Monday, July 14, 2008

Susan Meier's Ten Minute Solution

Janet here. Most of us struggle with too much to do and not enough time to do it. We’re fortunate to have Susan Meier in Seekerville, talking about her Ten Minute Solution.

Susan is the author of over 30 books for Harlequin and Silhouette and one of Guideposts' Grace Chapel Inn series books, The Kindness of Strangers. Her books have been finalists for Reviewers Choice Awards, National Reader's Choice Awards and Cataromance.com Reviewer's Choice Awards.

Her 2007 release, Her Pregnancy Surprise, made both Walden’s Bestseller List for Series Romance and Bookscan. The Millionaire’s Nanny and Her Baby’s First Christmas are her 2008 releases.

Susan loves to teach as much as she loves to write and is a popular speaker at RWA conferences. Susan has also given workshops on earthlycharms.com and her articles regularly appear in RWA chapter newsletters. Can This Manuscript Be Saved? and Plot Points, Taking the Train to Somewhere! are her most requested workshops. She is doing Can this Manuscript be Saved? for the OCC chapter in September. Check her Web site for information. Her article, “How To Write a Category Romance” appeared in 2003 Writer’s Digest Novel and Short Story Markets.
Susan has graciously offered to give one of her backlist to the winner of a drawing of all those who comment on her post.









Susan Meier here! I’ve been a published category romance author for almost twenty years. But the years I’ll bet you’re the most interested in are the years I worked full time AND wrote a category romance or two a year, raised three kids, was one of eleven siblings, and served as President and on the board of the multi-genre writers group, Pennwriters.

My oldest son suffers from a seizure disorder which landed him in the hospital at least once a year as we regulated his meds during his teen years. My daughter was a cheerleader and gymnastics student – which (by default) made me a cheerleader mom responsible for baking things for bake sales, car pooling and working concession stands at games. (I’d love to know how the cheerleader moms get stuck with the concession stand by the way – when they don’t get the money – but I guess that’s another blog!) And my youngest was the school … well, how does a mother say this nicely…con artist? Spunky could charm the birds from the trees and the principal out of being angry with him with just a smile. Coincidentally, he’s in politics right now. LOL

Anyway, I was fairly busy gal. And the truth is writing was the one activity everybody believed could be “dropped” from my list. It seemed that when somebody came up with something that wasn’t on our already overbooked schedule, he or she would simply say…Just don’t write tonight. And either I gave in and didn’t write that night or I spent an hour explaining that writing might be fun for me but it was also a big part of my income…and even then people didn’t always understand.

Agh!

Undoubtedly many of you are facing that same dilemma right now and I can tell you from experience that you’re not going to change your family, the school or the other cheerleader moms who want you to pull your weight! The only person you can change is you.

So I seriously looked at my schedule and found that I was wasting a lot of time waiting in the car for Sarah as she flipped her way across a gymnasiums on mats, sitting in the dentist’s waiting room while young teeth were being cleaned, standing in line at the grocery store and waiting for doctor’s appointments with Mikie…not to mention waiting while dinner cooked, the washer ran through the spin cycle, and “enduring” a few sitcoms that made me want to barf…but which my kids enjoyed.

When I looked at my life and saw how many places I could “write” if I could figure out ways to write on the fly…or in a room while a television was on…or in small snatches of time that I could carve out of my otherwise overloaded day… I could get a lot of work done. You can probably find some time in your schedule too. You may not have as many doctor’s appointments but you probably have your own blocks of in “somebody’s” office or waiting in the car for your own little superstar!

The real bottom line came down to one simple question…What can you do…seriously what can you do…in ten minutes. And the truth is, if you’re desperate enough, eager enough, hungry enough, passionate enough…determined enough that you are going to live your dreams …there are lots of things you can do!

So, what can you do in ten-minute blocks of time?

You can fine-tune your descriptions.

You can make sure all your chapter endings have hooks.

Beef up unappetizing chapter beginnings.

Correct the grammar of a page or two.

Perfect your sentences.

Double check a passage of dialog.

Compare your kisses, making sure each is unique.

Look for duplicate words in a scene.

