I don't know about you, but I have better intentions than actions. For example, I sign up for a lot of writing-related emails. I have an email account specifically for these emails, and I know that there is a wealth of good, solid information on the craft of writing in that email inbox. But some days, going through it is absolutely exhausting. Most days, I have 100 unread emails in my assorted email accounts, with most of those coming from my writing email. Every few weeks, I sit down and wade through the emails I've received, skimming over all of them and deleting the ones that don't contain useful information, while archiving or bookmarking ones that do. But still, it's a gigantic time-waster to have to go through so many emails.
Lately, I've been increasingly overwhelmed by writing resources at my fingertips. It's time that I take an honest look at myself and how I use these sources. I want to maximize my time and benefits, since social media and emails and the Internet can be such a drain on time. I need to get some good information and then get back to writing. So I've crafted some questions to ask myself before I unsubscribe to some mailing lists.
1. Does the email consistently send me information that applies to me?
This is going to be the main issue. In the information useful? Some emails, like the Writer's Digest email, can be hit or miss for me. Somehow, I'm on several email lists from them, and I'd like to narrow that down to the ones that pertain to me. There are often a lot of great, short articles that speak to an aspect of the craft I need, but there are often ones that don't. As a result, it's one of those emails that I want to keep receiving, but in moderation, and I have to be diligent about determining which ones apply to me.
2. Do I more often than not delete the email without opening it?
I confess. Sliding my finger across the iPhone to delete a message is easier than opening it, going to the link inside, and then returning to delete the email. There are some mailing lists I am on that I usually delete the emails from after only skimming the four-line preview. I think it's safe to say I can delete myself from these email lists.
3. Is it information that I will refer to in the future?
I subscribe to Publisher's Lunch, an email that contains daily information about book deals and agents who represent those authors. I may not always be at a querying place, however these are emails that I will absolutely refer to in the future when looking for an agent. If I were super organized, I would write down the names of agents that seem like a good match for me and books that seem similar to mine, and keep them in a file folder somewhere. If I were super organized. That'll be my next project.
Any of my subscriptions that don't pass these three questions, I will be unsubscribing from. My writing time is too valuable to waste.
And on that note, I return to my WIP!