New Project-itis

I have work I’m supposed to be finishing—two nonfiction projects on two different, very interesting topics. I’ve given myself a schedule complete with deadlines, and every morning around 8:30 I’m seated at my desk surrounded by research, interview notes, index cards, notebooks, pens, and color-coded highlighters.


And then I think of the-best-ever idea for a craft/nonfiction book proposal/article/story, which thoroughly distracts me from the project I’d planned to work on.

Anyone else have this problem? I call it “New Project-itis.” Any project idea I have while in the midst of the grinding work for my CURRENT project is, by definition, superior in every way.

Sigh. I’m learning to jot down the idea in my idea log, set it aside for later, and plug along on the real work of writing, which is always less exciting than daydreams and brainstorms…but is the only way to actually get to a polished product!

:) Cheryl

Challenge #4: Lack of Time, cont.

iStock_000010793987Large This is continued from last Wednesday. If you haven’t read the beginning, click here to see what the heck I’m talking about :) or read on for a quick recap:

Writers tend to feel time-strapped. Want to discover more time for writing? First, you need to do a little self-examination:

Step 1: Own your time. Recognize that, for the most part, you choose where your time goes.

For more thoughts on this topic, check out “10 Essential Tips to Change Your Life” on the Life Optimizer blog.

Step 2: Inventory how you spend your time.

Take stock: where are you spending your time? Do your hours disappear in Facebook? Blogging? Housework? Busywork? Productive activities? Unproductive activities? One you know where your time is going, you can make changes as needed.

Step 3: Define your priorities.

Take a few minutes to identify your top priorities. They can be general (such as family, relationships, or financial security) or specific (publishing a novel, boosting income to 100K, etc.) What’s important to you? What do you want to accomplish in your life, if you can’t accomplish anything else?

There are lots of great resources on determining your goals, priorities, mission statement, and so on. Here are a few articles to get you started:

Step 4: Compare the two lists. Ideally, you’re only spending time on things that are important to you.


I have good news and bad.

The bad news is that my promised next post will be delayed a few days.

The good news is that this is because I’m at the Pikes peak Writer’s Conference, busy attending sessions, hobnobbing with writing friends, and getting fired up about writing.

I’ll be back in a few days full on inspiration and news to share!

:) Cheryl

— Post From My iPhone

Challenge #4: Lack of Time


The past few weeks, I’ve been talking a lot about challenges writers face and how to deal with them. If you missed previous posts, check them out:

This last challenge—lack of time—is one shared by almost every writer I’ve ever met. Why? Because writers seldom have the luxury of doing nothing but write. Most of us have part time jobs—or full time jobs—or young children who need attention—or older relatives who need care—or….

You get the idea!

Even the lucky ones who DO make a living by the written word usually have an array  of projects to balance. Sometimes the “money-making” work can edge out time for the projects closer to the heart.

So what’s a writer to do? I have the answer! Okay, I have “answers”, because like most answers, these aren’t one-size-fits-all solutions. Instead, they’re starting points to help you figure out what will be helpful in your particular situation.

Step 1: Own your time.

When kids are screaming for attention, something in the oven is starting to smoke, and you have three activities to attend before bedtime, it probably doesn’t feel like your time is your own. When you take a hard look at your days, though, you’ll discover that most of your time demands stem from YOUR priorities and choices. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • You stay late at the office for the third day in a row because you’re working on a deadline—and you’re determined to give your boss (or client) good work, on time. Priority: Professional excellence is important to you.
  • You spend Saturday shuttling kids between play dates, soccer practices, and violin lessons. By the day’s end, you’re too exhausted to do anything, much less spend that hour with your novel. Priority: You love your children and believe these activities will help them grow to be confident, successful, and good friends.
  • You planned to write this evening, but your significant other seems down. Instead of curling up with your computer, you curl up with your sweetheart to watch a movie. Priority: You value and nurture your relationships.

Obviously, there are exceptions, but in most instances we choose where to spend our time. The first step in finding more is to recognize that YOU are in control of it. More tomorrow…

:) Cheryl