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Seekerville: The Journey Continues

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You Won't Have Time Tomorrow

You Won't Have Time Tomorrow


I just finished my thirteenth novel and squeaked it in only a few days past the deadline.

I know, I know. I should have gotten it in BEFORE the deadline. After all, I knew about this deadline far in advance…almost three years in advance.

So why didn’t I turn this book in on time? Or even early?

That’s what this blog post is about.

You Won't Have Time Tomorrow


As I’ve watched my children become adults – they range in age from twenty-five to thirty-five years old – I’ve learned a lot about adulting.

  • I've learned to never, ever leave God out of the equation.
  • I’ve learned that life doesn’t just “happen.” Life is a series of consequences of decisions we’ve made along the way.
  • I’ve learned that no matter how much you try to prevent it, things don’t stay nice and orderly. It’s the second law of thermodynamics: over time, everything breaks down and tends toward disorder. Do you need an example? Just clean your child’s room then check back in a couple days. Disorder! Entropy!
  • I’ve learned that I will never have more time to do “X” later.


That last one is the kicker. When life becomes URGENT and IMPORTANT I tend to put off less important things until after I’ve met whatever deadline is looming. (See my earlier blog post about urgent and important matters here.)

“I’ll have time next week,” I tell myself. “Right after I finish this book.” Or “Right after I’ve house trained the puppy.” Or “Once the children are grown.”

Well, let me tell you something: You will never have more time tomorrow.

If you’ve been following my life for the past several months, you know that we moved from our house in town to our retirement home in the country. The move itself took months…. And all during that time I was working on this book.

As we packed boxes, painted rooms, replaced carpeting, filled storage units, and scheduled the moving company, I told myself, “Won’t it be great when we finally move out of this house and I’ll have time to write?”

And then, while we were living in temporary housing for a month (with three different gracious friends!) I told myself, “Won’t it be great when we’re finally in our new house and I’ll have time to write?”

And then, after we were moved in, I told myself, “Won’t it be great when I finally finish this book and I have time to unpack and get settled in?”

Remember what I said about having more time “tomorrow?”

This is what my office/library looks like right now:

You Won't Have Time Tomorrow


I sent my book to my editor more than two weeks ago. Two weeks!

Look at the other corner of my office/library.

You Won't Have Time Tomorrow


What were we saying about entropy?

An adult would pull her big girl panties up and take care of this chaotic mess. Forget about entropy – we’re already there!

An adult would figure out how to do it.

“But,” I sputter, “I have to get started on the next book!”

“But,” you sputter, “I have to make dinner!” or “My daughter has a big soccer game!” or “I have to take my mom to the doctor!”

“I’ll have more time once all this urgent stuff is taken care of.”

Man, oh, man, this adulting stuff is hard.

But, you know, we can be adults. No matter what our physical age is, we can do this.

How? 

You Won't Have Time Tomorrow

Not necessarily in that order!

Because the biggest and most important thing I’ve learned about adulting is that God is in every detail.

That big way you messed up twenty years ago? God can use it for your good and His glory.

That tragedy that is affecting you and your family? God can use it for your good and His glory.

Those wasted, wasted hours playing silly computer games when you should have been working? Give them to God. Only He can restore the years the locusts have eaten… (Joel 2:25)


So, how is this going to make a difference for my next deadline?

  • I’m going to use my Bullet Journal and the Eisenhower matrix to plan and prioritize every day. (See that blog post here – it’s the same one I sent you to earlier!)
  • I’m going to use my best creative hours for writing. I know I write best in the early morning (five to seven) and in the midday hours (ten to three,) so I will schedule a writing session during one or both of those times every day.
  • I’m going to make time for Bible study and quiet time.
  • I’m going to make time to spend time with people (aka, get out of my writing cave.)
  • Just like I schedule my writing time, I’m going to schedule time for those other tasks that seem overwhelming (like unpacking and organizing our new home!)

Like many of you, I've been called by God - to be His child, to glorify Him, and to communicate the gospel through the written word.

My responsibility is to fulfill that calling in the best and most effective way possible for me. 

Your responsibility is to fulfill that calling in the best and most effective way possible for you.

