Two Tips for Stress Management

In continuing to deal with fatigue, I kept my goals for this round of ROW80 simple.

ROW80Logo175The main purpose here is to continue to sleep better at night by keeping my stress level down. My day job is not stressful, nor is my family, so that leaves writing as my main source of stress–the constant feeling of never doing enough, and there always being more to do, on top of other home responsibilities I have on the evenings and weekends. Getting the stress under control inevitably meant changing my thinking and slowing down–not something I wanted to do, but my health is leaving me no choice.

To this end, I kept my weekly goals simple, too, and enacted two tips that have helped a great deal:

  1. Keep the to-do list small: No more than one thing on it per weekday evening, and no more than three or four things (depending on if they’re little/quickie tasks) on a weekend day.
  2. As for the writing, just open the file and write what I am comfortable with. Do not add writing to to the to-do list, as that makes it feel like more of a chore than something I want to do. Just do it when I want to and am able.

These two things helped a lot. I have not been getting the kind of sleep I was on vacation, but I have still been sleeping much better than before I went on vacation, so I consider that a win. I am still tired, but starting to have days that aren’t as bad.

I managed to get 1800 words written, too. Which doesn’t sound like much considering that in the past, I’ve written that much in one evening, but right now, it’s good. I am also in the process of moving a WordPress website for one of my beta readers/editors, and doing just a little of that at a time. So all is good, and I’m going to stick to the same plan for this week, especially since we are getting a new puppy on Thursday! I’ll blog about that more next week (plus more photos!), but here’s one from when we went to see and pick them out this past week–or I should say, this little girl picked us out:

puppy

What about you–do you have, or have you had, something in your life that’s supposed to good and fun, but is stressing you out? What did you do about it, and what have you found that helps? Do you have any exciting changes coming up? Please share–I’d love to hear from you! Also, Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

 

How Do You Do it All?

It always surprises me when I get comments here on the blog that say, wow, you do so much! Because I don’t feel like I do.

Sometimes the answer is “slowly.” Sometimes, the answer is, “I don’t.”

Sure, I have a full time job. I write, I design book covers and format books, I occasionally do side work in web design/development for friends and relatives. I occasionally take writing workshops. I have a family, although my daughter is now in college, so it’s just me and DH. And DH is semi-retired, so he does a lot of things like grocery shopping, cleaning (sort of), and shares in the cooking. That helps a LOT.

I didn’t always have it this good. My husband used to own another business–a bar–and that was a 70+ hours a week job, so he wan’t home much. We had a cleaning lady come in twice a week, and DH mowed the lawn and did the outside work but I did everything else in the house. When our daughter got to be older, she grew interested in cooking, so she helped with that sometimes, and when she didn’t, it was her job to clean up after dinner, unless she had tons of homework (then I did it). The writing happened slowly then, and sometimes not at all. I also wasn’t doing book covers and formatting then, either.

So that’s where “slowly” comes in. Lately, I can do one thing after dinner on weeknights, and lately I’ve tried to make that be writing. I do the other stuff on the weekends. So when I have other things going on during the weekend, the other stuff often doesn’t get done. Same with writing–if I have something else I have to do that night (paperwork, for instance), the writing usually doesn’t happen. It’s just something I’m learning to accept.

ROW80Logo175Which brings me around to this week’s ROW80 goals. I had other things going on this week, one of which was to spend an evening playing trivia with friends. Formatting the interior of a print book is a big job, if you take the time to really do it up nice, so that took up a couple of evenings, too, as I was determined to get it done this week, and knew I’d need Saturday to do the cover. So I only got 2,000 words written. Not what I wanted, but better than zero, yes? I didn’t manage to get much fitness in, either. But the print book did get done, and is now out with the client/friend for proofing and approval.

