Monday, July 22, 2019

Time Vs. Direction

I read a Zig Ziglar quote on Twitter the other day which said...

"People often complain about lack of time when lack of direction is the real problem."

Now, don't get me wrong, I do really believe lack of time can be an issue, particularly for those working many hours and/or multiple jobs while raising a family, etc.  Getting spread too thin with little time for anything but sleep can be a big issue.  For the rest of us, however, it isn't always about the lack of time as much as it is the efficient use of what time one does have or make. It is also said that life is a balance, and, for me, lack of direction can definitely be a factor in my balancing skills.

I often find myself going in circles doing a little of this, a little of that and then back for a little more of this...fiddle farting around is what my husband likes to call it.  I would definitely have more focus and better use of time with improved direction. But how does one find the best use of time and direction when life often feels like a cluster of chaotic moments? 

Prioritizing the most important and starting there? Letting the unnecessary things go to carve out more time for what is truly important? But who determines what is and is not "truly important" when everything seems that way? Get up early or stay up late to get some writing time in? But what if one is already operating on a slim number of hours of sleep to begin with? Health and well-being do need to be a consideration or all will come crashing down eventually.

So, do you see my point? How are we to decide what direction is best in the time we have and where to most effectively focus our time and direction to achieve the best/hoped for results? Sometimes I feel like I have a good handle on making a smart plan of action and other times I just fiddle fart my way about never accomplishing much of anything.  Oh, how it pains me to agree with his view of my actions at times!!!

Having said that, I have actually had a pretty productive last couple months with two manuscripts revised and submitted and another two rough (very rough!)  drafts completed and in the works. I think this is because I am trying to focus on starting my day being productive with my writing before moving on to other things (whether important or not) which helps; however, I am also getting better at letting it go when life gets in the way as it often does and not letting set backs derail me.  As the old saying goes, "this too shall pass."

I would love to hear how direction, or lack thereof, impacts your time and production level if you are so inclined to share. Perhaps we can all learn from one another!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Terrific SCBWI Conference Opportunity

Calling all writers and illustrators.  Registration is open and time is winding down for the early bird registration price for the upcoming SCBWI Dakotas conference which looks amazing! 

Complete information about The 2019 Dakotas Regional Conference: Harvesting Our Stories is now online. There are limited spaces for Intensives, Critiques, and Pages, so sign up early.

The conference will be held in Fargo, North Dakota, on September 13-14. The Early-Bird price (good until July 31) is $125 for the conference with additional charges for optional intensives and critiques. 
From August 1 onward, the cost increases to $150.00 and critiques will no longer be available. 

We have a great line-up of speakers:
  • Sara Sargent, Senior Executive Editor at Random House Books for Young Readers
  • Alexa Pastor, Editor with Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Timothy Travaglini, a literary agent with Transatlantic Agency
  • Claudia Mills, an award-winning author
We'll also have critique and consultation opportunities and the chance to connect with other writers and illustrators throughout the region. 

Click here for speaker bios and conference schedule.

One of this year's highlights is the Jimmy Jet Award for Excellence in Children's LIterature, a prize of $350 for the best manuscript submitted for critique. We will also feature a Bookstore of our member's books. During lunch, you may choose to read the first two minutes of your work in progress and receive dozens of written responses if you sign up for Pages. We will have Intensives on Friday afternoon: Anatomy of a Picture Book and The Cult of Personality: Writing Character-Driven Fiction. Don't miss out on this great opportunity.

Invite friends to join us. Members of SCBWI as well as nonmembers are welcome.  
Questions? Email

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Celebrate Our Great Nation

As we have fun and go about our holiday to celebrate this great land of ours, let us not forget all those who have, and continue to, fight for our freedom and ability to do so.  Honor our home of the free because of the brave. We owe you!

Happy 4th of July. Celebrate this great nation and be safe!