The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. **Mark Twain

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Schedule

If you want to be tested on any particular issue....just write it down or announce it to the world and boom!  Testing is bound to come.

The last 2 1/2 weeks have been a blur of illness, legal matters, writing deadlines etc....blah, blah, blah....

Everyone has those issues.  Some popular authors have worked on their schedules long enough that they seem to take those issues in stride.  Lately I've felt like a Texas Cowboy trying to herd thousands of cows without any help.  I crack the whip on one end and get that area in line only to have to rush to the opposite end and crack the whip there.

I DO HAVE GOOD NEWS.......the more I work with my schedule, the easier it gets to say no to some things and to stay in line with my goals.

Here's what I'm doing now.

1.  I'm being good to myself.  NO more guilt.  You see...I love people and I hate the thought that they might think I don't care or that I'm putting them off.  Often that's meant that I've had to stop my writing in order to accommodate their needs.  Of course, I would never tell someone in an emergency that I couldn't stop...but I'm redefining emergency.  I'm giving myself permission to say no to things like, "Do you have a minute to talk?"  That's a one talks for just a minute. 

I'm learning to say, "I'm in the middle of writing.  This will take me about an hour.  Can I call you back then?  I really must meet this deadline."  Most people are willing to wait and it's giving me a little more freedom to stay on task during the day.  In fact, just last week that philosophy helped me stay on task and sell another article.  That's just cool!

2.  I'm trying to set actual work hours.  I imagine this "boss" in my head that insists that I meet my writing goals for the day no matter what.  I've even imagined that I had to call in sick.  My boss (I've named him GW) asked if I couldn't just come in and make a few notes for him.  I pushed my aching arm and sat at my desk and did the one finger typing thing - all because GW needed me.  I know....sounds like one of those flaky psycho tricks....but it has helped.  I'm getting my head in line with the knowledge I've always known - writing is a business and you must have some structure for it to work.

3.  I've made a list of every writing project I feel is important enough to complete.  That list is sitting by my monitor.  It's my goal for the month and for the year.  I have to admit that at first it was discouraging and overwhelming.  But when I added the following it became an exciting encouragement.

4.  Every morning I begin my day by praying over my list.  I ask God to give me the energy and the "expertise" to know how to accomplish those goals.  Knowing that I have a partner in this helps me to stay focused and to know where to go for strength when I'm tired.

5.  My plan today is to make a list of the things I have accomplished in my writing career.  Every time I'm discouraged I plan to go over the list for a quick look back at the things I have accomplished! 

Please write and let me know what you are doing to stick to your schedule.  I would love to share those thoughts with others.

God loves you and has called you to write,


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