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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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Time and Project Management Class Starts Monday

January 9, 2014 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , ,

j0227558Hello my friends! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. I sure did. I’d planned since last Christmas to take two full weeks off and relax. Right up to the last minute, I was sure I wouldn’t “be able to” do it. But in the end, I did!
My workload piled up during the two weeks off, but I feel so much more relaxed and rested and ready for work! How did I manage to take so much vacation time when life has been battering me for the last couple of years? The primary reason is because last January I laid out a written plan for my year.
Granted, a LOT of things went wrong with the plan. I couldn’t have anticipated six months of unemployment for John. I made more money than I did in 2012, but it wasn’t enough to offset the costs of a few book-selling risks I took that didn’t pay off. Near the end of the year, I had to put my writing business on the back burner and work full-time at a temp job.
Calendar 2013But for the whole year, I could look at my writing plan and my calendar and I could figure out how each of my plans would be affected by the new turn life took. I could move the sticky notes on the calendar to change deadlines. I could cancel things that just couldn’t be accomplished now that the course of life had changed.
And I could do it all with more peace than usual because I had a written, changeable plan.
If you’d like to work with me over the next four weeks to get a plan in place for you this year, please sign up for my online class Going the Distance: Goal Setting and Time Management for the Writer. Due to popular demand, this is the fourth year I’ve taught this class, and there’s always something new to learn and share. I hope you’ll join us!
What do you want to accomplish this year?

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 first novel, Little Miss Lovesick, came out in 2011. Her new novel, Unexpected Superhero, book one in The Adventures of Lewis & Clarke humorous urban fantasy series, 
is now available in print and ebook format. Superhero in the Making and Love at the Fluff and Fold (book one in The Strays of Loon Lake romantic comedy series) will be released in mid-2014. Her short stories can be found in the anthologies Romancing the Pages and Moonlit Encounters, available in both print and ebook formats. “Superhero in Disguise” is a free short story at AmazoniTunesSmashwords, and other retail sites.

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5 Time Management Tips for the Holidays by Kitty Bucholtz

December 10, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,

During the holiday season, I always struggle to keep up with my writing routines while also adding in extra time with family, parties, Christmas events at church, additional baking, and more. Over the years, I’ve found a few things work well for enjoying the holidays with less stress without quitting my writing job for a month or two.

  1. Do a little less of everything. There are only 168 hours in the week. If I add in a full day of hanging out with my godchildren, I need to figure out what I’m going to do less of. If I decide to make several kinds of Christmas cookies, where am I going to find the time? The answer that works best for me is to do less of everything else – writing, watching TV, reading, etc. – in order to have some time to add in these other seasonal favorites. If, in January, you schedule less writing time for the following December, it won’t be time “lost” but planned for.
  2. Multi-task. During the rest of the year, when I put brownies in the oven, I will probably fiddle around the kitchen, or check email and read Facebook. But since I’m going to do a little less of everything in order to have a bit more time, I plan to use chunks of time better than I usually do. Every batch of brownies takes 25 minutes to bake – the perfect amount of time for me to get a solid chunk of writing done. The ten minutes cookies take in the oven is a good time to brainstorm, or write in snatches, thinking about what I’m going to write again in a few minutes when I get the next batch in.
  3. Say No. Sadly, I can’t do everything I’d like to do, especially at the holidays. What is most important to me? What won’t happen again for a year (or more depending on how often you get to go away or have company in for the holidays)? What can wait for next month? Some of my writing deadlines are time sensitive for now. Some can wait a few weeks. I need to plan my month so that what needs to get done in my work, does. And what I want to do with friends and family, I have time to enjoy.
  4. Take a time out. I’ve found that time outs are not only great for toddlers, they’re great for writers. Depending on how stressed I’m beginning to feel, I’ll take 30 seconds to do some deep breathing, forcing my shoulders back down from around my ears, or I’ll take an hour out of my “important work” to watch TV with my husband. The people closest to me run the risk of getting the least of my time and attention during the holidays because “I know they’ll understand” if I hide in a corner with my laptop, working. What are they doing that they enjoy and that they’d most enjoy my company? What do they want to do that they won’t mind if I’m not there? (No one ever seems to mind when I grab an hour to work while they watch a football game.)
  5. Consider opportunity cost. When you think of all the things you could do with X amount of time or Y amount of dollars, and then you choose ONE thing, the rest is opportunity cost. The cost of me hiding away from the family for an hour while people are sitting around talking is high – this is when we connect and feel close. It’s lower when I work while they watch football. The cost of missing the Christmas pageant is higher because it only happens once a year, while missing the showing of “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” is lower because I have it on DVD. The cost of missing Christmas sales from your book is higher, but is it as high as missing out on roughhousing with your nieces and nephews who may otherwise remember you as too busy to play with them?
I hope you and I both manage our time this holiday season in such a way that we feel good about our writing work, and are filled with joy and peace and laughter in our personal life. Merry Christmas!
Note: For more time management and project management tips for writers, enroll in my online class, Going the Distance: Goal Setting and Time Management for the Writer. It’s only $30 for four weeks, January 13 – February 8, 2014, twelve lectures that come straight to your email Inbox. If you’re an OCC member, you get it all for $25. Sign up today!
If you live in Southern California, attend my live workshop in Carlsbad on Saturday, January 25 – Write Your Book in 2014! In one day, we’ll break your book into pieces and plot it out on your calendar, so that you have a completed book ready by your deadline. The 8-hour workshop is only $49, but is limited to 15 people, so sign up soon! Email me at Kitty AT KittyBucholtz DOT com for questions and more information on either of these classes.
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 first novel, Little Miss Lovesick, came out in 2011. Her new novel, Unexpected Superhero, book one in The Adventures of Lewis & Clarke humorous urban fantasy series, is now available in print and ebook format. Love at the Fluff and Fold, book one in The Strays of Loon Lake romantic comedy series, will be released soon. Her short stories can be found in the anthologies Romancing the Pages and Moonlit Encounters, available in both print and ebook formats. “Superhero in Disguise” is a free short story at Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords, and other retail sites.