I have things going on for the weekend, so this week, I’m going to cut back a bit:

  • Writing: 2500 words
  • Fitness: 3x
  • Other: Print book changes as needed, make last small changes on website that was finished last week

What about you–do you sometimes have to step back and reassess your limits? If so, what did you learn? And whether or not you’re a writer and/or are doing ROW80, how did you do on whatever you wanted to accomplish this week? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Weekly Patterns and Efficiency

The writing went well again this week, and like last week, it all got done in the latter half of the week.

I know some people are “binge” writers, who can go for weeks or months without writing, then fly in and write 30,000 words in a weekend. Those people amaze me. I work more of a steady pace, as my numbers and goals show. The current goal is set to encourage me to do 500 words/day, or skip a couple days and do 1000 on the weekend days, which is usually what happens.

file7631292337511Of course, I have more time on the weekends, not having to go to the day job. But I manage to write over 1,000 words on weeknights during NaNoWriMo, and did this Thursday and Friday, too. The only why I can figure for that is that I tend to bunch other tasks into the early part of the week, namely paperwork. My husband and I own three businesses (rental properties, and my writing), so I save up all that paperwork plus any personal bill-paying throughout the week and do it all on Monday night. Sometimes I don’t get through it all, especially now that I’m also collecting tax stuff for the accountant, so that spills over into Tuesday. It is just more efficient to collect it and deal with a bunch at once, rather than handle it each day as it comes in, which I used to do.

I’d like to get some writing done those days, too, even if it’s only a couple hundred words, but it never seems to work that way. But I don’t have much paperwork piled up this week (first week of the month is always the most), so maybe it will work this time.

ROW80Logo175So here’s a recap of last week’s goals:

  • 3500 words – Done!
  • Finish one web development project – Done!
  • Fitness 3-4x – uhhhh, maybe once.

Can’t hit ’em all, right? I did have a couple of tired days in there, and a couple of headachey ones, so the fitness just didn’t get in. But it’s a new week, right? We’ll stick with the same writing goal, since it’s working. I have another website project, and I’d like to finish that, so we’ll add it in there too. And try again on the fitness.

What about you–are you more productive toward the end or beginning of the week, or does it even out for you? Do you binge on projects, whether it’s writing or something else, or are you more of a steady-as-she-goes? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

 

The Best Way to Manage the To-do List, Fun Fact, and ROW80

This week served as a reminder of something I’ve blogged about before, but tend to forget on occasion: the best way to manage my to-do list is to not put too much on it in the first place!

This was one of those “took on too much” weeks. Not horrendously so, but there were things I simply did not get to. There are only so many hours in a day, and when a fixed amount of them must be spent on the paycheck job, and a necessary amount spent doing things like sleeping, and eating, that’s an even more limited time for the “other stuff,” which in my case includes writing, book cover designs, promotion of my writing (which I do next to none of anyway), projects and gifts for family and friends, spending time with those family and friends…

I read a business/productivity book not too long ago that suggested dividing the to-do list into an A-list, B-list, and C-list. The A-list are things that must be done that day, and should contain no more than three or four things. The B and C lists are nice-to-haves, with the B being the higher priority of the two, and both of these should ideally only contain one thing.

I have my three lists, but they’d grown longer than they should have. So this week, it’s back to basics.

One of those basics for me, of course, is writing, and my writing often necessitates research. I ran across an interesting tidbit a while back that I considered using, but decided wouldn’t fit. Still, it’s interesting enough to share here:

My Town Monday Fun Fact: Dayton’s First Murder and First Unsolved Death

Dayton was settled in 1796, but the frontier town managed to avoid the most heinous of crimes for its first ten  years. That changed on November 20, 1806, settler/farmer John Aiken beat his wife to death. No one had seen it coming–the Aikens had been good, upstanding citizens who paid their bills and got along with everyone, including, at least to all outward appearances, each other.

Aiken went to trial only five days later, speedy even for those days. He was a blubbering mess and couldn’t even speak for himself, so an associate (who’d also been charged with helping to cover up the crime) helped him hire an attorney. The men posted bail, and the trial was rescheduled.

