Rome Construction Crew – First Update

The wonderful Greenembers (check out his blog at  if you haven’t already had the pleasure) has had the innovative and collaborative genius idea of creating the Rome Construction Crew (RCC) – a group of bloggers all with dreams, aspirations and aims, which – just like the wonderful city Rome – can’t be built or realised in one day, but through sustained effort, skill and determination.  If you’d like to join pop on over to his blog and let him know!

I happily joined the RCC as I have my own creative dreams and journey – in my case to publish some novels online, build a readership and as part of this to become part of a vibrant, creative community.

Check one box for the latter aim – being part of WordPress blogging is a delight and a constant source of inspiration, camaraderie and community.

But my journey on the other aims is only just beginning and I saw on Greenembers blog yesterday that many RCC members have been more prolific with providing updates on their RCC aims etc. When I reflected on why I hadn’t done anything yet, it occurred to me the explanation is really the best theme for my first RCC report : the issue of finding time to do all of this well.

So my challenge is this, how to juggle:

1. Dream of being a novelist
2. An active blog, and
3. A very demanding day job

And still have time for a personal life, some relaxation and so forth. Like most of you, I suspect, this is not easy to do, or at least to do consistently.

Right now, my status report on the 3 would be:

1. I’ve drafted 2 novels (first drafts done over a decade ago and only recently revived with the aim of self publishing). The novels have been professionally edited, and now I’m progressing setting up the business requirements to self publish. Next it will be cover designs and formatting. But then it’s the big challenge – marketing the book. Because although one part of me would be happy with a small readership – any readership is more than the zero readership the books have had languishing on discs over the past decade – another part of me does want a wider readership. I guess any author who puts the work out to the world wants the world to embrace it, but to embrace it they have to know it’s there, and so…marketing….
2. This blog is going well and is a source of great enjoyment. It also may build a readership for the novels amongst those of you who are not more exclusively interested in poetry. All of you who visit and like/comment are immensely generous and I treasure your support, and love reading your work too. But I follow many blogs now, and with limited time (see point 3 ) worry a lot of late that I might not keep up with you all, or might seem to be neglecting you. I really don’t want to give that impression because it isn’t my intent, but as to limited time…on to point 3….
3. I deliberately don’t give out details on my day job as I want that separate. But suffice to say it is a very busy job – 50+ hours a week plus often weekend work – and recently has gotten even busier because of a major change program I am managing. So I will have less time than usual over the next few months, so I would say this:

Please – if I do seem to be not keeping up with your work, it isn’t lack of interest, only time. I will structure my day to ensure I do spend time on my WP reader, but I may not keep up with everyone consistently, especially those who post at different times to when I can access it.

I will also always try to keep up with any comments you leave on my blog and to have that wonderful interaction and discussion. So I will be here, and will be trying to keep up, but it will be a bit more limited for a while.

Just prior to the major work increase I’d had more time to write poetry and I have quite a few poems scheduled in WP to post, 2 per day on average, over the next 6 weeks, so it may seem I’m here more than I actually am. I will try to come to the blog and reader at least twice a day, but there may be some days when I don’t manage it at all. Hopefully they will be few and far between.

Please bear with me on this. Your friendship, generosity and support – plus your wonderful writing, photography, art and so forth – mean so very much to me. I’ll try to keep up but I fear I won’t be able to do it as much as I’d like for a little while now.

Which leads me to an RCC inspired question – for those of you juggling similar demands, what works best for you?

Any wise counsel will be gratefully received!

About Helen

I'm drawn to blogging as a way to share ideas and consider what makes us who we are. Whether it's in our working life or our creativity, expression is a means to connect.
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14 Responses to Rome Construction Crew – First Update

  1. I wholeheartedly feel you (as we have mentioned to each other before). Sending you happy thoughts all the way across the world! 🙂

  2. Good luck with your publishing. Though, I’m not sure what you mean by setting up the business requirements. I went through Amazon (Kindle eBook), Createspace (paperback), and Smashwords (non-Kindle eBook) to publish my books and I didn’t have to do anything beyond the usual book preparations.
    If you want help with the marketing once your book is out then here’s a link to a list of the sites that I used. They’re all really helpful and don’t cost that much. I spent $70 overall and I splurged on a few of them:

    • Thank you so much – very, very much appreciated! What I meant re business requirements was that was in Australia if you may make income fom something like this you need to set up a business number (Tax) and a business name…I put my forms in for that a couple of weeks ago so soon I should get that confirmed, then I can let my accountant know, then I feel like I can link any expenses to this…just in case I make enough money from the publishing that it actually matters…which I may well not. But my accountant said given you never know its best to have that all set up and your financial records in good shape so that if you do have the luck of something that sells you are ready. 🙂

      • Better safe than sorry is a good approach when it comes to taxes. I’m in the USA and I was told that there are a bunch tax laws for ‘artistic careers’. I assume all of the laws will require that I sell organs on the black market to get out of trouble.

      • LOL – the hard part about tax with this is here in Australia, if I understand the rules correctly – and possibly in US too – they don’t really want to know about it if you spend more than you make (for obvious reasons..then they’d owe you money), so in that case its considered a ‘hobby’, but if you do suddenly make enough for them to tax you, you need to be able to show the expenses involved so you aren’t taxed too much. Does my head in really….LOL. 🙂 I understand why they set it up like that, and I’m happy to pay my taxes…hey, if I sell enough for this to be an issue its a good problem to have….but it is very complicated in the beginning.

      • I started a simple spreadsheet to list all of my expenses this year. The best I can do is bring it down to a smaller owed amount because I have to owe something since I don’t have a paycheck for taxes to be taken out of. I’ve been told that the key is to make enough for taxes to be laughed out and tossed into the mail without losing any hair.

      • Sounds like a plan. I hope for you what hope for myself, that your writing is so very successful that tax is a necessary but welcome burden. 🙂

      • Thanks. Hope you find the welcomed burden of success too. 🙂

  3. greenembers says:

    Helen, I hope you’re not feeling pressured into having updates all the time! I feel that if people feel too pressured it will make them… mmm.. resentful?… I’m not the poet here, lol. Just, I want people to have fun. So please don’t feel you have to update all the time. Update when you can!

    I look forward to reading your published works! As to juggling between job and blog and life… I don’t have any good advice, I am still trying to figure it out. I love my blog and I wish I could do that full time but alas, I need money from my day job. I think next week though, I am going to blog a little less and do some life stuff that I haven’t done for awhile (erm… play video games, lol). I think breaks are needed.

    Also, that was a fantastic write-up of the Rome project… much better than what I have! I might just refer people to this page to find out what it is about, lol. 😀

    • Thank you! No, I didn’t feel pressured to was the updates of others that inspired me to write this, and when I thought about why I maybe hadn’t updated yet it meshed in nicely with the main challenge I’m dealing with at the moment, which is time. So it seemed like a good theme for a first update and one that I thought others would either relate to, or maybe be able to advise me on. Also, I’ve been worrying about whether I seem to be reading other blogs less over the past week or so because of the time limit so it gave me a chance to say, this is why…

      But I agree re breaks…I may do a few days where I don’t come to the blog to get that, though I have to balance that with catching up..LOL..:)

  4. Pingback: Rome Crew Update – Issue # 3 | Green Embers

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