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Conversations with Barb and Jann

February 2, 2012 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , , , , ,

by Barb DeLong and Jann Audiss

Jann:  Well, Barb, how are you doing in Kitty’s on-line Time Management class?

Barb:  Not so well.  Can’t seem to find the time to get assignments done.

Jann:  I know what you mean.  I did my first two assignments and posted every day what I loved about my writing, then fell off the wagon on Sunday.

Barb:  We’ll get back on track.  What’ll help is when we get down to the nitty gritty and mark up our calendars. 

Jann:  Calendars?  Last night I counted five: my Smart Phone, my Franklin, my day planner, my pocket planner and the cutest Mary Engelbreit calendar, if I could only find it.  I want to settle on only one because it’s driving me crazy.  I might miss a hair appointment if I’m not careful.

Barb:  And we can’t have that.  I’m afraid after I fill out the calendar or calendars with all my appointments, working full time, yada yada, there won’t be enough time to write.

Jann:  That’s what we’re taking this class for, Barb.  Where are your priorities?  Is writing even among them?

Barb:  Okay, mom.  I am getting some writing done, but there’s only so many quality pages one can do in the bathtub.

Jann:  Thanks for that picture.  Seriously, it’s all in how you figure out your goals and prioritize them.  You’ve got to take a hard look, decide what you really want.

Barb:  Well, baths take a long time.  I could cut them out, but showers will get my paper wet.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  I’m following the class.  I’m working on Lecture Four.

Jann:  Hate to tell you, but Kitty has just posted Lecture Five.

Barb:  Oh, crap.     
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Ask a Busy Person…from Isabel Swift

August 24, 2011 by in category From Isabel Swift tagged as

You know the aphorism: “if you want to get something done, ask a busy person.” ?

Well, I am here to say: “So True!”


“Let me explain!”

Because why is it true? Why is asking a not-busy person–a seemingly obvious choice–so challenging and problematic?

Well, let me walk you through it. Let’s just say you have nothing to do and someone (a spouse with a full time job, perhaps) approaches you with a task: a request to pick up some dry-cleaning. Because hey, you’re not doing anything, right?

“Honey, could you pick up the dry-cleaning? I have a million things I have to do & don’t have the time,” they’d ask.

What has just happened?

Well, your workload has just increased…one hundred percent (100%) !

You’re laughing, but that is exactly what it feels like.

Because what is not appreciated is that in addition to a massive workload increase, by taking on that task, numerous other tasks will have to join it. It can be overwhelming.

Because now you have to…

– get up, take off your pajamas, take a shower
– dry off, select and put on clothes, do makeup, brush hair
– find the laundry ticket, money, the dry cleaner’s address
– figure out how to get there: drive, walk, bus, etc., figure out when to leave
– research the route, or figure to park,
– mentally prepare yourself to encounter numerous strangers and unpredictable people, respond to questions
– gather articles, transact business, carry everything back & put everything away

It’s exhausting to think about.

Whereas if you had a hundred things to do, one more is only 1/100th. Often, that’s what it feels like.

And while everyone has an upper limit, usually one more thing is nothing. You’re already up, showered, shaved and out the door. Depending on location, there are a number of slots that picking up the dry cleaning would fit into–on the way to work, at lunch, on the way back; it’s just a brief detour, no trouble at all, really!

Somewhat frighteningly, often the less you do, the less you can do. And the more you do, the more you can do.

So lighten your load with care, or nothing will get done.

Isabel Swift

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