Monday, January 6, 2014

I Could Get More Writing Done if Only...



On my recent break, I planned on getting a lot done. While nice in theory, the reality was that I did not accomplish nearly what I'd hoped.

Can anyone relate?

About halfway through the break, this thought crossed my mind:

I Could Get More Writing Done if Only I...

  • Didn't eat
  • Didn't sleep 
  • Ignored email
  • Ignored social media
  • Didn't clean the house
  • Never had an interruption

Okay, so maybe that's being a little unrealistic. Instead, I'm thinking a healthy dose of realistic goals, self discipline, and grace play a big role here. What do you think?

If you can relate in any way, these links might help. They offer tips for the quest for balance and productivity.


What helps you focus and write? What hinders you? Do you set goals for the new year?

Happy writing,
Karen  


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

36 comments :

  1. I ignore the housekeeping and it still doesn't help. I try ignoring my cats, but they won't let me.

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  2. That's the thing about modern times - so many darn distractions!!

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  3. Can so relate. Can't believe how my time got filled over my holiday break, though I did get some writing in.

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  4. My kids like to distract me...that is a good distraction.

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  5. How very true! I could write more if I didn't have to care for my husband so much, but he sleeps in the afternoon so can write then. And I've motivated by the thought that my child readers will desert me if I don't publish the next book! Good luck with your own writing, Karen.

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  6. I like my sleep too much to give it up though!

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  7. The holiday season (and a two-week illness) has made writing extremely difficult. Sometimes, it's life that does it. Then when a column 'happens,' in spite of all the adversity/difficulty, I know Who's behind it.

    Waving and smiling,

    Rhonda

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  8. I really need to be more disciplined. I set aside a certain amount of time but I allow other things (and other people) to intrude. make sit hard to build up any momentum.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  9. Hah! I actually got more done during the break than I'd anticipated, but it's back to work, eh? I was telling my husband I'd love the power to stop time, but then he kindly pointed out that I wouldn't survive the year if I had that ability. Yup. So now I'm amending my wish with an immunity to aging along with the power to stop time. =)

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  10. Hi Karen .. gosh me too - but I have workmen in .. so reckon that's an excuse and then I need to clear up once they've gone .. but there's never enough time .. and you didn't put relaxing, or seeing family and friends in there .. a near impossibility at Christmas .... Good luck as 2014 ticks around!! .. cheers Hilary

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  11. Happy New Year Karen. You have been on my mind with the horrid freezing weather battering the States. Hope you and yours are all all right. May 2014 be a blessed year for you. With hugs and kisses. Raymonde

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  12. Diane,
    Yeah, if we ignore the housework too long, the dust piles too high to get in and out of the door. Or something like that! :)

    Keith,
    I know it! Someone told me that we have it easier than our ancestors who worked from dawn till dusk. I agree, but I think we do have some things that make our lives unnecessarily complicated, you know?

    Natalie,
    So glad you got some writing time in! A break can be so relaxing, can't it? :)

    David,
    Yes, they are a good distraction, and I'm sure you can't imagine life without them!

    Carole,
    Well, we have to do what we must, so that's a good thing. I know that when I do get spare time I don't use it as efficiently I as could. But maybe that's just me! :)

    Alex,
    Well now you have a good point! Sleep is one thing I will not give up. Although sometimes I do stay up late writing, lol.

    Rhonda,
    Yes, you've had a lot going on, that's for sure. Hope you are feeling better! Waving and smiling back! :)

    Happy New Year,
    Karen

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  13. Mood,
    Me too! I procrastinate a lot about many things...lol And then there are those interruptions too, some I should not allow. Although going to the kitchen to get chocolate should be allowed, right? :)

    Crystal,
    Glad you had a productive break! Yes, when you get the aging process thing down, let me know, okay? :)

    Hilary,
    Well now see, you have the perfect excuse! Perhaps I need to get some work done here too, lol. :) We'll get back at it in good time, right? :)

    Raymonde,
    Happy New Year to you too! Thought of you when they were talking record snows in your neck of the woods. We're keeping warm here. It's hovering around 1 degree above zero here today, but it is warmer than parts north and west of here, so am thankful for that! Hugs and kisses back to you! Hope the gang is doing well.

    Happy New Year,
    Karen

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  14. I am doing Jeff Goin's challenge to write 500 words each day in January. It is helping.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  15. After the recent mishap with my husband, we are not venturing far, and staying in the warmth :0) Kind Regards, Carole.

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  16. Glenda,
    Now there's a great idea. I need to check that out. I saw he was doing a challenge of some kind but hadn't looked into it. Stay warm!

    Carole,
    I think you are wise! Yes, by all means, stay warm! It is cold out there in most of the country!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  17. Both of us were ill most of three weeks in December. Had to get the basics done in spite of not feeling like doing anytthing. I still have my sleep pattern messed up. Having my NEO was very helpful.

    I have my goals for 2014- main one is to definitely find a market for my writing. Another one is to study the Old Testament prophets. Always, to study the craft of writing more.

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  18. I always think I should be able to accomplish more than I do. I wish I could say I've learned what helps me focus best, but it is often different things different days. Today it was just pure excitement for my current project. You know how that comes and goes, so I'm making the most of it!

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  19. Thanks, Karen. It's always nice to be "noticed." :-) I'm a fan of Noelle's.

