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Archive for 'Motivation'

National Clean Off Your Desk Day! (Contest)
Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Liz Wilson!

Well, National Clean Off Your Desk Day was actually yesterday—the 2nd Monday of January—but it coincided with National Word Nerd Day, so you know which day took precedence with me!

Let’s not worry about being late though. I took a picture!

No, that’s not the BEFORE picture.

I know you minimalists are likely hyperventilating, thinking about trying to work with all that clutter, but it’s organized and decluttered quite a bit from how it was. I have SPACE in the center front of my desk now. I tore apart my desk yesterday and dusted and rearranged, discarded, etc. Yes, I have too many candles and a huge wax warmer in the left corner next to my monitor. More candles in the far right of the picture, tucked behind my notebook stack. I just have the essentials, you know. And truthfully, my desk is more crowded in the winter than the summer because of all the plants I bring in from the patio that line up at the back of my desk. I can’t leave them out in the cold. And doesn’t everyone have jars and coffee cups filled with pens and markers? Maybe four large containers is a bit much, but I like having my tools. And I have a medium-sized bowl to the left of my desk’s working space where I dumped all my Halls and Ricola cough drops, plus prescriptions for the respiratory infection I’m trying to kick, so I thought putting them all in one container was “neater” than the having them lined up around my working space. I’m trying. I only have one water container for painting on my desk, and I trimmed down the number of palettes cluttering up the sides of my working space. So, much better than it was. There were stacks of things. I moved all toys and figurines into the shelves above my monitor. That round tin in the front right of the picture is a single bracelet kit, so I don’t have beads cluttering up everything, everywhere.

And voila! My desk is clean and orderly (according to my particular needs!). A pristine, spartan surface is like a blank page—it offers me no inspiration whatsoever!

So, are you going to take up the challenge and clean your desk or workspace? Are you a minimalist or do you need inspirational clutter all around you? Answer for a chance to win something. I’ll decide what later!

Elizabeth Andrews: Starting the Countdown (Giveaway)
Wednesday, December 28th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Debra Guyette!

Hello, everyone! I want to start by thanking Delilah for letting me come play here with you all again. I always have a good time when I visit.

So, about that title…my countdown to the new year isn’t in hours or minutes yet, but I am counting down the days. I love looking forward to a new year, don’t you? It’s always so full of possibility and opportunity, and all kinds of good things we can’t even imagine yet. It’s almost like getting ready to start reading a new book by a favorite author or seeing a movie you’ve anticipated for months.

I don’t make ‘resolutions’ for the year. I quit that a long time ago, but I do work out goals for myself every year, personal things I want to get done, and writing goals (still working on the new goals as I write this). ‘Resolutions’ seem so…inflexible, I guess, like passing a new law or something. Too daunting that way.

If I call them goals instead, they become something I want to do, not have to do, and I can break each one down, and figure out the steps and time needed to accomplish them. For example, most authors have a general idea of how long it will take them to write a book, so they can break that time frame down—if it usually takes someone three months to write a 90,000-word story, they can figure out how many words they need to write each week, each day to make their three-month goal on time, and if there is an off-day, they can adjust to make up for the words they didn’t get done that day. That sort of goal-setting feels to me more achievable than simply writing a list of resolutions for the year—ie, for the next year, I have to lose X pounds, organize my life, look for a new career, etc.

Besides getting my goals finalized this week, we have a family dinner to start the new year, so while the basics of the meal are always the same, I do need to figure out dessert. Something else I will do to wave the old year goodbye is write down a few wishes for the new year, and then near midnight on New Year’s Eve, I’ll burn that list and send the wishes to the universe. If our weather forecast for this weekend is right, I may have to improvise to avoid the rain, but I have time to figure that out.

I would love to hear how you bring in the new year…do you set goals or make resolutions? What other traditions do you enjoy? Everyone who comments between now and the start of the new year will be entered into a drawing for an eBook copy of one of my three books, winner’s choice.

Happy New Year to you all, and may all your New Year wishes come true!

About Elizabeth

Lifelong book addict Elizabeth Andrews fell in love with romance novels at an early age and now writes her own, full of sexy heroes and strong heroines. Her stories range from paranormal to contemporary, to who knows what her imagination might come up with along the way, but happy endings are a guarantee!

She is a married mother of two who’s got a room overflowing with her book collection and a garden full of herbs and veggies that needs occasional attention between writing and reading binges.

You can find out more at

Today’s To Do list is toooooo long!
Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

When I worked in the corporate world, I underwent all kinds of efficiency training. To-Do lists are supposed to be small, with the most important things at the top to tackle first. However, life doesn’t work that way.

Some things have to happen first before you can get to the highest priority things. Plus, once you finish something that requires a brain cell, you need something that requires less of the gray matter to follow in order to rest your feeble aging brain, right?

I’ve already failed to follow the order of my list that I made last night. I started at #1 because as soon as I’m up, I make kids’ lunches so that they can get out the door to school. But #2 felt like too much exercise before my first two cups of coffee, and I didn’t yet know what I was going to blog about, and #4 requires too many clicks, so I skipped to #5. Now that I finished #5, I’m trying to get back to the “proper” order of my list, and I’m doing good with this blog, right? That list was top of my mind, so I’m typing word-vomit while I’m sort of complaining about the fact my list is too long and I want to blame that piece of paper, but it’s all my own dang fault for committing to too many things this week… And on, and on.

And now, I’m ready to turn the list over on my desktop and just do wtf I want to do. What’s the worst that can happen besides two clients having heart attacks because their edits are due and me missing a book deadline? I’m turning it over….slowly…I haven’t yet laid it down…

Fuck. On to #4.