John Aiken never made it out of the courthouse–he literally collapsed and died on the spot. There are no records to indicate why or how. The case against his associate was later dropped due to lack of evidence.

For more on this and other tales of historical bad-assery in Dayton, check out Spilt Blood by Curt Dalton, who operates Dayton History Books Online, one of my Best. Research. Sources. Ever. Mr. Dalton has published Spilt Blood, and several of his other wonderful books in their entirety on the site.

ROW80 Update:

ROW80Logo175Here’s how last week shook out. Not bad considering how much I’d loaded on:

  • 12,000 words on WIP – I actually only got 10,700, but I’m still on track for NaNoWriMo since I banked some words early in the month, so I’m going to count this as Done!
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop – Done!
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page for family member’s web site – This was the one I just. Didn’t. Get to.
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short – Done!
  • Book cover design – still have to make a few tweaks, but I’ll consider this one Done!

This week’s goals are a little different, since the workshop wrapped up. Also, I’m spending the day Saturday with some out of town friends, so I really need to bank the words for that, as I don’t have any more banked for NaNoWriMo. We’ll see how it goes!

  • 12,000 words on WIP
  • Review video lessons for Promotions workshop first three weeks and take notes
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page for family member’s web site
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short

What about you–have you found yourself taking on too much lately? Are you afraid you will next month, with the holidays on the way? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and/or ROW80, how are you doing? Or if you’re not, how are you doing on whatever goals you might have? Do you know anything about the first murder to have happened where you live? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Baby Steps Get the Job Done, and NaNoWriMo/ROW80

My mom has been working on some massive decluttering for the past few years. Some of it is her stuff, but most came from her mother, who passed away a few years ago and had the classic depression-era “collector” mentality. Mom has some health issues, so it’s been slow going at times, but when she’s able, she works on one pile of stuff at a time. Eventually, a pile gets cleared, then a stack, then a whole corner of a room.

She’s still working on it, and it may take a while, but baby steps really do get the job done.

The same goes for our writing, as many of us embark on NaNoWriMo starting this week. For the uninitiated, that’s National Novel Writing Month, a challenge in which the goal is to write 50,000 words–the equivalent of a short novel–in one month. I’ve done it–and won–twice. But it sounds daunting if you’re not a writer, or if you’ve never done it. And indeed, it’s a lot, and it takes dedication. But so does decluttering something like what my mom’s working on, and the same approach can work to getting through a big goal like NaNoWriMo.

Just write a sentence. Then the next. And the next. And the next thing you know, you’ll have a paragraph. A page. A scene. A chapter.

Baby steps really do get the job done.

ROW80Logo175To  that end, I break my NaNoWriMo goal down into weekly goals, as part of my ROW80 goals. This week’s goals were:

  • 4500 words on WIP – close! I got 4,000. I’m happy with that.
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop – I got the lessons done, will do the homework today (it’s due tonight).
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page and individual product page for family member’s web site – No
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short – No

Looks like I need to get back into that baby step mentality for the website and fitness. We’ll work on that this week:

  • 12,000 words on WIP
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop
  • Refine layout of Shopping Cart page and individual product page for family member’s web site
  • Fitness 4 times, no matter how short

What about you? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and/or ROW80, how are you doing? If not, are you working on some other goal? Have you tried the baby step approach? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

When is it Time to Push Back on our Goals? and the Man who Saved Dayton, plus ROW80

The best thing about ROW80, the writing challenge that knows you have a life, is the fact that we’re encouraged to be flexible. That’s good, because a couple of my goals are already presenting challenges for me.

