Thursday, January 17, 2013

Don't Go There: Productivity Killers

Last year was my best writing year ever! I finished two complete novels, and published one as well as a short story. Now I want to repeat 2012's success and possibly publish more, starting with the print release of  MOONLIGHT MADNESS this Friday, January 18!

I'm not a good goal-setter. Being slightly OCD, I get consumed with one project and can't multi-task. Therefore, to have a list of things I need to accomplish would be useless for me. I do better with a list of things I SHOULDN'T do. 

Here are three things I think every writer should avoid:

1. Old emails. The other day, I needed to find something in an old email. I was looking for a revision list from a rejection to a query I'd sent out on an old project. Where had I filed it? In a folder labeled "R's." Yes, a whole file of every rejection I've ever received through the years. I knew at once I never should've opened that file. It's like falling into quicksand to your doom. No one should ever face that much negative in one place. DON'T GO THERE. Or if you do, be sure to have another, happier file like "Requests!" to visit afterward. :-) 

2. Rereading submissions. Writers do it all the time. You hit send on a query or submission, and then go back later to reread what you sent. DON'T GO THERE. You'll only find something you missed or wished you'd phrased differently--a misspelled word or grammar error. It's too late once you hit send, and you'll only make yourself upset if you reread. What's done is done, and it's probably not as bad as you think it is.

3. Social media. God, I love Pinterest and Twitter! But if you're trying to meet a deadline, they're the worst places to visit. Only go there if you can manage your time. Set a timer and be firm. When time's up, get out of there!

Maybe you have more productivity killers to add so we can avoid those, too. 

Good luck in 2013!

--Sandra J.


Mona Karel said...

Social Media for sure just sucks the minutes out of my day. And I have it from multiple sides, in my writing and non writing worlds. Haven't let Twitter overtake me, though I find myself scrolling through Triberr and adding new blogs to follow on a regular basis. Then I end up reading them!
Even more important for me is to stop dwelling on past incidents and stop wallowing in negativity. Don't Go There

Kay Dee Royal said...

Hello Sandra - do I get it...and I still do it all the time, go to places I know I'll be held up for a while. Almost like self-sabotage.

If you're in a hurry, refrain from checking every FB post for the last few hours...same with twitter.

I do the best I can to promote my friends...but sometimes, I just have to think about what's on my own plate:)

Rachel Firasek said...

These are a great list. I'd like to add volunteering. I know its a good idea to give back occasionally, but I get a really quick high from volunteering--and then the stress hits. So, I'd add be careful who you say yes to. :) And know your own limitations and learn how to say no. :) Wow, that's like three in one. Great post!

Jennifer Simpkins said...

I was just today asking some of my fellow authors how they manage their time. Social media for me is a HUGE distraction. It's hard to figure out how much time you need to be spending this...and that.

And I'm the same way, I can only focus on one thing at a time. :) I'm glad to know I'm not the only one struggling with this.

Good luck with meeting your goals this year.

Sandra said...

Thanks so much. Jennifer's right--it's nice to see where all in the same boat with distractions!

Kara S. said...

I'm having the same problem. Spending too much time with advertising and social sites. Almost no time to write after family obligations and all that. Family comes first, but maybe the rest are distractions I should avoid more often. Count me in the same boat!