Weekly News & Goals – 2/7/11

It’s one week to Valentine’s Day, and love it or hate it, you should visit the Snake Bites blog next Saturday for a list of digital scavenger hunt items. Yes, that’s right – my publishing company is hosting a scavenger hunt contest with the winner to be announced on Valentine’s Day. Be there or be…well…not heart shaped…

Also, on Friday Desert Heat will go on sale for $1.99 for Valentine’s Day on Amazon and Barnes & Noble . It will go back up to $2.99 on Feb. 15th.

This Week on The Variety Pages

Tuesday: Ch. 45 of The Biker’s Wench

Wednesday: Exploring Romantic Suspense – The Hero

Thursday: Ch. 46 of The Biker’s Wench

Goal Report

Last week was one of those weeks where I never stopped moving, and still managed to complete only the absolute necessities. There’s a reason for this, of course – it’s called a “lack of focus”. Normally, I’m pretty focused on whatever I happen to be working on at the time. It’s why I can work on several drafts at once – I can focus completely on whatever story I happen to be working on at the time, instead of having my mind try to wander between stories. It’s a very handy skill, and as far as writing goes, I’m still okay there.

The problem is with everything else. I sit down to write a blog post, and pretty soon I’m checking twitter, or looking up something on the internet, or reading someone else’s post, or distracted by TV – you get the idea. My brain is on information overload, but I have to tell you – it’s my own fault. Because I am the one letting myself get away with that, instead of forcing myself to calm down and focus on what needs to be done. It’s not social media’s fault, it’s not work’s fault, it’s not all the interesting bloggers out there – it’s all on me, truly. It’s laziness, more or less, and I’ve been letting myself get away with it.

One of my favorite art professors in college was a very odd man (in an interesting way), but he was big on the concept of “mindfulness”. Whatever we were doing, he wanted us to do it in a calm, mindful, focused manner. Nothing else mattered at that exact moment other than what we were working on, and he was convinced that anyone could create art when they approached it with mindful focus. I never did learn how to draw/sketch well, but I did learn how to let everything else around me go and focus on the project in front of me, no matter what it was. I really need to get back to that discipline, rather than allowing my thoughts to become so fragmented. So this week, my goals aren’t only about getting things done, but doing so in a calm, focused manner.

Goals for the Week


  • 5 serial scenes

  • 1 scene for TMM

  • 1 extra scene (doesn’t matter what it’s for)


  • Order business cards/cover cards

  • Add link to site

  • Valentine’s Day contest


  • Workout three times

  • 1 load of laundry 4 nights

  • Update nail art blog

So that’s it for me. The word for the week is “mindfulness”. Do you approach the things you do with calm focus? Or are you fragmented like me? Care to join me in being more focused this week?

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8 comments on “Weekly News & Goals – 2/7/11

  1. Carol

    “it’s all on me, truly. It’s laziness, more or less, and I’ve been letting myself get away with it.” Yup, that was me last week. 🙂

    Here’s to finding focus again for both of us!

  2. Dolly

    Ah…focus…discipline…yes, my dilemma of the day too! But I agree completely that it is our own fault. It’s up to us to be able to control our minds and behaviour. So now I am off to be productive 🙂

  3. Brooklyn Ann

    I can go either way. I think I’d really like that mindful professor though. 🙂

  4. Tiffany

    This happens to me every now and then. Generally, whenever I ignore my schedule and just do whatever. It’s why I’m crazy big on To-Do lists and a consistent schedule. Now that I’m back on schedule, though, my head has been getting info overload to the max! My schedule is very rigorous. Also, have you tried scheduling in ‘Blog Rounds’ before going to bed? I’ve just started doing this. Basically, I write down all the people whose blog I’d like to keep up with (like yours, of course!), and I make sure to check it every night, comment on a post I haven’t commented on, and go to sleep with my daily dose of blog visits!

    – Tiffany Cole

  5. Jamie D.

    Amen, Carol! *raises glass* 🙂

  6. Jamie D.

    I hope your quest for productivity was…productive! LOL

  7. Jamie D.

    He was (is?)an odd duck, but a very…well, “artistic” type personality. The thing that drove me nuts about him was his slow style of speech, but it worked in art class. In a lecture, would have knocked me right out. 😉

  8. Jamie D.

    Oh, I agree Tiffany – I’m really big on routines, and my entire work week consists of one routine after another. Even so, I still lose focus if I’m not careful, due to all the shiny stuff (mostly twitter/fb/blog posts) that exist solely to distract me, or so it seems.

    I use Google reader for my blog reading organization – I have all the (over 200) blogs I follow split out into groups, and yes, there’s a “must read” group of about 20 that I check at least daily (normally on my breaks at work – I write at night before bed). I may not have time to comment, but I make the rounds and share out what I can when I can. Blog reading is pretty far down on my priority list though – aside from those must-reads, I get to the rest when/if I have time. If not, gotta let it go. Writing, reading, socializing and marketing are all more important at this point for me.