One of those is fitness. I try to do a good half-hour interval workout on my treadmill three times a week, plus a shorter workout of weight-bearing exercises a couple times between them. It doesn’t sound like much, but it works for me and I can tell a difference when I keep up with it. But lately, I’ve had some health issues – nothing major, just enough that I don’t feel up to doing that half-hour on the treadmill, or doing push-ups, etc. So it’s time to cut back. Lately, I’ve read that three ten-minute sessions is just as good or better than one half-hour long one anyway. Even five minutes is better than nothing, so I’m going to try doing something–anything–for those four workout sessions this week.

I’ve also had some challenges  with the writing, as in I’ve been doing more procrastinating than writing (or even outlining). I know that procrastination is usually a symptom of something else. Sometimes it can happen because we don’t physically feel well, but it often happens when we don’t have the proper tools, information, or preparation to do a job. In my case, I need to do some more research. So I’m going to leave my goal the same there, but focus more on the research, which I already started on last week. Which leads me to something interesting I learned:

Daniel C. Cooper (1773-1818)

Daniel C. Cooper (1773-1818) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Town Monday Fun Fact: The Man Who Saved Dayton

In 1787, John Cleves Symmes claimed the land between the Great and Little Miami rivers without waiting for approval from Congress. The first settlers moved into the area in 1796, only to learn two years later they might have no legal right to the land they’d paid for and worked to clear and build on. In 1799, congress set a price of $2.00 an acre–$1.17 more than they’d paid. Many didn’t have the cash, and left. Most of the rest would have, until Daniel C. Cooper, one of the original surveyors, bought the land that included the town–around 3,000 acres–for the government’s asking price, then sold it to the settlers for whatever they could afford, offering payment plans to many. He also gave the town land for churches, the courthouse, jail and other civic buildings, a park, marketplaces, and a graveyard. The park is still called Cooper Park today, and is includes the main branch of the Dayton Metro Library.

ROW80Logo175So now back to my ROW80 Goals. Last week’s were:

  • Finish sketching out/outlining first quarter of WIP – No
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop – Done!
  • Refine layout of product listing page and individual product page for web site – Done!
  • Fitness 4 times – No

This week, I’m going to keep the same list, but with “fitness” referring to smaller workouts if necessary and the outlining focusing on research. For the website, it’s time to develop the Shopping Cart page.

What about you–whether or not you’re doing ROW80, have you needed to adjust your goals or expectations lately? Do you have trouble with procrastination–and if so, do you know why? Have you learned anything interesting about your hometown lately? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

 

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How to Tell if Something is Worth Your Time, Fun Fact, and Goals Update

It’s been said many times (including by me) that we don’t find time to write (or do whatever it is that we want to do), we make time. But how can we make time when so often, our days are so full?

One way is to eliminate activities that don’t contribute to the things that are important to us, and when faced with a particular activity, ask whether–and how much–it does contribute.  I might ask myself, does this enhance a relationship? Am I learning something? Is it getting my novel written, or giving me a new/more practiced skill I can use in my day job? If not, I think of how I can eliminate that task, or at least reduce the amount of time I spend there. You can guess where housework falls on that continuum. 😀 Same with much of what’s on TV, or playing level after level of computer games. But taking a break to play Candy Crush for five minutes can be some much-needed downtime. So if you’re trying to eke out a few more minutes here and there for something that’s important to you, see where you can eliminate time spent on something that’s not!

My Town Monday Fun Fact

Wright Flyer IIIEven though I’m posting this on Sunday, many people don’t read until Monday, so I figured why not keep up the My Town Monday Fun Fact? Here’s this week’s: Many people think that the only mobile National Historic Landmark is the San Francisco Cable Cars. Not true! There are others, and one of those is right here in Dayton. It’s the Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane. Built by Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1905, it’s the first Flyer that could turn, make circles, and fly in the more variable winds we have here in Ohio. And even though it’s a National Historic Landmark, and part of the National Park System, you can see it today: it’s housed at Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park, which is operated by Dayton History, and unaffected by the government shutdown.

