My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Writing Routine

Now all the kids are back in school, most of the summer sand has been swept up, and now it's time to get down to business. I wrote some over the summer, but nothing like my school year schedule when I usually write 4-5 hours a day.

If you've never done it, let me tell you that working at home is hard. Working for yourself is hard. Trying to make yourself a schedule and hold to it is hard. When I'm writing a novel, I measure success by word count. I can set specific word count goals, and I either did it or I didn't. (but most likely I kept my BIC until I did it) But when I'm working on picture books or storyboarding with art, it is very hard to measure your success for the day.

I recently picked up a tip from the blog of the amazing YA author Sara Zarr ( She measures her success by time. This doesn't sound like rocket science, but it wowed me all the same. You see, I love a timer. I set the timer when I'm cleaning my house (20 minutes in this room, 20 minutes in the next room, etc.). Otherwise, I'd get distracted and spend a week cleaning out a kitchen cabinet or drawer. I work well when I break things into small and measurable bites. I'm goal-oriented (obsessed?) when I work, and this small change in my daily goal-setting has worked well so far. I even have a cute little duckie timer that quacks when the time is up.

So that's what I'm doing these days. Trying to get myself back on track. But I was thinking, why BACK on track? How about MORE on track? Or maybe on a DIFFERENT track? Hmmmmmm....all I know for sure is I am working hard and plan to have a productive school year.

How about you? What are your best work habits? How do you manage your schedules? I know a lot of you write from home or work from home in other ways. I'd love to hear some of your best tips.

And another question: what's the best book you read all summer?

Let's be more interactive, people, just to prove that technology has not created a culture without social skills.

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