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  20. Cecelia,
    Glad you and your husband are feeling better. Hope you are staying warm. I know it's been colder where you are than here, and we only got just above zero degrees today. Sounds like you have some good goals for 2014!

    Ruth,
    Me too - always! I do know I dawdle way too much sometimes, lol. I know what you mean about having to go with the flow of a project. Cheering you on! :)

    Jennifer,
    You are so welcome! It's a pleasure to share such good info! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  21. I waste more time online than anything!! Trying harder to set better goals and do it!

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  22. I decided to relax after a few days of not crossing off my to-do lists. After a week of relaxation, I was able to jump back into writing. I think it helps sometimes to allow ourselves some guilt-free rest.
    Blessings!

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  23. Terri,
    Oh I hear you! Me too. Much time is spent managing emails in three different accounts too (they each serve a different purpose). It does get time consuming. Working to set better goals too! :)

    Tyrean,
    Relaxing is a good thing, I agree! You are right too - we need to extend some grace to ourselves sometimes. :) Glad you got some down time.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  24. You are a hoot! I love that list!

    What helps me the most is starting the day with prayer. It never ceases to amaze me how much I can accomplish if I give the Lord the first portion of my day. And the longer my to-do list is, the more I need to give that time to God. I'm too busy not to pray!

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  25. 8 Rules for Writing in Bed? Now I'm curious!

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  26. Jen,
    Well, you know me, you never know what's rattling around in my head! :) I agree, the Lord must come first.

    Stephanie,
    Noelle has some really great ideas, and she speaks from a place of experience too. That counts for a lot. ;)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  27. I could get more writing done if I only had a maid.

    I often think of the year we lived in Thailand when we DID have a live-in-maid. If only I could have brought her home to Australia when we returned.

    But seriously, I know I get more writing done when I write away from home. So I think the key is to plan writing blocks where there's only me, the laptop and bottomless cups of coffee. That always works.

    Happy New Year, dear Karen. All the best for 2014. xx

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  28. I can relate to this totally! As a creature of habit, I do not like too many changes in my life. But there's a change it seems around every corner...ok that's a bit of exaggeration! But, changes do upset me. And that becomes a major reason for my schedule to go haywire. We just shifted to a new house, got a new maid (they're called nannies here) and it doesn't matter that the house is much bigger, the maid comes in five days a week...I have enough reason not to write! Any excuse will do...sigh...help!

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  29. Dotti,
    Ah yes, help with cleaning would be divine! Although I suspect I might go about cleaning before they came. :) I think you are wise to go elsewhere and write. I have so many interruptions some weeks I've thought about doing just that. Wishing you all the best as well, sweet friend! xo

    Joy,
    Oh my, I feel the same way! I too am a creature of habit. Learning as I go to be more flexible. :) And yes, I often use any excuse and dance around projects like crazy! Ah well, we will get there, right?

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  30. I think my comment got eaten because I got an error message- so I am trying again! ;)

    I will try out the links you shared because I can definitely relate to this post. I think some of my weekly chores get in my way of getting writing or other projects done. It seems like cleaning, laundry, and preparing meals consumes so much of my time. When working at home there are usually household chores calling to me.

    Thanks for sharing the links for trying to find balance.
    ~Jess

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  31. What helps me focus is the first few sentences I write on any given project. Something clicks in my brain - okay, we're writing now - and I'm off. Of course getting the BIC is the first challenge and all of the things you mention, Karen, plague me as well. Love the links!

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  32. I got an error message when trying to publish my comment a moment ago, so here goes round 2. I said:

    Social media was my time-vacuum, so I got rid of everything but email. Not only did more time make itself available to me (magically) but I also like people again now that I'm no longer (incorrectly) reading into my friends' status updates! Lol.

    I have responsibilities at home that trump any and all writing projects. Once I've cared for those responsibilities for the day, I have time to write, which is usually at night when the house is still.

    Oh, and a maid would be nice. :-)

    Wishing you more time to write! Going to check out JBB's link now...

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  33. Jess,
    Seems some other commentors are having issues too. A Blogger thing, perhaps. Sorry about that! :) I'm thinking maybe we could share a cleaning service, what do you think? You can send them my way when they are done at your house, and vice versa...:) Hope the links are helpful! :)

    Susan,
    Hey now there's something that can be helpful! I know it does help me to just get some lines down, Even if I think they are lousy, they are a start and something to work with. Appreciate the encouragement! :)

    Janette,
    I think you may be the smart one - eliminating the social media and all that. It really can consume a colossal amount of time! Working toward a better balance this year personally. Yes, will send that cleaning service your way too, once it has finished at Jess's and my place! :) Hope you like Jen's post!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  34. Hi Karen - Thanks for the links. I ready every one of them and gleaned some useful tips on the whole time management thing. Getting a handle on that issue is one of my goals for 2014. Of course, I wouldn't complain if I suddenly made enough to hire an assistant. :)

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  35. Hi Karen, how are you. Just wanted to pass by and say hi.
    Hope you are doing good. :)
    Hugs from Toronto

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  36. Susan,
    So glad you found the links helpful! Setting goals here too, well, sort of. Have been so busy, but have been thinking about them at least. :)

    Claudia,
    Good to see you! Hope you are doing well. Thanks for coming by. Stay warm, okay?

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!