my beautiful time sinks


steampunk_clockI think —

I’m spending my time unwisely. I’m doing all these things which in the grand scheme of things appear to be mostly time sinks and just grunt work not accomplishing anything.

I put out a newsletter every month. It says what new classes are coming. It talks about what the workshoppers and the students have accomplished. What’s up with the book. It has 118 recipients. [I know, Super Bowl! Not really.] The September newsletter got 48 opens. And, 7 clicks through. That means, with a grand total of 118 people actually getting the newsletter, less than half of them opened it, and out of them, only 7 people actually hit a link.

Time sink.

There’s an irony here too. You’d think the workshoppers and the students who are accomplishing things and getting talked up in the newsletter would forward it on. They don’t, mostly, though. I can barely talk them into giving me info to put into the newsletter on time. They won’t talk about themselves or promote themselves with that newsletter by even sharing it. Hell they won’t even talk about or promote themselves with a website, half the time. So. Me talking about them falls into a black hole.


Then there is Beyond Top Secret. It’s kind of cool and fun. It’s a spot where people who are fans of the book or me or just buds can hang out and talk about things the book. It’s a fun idea and a lot of people signed up going in. They were being supportive. Being friends. But only about five people actively show up, read any posts, or contribute in the active forum. I kicked a bunch of people out too, I said, If you’re not active, I have to pull you out of here. But then there’s the friend thing. Someone showed, they were showing support, that’s great, you feel bad if you say, I love you, you love me, but you’re a slacker ninja in terms of being here I’m throwing you out. So then I don’t throw them out. And then we’ve got this huge group of people doing — nothing. And sapping the motivation and energy from anyone who is doing anything because people who are active are just looking around saying, Wait, I’m the only person talking in this echoing amphitheatre of silence and inactivity?

[Yes, exactly, that is how I feel too.]


What I do know is showing up every single week to post things to a forum of silence is sapping me. And showing up every month to post a newsletter full of news and classes and student and workshopper accomplishments that less than half the recipients bother to open and only 7 people actually click links in? Is killing me. It’s killing my momentum. It’s killing my enthusiasm. It’s hurting my heart.


It’s sucking my time.


The funny thing is I threw all the inactive newsletter recipients off too one time, I looked at the numbers and recipients and I threw everyone off who hadn’t opened a newsletter in three months and I sent them a nice note that said, Hey we see we’re not connecting here so we are cutting you loose. AND THEY ALL SIGNED BACK UP. AND STILL DON’T OPEN THE FUCKING NEWSLETTER. AHHHH!


I’m not sure what the answer is here. Shut these bad boys down?

I think so. I think the whole world tells you you are supposed to do all these marketing things that don’t really work and are mostly time sinks and I don’t want to play that fiddle any more.

I could be wrong. It has happened before. But I don’t want to write and send out any more newsletters to people who just want to get them, they don’t want to open them. And I don’t want to spend one day every week making up some cool new action of the week nobody will ever read because nobody is there.


There are many ways to be supportive.

Echoing silence isn’t one of them.


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