ROW80 Goals Update

ROW80Logo175My goals for this past week were:

  • Finish sketching out/outlining first quarter of WIP – Done!
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop – Done!
  • Refine layout of product listing page and individual product page for web site – Partial
  • Fitness 4 times – No

I am going to keep those same goals this week, and try to outline/sketch out the second quarter of the WIP.

What about you – do you sometimes struggle to find–I mean, make–time for the things that are important to you? Which activities would you like to eliminate? Did you know the Wright Flyer III is a mobile National Historic Landmark? How are you doing on your goals, whatever they may be? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

ROW80 Round 4 Goals, Productivity Tip, and My Town Monday Fun Fact!

ROW80Logo175It’s time to ROW again! And that means it’s time for new writing goals. But first, it occurred to me that a lot of people might not know what ROW80 is, and I write this assuming everyone does know. ROW80 stands for “A Round of Words in 80 Days” and is “the writing challenge that knows you have a life.” What this means, is that unlike other well-known writing challenges like National Novel Writing Month for example, ROW80 is not a one-size-fits-all goal. It’s whatever goal(s) the participant wants to set. The goals don’t need to be words written–they can be revision, planning, promotion… anything! Some participants throw other life goals in as well, like fitness, home organizing, or spending time with family. It’s also perfectly acceptable–encouraged, even–to change our goals as needed. Every Sunday and Wednesday, we post links at the ROW80 Blog and go to each others’ blogs to offer encouragement and support. But even this is flexible–many participants check in only once a week (I just do Sundays), and others only when they have something to report. So if you’re a writer and would like to get in on a great goals group that’s flexible enough to work for your goals, why not check it out?

ROW80 participants have different ways of defining and measuring goals, too. Most will define a set of goals for the whole 80 day Round and just measure progress toward those, but some of us break it down further. I do week-by-week goals. Here are mine for the overall Round:

  • I want to have my Work-in-Progress completely outlined by the end of October, preferably sooner.
  • I’m going to do NaNoWriMo, and I want to get 50,000 more words written on my WIP by the end of November.
  • I’m also taking an online workshop on Promotions that goes for six weeks, and I plan to keep up with that and all the associated homework.
  • I’m going easy in December, because I usually don’t get much done then, but I’d like to get an additional 10,000 words on the WIP.
  • In non-writing goals, I’m adding a product catalog to my family member’s website, so I want to get that done, too.
  • I also want to keep up with fitness activity each week.

My goals for this week:

  • Finish sketching out/outlining first quarter of WIP
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop, which begins tomorrow
  • Refine layout of product listing page and individual product page for web site
  • Fitness 4 times

Productivity Tip

Something I found that helped immensely in my book planning was timed writing. This will be obvious to some, and it’s something I’ve done before, but I’d forgotten how effective it was. Simply set a timer for as little as five minutes (I’m doing ten minutes) and just write notes. It doesn’t matter what it is, just write. This frees us up from perfectionism and worrying about getting it “just right.” When the timer goes off, stop. Congratulate yourself for getting it done, then go do something else. If you feel like it, do another session later, but no beating yourself up if you don’t! Do sessions of the amount of time you picked for at least a week before increasing the time–and then, increase only by five minutes per week. This has pulled out some great stuff for the scenes I’m sketching out, and I now have a much more interesting beginning planned for my WIP.

Fun My Town Monday Fact

Dayton has its own Walk of Fame! It’s located on the near West Side, right in front of the restored Wright Bros. Cycle Shop, which is part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park. There are over a hundred people recognized there–inventors (of course!), authors, artists, entertainers, business people, educators, musicians, athletes, and others who contributed to society. There’s a great Flickr gallery of it here.

What about you? If you’re participating in ROW80, what are your goals this Round? If you’re not, (even if you’re not a writer), do you have any goals you’re working toward? Have you ever tried the timer for writing, or anything else? (I’ve found it’s great for housework, too.) Have you ever visited a Walk of Fame? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

What can you do in 18 minutes?