But we can learn from each other! In the comments, share the ways you've succeeded in meeting deadlines or meeting your goals. Or you can share what hasn't worked for you.

(For example, NaNoWriMo works for a LOT of people - but not for me.)

And feel free to use your comment to ask for NaNo buddies - it's almost November!

One commenter will win a copy of one of my two new releases - either The Roll of the Drums or An Amish Christmas Kitchen. Just let us know which one you'd prefer!

You Won't Have Time Tomorrow
Order here!


You Won't Have Time Tomorrow
Order here!


Juggling the Writing Life

Juggling the Writing Life
by Mindy Obenhaus

When I first began writing back in 2004, I envisioned my days being spent at the computer, diligently working on story after story with, perhaps, the occasional book signing here and there. It was a simple dream. And one that couldn’t have been farther from reality.

No, here’s an example of my reality. Turn in edits for February 2020 release, submit proposal for next book series, promote contest that includes September release, acquire giveaways for upcoming book tour, pack for writers conference, make sure pantry and refrigerator are stocked before leaving for writers conference so family won’t starve, travel to writers conference with additional thoughts on proposal that’s already been submitted still pelting brain! And that was only the first half of the week.
Juggling the Writing Life
Okay, so not every day/week is like that. And aren’t we grateful? However, there are times when it does seem like everything happens all at once. Because writing isn’t just about writing. There’s also promotion that might include newsletters, social media, book signings, radio or television appearances, blog tours, and the list goes on. Not to mention the fact that, while we may be writers, we’re also wives/husbands, moms/dads, daughters/sons, friends, employees… We’ve got so many balls in the air, it’s only a matter of time before we lose our concentration, get out of sync and down those balls come.

So instead of feeling overwhelmed, let’s take a step back and prioritize.
Juggling the Writing Life
Start by looking at all the things that you typically devote a portion of your time to. Things like God, family, work, writing, hobbies, housework…

I hate to admit this, but sometimes the thing that’s most important is the one thing I fail to do when life gets busy, and that’s spending time with God. I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off and my mind is focused on the day and all I need to accomplish instead of focusing on the Creator of time.

Fortunately, one of the great things about God, is that we can talk to Him anywhere, anytime. Whether we’re brushing our teeth, riding in the car, or sitting in the stillness of a quiet house, He is always there, always ready to engage with us, to listen to our problems and offer us the peace and encouragement we need to get through the day. We simply need to keep our focus on Him instead of the chaos around us.
Juggling the Writing Life
Look at those things that require your attention. Write them down. This is especially important if you’re a visual person. Now look at the list. What needs to be done first? What can wait for another day? Do not procrastinate, though. Procrastination is not our friend. Procrastination will give you heartburn and add lines to your face. Trust me, I’m an expert on this. If your editor sends you edits and says she wants them back one week from today, don’t wait until the day before to start doing them. Jump on those babies just as soon as you can and then send them back so they’re not hanging over your head.

Be realistic. As you're prioritizing things, be honest with yourself. It’s better to allot more time for something and be pleasantly surprised than to not have enough time and find yourself even more stressed and asking for an extension. Granted, there are times when this is unavoidable, but even though we have the luxury of working in our jammies, we are still professionals and need to behave as such.
Juggling the Writing Life
Avoid unnecessary distractions. While social media is a great way to connect with readers, it can also be a huge time suck. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Facebook with the intention of posting something to my author page, and then the next thing I know I’ve LIKED a dozen posts and forgotten why I was there in the first place. 

If you're there for business, stick to business. Also, instead of doing just one post, why not take a few extra minutes to schedule future posts so you’re routinely interacting with your followers? But wait until you have some downtime to look through your newsfeed.

Victory is yours! Revel in that sense of accomplishment each time you cross something off of your list. You did it. And before you know it, the chaos has subsided, or at least returned to a normal level, and you can breathe freely again. 

Even if you're not a writer, the next time life has you feeling overwhelmed, don't look at whole. Break it into bite-size pieces -- pray, prioritize, be realistic and avoid unnecessary distractions. It's a game plan that works.

What do you do when you find you're juggling too many balls? Share your thoughts for a chance to win a copy of my upcoming release, Reunited in the Rockies.


