only problem is, just as you get into the groove of a social medium, then there's another new social medium to conquer. They just keep coming at ya...never end...
Thanks for sharing Pat.

klahanie said...

Pat in the Hatt
Where you ats
You and the cats
Why have no fear
You is here
Healthy writing
Most exciting
Thanks for sharing
Shows you're caring
Welcome to "IWSG"
Aka "I Was Seeking Gary."

klahanie said...

Pat in the Hatt
Where you ats
You and the cats
Why have no fear
You is here
Healthy writing
Most exciting
Thanks for sharing
Shows you're caring
Welcome to "IWSG"
Aka "I Was Seeking Gary."

Pat Hatt said...

Ellie - thankfully I can do it at work, just keep the blog window open and visit when I see new ones and such. But it isn't that long really. As a good many blogs don't always write essay posts. So can be healthy depending on how you can use the time. If you can't visit that many then it isn't healthy indeed to try.

Sheena - hootsuite can help a bunch

Michelle - That is true, you catch on and then they bring out something new

Gary - glad I could seek, but finding isn't for the meek

Arlee Bird said...

It all sounds good. I do a lot of what you say, but still there must be something else I'm doing wrong. Alex must have let you in on the secret of clones.

Tossing It Out

Karny said...

Oh My God...I so needed this, having just spent the better part of an hour getting a follow me on FB button to my blog...Thanks for the great advice...

Jen said...

Pat, you're amazing. Thanks so much for this post. I've needed this for a long time!

Peaches D. Ledwidge said...

You're an inspiration, Pat. This is a great motivational piece for all writers and bloggers. Keep going.

Cynthia said...

You run a successful and prolific blog, so thanks for sharing some of your "secrets." I haven't heard of Hootsuite before, and might look into that in the future.

Pat Hatt said...

Arlee - no need for clones, I just let the cats breed, they get the jobs done.

Kara - haha those buttons can be a pain in the arse sometimes.

Jen - Anytime!

Day - will keep on a trucking

Cynthia - Hootsuite is worth a look indeed

Anonymous said...

So I'm in the middle of vacuuming couches - yea, tearing up and replacing broken floors creates a whole lot of dust, when 2 blog posts enter my brain and must get typed. I turn off the vacuum, rush to the computer and sure, Pat. I can see quite a few of your points here. I've been trying to learn as much as I can from you for a long time. I was doing pretty well too, until summer home maintenance took most of my attention. It works, but very few people will ever be as good at it as you are, my friend.

J.L. Campbell said...

I'm impressed. Time management is indeed key to getting things done.

Pat Hatt said...

MJ - thankfully no home to take care of, so easier here haha

JL - key indeed

T.L. Kvanvig said...

I'm curious is writing your full time job? I work full time at a corporate job, teach part time at the local university, I just completed a 100,000 word novel (editing and polish to do yet.) and am also working to get published, plus maintain a family and 3 other hobbies.

There's more time in a day than any of us realizes if we just step away from the TV for a while!