The Writing Life

Immediate Distractions

Everyone loves being an author. Talented authors relish the process from the first twinkle of an idea to thinking about characters to plopping them into impossible situations. Or for the nonfiction author, the challenge of imparting knowledge that will help others is fulfilling. When I was writing books for publication, time dissolved as I typed away.

Despite my joy in writing, some afternoons dragged as I struggled with getting characters from Point A to Point B; or my plot didn’t work as well on paper as it did when I was musing about it earlier; or … fill in your struggle.


  • Search for recipes for dinner. Dinnertime will be here shortly!
  • Answer emails.
  • Research a thingie that may have something to do with your book.
  • Call a friend. You don’t want to lose touch!
  • Watch TV. Surely tuning in to the History Channel isn’t considered not working.
  • Drink coffee. Gotta stay awake!
  • In the act of total desperation, clean house.

Immediate distractions are part of life. I drink coffee myself. To be writers, the key is this: We MUST return to our work as soon as our little break has passed.

The beauty of immediate distractions is that they run their natural course. Even if you procrastinate in all seven ways above, losing all your writing time would be unlikely.

But then … so the coffee is gone and you answered all your emails. Still not feeling the love on that book? Next week I’ll discuss an even more dangerous impediment to your career – and what you can do about it.

Your turn:

How do you deal with immediate distractions?

Does procrastinating help you? How?

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With trepidation I step into the gladiator arena of grammar. Below is a marvelous infographic from, an Australian professional editing and proofreading company. Do you agree or disagree with these choices? Grammar rules are there for a reason. Clarity, consistency, and communication. A sloppy manuscript is a terrible thing …

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Four Questions About Publicity

by Steve Laube

Publicity is the art of telling the world about you and your book. We recently received a few questions about publicity via the green button you see in the right hand column of our blog (yes, it really works).

1.) When should a writer hire a publicist?
I think an author should wait to see what their publisher will provide in this area. If you do hire a publicist make sure they coordinate with your publisher so as to not duplicate efforts. (Don’t aggravate your local TV station with multiple PR contacts.)

But the question was “when” not “should.” So let me re-answer.

If you are on your own with regard to your PR, you should hire that firm six to nine months prior to the release date of your book. The PR firm will be handicapped if you wait too long. They need lead time especially in the area of getting reviews for your book. Few review outlets are interested in a book after it has already been released.

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Picture-Perfect Personality

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