June Rodriguez
SARAH: I had one of those 'Ah-Ha' moments the other day. I've been so connected to promo and building my platform...and of course keeping my head above water running my family life that certain aspects of my writing have disappeared-- kind of like my car keys down into the abyss of my purse. Somehow in all of this craziness that molds my life together, I have forgotten to make time to write. And I don't mean, writing an interview or keeping up with my posts on loops either. I mean honest to goodness planting my hiney-roast into a chair and not answering emails or loops until I'm satisfied I've made progress for the day. That kind of writing. So, I've made a few changes to how I manage my time. What was the buzz word during the elections? Oh, yeah. I trimmed the fat.

JUNE: I give you credit for realizing your original goal was slipping away from you. What kind of changes did you make? How do you find the time with the demands of your young family?

SARAH: I wish I had all of those answers. I think I finally found something Ask Jeeves can't answer. But, it's gonna boil down to me staying focused and making sacrifices. The dang book ain't gonna write itself!! So, that means I may have to get up earlier or stay up later. I've already started printing out papers to lay in front of me on the book rest of the treadmill at the gym. I know I probably look daffy, but at least I haven't rolled off the back of the thing... yet! And the benefit I get from this is that when my writing time finally comes around- aka naptime- I’m much more in tune with what I want to say. DORI: It’s all about setting goals. I have a goal for early next year also. I'm scheduled to attend Left Coast Crime and want to have a polished manuscript before I go. That way I'll get the most out of the conference and the connections I hope to make there.

SUNNY: Wait until you have a publisher asking "Where's the next book?" Then you don't have a goal to worry about, just a deadline.

DORI: Deadlines rule my life. Court filing and hearing dates, grant due dates, to name a few. I deal well with due dates, what I have a hard time with is not having any, especially when I have non-fiction writing deadlines that demand my attention. Writing always takes the back seat. Of course, having deadlines are stressful. What I can't imagine is the stage where I could have both writing and non-writing deadlines. Now that would be stressful. I hope for the day that the only deadlines are writing ones, but have a lot of work before that could become a reality, so. . . . back to work.

SARAH: You'll get it done, Dori. You have an amazing drive and a wonderful gift. LOL. Your non-writing deadlines are much more stressful than me not getting hubby's tidy-whiteys washed. Of course, if you ask him, that's quite important. Sheesh, and here I thought men just turned them inside out and wore them again!

DORI: I appreciate your faith. I'll try to prove you right. On another point, I always thought they were "tighty-whities," which conveys a rather different image don't you think?

JACKIE: Writing flash fiction is even more difficult.

SUNNY: I have a trick I use. After I write a story, I take each sentence and try to see how many words I can eliminate and still make sense. It's good practice and sometimes you'll come up with sentences you'd never considered before. I even wrote a one-word paragraph. One word was all I needed. But, it had to be the RIGHT word.

DORI: I have really gotten to enjoy the short story format. They are challenging, but so are novels. Short stories are more challenging to convey an idea a story in only a few words. On the other hand, novels are challenging in that you spend months, years even, with the same story before you finally get to type the words "The End." (As an aside does anyone really type those words???) That's one of the things I really like about short fiction. After receiving everyone's critique of the first half of the story, I was inspired to finish the second half today. What an exhilarating feeling to have a completed story. Think that has become my favorite part of writing a short story.
JUNE: Congrats on your completion. I can’t wait to read the final product. You were really inspired to finish it quickly. I only seem to find small amounts of time to work on my writing. I always have distractions that pull me away. With the new job I started recently I have a steady schedule and have a specific time I can work in. This is helping me get more organized and with the organization comes more freedom to write. What are your biggest distractions?

SUNNY: Email. Marketing. A good book (better than the one I'm writing). A beautiful day. The call of the swimming pool. It's much easier for me to write when the weather is cold and foggy. January and February works for me.

SARAH: A nap and General Hospital are my biggest distractions--outside of a two yr old and a three yr old. But then again, I've always said I'm like a crow--easily distracted by something shiny!

DORI: Everything and anything is a distraction when the words don't just flow off the tips of your fingers. The laundry, work, family, dishes, bills that need to be paid, visiting clients in jail, you name it. I think the trick is to set aside a set time when you're not allowed to do anything else. No phone, no playing with the puppy, just sitting your butt in the chair and forcing yourself to sit there. Better yet, if you don't let yourself get up until you have met your writing word count for the day. All right, easier said than done. Time for me to put up or shut up. Question is, am I up to the challenge?

SARAH: Ah, Dori, you just stole the words from my mouth!

JUNE: Sounds to me like we all have goals and challenges to work on. Every week we are here to chisel away a little bit of them. We are the Go-To girls.

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4 Responses
  1. Great post, Sarah! I have just about arrived at that same spot in my life. Spending time doing everything BUT write! Back to the hinney in the chair!! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. These are all great. Like being there with you. Must confess, I watch General Hospital almost every day. Amazing the crazy plots they get away with.

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  4. One of the ways to rationalize not writing is that everything we're doing, such as watching General Hospital is valid "research." One could learn a lot from soap opera plots, characters as Marilyn pointed out. But alas, it doesn't get the dang book written, so I'll have to shut off the TV, stop checking for comments posted to this site, stop reading e-mail and get to it. Here goes . . .

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