To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:
You would think a gal who was raised in and around the swamps of southern Louisiana would know how to swim like a snapping turtle, but that was one life skill I never quite learned how to master.
When I was seventeen I traveled to San Diego to spend some time with my older brother. He was in the Navy and stationed on the battleship USS Enterprise. I thought I would have the time of my life, romping on the beach and cultivating a tan.
I was wrong.
My first day at the beach, my brother and one of his Navy buddies decided it would be funny to grab me, drag me out to water over my head and dump me in the Pacific Ocean to see if I could get back to shore. What they didn't bargain on was my getting disoriented and nearly DROWNING before they realized what was going on and had to drag me back to dry land.
That is one memory I've carried with me for almost forty years, coloring my fear of water I can't see through and preventing me from enjoying the local pool each summer.
As writers, we sometimes allow all the daily tasks and writerly deadlines weighing down our plates to try to DROWN us to the point of immobility. We can't seem to see a light at the end of the tunnel and allow our fears to DROWN us in a sea of overwhelming uncertainty and lack of confidence in our ability to achieve our daily goals.
Since my faithful computer died last month, I have been DROWNING in a never ending pile of writerly deadlines inching closer and closer toward me. Here are some of the things I have done to help keep my head above water...
1. Use other computers whenever possible. My boss generously allows me to use the school's computer to write my weekly blog posts so I won't get behind. My local library also allows access to their computers in two hour blocks for quick tasks I can do there. It also gives me a chance to check out the books...and was a great resource for story ideas during Tara's Lazar's STORYSTORM this month!
2. Set priorities. There were a couple of submission opportunities with January deadlines so I had to make sure I found a way to meet those deadlines in time. Some of my other writing projects will have to wait until next month after I get my tax refund and can purchase my new computer.
3. Take this "down time" to work on either generating new stories or revising/cleaning up old manuscripts that I have hard copies on hand. I can always transfer the info to my files and databases later, but for now, I'm staying productive.
4. Use my smartphone for keeping in touch with my social sites so my friends and other connections won't begin to think I really have DROWNED.
5. Take this time to make sure I'm getting extra rest and ready to hit the ground running next month when I am fully, technologically functioning again. I've been going to bed well before my usual midnight lights out, and have actually found time to do some leisure reading this weekend that I NEVER get the chance to do anymore!
Some of these ideas might work for you, and maybe you will come up with some ideas of your own to prevent you from DROWNING under the weight of revisions, submissions, manuscripts, and other writerly deadlines this year.
If you come up with something that really works for you, please share in the comments below. You never know when you might be saving another writer needing a helping hand!
ARE YOU THE MISSING PIECE? is now available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, and other fine retailers. It was a #1 bestseller in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US last fall.
International best selling author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt Taekwondo Instructor by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host and book reviewer for Harper Collins, She is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and Children's Book Insider. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, time at the beach, and well written stories.