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the book and the process

February 11, 2009

a lot of you know i am writing a book. many of you have been with me from the beginning when i first shared about it and its content. but i realized this week that a lot of you are new here and may not know anything about it. so, here’s the deal…

i am writing a book about my abortions as a teenager. but…it’s not just a graphic tale of my journey. although it will include some details about the abortions themselves, it is more about the effect it had on me when i realized i would one day have to tell my daughter. then… the effect it would have on her. hence the book title…”the day i told my daughter”.

the reason why i’m posting this? i’m involved in a challenge with several other bloggers this year that holds each of us accountable to achieving a personal goal. my goal=2 chapters a month. not so hard, but laborious nonetheless.

talking with pete this week in nashville, he encouraged me to get away and write at least once a week. somewhere without distractions. i am easily distracted. so of course this leads me to wondering…

what are your secrets, or routines, to effectively accomplish important tasks?

24 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2009 4:25 am

    Set your goal, then write down brief steps, along with a timeline for each step. If you don’t put a time on it, your goal will rarely, if ever, be met. You have to figure out what resources you’ll need to complete each step along the way. After a while, go back and reevaluate the whole process to see if changes need to be made. It works!

  2. February 11, 2009 4:34 am

    Sticky notes.
    Plus, I won’t let myself do the things I wanna do until I’ve finished the things I don’t wanna do.

  3. February 11, 2009 4:51 am


    your book will no doubt be emotionally charged and extremely draining to your senses and those of your readers

    Seth Godin’s post on monday about sprinting comes to mind when you ask “what are your secrets?”

  4. February 11, 2009 5:02 am

    All of the above…but probably most important for me is turning off the technology.

    So if I’m playing around on my keyboard or Garageband, I turn off all the apps that might possibly distract me. It’s best just to pretend the internet doesn’t exist for a period of time…

  5. Heidi permalink
    February 11, 2009 5:13 am

    The beach for me since I live so close.

    But another for me are early mornings and driving with no music.

  6. February 11, 2009 5:38 am

    I make sure Patti knows all the important tasks so she can get started on covering for me right away.

    Actually, (truthfully) I wait until the last possible moment to put my fingers to the keyboard, heap as much self-imposed pressure upon myself as possible, hope to remain healthy, and then work feverishly with blinders on until I am finished. This technique has produced some of my best work.

    (ps. Don’t let Kass or Kota read this.)

  7. February 11, 2009 6:21 am

    you’re asking the WRONG person here 😯

    Ooooh look what a pretty leaf…..


  8. February 11, 2009 7:43 am

    haha, my sentiments exactly, love!

    i’m just here to steal everyone else’s secrets.

  9. February 11, 2009 7:46 am

    p.s. sign me up for a signed first edition. πŸ˜‰

  10. February 11, 2009 8:47 am

    One of the things that has helped me has been unexpected. As mama and I pray at night, I am always startled and awed when I hear her praying out loud for God to use me as I write my book. Ask Brent to pray for you and with you about your book.

    I usually don’t set a specific time each day but rather have weekly goals, fairly easy goals to reach and it seems to be working.

  11. February 11, 2009 9:21 am

    When I used to write all the time, I would go out in nature. One, usually when you go there is no one there and also because it is such a great place to reflect. Now, it is much harder for this to happen so a closed door and me in my room is good enough.

  12. February 11, 2009 10:20 am

    i am terrible at this and am needing to do the same in the writing of my book. i will be your crazy nazi cheerleader if you will be mine. πŸ™‚

  13. February 11, 2009 11:10 am

    I’m no good at this, but I will say that a deadline helps immensely. As does an uncluttered work space (whether it’s home or work or somewhere else, if there’s something to tidy, I will be forever distracted). And sometimes no music helps, but other times too much quiet is too much quiet. But definitely a deadline.

  14. February 11, 2009 11:54 am

    A giant help for me (keeping in mind I’m not writing a book, but for journaling, etc.) was the Record app on my phone. I always seem to have great thoughts when I can’t write them down, so I pick up the phone (or some recording device) and speak. Once a week, I play them and it all comes back to me. Plus, having recorded it, while I’m listening, I will create more to add.
    Then at 2-3am, when everyone is asleep, I go to work.

