Your Summer Writing Schedule

8727353266_e12280a9f7_z[1]Do you have a summer writing schedule in place? Many of you have a difficult time to stick to a consistent writing schedule during the summer. These beautiful sunny and warm days propel you to go outside and enjoy the short season of great weather. Well, at least it is short in Northern Canada where I live.

Also, for some of you, with kids being home from school and daycare being out for the summer, the lack of structure for everyone can rack havoc for writers to remain committed to their writing daily quotas. It is important to realize that you can write during the summer by taking a few simple steps and set up a writing schedule that can work with new family demands on your writing time.

Here are a few tips for writers to enjoy the summer and still get some much-needed writing done.

  1. Revise your writing schedule so that it will work with your new reality of kids being at home and hubby hovering around the house.

For instance, you may want to write first thing in the morning before everyone wakes up. Or, you may want to write for an hour after everyone retires for the day or while your hubby is watching yet another baseball game. You don’t have to watch a game that you don’t enjoy anyways. Instead, excuse yourself and get such much-needed writing.

  1. Carry a notepad and pen with you as you travel through your day. If you go to a theme-park and you have second to sit down and catch your breath while your hubby is out with the kids on a carousel ride, enjoy that alone time and do a bit of thinking and jot down some notes. You may have new topics to write about right before your eyes.
  2. Set time boundaries with your family for some alone time. You may want to read during this time, meditate, or just lay low.

Women tend to multi-task and work way too hard. If they’re not with the family, they’re doing housework or cooking and cleaning. Try not to do that.

Instead, find yourself a calming routine and escape to bring about peace of mind, rest and much-needed relaxation.

  1. Don’t try to please everyone all the time. Not only will you mostly fail if you try doing this, but you will be constantly frustrated too.

Instead, set times when you’re with family and also times when you’re doing your own thing. You deserve this. It’s okay to say NO and mean it.

It’s okay to cancel your outing with the family if you don’t want to go to the theme park yet again. Let your family go and just spend some time doing things for yourself and taking care of yourself.

By taking these steps, you will be less frustrated and exhausted during the summer months, and you’ll get some much-needed writing done.

It is difficult to be a writer and to take several weeks or worse months off a year from writing. Some writers can do it, but most can’t afford to. By taking the above steps, you’ll be able to write and also enjoy the summer.

Try it!

Irene S. Roth

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Time Management for Writers

There are many things that writers can do manage their time better. Today, I will outline six ways that writers can manage their time most effectively.

I. Writers should divide their day into time slots

Writers should look at all the activities or types of activity that they must do on a daily basis to advance their writing goals. Then writers should allocate time slots for each activity and stick to it. Writers should also decide what part of the day they’ll devote to writing. Everything else that needs to be done should be accomplished outside of this time frame as often as possible. Writers should write down the allotted activities and time slots on a large piece of paper or on a dry erase board and put it in a prominent place in their office.

Writers should treat their writing time like an appointment. If writers commit to their writing in this way over time, they will be successful.

II. Writers should prioritize their “To Do List”

Writers should always prioritize their to-do list to remind themselves of what they should work on first. This can keep writers committed to their most important writing projects. It’s so easy for writers to find things they would rather do instead of write. Writers must avoid being side-tracked from their most important writing goals.

Here’s what I do. I use three different colours of ink to prioritize my writing projects.

1. I use red ink for high priority items. This colour of ink tells me that a project has to be completed right away.

2. I use green ink for upcoming writing deadlines. This colour tells me that a particular project has to be completed with the next one to three months.

3. I use blue ink for ongoing writing projects that have no deadline as such, or that have a contractual deadline of six months to a year.

III. Writers should determine when they are most productive

Most writers have different times of the day when they’re most productive. Writers must try to figure out these times so they could do their best work and not worry about fussing all the time.

For instance, I work best first thing in the morning. I wake up around 5:30 a.m. and write for two or three hours before I go to work. This time has been sacrosanct for me for the past 20 years. And I have really done a lot of writing because of this. Most successful writers have a consisting time to write regularly.

IV.  Writers should be methodical as often as possible

Many writers go off on flights of fancy once in a while. It is important that writers ensure that there is a reason and benefit to everything they are doing. Otherwise, writers may just be adding to their unproductive time by doing anything and everything and yet accomplish very little to advance their writing careers.

Writers should be methodical in the small tasks that need to be done. They should clear them out so that they could focus on the more important things.

V.  Writers should understand the difference between urgent and important things

The temptation for writers may be to view everything that is important as urgent. But this isn’t always the case. Many times important things are not urgent. By keeping this distinction in mind, writers can concentrate on what is most important. In the process, writers will come to see that sometimes the urgent stuff isn’t all that important. Writers should ruthlessly prioritize their writing tasks so that the time slot they allocate to a particular writing project is accurate and hits the important stuff.

