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Monday, January 9, 2017

Life Happens

Life happens while you’re making other plans. ~ John Lennon

That quote accurately describes last week. Opportunities popped up and . . .  squirrel! I wrote my monthly post for Insecure Writers Support Group, and love connecting with so many contributors. Their responses to the question—what writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?—were so varied. Interestingly, point of view flipping and commas (my responses) were quite popular. Of course, those writers had different takes on why they disliked those rules. The only “bad” part with IWSG is the time it takes to visit so many posters. I never make it through all 218 posts.

Then, I read about the 52-Week Blog Challenge, sponsored by Marketing For Romance Writers (MFRW). Another “squirrel” moment. I hadn’t finished visiting the IWSG posters when I started visiting the 52-Week bloggers. Each week, we’re given a topic to blog about. Favorite Things was last week’s topic. I loved it. Too bad I discovered this after the sign-up had closed. But I mushed on and wrote my post. And visited the others. So far, no responses. Darn, I forgot to advertise the post.

In the midst of all this blogging, I missed the Weekend Warrior blog hop. Not good. I love reading the snippets from the others’ books. On top of that, I put out a call for guests on the Paranormal Romantics blog. Wow. What a response. But you know what that means? Answering questions, scheduling dates. While I’m pleased that so many responded, that all takes time.

While I was writing and visiting blogs and scheduling, what wasn’t I doing? Writing. I managed to write 1,500 words. That’s it! I can write that much on an average day. At this rate, I won’t finish The Case of the Meddling Mama until June.

I’ve forgotten my focus--writing my story. It’s so easy to do. Social media demands our attention. What if I miss something? The world won’t come to an end if I do. In the flurry before Christmas, I signed up for an online class (offered by Kiss of Death RWA chapter) called Everything You Thought You Knew About Cops—research for the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. Never mind I could have invited over my friend who’s a retired police chief and picked his brain (as I’ve done in the past). I’m saving the lessons and posts to read later. I can't keep up.

Bombarded with email, Facebook, Twitter, I lost my goal to write. Promoting my books and my name recognition is essential but not at the cost of swallowing up writing time.

Last week, I said I’d keep you apprised of my progress on writing a business plan. Zip, zero, nada. That’s how far I’ve gotten.

And on the personal front, we’ve begun taking down the Christmas decorations. I hate that. The decorations are so cheery. After all the work putting them up, it seems too soon to take them down and pack away. Ah, well . . .

I hope you’re doing a better job than I am on your goals for 2017.



28 comments:

  1. Setting time aside for visiting blogs and other social media and for writing is becoming more and more difficult. Where does real life fit into all of that?

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    1. What's real life?! I have got to be better at time management and remember what my focus should be. Thanks, Bish.

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  2. Diane you sound like me lol. I woke up this morning feeling a bit overwhelmed from all my "squirrel" moments last week, lol. I signed up (late) for the blog challenge as well, & started an online class etc but didn't get much writing done. 🙁

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    1. At least, I don't feel so alone. Thanks, Maureen.

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  3. I recall when I did nothing but write. Everything was so easy back then. Now distractions are galore. Sometimes I just shut down everything but Word so I can get some quite work time.

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    1. Great idea, Liza. Now I just have to have the self-control not to peek.

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  4. I am trying to limit my media to first thing in the am, but I think I'm going to put it off until pm. AM is my best writing time so why am I wasting it? Just getting back into a routine is hard.

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    1. Morning is my best time, too. I know what you mean about getting back into routine. Hard.

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  5. My support system is exclusively online so I'm not cutting my online time that much. But I do need to guard my writing time better and I'm working on that. All the best with your goals Diane.

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    1. Thanks, Sheena-kay. Guarding our writing time is the key.

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  6. Responding to blog comments does take a ton of time. There's been many moments where I've wondered if it's worth it. I admit I'm relieved when I get a few comments from people who don't have blogs!

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    1. LOL, J.H. I missed a lot of IWSG'ers this week.

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  7. I haven't been able to focus on writing either....READ some tho...but no writing....

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    1. Reading is essential, too. Better than playing solitaire, as I do.

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  8. I'm not doing much better. You're right, it's hard to focus on both. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

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  9. I totally feel your pain. It sounds like you take on too much, like me. I have taken on some new things in 2017, but my hope is, with the help from my PA and with prioritizing and discipline, I can fit it all in where it needs to be and STILL have writing time. We'll see! Good luck to us all. :)

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    1. Discipline, discipline. I need all the luck I can get.

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  10. Happy new year, Diane. I've only just got down to work after a six week break due to family matters. Wishing you a calmer rest of the month and hope that 2017 brings you much happiness, good health and success.

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    1. Thanks, Nicola. I wish the same for you.

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  11. It's hard to keep writing and to keep your focus on your story. You do so much. I'm amazed with how you manage to get everything in. I hope I can be more like you!

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    1. I don't know about that. LOL I'll bet you have a lot more on your plate.

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  12. This describes 2016 for me, Diane! I only have about an hour a day when I can concentrate (i.e., write and edit), and day after day I'd use it visiting blogs and checking out Facebook or Twitter. Now I've pushed the blogs, etc., to the evenings after I get home from the "day job." Hopefully I can make more progress this year. Wishing you tons of luck. I want to read what the meddling mama does!

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    1. Thanks, Leah. I read you're writing the sequel to Surrender to Sanctuary. I'd like to read that. I hope 2017 is a good year for both of us.

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  13. isn't that just how it goes? i'm right there with you - trying to keep up with all the blogging and promotion and neglecting the actual writing! let's get to it!

    but thanks for stopping by my cradle rock release party posts! happy 2017!
    the writing is the reason =) we'll get it done!

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    1. I did better yesterday with the writing. Trying to remember that's the reason. :)

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  14. YES! That's exactly what I blogged about for last week's IWSG post...time. And guess what? I had ZERO time to visit anyone's blog. OR to write very many words. BUT I have a snow day from school today...so I'm blog hopping and want to write lots of Ks for my book. You sound VERY productive to me. Hope you get more words written though!!! Here's to a productive month. Christy

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    1. Thanks, Christy. When I read your blog, I thought we must have been on the same train (of thought). Snowdays should be good for something. Good luck!

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