None of these things will set the world on fire, but if you focus on a section/segment/chapter or scene or two a day and you find several ten-minute blocks a day, within a very short amount of time you can polish an entire book. One paragraph at a time, one scene at a time, one chapter at a time.

If you don’t have a manuscript to polish, you can write a new paragraph in a ten minute block. The prolific among us can draft an entire page in ten minutes. Most days ten minutes is plenty of time for me to write a page. But even writing only a paragraph in each ten minute block you find, imagine what you could do if you found several ten-minute blocks in your day? If a page a day nets a book in a year, writing a page in every two or three ten-minute block you carve out of a busy day could net you a draft in less than half a year.

You can work on a lot of little things that will make a big difference in your book.

Part of the trick to taking advantage of your ten-minute blocks is being prepared. But that’s nothing to those of us who are juggling busy lives! Most of us have briefcases or folders. We’ve got tablets. We’ve got pens. We’ve got paper clips, and post-its and cute little multi-colored tabs. We simply have to learn to put them to good use. We also need to print off copies of our work and be ready to grab it to take with us when we are on the run.

Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of thinking ahead. Look at your calendar at the beginning of the week and you’ll see what ten-minute segments you’re going to have, then figure out what chapters or scenes you need to print to have available to work on on the run.
Can you get the family involved? Or should you just trick them? Or is it the same thing? LOL
I never really tricked my family, but I did bribe them. “If you let mom alone while she finishes this chapter, she will take you to the park on Saturday…” was a very common line in my home! But, I also quickly learned that if I could cut all the “big” household tasks down to ten-minute tasks and assign each of my kids to small, simple-to-accomplish tasks they were always more willing to help because they didn’t see themselves stranded in the kitchen for their entire evening or Saturday morning.

We all like a sense of accomplishment, and cutting everybody’s tasks into ten-minute increments, and handing out easily accomplished tasks that make children feel a real part of things reaps the two-fold benefit that they actually help and they frequently do more. Do more? Are you serious? Sure. You know yourself that you work better once you’ve got a little momentum. Sometimes all a kid needs is a little boost to get involved. It doesn’t work every time, but sometimes is better than never. LOL

And speaking of momentum, 10-minute tasks really work to get YOU motivated on those days when you feel you just don’t have it in you to write. If I’m having an uninspired day, I assign myself a ten-minute task to get myself involved in my book. Sometimes it works so well that I fall into the work with ease and don’t come up for air until that day’s work is done. Other times, I do the ten-minute task and still don’t feel like working all morning, though I can do another ten-minute task or two.

You’re not going to feel like Nora Roberts every day…I’d pay to feel like Nora Roberts for two days running…LOL. But you can get some halfway decent work done, simply by luring yourself into your work ten-minutes at a time!

So that’s the quick and dirty version of my ten-minute solution workshop…the core.
You have me for the rest of the day to discuss the techniques and to answer questions.
By the way, if you’re interested in a free workshop on analyzing for your target line, sub-genre or publisher, you can read my HOW TO ANALYZE THE BOOKS YOU READ workshop on my website…susanmeier.com

susan meier
susanmeier.com
http://harlequin-theweddingplanner.blogspot.com

70 comments :

  1. Susan, it's great to have you in Seekerville! Congratulations on thirty published books!

    Since I read your Ten Minute solution I've realized how many small blocks of time I've wasted and how much can be accomplished in those tiny windows of opportunity. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us today.

    Janet

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  2. Susan!

    I live my life this way, utilizing these little increments of time to get the most possible done in the least amount of time...

    I'M SO GLAD I'M NOT FREAKIN' CRAZY!!!

    THERE ARE OTHERS LIKE ME!!! IT'S A GOOD DAY IN WNY AND SEEKERVILLE!!!!

    YIPPEE KI YI YAY!

    Okay, woman, your books are wonderful, so much fun. Thank you for being with us today and you're right on about time being a huge challenge for so many of us, Seekers and visitors alike.

    To set the stage properly today I've got a coffee/cappuccino/frappuccino bar courtesy of Starbucks and please note just how cute that barista is...

    I'm talkin' serious eye candy here.

    On the side table I've just put an array of breakfast foods and Danish, courtesy of my local Paneras who want you to know that they love Seekers in Paneras.

    So Susan sit back, relax, assume a Nora Roberts-like pose and hit us with your wit and wisdom, woman.

