Wednesday, July 27, 2016

HOW TO BALANCE LIFE AND WRITING WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND!



 

During interviews I’ve been asked to share my typical writing day. Typical implies that some days go one way – and some days may go another way. But the truth is, my writing days don’t vary. I have a plan, and I do my best to follow it each and every day. It’s the only way I can stay on top of my work. Writing is a job, and you have to treat it as such. If I worked in an office, some of my duties might change from day to day, but other things aren’t negotiable. For example: What if you told your boss that tomorrow you might start an hour late because you stayed up to watch a movie on TV instead of going to bed? Or what if you decided to take a two hour lunch just because you felt like it? I can guarantee you that you’d be looking for a new job! Employers expect certain things. When you’re working for yourself, you must set your own boundaries and rules. The more you control your schedule, the more productive you become – and believe it or not – the more time you have to relax.

I get up at a certain time. I have breakfast and spend time with God. Then I go to my office. On Mondays, I do all the “other work” that writers do – and I spend some time editing what I’ve already written. Tuesday through Friday, I write every morning until lunch. Yes, every morning. (Unless I’m on vacation. Hasn’t been one for a while, but I’m convinced it will happen one of these days! LOL!)

After lunch, I work on social media, promotion, etc. If I’m running behind on a deadline, I’ll put a couple more hours of writing in. By five or six o’clock it’s time for supper, TV and some embroidery. Monday through Thursday I get to bed by a certain time so I can get up early and start all over again.

Does that seem too controlled to you? Too strict? It is strict. But when I sit down to rest in the evening, my mind is clear because I know I’ve done everything I can to make my deadline. Sadly, I haven't made them all. I’m blessed to work with publishers who know I’ll get the job done, so they work with me. So far, I’ve never turned in a manuscript so late it caused my publisher a problem.

What about weekends? I usually take them off. There have been emergencies where I had to work a weekend here or there, but I do my best to protect that time so I can spend it with my family. If I didn’t set strict guidelines for myself, I’d probably be stressed out, upset, and on the verge of losing my mind. I don’t want to spend my life sitting in front of my computer instead of relaxing and living the other part of my life with joy.

So I’ve given you a glimpse into my writing life. How about a glimpse into my Curl Up and Dye series, A WEDDING TO DYE FOR? Leave a comment, and I’ll pick someone for an ebook copy of the final book in one of my all time favorite series!











Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband, Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored twenty-four books and just finished a new series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in her Finding Sanctuary series, “Gathering Shadows” was released in May of 2014. The second book, “Deadly Echoes” became available in February.  The third book, “Rising Darkness released in November. Now she’s writing a new series based on the U.S. Marshals. The first book, “Fatal Frost,” in her Defenders of Justice series, will release in November of 2016. She is also working on an Amish cozy mystery series for Guideposts. The first book, “Blessings in Disguise” was published in June, 2015 and has been nominated for a Carol Award. It was followed by “Simply Vanished,” and “All Abuzz at the Honey Bee.” She will write at least one more in this series.   

Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.
 

31 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing Nancy. Having a schedule and setting goals keeps me on task,whether it's at work or home.

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  2. I love your all your books, Nancy Mehl! I can't wait to read A weeding To Dye For! Yay, for punny titles!

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    1. Thanks, Tammy. I love punny titles! LOL!

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  3. I love your writing and your books. I usually pre-order than wait very un-patiently for them to release lol

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  4. Thank you for sharing your insight.

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for your comment. :)

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  5. Sounds about right, Nancy! Ah, the life of a writer, but I know we both enjoy it or we wouldn't do it. Great post!

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    1. Thanks. Even when I'm really busy, I still love what I do. It's a blessing. :)

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  6. I think that is one of the most challenging issues in working from home. Disciplining yourself to actual work hours. I find there are many more distractions at home.

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    1. You're right. Especially from my husband. Sometimes he wants to talk when I don't have time. But...at least he wants to talk to me! LOL!

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  7. I think that is one of the most challenging issues in working from home. Disciplining yourself to actual work hours. I find there are many more distractions at home.

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  8. Nancy, thanks so much. I struggle with that balance constantly. Now I've added daily physical therapy to my time, and am readjusting, again, to get a balanced schedule. I appreciate your input. Cheers

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    1. Thanks for you comment, Marilyn. And good point. I had to fiddle with my schedule a lot before I finally got one that worked for me. Everybody is different. What works for one may not work for another.

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  9. It all comes down to discipline. Sometimes self-discipline is the hardest! I remember meeting you several years ago with my book club at Barnes and Noble in Wichita. You were so gracious. I enjoy your books.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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  10. Thanks Nancy for your words! While reading I kept thinking, "This is the key for anyone who wants to be more effective in their life!" Thanks for spelling it out for us. I needed the reminder! Much has happened in my life in recent years, and I'm needing to "rediscover" myself, and bring control into those areas that is within my power to do so. Your words have given me a timely, encouraging "kick" in the right direction. Many sincere thanks... :)

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    1. I'm so glad, Evie! It took me a while to find the right schedule for me. We're all so different.

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  11. Enjoyed reading the article. The book you are offering sounds like it would be fun to read. Love cozy mysteries.

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  12. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy reading mysteries.

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  13. Nancy,
    Setting a schedule is important. I'm a bit ADD, heck I'm a lot ADD and struggle with schedules. Do you find there are days you when get so wrapped up in your story and keep on writing and writing?
    Tammy L

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    1. I used to when I first started writing. Now not so much. That's why I need to discipline myself. I still enjoy writing - but I think it's become more of a job.

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  14. I know that it is hard to be disciplined at home as well. I stay home with four kids and homeschool two of them. I definitely need more discipline myself. How long has this been your schedule?

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    1. About a year now, Jessica. It took me several attempts to find what worked for me. Everyone is different. If I had your schedule... Well, let's just say that I respect you! I don't think I'd find much time to write if I were you. LOL!

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  15. Nancy, I enjoyed learning more about you and I always love seeing that you have another book in the works!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. Thanks for sharing. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom.

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  17. I think having a schedule would be the only way to keep on task when working from home. Thanks for a chance to win one of your books!

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  18. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to reading this book. Blessings, Kristie
    tklovenestataoldotcom

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