My Affirmation for the Day! (Contest)
Sunday, April 24th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Athena!

I’m charging around my office and rooms, trying to get things tidied so I can charge through the rest of the week and accomplish all my goals without messy distractions. My plan is ambitious, but it has to be because I have sooooo many deadlines, back-to-back.

So, I found an affirmation—a positive quote I’m stating publicly—to tell myself and the world that I can do it. Just like the little red engine that could.

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, share one of your positive affirmations! And no, I don’t stand in front of a mirror to recite them, but I do say them out loud. There is actually something very REAL about saying things out loud. Even if you’re the one speaking them, a switch in your brain (called the RAS) hears it and believes it. So that’s my woo-woo for the day. Share your favorites!


Celebrate National Procrastination Week! (Contest)
Wednesday, March 9th, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Preston!

National Procrastination Week is a thing! How exciting is that? It runs March 6th through March 12th, so I’m a little late telling you all about it—but isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work? LOL

Most days, procrastinating is kind of a bad thing. You put off things you should be doing now—which can have consequences, even if the only one is added stress for you. So why celebrate it?

Use the holiday as your excuse to put something off you really don’t want to do now! Say, It’s National Procrastination Week, dear! The trash can pile at the curb; the laundry can build until it overflows the basket. I can start that book next week—I have a holiday to celebrate!

Here’s my procrastination rant: Yup… I have two whole weeks to finish this book. Woops, it’s ten days now. Still, I can push through to finish it next week. I’ve done it before. I work best under pressure. Adrenaline fuels my muse… 

For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, give me your procrastination rant!

A. Catherine Noon: 2021–The Year That Was
Friday, January 14th, 2022

2021. Phew. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad it’s over. It was a difficult year in many, many ways.

It’s over, and we can start completely over, fresh, like new.

But here’s the thing: if we do that, we lose all the momentum of good things that we’ve built up to this point. If we start over, like nothing happened, then what? Not all that happened in the year was bad. Maybe it’s a hike we took, or a walk, or a meal. Something good, if we look for it.

Okay, so how do we know that? How do we focus on the good stuff, keep the momentum of the good going, without drowning in the bad?

Try this: Mia Rose, a psychologist and coordinator of the popular women’s group SoulWoman Circles, suggests we try looking in our phone. Call up our pictures that we’ve taken over the year. Look through them and see what you focused on. Is it family? Meals? Natural surroundings? Through that, you can find the positive threads that occurred last year for yourself.

I love rhododendrons. Locals call them “rhodis.” They grow wild here in Washington State and Oregon. They bloom every spring in an explosion of colors – whites, pinks, fuchsias, reds, yellows, oranges, even multi-colored ones. We bought a home in Duvall, WA, right at the end of 2020; it’s our first home. We have a rhodi out front by our mailbox, and she bloomed in Spring and it’s just gorgeous.

This is a shot of Rattlesnake Lake, a natural area outside of Seattle. It’s just down from a water reservoir. We took ourselves off there with the dog, wandering around the perimeter of the lake (no rattlesnakes, which disappointed my husband). It was interesting to go and wander, without expectations, and without demanding anything of the place.

What about you? What good things, even little tiny ones, did you do last year?

“My own experience has taught me this: if you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured it may never arrive.”
~ Maurice Chevalier
Finding Motivation… (Contest)
Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

UPDATE: The winner is…Laura!

I wasn’t born self-employed.

I spent years in the Army, years in a corporate cubicle, a stint in a classroom, a non-profit, etc. My time was mine to manage inside my employers’ bubbles. In fact, I was a project/program manager for years, and I planned work for others. None of that really prepared me for being a self-employed, full-time writer.

Most days, I happily hit the keyboard. I’m enthused about my story that has a drop-dead date to complete or I’m staring at a deadline to return a set of edits. Deadlines do help with motivation. However, there are days when I have my lovely month-ahead calendar sitting in front of me, with all the work parsed into numbers of pages to get me to the finish line within a very doable timeframe, when I look at it and think: But I don’t wanna. Not today.

This week is soooooo hard. It’s the last week of school for our four online students. Their mother and I have been their support/mentors/tutors all year long, bending our work schedules around theirs to make sure everything gets done.

Online schooling is hard. But we managed to help all four kids, 7 through 16-years-old, get through it. And we managed to have fun along the way, with family movie  or game nights and special dinner rewards, and with limited excursions to the park or the flea market (large areas, few people). We’ve followed the rules and kept everyone healthy and happy for 14 months. We’ve drawn closer as a family because we had to be each others’ friends and playmates.

During all of this, I have managed to write. Not as prolifically as I did maybe eight years ago, but more so than I did three years ago. I carved out hours in my schedule to retreat to my “mole hole” and write.

So, why am I dragging ass lately? We’ve made it through a huge commitment. Next year, we’ll only have one child staying home because the rest have been vaccinated, and all of us have learned how to use a mask. Next year, should be easier, right? A cakewalk, really.

So, back to why I want to blow off today… There’s not anything special happening to draw my attention. I simply don’t want to open the files I need to open and bury myself in another world. I want to drink some coffee, sit on the back patio, and play some Charm King on my phone. Something that will add pages to write to all the days that follow.

In my brain, that seems like a wonderful tradeoff—until tomorrow morning comes.

I love this quote…

My answer today is tomorrow!


For a chance to win your choice of a download of one of my books, share a motivational quote or tell me how you deal with self-motivation. Are you a Last-Minute-Mary or do you do today so tomorrow is free?