    Ruthy

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  3. Thanks for the warm welcome.

    I thought I was a little crazy when I came up with this too!

    But, in the end, I realized it was all about desire. If I really wanted to succeed I knew I was going to have to do something a little nutty!

    susan

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  4. Wow, good advice and a coffee shop bidding war. I'm glad I forgot about 4-H projects and my lost drivers' license for awhile!

    Nothing like a sugar-free mocha cappuchino.

    I could redeem a lot of 10-minute time segments if I gave up a lot of Internet time. Not Seekerville, of course, but spending too much time on E-bay or other shopping sites could be put on hold.

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  5. Susan, I really enjoyed reading your interview. I am always taking things along with me so that I don't waste time when we are out but still find that I waste alot of time that I could be doing other things.

    Jo

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  6. Wow, what great advice! I was just telling some writing friends yesterday what a challenge it is to find the time to write in this season of raising the kids. I stand corrected. After reading this post, I'm tuning in to the sound of the clock's tick.

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  7. Ruthy, thanks for the coffee and goodies! I'm starting to feel human this morning. Scary, isn't it? ;-)

    I can accomplish lots of chores in ten minute blocks of time, even fine tune pages, but I struggle to get into the story when I only have short periods of time to write. Any suggestions on how to jump start creativity, Susan?

    Janet

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  8. Hi Ann, glad you're not planning to stop visiting Seekerville! Ah, any good deals on ebay?

    Janet

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  9. Susan, thank you for sharing your valuable experience and encouraging us to make the best use of our time.

    I've often been frustrated by not having large chunks
    of time to write, so it's good to have a reminder that it really all adds up. The important thing is to keep writing, no matter the amount of time you have.

    Janet, thanks for posting this.

    Kathleen

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  10. This is a wonderful idea. I always carry a book with me to read so it would be a simple thing to work on my writing instead. Thanks.


    Sue Watson

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  11. This is where one of those Alpha Smarts would come in handy, if you're working on your first draft. Great advice, Susan, and I'm inspired to use my time more wisely after hearing all you did--working full time, along with your kids' activities. WOW.

    But I am disappointed to learn that people still won't respect my writing time after I'm published. Sigh.

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  12. Really excellent ways to accomplish more writing each day, Susan! Thanks so much!

    Joan

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  13. I'm glad you're all enjoying this!

    I love to talk time management.

    Sometimes it's all about organization!

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  14. Janet asked about jumpstarting creativity...

    Yes, I have a trick I use. I keep a 5X8 index card as a running summary of my plot.

    I list things such as: Page 134 Jeb admits to Sophie that he doesn't like to be around children.

    But I go a step further. I put in the emotion of the scene.

    i.e. Page 134: Jeb admits to Sophie that he isn't cut out to be a dad, shocking her. But she quickly remembers that he's been very, very good to her son, and suddenly suspects SOMEBODY (his ex) gave him that idea and right then and there she decides to make sure he's around her son enough that he loses that notion.

    When I couple that with the note from the scene before in Jeb's POV...Page 130: Jeb rushes away from Sophie and her baby, filled with the pain of remembering.

    I know there's a painful reason Jeb doesn't want to be around kids and I've just set Sophie up to put him in the worst possible predicament.

    My point is...that reading those two notes, I can then immediately sit down and draft because I'm hooked into the emotion.

    Just as our editors tell us to make sure there's emotion on the pages of our books...Don't just list plot steps on the sheet where you're keeping track of things...Also write the emotion.

    That emotion is how you get "yourself" back into the emotion of the story so you don't need time to settle in. You can begin writing immediately.

    susan

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  15. Susan, getting into the emotion of the scene when I have limited time to write has been my problem. Using notecards to track scenes and the emotion in them is a great way to handle that. Just part of the planning you talk about in your post. Thanks!

    Janet

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  16. Jo, I can identify. The more time I have, the more time I tend to waste. I love Susan's reminder to plan ahead so we're prepared to make use of those minutes here and there.

    Thanks for stopping!

    Janet

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  17. Lauralee, I've learned to listen to the tick of a timer when I'm doing something that might keep me from writing. It helps.