  15. February 11, 2009 12:26 pm

    sitting at a starbucks store, a nice quality set of earphones with some unobtrusive music playing (such as the album leaf, god is an astronaut, explosions in the sky, sigur ros), my drink of choice, all programs shut down on my laptop other than what i’m using (no twitter, no chat, no firefox), phone off.

    that’s how i roll when it’s time to get some photo editing done.

  16. February 11, 2009 2:08 pm

    I do exactly what preacherpen said, although now that I am retired I can pretty much take each day as it comes without much planning. πŸ™‚

    The important first step is to analyze your goal with an open mind. Think about as many different ways to accomplish your goal, how other people were successful, as time will allow. Time is often the biggest hurdle to doing something well.

    Focus on one thing at a time, as much as possible. In this fast paced world we live in we often find ourselves jumping around from task to task. Doing a lot of things poorly and not enough things well.

    I have no great advice for what to do when there are six important things that all need to be done. All we can do is prioritize and hope for the best. πŸ™‚

    It is also very important to reward yourself in some way when you do complete a task. Positive reinforcement is vital, or we end up in the looney bin. Some days the looney bin doesn’t look so bad. πŸ™‚

    Of course this advice is from someone who has done more stupid, idiotic, things than I can count. However I have made it to 65 so “listen to your elders”, me and Papa. πŸ™‚

  17. February 11, 2009 2:33 pm

    Weirdly, I find if I use twitter and say I’m giong to do something, I then go and do it. Because if I don’t, then I’ve lied to all my twitter friends!!!

    Is there like a coffee shop where you and your laptop can hang out for a day so you can write? I find coffeeshops a great place to mull and write…

    I’m interested to hear more about your book though. I work in a pregnancy crisis centre, and one day I would also like to write a book. Feel I need to be a lil bit older and wiser before I do though. πŸ™‚

  18. February 11, 2009 7:16 pm

    You know that puppy on the ‘Find Files or Folders’ option on Windows? (Hopefully you work on a Windows. I made a picture. πŸ™‚ This one: That’s what I feel like. Searching … searching …


    secrets to effectively accomplishing tasks ……

    I got nothin.

  19. February 11, 2009 7:28 pm

    I can go both ways…I can unplug and get away for however long and just tackle it.
    Or, if my ADD is functioning well (never been diagnosed for, but swear I have) then I can be alone, but have my music going and all other “things” alive and active on the computer and knock it out. Maybe it just depends on the mood I’m in and how creative I feel.

    Right now…I’m pooped and can’t handle all that other noise. Now, I’m going to sleep. πŸ™‚

    You go girl. I think you are a rock star.

  20. Jessica permalink
    February 11, 2009 9:05 pm

    Im so glad you guys had a good trip, It was great to meet you! Its fun meeting people thorugh My sister (jen) through this fun blogging world! Im excited to hear more about the book!

  21. February 11, 2009 10:43 pm

    thank you, thank you, thank you everyone!

    so, im definitely gonna head out to a little coffee shop in a small town about 10 minutes from my house. as of now, it looks like wednesday will be the best day of the week to do this. i’ll shut off my phone and any other program on the puter that might distract me. i’ll shoot for an hour at first and see how that goes. im super excited about this!

    paul – i will check out that link. thanks!

    annie – what are you searching for? πŸ™‚ i love that picture!

  22. February 13, 2009 7:10 am

    I do best around chaos so Starbucks usually works for me…unless Pete shows up and then I have to chat πŸ™‚

    When I really need to get to the nitty gritty though, I find a small coffee house here in Nashville where I wont run into anyone I know, and I can kick it up a notch.

  23. February 19, 2009 4:13 pm

    i used to be so, so good at this. at least i thought i was. these days i can’t focus; i lack motivation to do even the things i want to do (nevermind the stuff i need to do). so… sigh. i’ve got nothing.


  1. Nothing ventured, nothing gained? « Learning from Sophie

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