Sunday, July 26, 2009


I like to stay organized, but occasionally I get off-course. That’s what happened this past week.

I have a September 1 deadline coming up. Everything looks good, but I decided to write in a subplot. I know…editing is for taking out. But this is a good addition. Really. :)

I have a book coming out on Aug. 1. That’s….Saturday.

I’m about to go out of town to research my Memphis setting for the book due Sept. 1.

And, completely unrelated but just as important—there was a sudden avalanche of dirty laundry. My husband and I returned from our short trip away, my daughter came back from Brownie camp (how could one little girl make so much laundry during a 2-night stay?), and—the mother of all dirty laundry nightmares: my son returned from a week at a rustic Boy Scout camp. He’d conveniently put his horrid, reeking refuse (which used to be clothing) in a black garbage bag. I seriously considered transporting it to the dumpster. I’m proud to say it’s now in the washer sloshing around with about $20 worth of Tide, Biz, and Shout.

So…what to do? It’s no good prioritizing what’s most important. They’re all important.

What to do when it all happens at once:

Empty my mind of everything I can think of that I need to do. If I don’t do this, my mind keeps whirring (especially at night.) Everything goes on the master list. This list is not prioritized in any way. ‘Make reservation at the dog’s kennel’ is right over ‘email agent about next due date for Midnight Ink.’

Break down the tasks into steps. Take, for instance, the August 1 release. I have a couple of interviews to give, several ARCs to send out, guest blog posts to write, bookstores to call, etc. It helps to see it written out instead of having something on my to-do list that says “Promote Book".”

Prioritize the steps. First I should call some bookstores—the chains, anyway. They’re open Sundays. Then I should send out the ARCs (Monday morning, when the shipping offices open.) Then I should prepare for my interviews and write my guest posts. Then…

Assign days for each task to be completed. I get my day planner out for this part. This goes hand in hand with the prioritization of the steps.

Delegate. No one can write our book for us. But they can blog for us. I want to give a big thanks to Alan Orloff and Galen Kindley for posting such an informative series on getting the most from your writers’ conference experience. I really learned a lot and plan on using my newly-gained wisdom at conferences next year. And…they helped me out when I was getting pressed for time.

My family has helped me out with cleaning, laundry, and errand-running. I’ve had a couple of friends invite my daughter over for playdates the last few days.

I’ve found that I feel back on track and it’s mostly due to having an organized plan of attack. And having some help in the trenches. :)