    Janet

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  18. Susan, thank you for the wonderful ideas. I have an abundance of 10-minute blocks, and I shudder to think of how many I've waisted. I love the emotion/summary card.

    How did you handle your family when deadlines approached? Were they more understanding or did you delegate tasks?

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. Kathleen, you said it all. Writers keep writing!

    And using the Alpha Smart as Melanie does is an easy way to write when we're out and about.


    Janet

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  21. Thanks, Susan, for creating some room for us authors around scarcity of time. It's fun to read your tips - some of them I never think of in the moment - like checking for echo words - or comparing kisses.

    Lynn Romaine
    www.ecosuspense.blogspot.com

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  22. Great advice, as always, from Susan Meier, the most organized person I know! I'm reminded of Flylady, and her advice to set a timer and see how much you can get done by the time it goes off.

    I find my alphasmart is invaluable in making use of those little blocks of time. It has the added benefit, especially when I'm traveling, of keeping me in the book. As long as I'm writing something on it, even in a couple of short segments a day, it will stay alive in my mind.

    Thanks, Susan!

    Marta Perry

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  23. Thank you SO much for sharing this, Susan! I am definitely getting better about "squeezing in" writing where I can - with two kids under 8 and a husband home on disability, it's a necessity (especially over the summer, when I don't have that precious "school time."). Ten minutes is such a doable goal much of the time. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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  24. Hi Marta! You make a wonderful point on the importance of keeping the book alive in our minds. That keeps characters talking. :-) Thanks for stopping!

    Janet

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  25. Best ten minutes I took today was to read your blog, Susan. Thanks for the reminder, we get out of our careers what we make it. I would love to sit in on one of your workshops. Congratulations on your success and well done!

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  26. Lorna asked if my husband and kids are understanding when I have a deadline and now that I'm off the floor of my laughing fit I can say no.

    I have a book due on Thursday. This thursday. It's why I'm only popping in every hour or so today.

    So far though I've...Driven my son to work, written a check for my daughter who is on her way to an amusement park, as I proofed my manuscript.

    Normally, I'd set up some kind of system to keep them out of my hair, but since my son was going to work and my daughter leaving the house, I figured giving one a ride and the other money was faster than trying to establish a rule that they let me alone. LOL

    But when they have to be in the house and I have a deadline, I do have rules.

    You have to.

    Structure simply makes everybody's life easier. And kids -- though they won't admit it -- really do appreciate knowing when to let you alone.

    The trick is knowing your family and knowing what works.

    Is it possible to bribe your family? Does a tasty cake or a trip to the water slides get them to behave? Would the promise of a Yatzee game at 2:00 motivate them to let you alone until 2:00?

    I'm always flattered that they want my attention, so when I can't give it, I make sure they know I love them...but I'm busy.

    LOL

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  27. Hey! Marta Perry! One of my favorite authors! Nice to "see" you.

    I actually came up with my stuff before the Fly Lady. I was so depressed when she made much better use of the info than I did!

    LOL

    susan

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  28. Thanks, Melanie and Janet for the
    comments about the Alpha Smart.
    I've been meaning to check if my
    old Alpha Smart works with my new
    Mac and finally took the time to
    find out it does!

    One more great tool to have for
    redeeming those ten minute
    blocks here and there.

    Kathleen

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  29. That's the piece I've been missing the whole time! Being prepared! Why didn't I think of having chapters printed and ready to go? Thanks Susan!

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  30. Susan, I'm awed you agreed to post today with a deadline Thursday. Wow, can't thank you enough!

    My kids are married, but they're still here, at least by phone. I use the minutes chatting with them to empty the dishwasher, put on my face--I actually wait for an interruption--or dust. It's amazing how much I can get done.

    One of my problems is the need for perfection. Not that I achieve it, but I write and rewrite a blog post, even a comment. I want to revise every word I write, which slows my word count. Breaking that habit is tough, but I'm determined.

    Janet

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  31. Kathleen, celebrating that you now know you can use your Alpha Smart!
    Happy day!

    Janet

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  32. *sigh* I feel almost 'normal' around you ladies! LoL. Just last week I stood in line at Driver Services frantically writing and ignoring the bored people staring around me. My kids are used to being used for dictation as we drive places, but I have to admit to wasting a lot of time and that will, WILL be changing!!

