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This ‘n’ That & a Winner!
Monday, July 18th, 2011

I think I’m tired of day-tripping. This past weekend while friends held down the fort here, I drove to North Arkansas to my sister’s, then trekked across to Oklahoma where we both led a plotting bootcamp on Saturday. Then it was back to North Arkansas to drop off sis before making my way back south. Those were a lot of miles, and the whole time I was away I fretted about my past due deadlines.

I have plenty of excuses for why I can’t get my work done, but none that truly excuse me. I used to write when I worked full time AND did my once a month National Guard stint WITH needy children underfoot!

Last week, last minute (I stayed up until Midnight on Thursday), I wrote a short story for a Cleis collection. That’s the sum total of my writing accomplishments last week. I have to do much better this week. Do you have any suggestions for how I might stay focused or organize my time better?

But y’all don’t want to hear me whine, do you? You want to know who won that cute little book dragron, right? (Yes, I know I still have the last prizes to get out the door. I’ll do that this week, come hell or high water!)

The winner, from among 190 entries is…Karen C! Congratulations, Karen! Be sure to email me with your snail mail address.

I’ll be back with a brand new contest tomorrow, so be sure to check in!

7 comments to “This ‘n’ That & a Winner!”

  1. Dawn Jackson
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    1
      · July 18th, 2011 at 9:36 am · Link

    Congrats Karen! Awesome Dragon! Hmmm…suggestions to stay focused…can’t think of a one…but when you come up with one…let ME know. lol Have a Fabulous Day!



  2. Shawna
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    2
      · July 18th, 2011 at 9:36 am · Link

    I found these tips on focusing to keep me from shooting myself in the head as I sit in my office for 8 hours. Hope they help.

    1. Simplify your environment: humans pay attention to new stimuli, so at your computer close superfluous windows, turn off twitter and automatic notifications (email, facebook, etc.); put mobile on vibrate; put unnecessary papers out of sight.

    2. Build up your focus: set aside a block of time to deal with a task – start small 10-15 mins; once that task is accomplished extend the time for another task and keep going.

    3. Embrace discomfort: when you hit that wall (for you-writer’s block, character being a pain in the behind, scene not quite right) push past it.

    4. Take breaks: Humans work in cycles; we can concentrate for a period of time but need time to rest. Every (fill in the blank – hour or two or three) take a quick walk or step away from your desk to recharge.

    This one is all mine: Make a list of what you want to accomplish for the week. I find it helps me to see in writing how well I am progressing and to remind me of what needs to get done.



  3. Sasha White
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    3
      · July 18th, 2011 at 4:57 pm · Link

    I wish I had some tips for you, but I think I’ve tried everything, and am still struggling. Maybe you just have to let yourself take a break for a bit? A real break.



  4. A. Catherine Noon
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    4
      · July 18th, 2011 at 6:57 pm · Link

    It’s funny, but I’m totally with you. I did my first nano the month before I got my Masters WHILE I was working full time AND took a week off to attend my husband’s family’s 45-person Thanksgiving Day festivities out of state.

    Now, I’m not working outside the home, and I don’t have any new projects to take my time, and my writing has slowed to a trickle. It’s truly frustrating.

    I’ve decided I’m going back to work in August, and I think I’m going to temp rather than look for something “permanent” (I put that in quotes because no job, these days, is truly “permanent.”) I can’t give you any sage advice, other than to say what is getting me back on the page is writing my blog post for you, working with my coauthor on a new short story project, and playing with a novel that’s just about ready for submission. I’m also experimenting with a thousand-word-a-day goal and making my word count be the first task I do during the day rather than all the other homemaking stuff I was doing. That seems to be working; my word count is higher this week than last.

    We’ll see. And in the meantime, if you figure it out for you, please tell us – I’m sure I’m not the only one of your fans who wants to see you solve this – and write more Delilahstoreez! Good luck, and good words!



  5. Diane Sadler
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    5
      · July 18th, 2011 at 7:01 pm · Link

    Congratulations Karen



  6. Jen B.
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    6
      · July 18th, 2011 at 9:03 pm · Link

    I need the same help. I have so much to do and can’t seem to get organized! Good luck!



  7. Amanda
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    7
      · July 27th, 2011 at 1:15 pm · Link

    Ms. Devlin, I won the June 13 Promo Ho contest and I’ve tried several times to email you. Please email me at chefamanda at gmail dot com.
    Thanks!