VI. Writers should delegate as much as possible

Serious writers may need assistance with some superfluous tasks that need to be done but ones that take them away from some much-needed writing time. For instance, some writers who work full-time and are trying to be writers as well may have to get a cleaning lady once every few weeks or twice a month. This can help writers to carve out time for the more important things, such as getting their writing done. In addition, writers will feel less frazzled if they’re not overwhelmed by activity.

Time management may be difficult to achieve at first for writers. However, with a bit of practise, it is possible for most writers to carve out time to write by prioritizing and delegating. All writers must be ruthless and once they set an allotted time to write, they must write regardless, unless (of course) it is an emergency.

Irene S. Roth

 

The Praying Pond-Book Review

The Praying Pond
By Michelle Nadasi

This is a wonderful story for kids of all ages. It is about hope, God’s love, and the importance of trusting in God’s infinite love and protection for us.

Most adults don’t experience the faith that a child has. It is a blind faith that is so inspiring and empowering.

When nine year old Holly and her parents move to a new town, they are trying to find their place in the community. So, the first place that they venture into is the local church. It is there that Holly soon discovers why the pond that is behind the church is called the praying pond.

It takes quite a leap of faith to believe that ponds can deliver so much peace and that prayers can be answered if only we ask in faith. But children can see into that pond and connect with God. This is because they have a kind of blind faith that is so wonderful to witness.

This is a book that will stretch our minds and hearts and grow our faith, one chapter at a time.

I loved this story so much! It is so important for children to learn about the importance of having faith in God and in recognizing that God has a plan for each of us. All we have to do is believe.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Topic for July: Time Management

With vacations looming and long summer days with the weather beautiful, writers tend to get out more and they forget about their writing only to regret it in the fall when they look back and notice that they didn’t do a lot of writing of their own.

So, all this month, I will be focusing on how to write during the summer months. It is important for writers to continue writing, even if it is not for long periods of time. It is important that we just keep writing and keep moving forward with our writing goals, even if they move forward by a bit.

So, please coming back this month for more information on how to manage your time during the summer months.

To your best and productive summer!

Irene S. Roth

A book about love, life and profound blessings

This is a unique book that I had the honour to review for Halo Publishing International!  I wanted to share this review with all my readers because this is just a gem of a book, one that can become a collector’s item for many serious readers.  This is an example of how to write a book!

Tending My Garden: A Celebration of Love, Life and Blessings
By: Jacqueline Miller Brown

This is a unique book about the many trials and tribulations as well as blessings that life has to offer. It is written in a wonderfully weaving poetic form that is filled with wisdom and honesty. Tending My Garden will inspire the reader to be so much more than she is now.

Life presents itself as a share of chaos and blessings. But so much of this world and our daily lives are painted in negative ways. We say and do negative things both to the planet and each other. This book will urge us to rethink all the negativity that we encounter and to be the voice of positivity and beauty in our lives.

Jacqueline Miller Brown believes that life is a garden. And family and friends are an intimate part of this garden. We have to nurture this garden and cultivate it so that it bears much good fruit.

We can do this by remembering the little things we take for granted such as the rain, sunshine, the beauty of flowers and the beauty of nature in all seasons. This world is a truly majestic place if we remember all the little things, turn off our technological devices and drink in the beauty that God has bestowed on us.

We get to honour God by taking each of these little things into consideration and give them their proper merit. And Brown honours God by using her writing to promote the word of God and inspire us to be our best to each other and ourselves.

The book is a treasure-throve of wisdom and inspiration. We are encouraged to celebrate love, our family, children, home, and each other. We must also celebrate milestones, discover strength and faith, and develop Christian values and celebrate blessings.

As a whole, this book will touch many souls and encourage us to see life much more positively and to live joyously despite the fact that life can present us with moments of distress, storms, and mistakes. May we rejoice and be glad every day.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

How to Ensure that you Write Every Day

Many writers have a difficult time to get to their desks on a consistent basis. Part of the problem is creating a habit of writing every day, despite all of our distractions and difficulties. Life is never problem- free it seems, and there is always something ready to catapult our writing time, if we let it.

In addition to your scheduled writing sessions, use odd bits of “down” time to write:

  • Your daily bus commute
  • Doctor appointments
  • Unexpected doctor visits
  • The half hour the cake needs to cool before you can ice it
  • Waiting for anything–a flight departure, the cable guy, your date to show up.

Always make sure you have something to write on (and with!), even if it means keeping a pen and small notebook in your fanny pack while jogging, or with your towel at the beach. You’ll be surprised how much you can actually accomplish in these short, otherwise unproductive periods.

