New York Times  Bestselling Author

It's Five O'Clock Somewhere. . .

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Actually, it’s five o’clock here and I’m quitting for the day. I worked on my Alphasmart at Starbucks today and haven’t transferred the file to my desktop yet, so I’m not sure how many pages I wrote today, but it’s just plain going to be enough. I’m a teeny tiny bit burned out! The week at Weymouth was fantastic, but my brain needed a bit of a rest from writing today. Instead, I worked on ‘admin stuff’. When I tell non-writers how much time I spend on admin stuff, they don’t understand, so I’m going to give you a glimpse into what that entails. (writers: bear with me. I do have a tip for you once I get this out of my system!)

Today I:

  • autographed four of my out of print books for people who ordered them on my website, packaged them, and printed the mailing labels
  • updated my bios and emailed them along with author photos and book cover images to the various organizations requesting them
  • searched for and added ISBNs to a requested booklist
  • the big–but truly fun–time sink: tried to find footage to use in the video trailer John is making for Secrets She Left Behind
  • returned library books
  • dealt with a Word problem (I’m still a Word novice, having used WordPerfect for most of my writing career, and I cuss at Word regularly. Could they make it any more complicated??)
  • Put together half of a long email full of tasks for my assistant. The other half will have to wait until tomorrow.
  • Started working on the update for my website. It’s going to be a big one because of all the books coming out in ’09, and I’m stressing.
  • Caught up with business email I had to ignore during my week at Weymouth.

But all that whining was not really the point of this post. Here is the point: when I stop writing for the day, I always try to stop in the middle of a scene. I highly recommend that fiction writers stop for the day when they are truly in the groove. I know it sounds counterproductive, but it’s not. When I sit down in the morning, I will know exactly where I’m going with the writing because I stopped in the middle of a scene and can easily pick up where I left off. If I’d wrapped up the scene, I can guarantee I’d be floundering around for the first hour, trying to figure out exactly what to write.

So now it’s six o’clock and I’m going to heat up the roast chicken for dinner and then chill with John and the pups for the rest of the evening. It’s good to be home!

6 Comments

  1. Krysia on February 16, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Sounds like you finally get to take a deep breath. Hope everyone had a good weekend. Gunnar and I were sick all weekend but we didn’t let it get us down. He started crawling this weekend so mommy and daddy are pulling their hair out. I also finally got a job, I have been without work since before Christmas. It’s doing the same thing I was doing when I found out I was pregnant with Gunnar, working in a youth treatment facility. This one is not as jail-like at least it didn’t feel that way at my interview. I don’t start until next week but I am excited. Anyways little man is awfully quiet, I should go see what he is up to.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on February 16, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Hmm, I notice some weird things going on with the comment sections of the last few posts. A few comments have been eaten and a few only show up when you click on the comments tab. I’ve asked my webmaster to check into this, and if your comment disappeared, I apologize. Please let me know if you comment to THIS post and it disappears.
    So far, so good, with Krysia checking in with the report of Gunnar’s crawling. Heheheh. You’re in for it now! And enjoy your last week of joblessness. Having worked in a youth treatment facility myself in my previous career, I know how hard you’ll be working.

  3. Denise on February 17, 2009 at 12:30 am

    I’m glad you made it back safely! It sounds like you had another busy day. Try not to stress too much–this is going to be a great year for you!
    Congrats on your new job, Krysia, as well as your new crawler. It is always so exciting when they begin to crawl but now you won’t be able to keep the little guy in one place. Lol

  4. nsgee1 on February 17, 2009 at 2:44 am

    I’m glad your week at Weymouth was productive, but I understand you’re glad to be home. The admin stuff can pile up in a short time. And it’s all time consuming. What a great writer’s tip, Diane. Just the opposite of what we hear and practice, but I’m going to give it a try. It sounds like it will work. Best regards, Nansy

  5. Margo on February 17, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Diane, it’s funny how your writing sometimes parallel’s my art…I also stop for the day when I’m right in the middle of something exciting…I think about it all evening and the next day I can hardly wait to pickup where I left off.
    This is such an exciting year for you…not only your 3 book contract but 20 years of publishing! Try not to stress…I know, it’s easier said than done…I’m sure you have a great assistant who can help you out.
    Krysia, I’m so happy for you and your new job!..enjoy this week with your little guy before starting what sounds like a challenging job.

  6. brenda on February 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I know about getting behind. I have never missed this much school-even with the mini-strokes (the major strokes were before I became a teacher.) I dread going in Monday and trying to get students, papers, etc., caught up-high school and college. forget about paper work at home-email, etc…oh well…
    Diane-I am so excited for your books-I don’t know how you finish one and go on to the next ASAP…you are so truly gifted.

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