Get your mind out of the gutter! I don’t mean that! I’m talking about a nonfiction book I read last week.

18minutes18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done
by Peter Bregman was the Kindle Daily Deal one day for $1.99. Finding focus and dealing with distractions are both challenges for me, so I figured what the heck?

There are some pretty good ideas in this book, some of which I’ll put to use right away, others I’ve already been doing. The 18 minutes in the title refers to spending five minutes at the beginning of the day planning what you’re going to do (I already do this), and five minutes at the end of the day going over what you did and are going to do the next day (I do this, too). The other eight minutes are a new concept to me, however. The idea is, once an hour, pause for a minute and take stock of your day. Are you being the person you want to be? Are you focusing on areas that you want to? I’m assuming he only has allowed for eight of these pauses because this book is mostly focused on business (although it does touch on personal life and relationships, too). But I found it an interesting concept.

Another concept I found interesting was that, while most time management books tend to focus on getting all the stuff on your to-do list done, this one instead tells us that we try to do too much – more than anyone can reasonably do in a day – and that we should instead choose five or so areas in our life we want to focus on, and build our to-do lists around those to the extent we can (while acknowledging that there are going to be things we simply have to do).  And get rid of the rest. This is also something I’ve been trying to work on this past year, although I hadn’t thought about it this clearly. It’s why I always put off marketing and promo activities – I simply hate them, and don’t want to do it. The time I accidentally wiped out my to-do list was almost a relief, because I remembered the really important stuff, but most of the marketing stuff simply went away. And I decided I was OK with that, even if it meant I sell fewer books. Because I also decided that I’d rather have fun with my writing than let it become focused on sales, and something I dread.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 is something that can be whatever we want, and for me it’s fun! So here’s how I did this week:

  • Skim/read three chapters in research book – Nope.
  • 1500 words on new ms – Yes!
  • 4 workouts – Yes!

I am just going to shelve the research for now, since it’s not turning out to be very interesting, it’s for a different story than the one I’m working on right now, and I want to focus on that. So I’m raising the bar on wordcount this week, but I again have things going on several evenings, so not too much:

  • 2000 words on new ms
  • 4 workouts

What about you? Found any tips for managing the to-do list lately? Whether or not you did, and whether or not you’re doing ROW80, how did your week go? Please share – I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Life: the Good Stuff

MC900444732It’s what we learn, as writers, that we should be putting into our stories: all the battles, the falling-in-love, the sexytimes, the tension; none of the teeth-brushing. In my case, it’s Life: the Good Stuff that’s keeping me from meeting my ROW80 goals, or in the case of next week, demanding that I once again set the bar low.

I’m talking things like end-of-year school programs, concerts, senior recognition programs, and planning a graduation party. We had each of those last week, and more this week. In addition, this week is Birthday Week: me, my husband, and my sister-in-law all have birthdays this week, plus today is Mothers’ Day. So a lot of life-interference, as far as the writing goes, but no complaints here, as it’s all good.

Despite the busyness, last week didn’t turn out too bad:

  • Writing: partial – complete research for short story & and do initial read-through – I researched, and got about 1/3 of the way through the read-through.
  • Fitness: partial – 5 workouts – got 3 in.

The giveaway has ended. Thanks for your interest!

I also got graduation announcements out, and got the brochure for my new-business-owner relative completed and off to the printer. So not a bad week at all, despite the lack of green above.

We have a family get-together today, and another one evening later this week. There’s a band concert another evening this week. We also need to have a family meeting to pin down the rest of the details for the grad party, so I’m setting the bar even lower this week:

  • Writing: complete initial read-through and mark-up for revision
  • Fitness: 3 workouts

 What about you? How do you manage to keep going on your normal activities when life’s crazy all around you? Even when it’s a good-crazy? I’d love to hear from you (and could use the tips)!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.