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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Making the GH a Priority - Esri Rose

Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.

- Groucho Marx

My last post was about how to take a more relaxed attitude toward your contest entry, but I don't want you to be too relaxed. Your entry fee has to be in by Nov. 17th. Your partial has to be there by Dec 2. How are you doing on time?

Figure out what you still need to do and how long you think it will take you to do it -- just your best guess. Get a calendar, subtract the mailing time for your preferred method, and do some division.
If you can build in a week safety margin, that would be good. Kids get sick, you get sick, and plot problems bubble to the top. How much do you need to accomplish each day?

Don't become paralyzed.

If deadlines freak you out, then adopt an attitude of "What's the worst that can happen?" The worst that can happen is that you miss all deadlines and lose fifty bucks. Not the end of the world, and it rolls around every year. Just give it your best shot, realizing that the more you divvy it into small chunks, the more relaxed you can be during the process.

Do become inspired.

Here's a fun exercise. Take five minutes before your GH work for the day, and do a little work on your acceptance speech. Add to your list of what you can do with a Golden Heart final or win under your belt, in terms of agents and editors. Plan what you'll wear at the ceremony. All this becomes possible when you get that entry polished and in on time.

Make it a priority.

You're always busy, but some things can be let go a little, just for the next month or so. Let the house get a little dirty. Ask your husband and kids to pick up some of the slack. Buy more frozen food. Make your fun time-wasters a reward. I have a system that works particularly well. I get up, write five pages, and don't allow myself to get online until that's done. Not only do I accomplish more, but I enjoy my online time more because I don't feel guilty. After lunch, I get back to writing and don't get online until evening. Don't feel intimidated. I don't this every day, but when I do
do it, it works like a charm.

Now go. Do it. I'll look forward to seeing your picture on that big screen!

Esri Rose's 2003 GH finalist was her first published book, Bound to Love Her. More information can be found at

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At 8:36 AM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

What a great, positive outlook, Esri. I've been sitting on the fence--do I enter, then pray I can finish my manuscript, or will that be too much pressure?

It is 50 bucks. But then again, haven't I wasted 50 bucks on other things that weren't as important to my writing career?

Like you said, the worst thing that could happen is that I'm out the money. But on the bright side, I'm sure to have a lot more pages written then I do now.

I've used your system of breaking everything down into increments before. Maybe it's time I try it in connection with my GH entry.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyone else have any tips or questions on managing time and getting work done?

As for me, today I'm gonna have fun picturing my GH dress for next year. :-)


At 8:53 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Hi, Pris! We had fun with clothes this year, didn't we?

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

All very good tips, Esri. It wasn't for the GH, but I recently had revisions to do (were due yesterday), so until I turned those in I did what you suggested and let other things go. Now I'm in super-duper catch-up mode.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Congrats, Trish! Catching is ALMOST fun when you're dancing around the house, singing, "I'm done! I'm done!"

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

I think you keyed in on what I'm doing wrong. I check my e-mail first, then write. I've gotta stop doing that. Starting tomorrow (because I already checked my e-mail today), I will write five pages before checking e-mail or the blog, etc.. Really, I will! I'm revising one book, but really would like to be adding new pages to another I'm working on.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Mo: Once I get online, it's all over. And it's hard to come to grips with that, because there are lots of things we do online that count AS WORK. Research, networking, promotion... But most of the time, that should all come secondary to putting out manuscripts/books.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Esri! I love the part about getting the five pages done before you look at email! GREAT IDEA!

Lots of good ideas. I did get pretty good about letting the house go. We have our priorities, don't we?!

Too often we put our writing on the back burner. No more!!! :)

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Sometimes I feel all warm and fuzzy when my house looks like crap. It means I'm getting good work done.

It's pretty bad right now. :D

I'm working on developing new characters, which is unmitigated fun. So I'm doing reasonably well at mixing work and play right now. But when writing is Work with a capital "wuh," I have to make Internet Time 'reward time.'

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

It is very comforting to know that i am not the only one who gets sucked into the internet when she should be writing!

I have GOT to become more disciplined if I have any hope of finishing this one in time. My plan is to have it finished by November 17th and in the mail by November 25th. Gee, that means I only have to churn out @ 7 pages a day EVERY day! No pressure there!

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

Louisa: Why the early date? Do just have too much going on after Nov 25?

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

You can do it, Louisa! I'm trying to do the same thing! Let's get those pages done today!!!!

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Prisakiss said...

One of my biggest commitments will be over at the end of October. I'm planning to use the time I had to devote to this commitment, to my writing. My goal is to finish my book by the end of November.

It's a tall order, but I'm shooting for it. Someone once told me, "Reach for the moon and you'll land amongst the stars." Not a bad place to be.

Yes, Esri, we had fun in San Fran figuring out our clothes, fixing predicaments and admiring our good taste. ;-)

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Not check email first thing in the morning???? ((((Shudder))))

I think I'm addicted to email...

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

I definitely have an addition to all types of internet input, Diane. It's my version of those kids who constantly have a cell phone to their ear.

Try it one morning. Just don't get online until after lunch.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

Yes, Esri, Thanksgiving is a busy enough time at the bakery. I would not want to be stressed out about getting my entry in the mail!


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