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Time Management Secrets for Authors, OCC/RWA Online Class with Stacy Juba

April 23, 2018 by in category Online Classes tagged as , , , , ,

Do you find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? I know I do, which is why I’ll be signing up for the next OCC/RWA Online Class!

Time Management graphic

About the Class:

Do you wish there was more than 24 hours in the day? If it seems like there is never enough time to write, promote your published books, and/or prepare submissions to editors and agents and learn the ropes of the business side of writing, then this workshop is for you. Author and editor Stacy Juba experienced the longest writer’s block of her life after a family health crisis. She went on a mission to resurrect her creativity and find the time and energy to manage her writing career. Thanks to her new strategies, Stacy created a successful editing business and launched an exciting new chick lit series, and considers her herself more productive than ever.

Over the course of the month, participating writers will take important steps to advance their careers while also reducing the stress in their lives. Whether you’re struggling to overcome writer’s block, beef up your book promotion, or get your writing career launched, this class will arm you with the skills to get to the next level. Participants will receive assignments and suggested tasks in a friendly, interactive format so that by the end of the course, they will be in a much more organized state of being.

Stacy JubaAbout the Instructor:

Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Stacy is also the founder of the Glass Slipper Sisters, a group of authors with Cinderella-themed romance novels. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service and offers online workshops for writers.

Cost is $20.00 for OCC/RWA members and $30.00 for non-members. Sign up is a two-step process. Go to our website at http://occrwa.org/classes/may-online-class/ and click on the link to join the Yahoo Group. Then pay your fee via PayPal. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can pay with a credit card. Once our treasurer has verified your payment, you’re request to join the Yahoo Group will be approved.

Linda McLaughlin
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator

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Planning Your 2017 Calendar by Kitty Bucholtz

February 10, 2017 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz, Writing: It's a Business tagged as , , ,
I teach a time management class called Going the Distance, and one of the major things we do after we write out our Goals Master List (read about it here from last month) is to get out the calendar and start crossing out all the days that you know you can’t work.
Plan For What You REALLY Can Do
It might seem in December when the new year is looking bright and shiny and empty that you can get everything done you ever imagined! But when you look back over the last year, you may realize that you are often overconfident about what you can do.
Get a Calendar!
Being disappointed in yourself erodes your confidence for the next year, which erodes it for the following year, etc., and I want to help you keep that from happening. So this is what we’re going to do: go get a calendar. Any calendar will do, but one you like and can use easily will be the best one for you.
Cross Off Days You Can’t Work
Starting in January, cross off every day that you know you won’t be able to work on your goals. For instance, if weekends are always for family, cross off all the Saturdays and all the Sundays from the year. Your 365 days just came down to 261 –  poof! Just like that!
Do you have a vacation planned? Go find the dates on your calendar and cross them off. Do you have kids in school? Go find their school calendar and cross off days you know you won’t be available, like for sports and music and drama and other events that you’re committed to attending.
Weddings? Bridal showers? Baby showers? If you are just attending one of these, you might only lose a day or half a day. If it’s out of town, you may lose several days due to travel. If you are part of the planning committee, rest assured you will be spending more time than you realize, so try to plan accordingly.
Plan For Sick Days and Mental Health Days
About how many days were you home sick last year? How many days were you taking care of someone else who was sick? Plan a few sick days into your calendar, subtracting them from the total days left but leaving them “available for use.” There is no point in feeling guilty about being sick, and we both know that a good rest will often get you back to work sooner and better than trying to work through it.
How many days have you got left? I often end up with only about 180. That’s only half a year! But the fact is, you have a life outside of your work and your goals. Now you can adjust your goals to accomplish them in the time you actually have. Planning this way will keep you from over-committing and being disappointed later.
Planning Forward
Now look at your list of the 5 to 10 goals you wrote down since last month. You can either plan forward or plan backward. To plan forward, look at each goal and figure out about how much you can accomplish per day on that goal. Then plot it out on your calendar to see what date that last day lands on. Put a sticky note on that date with the goal. The sticky note is so that when things come up, you can move the goal without scribbling all over your calendar.
Planning Backward
Or if you already have a goal date in mind, you can plan backward. Say you want to finish the first draft of your next book by May 1. How many days do you have left on your calendar, the ones that are not crossed out, between now and May 1? And how many words do you expect your first draft to be –  50,000 words? 100,000 words? Take the word count and divide by the number of days. This is your daily writing goal.
Planning this way from the beginning of the year can help you see if you started out with too many goals in the first place. And it will also help you to adjust as you go. (Again, that’s why I use sticky notes!) The fact is you are planning for your own success this way, instead of not truly planning at all. And you know the saying, failing to plan is planning to fail. Let’s not do that.
How Does Your Calendar Look Now?
Continue in this way, planning forward and/or backward for each goal, until you’ve plotted everything out on your calendar. Now look at each of the twelve months. Is it challenging but doable? Does it make you break out in a cold sweat? Do you need to move a few things around? Did you schedule in a little down time, “you” time?
Only you know what will encourage you and make your brain believe that you can do this. And you do need to believe it. If it seems just a bit much, move one of the goals that you plotted out onto your “maybe” list. If you get everything else done, you can come back to this goal later in the year.
Looking at your goals in a big picture like this will encourage you, and that will give you more energy to start now and keep going. Trust me, go do this exercise this week. You are going to feel like you can conquer your world! Good luck!
Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her superhero books for women and romantic comedies are available wherever ebooks are sold, as well as in print and audiobooks. Check out her new Valentine’s Day novella, My Bullheaded Superhero Valentine.