Juggling the Writing Life
Preorder here.
Read the first chapter here.

A fresh start…and an old love reignited?
A Rocky Mountain Heroes romance
For widow Kayla Bradshaw, restoring a historic Colorado hotel means a better life for her and her soon-to-arrive baby. But she needs construction help from Jude Stephens, the love she lost through a misunderstanding. Working with Kayla, the police officer finds himself forgiving her—and longing to rebuild her shattered confidence. But can they trust each other to forge a future together?


Juggling the Writing Life
Three-time Carol Award nominee, Mindy Obenhaus, writes contemporary romance for Love Inspired Books. She’s passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren at her Texas ranch. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com





ALMOST SUMMER!

So for some of you, school has been let out. College graduations are mostly over, some Southern schools are on summer break and others are not far behind.

In the north, we tend to go longer into June, but the warming weather trends and crazy intense storms throughout the Central United States tell us the seasons are changing and possibly at war with one another.

So here's the thing:  What does summer or any holiday mean to a self-employed author? Or, and more so, to a self-employed author who also has a day job?

Shifts in scheduling, or no schedule can wreak havoc with your writing. The sun's up later for a lot of you... so are kids.... and the sun's up way earlier than she used to be. Baseball, soccer, dance, theater camps, regular camps, cancer camps, dance camps, day camps, hiking, camping, day-trips...

You get the picture. There is no "normal". There is only the new normal which is not normal at all. So what's an aspiring or even established author to do?

Make a plan.

If you know that you have everyday between 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM to write, get up and do it.

Turn the TV off at night... and social media, too... and go to bed by 10:00. Up at 4:45, coffee in hand, writing at 5:00.

WHAT??? RUTHY ARE YOU NUTS?????

Probably, but that's a different blog post entirely. You can either let the lack of structure beat you back and cost you time and momentum OR...  work around it. Examine your schedule weekly. And set the plan for that week. And if it must be changed for the next week, big deal.

Do it.

That's the party-bonus-glory of the self-employed aspect of being a writer. We are our own bosses. We set the pace and make the plan. The downside of that is there is no one else to blame if we tank.

Nope.

Not one soul can take the fall.

It's on us.

Just us.

Not everyone handles that well. Some look around, wanting to cast blame elsewhere.

Nope.

I'm not talking medical emergency, death, divorce kind of blame... that's different.

I'm talkin' the I can't get out of bed in the morning to write or stay up late to write or write while I'm waiting two hours to pick up kids from camp or Grandma from respite...

For the next ten weeks the words "perfect time" and "perfect plan" should go out the window and be replaced by "I work when I can, where I can."

Darlings, it's rough. I know this! I get it, I really do, but if you want this career. If you were born to write...

Gotta do what it takes on a regular basis. No one becomes accidentally successful.

They become successful because they didn't quit.

Join the conversation with a comment on how you handle the craziness of summer and/or holidays and I'm tucking you into a drawing for this wonderful new Love Inspired book, the final book of the "Shepherd's Crossing" series "Healing the Cowboy's Heart".... 

ALMOST SUMMER!


A perfect match…or sworn enemies?

Only time will tell at
Shepherd’s Crossing.

Horse breeder Isaiah Woods can’t believe his only ally in helping a neglected mare is the descendant of his family’s bitter enemy—veterinarian Charlotte Fitzgerald. Despite the feud, Charlotte risks everything to save the horse. But as she falls for Isaiah—and the orphaned niece and nephew in his care—the mare isn’t the only one who needs saving.

PREORDER HERE, RELEASES ON JUNE 18TH

ALMOST SUMMER!
Multi-published, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne understands the craziness of schedules and lack thereof. She lives on a pumpkin farm in Western New York and from May through October, her real life interferes, clashes with, and tries valiantly to overcome her fictional-loving life but she fools it by getting up early... sneaking in writing time... and pretending to be a juggler. She's pretty sure you can do this, too! Write her at loganherne@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter, visit her website ruthloganherne.com or friend her on facebook... She loves to chat with readers and encourage authors, and with her 50th book just released .... she's got a lot to say!
You Won't Have Time TomorrowJuggling the Writing LifeALMOST SUMMER!

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