A Place of Your Own

As important, perhaps, as a time to write is a place that you can lay claim to as your writing space–a place where you won’t be interrupted, where ideally you can leave your work out when you’re finished for the day. In addition to the space needed for your computer and printer, you should have plenty of desktop space to spread out your notes or any other materials you’re working with.

A bulletin board where you can pin-up inspirational quotes, pictures of settings or characters, deadlines, etc. is a great addition to your writing space. Make sure you have adequate lighting, a sturdy, comfortable chair and a handy shelf for your writing reference books. Whatever it takes, create a place that means writing to you–and to those around you–the minute you occupy it: your special place, your writing place.

The point is to make the most of whatever time and space you have. Writers work on subways, buses and commuter trains. Any place is a good place to write if you just recognize its possibilities. A quiet place is ideal, but–as anyone who has ever worked for a newspaper knows–it is possible to turn out good writing in the middle of utter chaos.

Starter-Sparkers

No matter what you accomplish in a writing session, you’ll frequently find yourself having to pick up in the middle of something left unfinished from a previous session, and you may be worried about maintaining your momentum, or picking up the thread of your thoughts. Here are some ideas that have worked for other writers:

Ernest Hemingway used to find it helpful to intentionally stop in the middle of a well-thought-out scene; he liked to stop writing before the juice was up. When he was eager to go on to the next word–when he knew exactly what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it–that’s when he’d quit, often right in the middle of a sentence. With this system, Hemingway seldom had trouble getting started the following day. He knew the rest of the sentence he’d left hanging; he knew where he wanted the story to go next. He would simply begin the new writing session by finishing what he’d deliberately left unfinished the session before.

Hemingway’s system may work for you, too, but it requires discipline. It can be difficult to stop writing when the words are flowing. If you find this is a problem for you, you may want to try something else. Some writers, for example, warm up by simply retyping the last page from their previous session. Other writers will read their last page, delete it, and then rewrite the page as closely as they can from memory. Either practice can help you regain the momentum from your earlier work and give you a running start.

Whether you use any of these methods or concoct one of your own, the important thing is getting back to your writing project–whatever stage it is in–and continuing with it, making one step forward after another, and getting more and more words on the page.

Try it:

Irene S. Roth

Meet Brit Jones

coverHi Brit Jones!  It is GREAT to have you here on my blog!

1. Tell us a few things about yourself.

I’ve lived in Boulder, Colorado since 2004. I feel very fortunate to live in a place that has a high concentration of innovative thinkers. I’m the father of a 12 year old boy and have been privileged to receive the love and support of and wonderful family. My mother and father, as well as my two sisters and their husbands have been invaluable in their support of this book.

2. What’s your favorite book?

I’ve tended to gravitate towards books that teach me something about how to be better in life. I rarely read to escape, but rather to learn. If I were to choose an author and book I truly enjoyed, it would be “A Bridge Across Forever” by Richard Bach.

3. Who is your favorite author?

My favorite author is Richard Bach.

4. What inspired you to want to write your book?

It was never my intention to stay in the restaurant business as long as I have. But once life started happening and bills were piling up, it was a challenge to find other employment where I could make comparable money without taking several steps backward.

As I gathered more experience, it became glaringly obvious that the training programs most restaurants provide for servers don’t cover the important components of excellent service. Due to the transient nature of servers, coming and going, I could see that restaurant owners would be reluctant to provide thorough training for servers.

At the end of the day, waiting tables isn’t rocket science, but, with a few key guiding principles and suggestions on technique, service quality could certainly stand to improve. So I wrote this book for those servers who would like to discover their best selves in this line of work, as well as to provide a tool for restaurant owners and managers to elevate service quality without much investment of time and money.

5. Why do you like writing about your topic?

Simply because I have paid attention to what it takes to become better and I discovered how to articulate it. I know the topic through and through.

6. Tell us about your current writing projects.

Upon the completion of A Waiter’s Companion, I realized I have more to share on the subject. For now, I plan to market the current book, but I envision a complement to it down the road.

7. What can readers expect to get from this book?

It’s my hope that readers will discover the information to be helpful in providing structure to the learning experience and, ultimately, elevate the quality of service in restaurants across this country and around the world. Too often, a dining experience is diminished because servers have not been given the necessary training to do their job to the best of their abilities.

8. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Yes. We all have a book inside of us. When you discover yours, don’t let the opinions of others who can’t see your vision, discourage you from moving forward with it. There will always be those who will, either intentionally or unintentionally, discourage you. Push past that and bring it out of your head and into the world.

9.Any last words?

If you find something to be valuable, chances are, others will too.