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Compete with Yourself and Win by Kitty Bucholtz

February 10, 2016 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , ,

Everyone has a few personal tips and tricks to help them write more, and most people are willing to try something new to see if it helps. I’ve found a good number of people respond well to a healthy fun competition, but sometimes I start feeling bad if I compare myself to someone who always seems “ahead of me.”

Therefore, just in case it’s helpful to you, I wanted to let you know about a quick and easy writing competition you can have with yourself. (Compete with your friends if it doesn’t make anyone feel bad!)

Over ten years ago, I found this “Don’t Break the Chain Calendar” on the Writers Store website. In the description, it says that Jerry Seinfeld once said that he would write a big “X” on every day that he wrote new material…and so this calendar was eventually born.

It has 365 numbered squares on it so you can start any day of the year on square 1. The idea is to get the longest chain of X’s you can. I actually like to use gold stars that teachers put on school children’s homework.  😉  It’s fun to see the line of stars growing. Miss a day or three? Just go to the next appropriate square and start again. If you play the Settlers of Catan board game, it’s like getting the prize for building the longest road. Haha!

One of the nicest things about the Don’t Break the Chain Calendar is that Writers Store offers it as a free PDF download! (Check out the rest of the site – cool stuff!) You can also use a regular printed calendar, but you won’t be able to see as clearly how long your chain grows over time.

Cheap, easy, and motivational – just the kind of “write more” writer’s trick you needed, right? 🙂

Kitty Bucholtz

 

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon. The free short story “Superhero in Disguise” and the new short story “Welcome to Loon Lake” are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

 

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Going the Distance Time Management Class by Kitty Bucholtz

January 9, 2016 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , , ,

I’m super excited to announce that my annual goal setting and time management class for writers is about to start up again! And in lucky year seven (can you believe I’ve been teaching this for seven years?!) I’m creating a new website and making an important change to the class.

The lessons will continue to be the same – helping you figure out your goals for the year, breaking them down into pieces for each month, and plotting everything on a calendar so you can be sure you have enough time for everything you’ve planned – but I’m also adding six (6) monthly live video calls to help you stay on track.

No matter how well we plan our days, something always comes up to knock us off balance, a little or a lot. Having someone there to help you set things straight again, to re-evaluate and restart your plan, is sometimes the difference between spinning your wheels and getting back on the horse (to mix some transportation metaphors 😉 ).

With this new version of the class, you won’t be left to your own devices. We’ll work to keep you on track for six full months! By then, you’ll for sure know what to do when things come up during the last six months of the year. Excellent!

The sign-up page is almost ready – I’ll edit this post in a few days when the link is live. If you have any questions about the class, please email me at kitty@kittybucholtz.com. I look forward to helping you make 2016 your best year ever!

Kitty Bucholtz

 

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and Unexpected Superhero are currently available on Amazon. The free short story “Superhero in Disguise” and the new short story “Welcome to Loon Lake” are available wherever ebooks are sold. You can find out about her courses on self-publishing, marketing, and time management for writers at her website Writer Entrepreneur Guides.

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Accidents Happen by Kitty Bucholtz

July 9, 2014 by in category Archives tagged as , ,
John buying his new motorcycle

You may know that my husband John was in a motorcycle accident four months ago. He broke his leg badly but, as I’m fond of saying, his brain and internal organs are all in their original packaging. He’s alive, and that’s all that really matters to me.

That being said, I was on a major writing roll when the accident happened, and I’ve written very little since. I had my year planned out with my production schedule, speaking schedule, etc. all posted on my calendar in color-coded sticky notes. Those of you who have taken my goal setting and time management class know what I’m talking about. And you also know what I have to do now – hit the restart button and move all the stickies to new dates.

The thing is, that’s not the only hard thing that has happened this year. John’s current project ended (he works in the entertainment industry); we’re packing up our apartment in preparation to move to the next job even though we don’t know when or where that will be; our car decided it can’t go on any longer; and we had another death in the family so we had to put plane tickets on a credit card. There are days when, as blessed as you know you are, life just sucks.

But then one morning as you’re lying in bed trying to figure out how to juggle the day’s tasks, you remember that despite not having been on some of these roads before, you do know what to do. You accept that accidents happen in life – life happens – and you hit the restart button.

You remind yourself that you only have to move through the now. You don’t even have to be sure how you’re going to handle the afternoon. You only have to decide the first thing to do today. Maybe even the first three things. You tell yourself that you choose to be positive in spite of life’s difficulties – because we all know that going through difficult times with a bad attitude only makes it worse.

You keep doing the next thing that needs to be done. On a To Do list that feels a mile long, when you don’t know which is the most important thing to do next, you just choose one. You keep moving. You remember to be grateful for the things that go well, no matter how small. And before you know it, you’ve made it through another day. Not just survived, you had a few moments of thriving – you smiled at a stranger, had a short but nice conversation with a friend or neighbor or family member, you got a few things done that needed to be done.

And soon, you realize that a week has gone by, a month, four months, and you’re still standing. The things that haven’t gotten done, including the book that was to be published months ago that still isn’t finished, they will be done eventually. Life has ebbs and flows, sunny days and storms, accidents and accomplishments, and you have what it takes to get through them all.

You do.

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick and Unexpected Superhero, and the free short story, “Superhero in Disguise,” are now available at most online retail sites. Superhero in the Making will be released this summer.

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