What a Week!

Ever since school has been back in session, life has been crazy.  I’ve had to start scheduling my day by the half-hour.  Between kids and their activities, spending time with the hubs, working some at the girls school, and volunteering I’ve pushed writing to the back of the list.

BUT…I changed that this month!  I put writing as my priority (once I got the kids and hubs out of the house!)

This month I’ve finished two nonfiction manuscripts, along with their author’s notes and bibliography, wrote 2 stories for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie contest(2016 entry), and am almost finished with a story that will be submitted to several children’s magazines.

I’d say I’ve had a productive month!

I owe it all to 2 things: 1. actually sitting down and writing out WHY I want to write, WHAT my goal was for my writing and the STEPS needed to achieve it; and 2. block scheduling.

Sitting down and really, REALLY thinking about my reasons for writing helped me clarify my goals.  Yes, of course I want to get published and win awards, but once I got over the prideful reasons, I looked at the HEART of why I write.

What is YOUR reason? Is it to make YOU happy?  Is it to make others happy? Is it to encourage the love of reading in children?  WHY?    Write it down somewhere and post it where you can see it while you write.

Next I had to set some goals. I pulled out my planner and wrote dates that I would accomplish things by.  I set deadlines. After all, this is my job and jobs have deadlines.

Then I wrote the steps to achieve my goals.  Do I need more education? Find a critique group? Put my butt in the chair and write (biggie for me!)?  Clarify what YOU need and in the words of Nike…Just Do It!

In order for me to actually get my butt in the chair, I had to plan my day.  I plan to the half-hour and even include travel time if I have to leave home.  This has helped me be so much more productive that I feel like wonder woman.  You can see my schedule from yesterday in the picture below.  And this wasn’t a busy day!

block schedule.jpgNow I need to just work on being consistent with blog posts! That is going on next month’s goals list.

Tomorrow is Susanna Leonard Hill’s annual Halloweensie contest.  This is one of my FAVORITE writing contests.  If you aren’t familiar with it, you have to write a story using three Halloween related words that she specifies.  Here’s the kicker…it can’t be more than 100 words!  Do you know how hard that is?!

Come back tomorrow and read my entries into the contest and leave me some feedback, I’d really appreciate some love!

Tomorrow is also #PBPitch!  PBPitch is a Twitter party where writers post a pitch for their manuscript in 140 characters or less.  Editors and agents read the pitches and like those they are interest in.  You can then query them for possible representation/ submission.  It’s really exciting and nerve-racking! I’ve already scheduled my pitches for two of my manuscripts.  Wish me luck!

don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my Halloweensie entry and to see my pitches!

~J

 

 

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