How Do You Find Time to Write, Promote, Learn New Tech, and Still Have a Life?

David Houle, Entering the Shift Age

One of the most frequent questions I receive from writers is how to manage it all: how to write, market and promote, stay on top of new technology and tools, and still have time for a life.

How is it possible to be active on several social media sites and still have time to explore a new one?

How can you learn a technology when it’s just going to change again in 6 or 12 months?

How can your focus on producing a quality work while also building a quality platform?

These are tough questions.

I had the opportunity to interview David Houle—a futurist who has spoken at publishing industry events—about the tension that emerges when living in an age of information abundance and technological change, and how it challenges creativity, particularly as it pertains to writing and publishing.

I think you’ll enjoy the conversation; you can find it at VQR.

In the comments below, I invite you to share tips, philosophies, or favorite tools that help keep you sane and productive during an age when nothing seems to stay the same for long. (You can see my tips here: The Secret to Finding the Time to Write, Promote, Market, Promote, and Still Have a Life.)

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Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. From 2001–2010 she worked at Writer's Digest, where she ultimately became publisher; more recently, she was an editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review, where she led digital strategy. Jane currently teaches writing and publishing at the University of Virginia and is a columnist for Publishers Weekly. The Great Courses just released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (2017). Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.
Posted in Author Q&A, Creativity + Inspiration, Electric Speed and tagged , .


  1. Pingback: How Do You Find Time to Write, Promote, Learn New Tech, and Still Have a Life? | Jane Friedman | book publishing |

  2. My new favorite tool is called GoodtoDo. It’s a great todo program that connects with all my devices and allows me to categorize my projects. I also practice what I preach and use my egg timer religiously :) It keeps me focused on what I want to work on. And I try to listen to Seth Godin’s wise advice “Take what you need, but ignore the rest.” My translation, let my intuition lead me to what’s most important on any given day.

  3. I’m loving Evernote. Still kind of new to it, but I love that I can use it via my computer or phone and it has a recording mechanism and I can also take pics, make a note and store it on Evernote. I’m using it for research, which is perfect!

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