Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction--July 30

A Step in the Write Direction

July 30


I finally got my Caregiver proposal—Prayers, Devotionals, and Practical Hints for Caregivers—out to two publishers. One asked to see it; another that I submitted it to last November said to send it back in six months if I hadn’t sold it. I also submitted a 39-week teachers’ planning calendar—Think-a-Little, Laugh-a-Little, Plan-a-Lot—to five publishers. This calendar has a teaching-related thought and a teaching-related joke for each week, with room for a weekly planning calendar on each page. One publisher—in New Zealand—turned it down. Two are interested—one sending it to committee and I’ll hear in two weeks—and I haven’t heard from the other two yet.

If you have room to add someone to your prayer list, you might pray that I can get rid of the headaches I’ve had since a fall in Oklahoma May 21st. X-rays and cat scan show nothing, so it’s probably just waiting it out. (Doctor said it could take 12 weeks.) Thanks!

Thought for Today:

"Dearest God, feel free to interrupt my agenda today with yours at anytime or in any place" (Jerry Goebel, Sheep without a Shepherd).

Laugh for Today:

            I remember, I remember
            Incidents of days long gone;     
            I recapture every moment
            As I ramble on and on.
            But my tales would be more pleasing
            And I'd never be a bore,
            If I only could remember
            Whom I told them to before. — Paul Tullen

Time Management Hints (continued)

5. Prioritize Your Tasks

Our pastor told us that if we followed one rule, we could change our lives in a week.
“Every night before you go to bed,” he said, “make a list of what you have to do the next
day, and rearrange the list in order of priority.”

I tried this. I wrote out my list and put the jobs in order of priority, but it didn’t work as I skipped through the list picking out those I wanted to do. Then I tried completing the top three jobs on the list every day. My problem was that the first time I did this, my list included 39 jobs. I did what I could the first day, then recopied the list the second day, adding a few new jobs. Eventually I felt all I was doing every day was recopying the same list, with many additions and very few deletions.

The method that finally worked was to make my list at the beginning of the week, then—depending on my schedule—I assign jobs to specific days. If I’m working on a big project, I break it into smaller pieces for that day’s schedule. This makes completing my list each day more manageable.

6. Plan Your Schedule

Writers who do not work outside of the home often say it is as difficult for them to
find time to write as someone with a 40-hour-a-week job because of the interruptions.
The secret is to plan our writing schedule around those interruptions, or use these
interruptions to our advantage.

For example, I schedule my jobs depending on whether I’m going to be home, what’s
happening at home that week, or if I have to run errands. Jobs that require use of the
computer I schedule for days I’m home. Editing jobs I do in early mornings and late
evenings when it’s quiet. An “office” away from home helps too—perhaps a nearby restaurant or the library. (I’ve found, also, with my husband’s frequent hospital stays in the last few years even an ICU room works!)

Jobs that don’t require as much concentration, such as research, scanning sample
magazines, addressing and stuffing envelopes, or writing rough drafts in pencil, I can do
while I watch a favorite program on TV. And I take advantage of time spent in doctors’
waiting rooms to write, read magazines or books, or edit manuscripts.

(Interruptions can often give us writing ideas too. Neighbors who call or visit too often, in-law problems, financial stress, wayward children, and family illnesses— all are seeds for short stories, personal experiences, or nonfiction articles.)

If you work full time away from home, you can write during breaks or lunch. If you
ride the bus, use the time to write or edit manuscripts. If you pick up your children at
school or your spouse at work, go 15 minutes early and work while you wait.

Use the time you spend waiting in line at the supermarket to study the magazines on the racks. Read the titles on the covers to see what type of articles various magazines use on a regular basis. Watch and listen to the people around you. (You can do this in a doctor’s office or on the bus too.) Fifteen minutes a day, five days a week, adds up to 65 hours a year—and that’s a lot of extra time to write.

(To be continued, or you can read these hints in more detail in A Step in the Write Direction.)

“We are called to write, and I feel we will be held responsible at the Judgment for the people that we could have helped but didn’t because we didn’t write what God laid on our hearts to write” (Harold Ivan Smith).

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