Friday, October 23, 2015


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at

An Ounce of Prevention - Not Exactly an Apple

An apple a day might keep the doctor a way, but it doesn’t
necessarily make you a better writer if you spend your day at the
computer drinking coffee and Cokes, snacking on M&Ms and junk

food, not sleeping properly, and tossing exercise out the window.

Recently I found myself on a deadline, a critical time limit to finish a book to the best of my ability. My first thoughts were to sit at my computer 24/7 until it was done. Stay in my pajamas not work like a fool.


An ounce of prevention helped me to not only finish my deadline with one day to spare, but also to create some of my best writing. I’d like to share what worked during this time, and maybe it will help you too. 

The following are a list of ten smart habits to help you meet deadlines by not putting you into an early grave.

1. Determine how many quality words must be written per day, excluding Saturday or Sunday.

2. Look at your calendar to see what commitments can be rescheduled until after the deadline.

3. If you’re the cook at your house, what meals can be prepared quickly, or can you have carryout one or two nights a week?

4. Enlist the help of your family to help you stay on task and assist in household chores.
5. Eat properly and at regularly scheduled mealtimes. Fast food options do not mean junk food choices.

6. Make sure your beverage of choice includes lots of water. I love my coffee (caffeine), but it doesn’t do my brain any good if I have the shakes.

7. Sleep at least eight hours a night. Sometimes when my brain is in overtime mode, I’m exhausted in the afternoon and opt for a nap. Imagine how much better you can create when your body and mind are refreshed.

8. Exercise! At least 30 minutes a day. Strive for 45 to an hour. Use the time to reflect on what you’ve written and if changes need to be made. When on the treadmill, I prop my laptop and write and write. It’s amazing how much work and miles can be accomplished at the same time.

9. Record your favorite TV programs until you’ve completed your deadline. Those can be your reward.

10. Pray for guidance and wisdom that in all things you honor God with your gift of writing.

When we are not at our best, our writing suffers. Deadlines can be an obstacle that threatens our well being and our careers, but a smart writer knows how to manage her life and be successful. How do you manage stress in your life?

Leave a comment and be entered in a random drawing for a personalized copy of Deadlock or an e-copy.


  1. DiAnn, great advice (and some we writers need to hear). Thanks for sharing.

  2. What great advice DiAnn. Sadly, I really need to work more on these things. :o( I do find music to be really helpful when I am stressing out. I would love to get a copy of Deadlock. Thanks for the drawing!

  3. Hello DiAnn! Thanks for sharing these great ways to manage stress. I need to remember to seek the Lord for His perspective on the situation. Listening to worship music is also a plus! Thank you for the giveaway! :)

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

    1. Stress can actually be our friend - if we can manage it.

  4. Wonderful suggestions for dealing with stress and life's deadlines, even for those of us who are not professional writers. Making sure I include my quiet time with God and His word is the thing that helps me calm myself the most, allowing me to focus on the task at hand.

    1. When this life is over, our time with God is all that matters. Thanks for posting!

  5. Writers certainly have to be disciplined! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. Thanks for the sound advice! Love your books! Can't wait for this to come out!

  7. Great tips from a terrific author! I have one also: I work from home on the computer all day and have used a Chrome extension called "Moveit" that reminds me every so often (I set the time) to get up and move by saying things like "Make 10 large circles with your arms" or "plank for 10 seconds."

  8. What a wonderful post---excellent suggestions! Thank you, DiAnn!

  9. Thank you for these suggestions. They are what all of us need to do, no matter what we do for a living!

  10. Great content & applicable to me ( non authors) as well. :-) I really enjoy your writing gift! Kathleen

  11. Beverly Duell-MooreOctober 26, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    I enjoy reading her books!

  12. Thanks for the great advice! And thanks for writing such great books!