    Thanks so much for the tips and the encouragement! It was EXACTLY what I needed this morning!

    (can some one please tell me what alpha smart is? Please?)

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  33. This is wonderful advice, Susan. I already leave my laptop open on the table to remind me to write, now I just have to get my bootie in the chair. lol!

    I'd love to be entered to win a book.
    jessica_nelson7590 AT yahoo DOT com

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  34. The posts I'm reading today prove what I've suspected all along!

    Writers who really want to succeed find ways to make time!

    But the thing I love best about us is that we aren't afraid to spend a little money for tools.

    Lots of my friend have Alphasmarts! I just take my laptop. LOL (Proof I'm REALLY not afraid to spend money!)

    Janet, I also hear you on the perfectionism thing. One of the ways I cured myself of that was to begin "forgiving" my mistakes!

    Rather than cringe if I read a typo in something I post, I envision lots of "understanding" readers who think...Wow, Susan is busy. So I can overlook a typo.

    I'm serious! Try picturing "forgiving" readers of your blog posts. LOL.

    Now, understand, I never picture a "forgiving" editor. LOL. My manuscripts always shine. But...Blog posts and emails...I picture forgiving readers.

    susan

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  35. Jessica!

    You've just mentioned my favorite use for my laptop! I leave it open, my current WIP on the screen, in the kitchen as I'm cooking or cleaning, and if an idea strikes, I type!

    But also, I proof pages, puff up descriptions, check dialog...all while hamburg is simmering...or whatever it is hamburg does.

    I'm not much of a cook. So maybe I should have said I do those things while the Kraft Macaroni and cheese is boiling. LOL.

    susan

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  36. Hi Patty,

    An Alpha Smart is light-weight, battery-powered device that allows you to to write when you're on the go. When you get home, you connect it to your computer, in my case using a USB cable. Then press send and your words type into a blank document on your screen. Very handy and not as expensive as a laptop. No Internet connection though. That may be the best thing about it. :-)

    Janet

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  37. Wow, you ladies have gone through a boatload of food...

    Luckily we have lunch courtesy of Culvers' Restaurants in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

    I could go for a few fried cheese curds right about now, couldn't you? And some root beer... How about a root beer float???

    Amazing. And calorie free, courtesy of the Internet.

    Imaginations can be a blessing or a curse, can't they?

    Susan, you and Janet are doing a great job of fielding the questions and I loved the part about your kids needing this and that with a Thursday deadline.

    Ladies, a prime example that life goes on regardless of Mom's bylines...

    Jump in, gals and guys. You might want to try a famous butter-burger or grab the chicken tenders. Coating to die for.

    Ruthy

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  38. Susan, I read somewhere that you should practice good writing with every word you pen,whether in an e-mail or your wip. But that advice slows me down. I'll picture forgiving readers. I know I'm forgiving of the laptop typed e-mails Seeker Mary's been sending from ICRS. And I can barely make them out. ;-)

    Janet

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  39. Oh, and Mary and Julie are OOT right now, hobnobbing with other Christian authors, agents and editors, so feel free to talk about them behind their backs all you want.

    We won't tell!

    Promise!

    Ruthy

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  40. Ruthy, now you've made me want a root beer float! And not the Internet variety either. :-( Love 'em! Oh, and the cola variety, too. What were they called? Brown cows? Black cows? Who cares cows? ;-)

    Janet

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  41. Susan,

    More great tips for those ten-minute spurts! Thanks. I love getting your creative suggestions.

    Your energy level and productivity have always been an amazing writer! You managed to raise terrific kids, volunteer at church and school, and write some thirty fabulous books all while keeping up with that big family of yours.

    You're a constant source of inspiration. THANKS for the timely reminders today (no pun intended).

    Jacki Marunycz :)

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  42. Wonderful, wonderful advice!

    And all so true!

    Thank You for sharing.
    PamT

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  43. Thanks, Pam and Jacki!

    This is one of those times when being totally overwhelmed paid off!

    Had my life been simpler, I never would have written the workshop. LOL

    Jacki, you raised some really great kids yourself!

    s

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  44. This is awesome! Thanks, Susan! I read your 10-minute solution several years ago but this was a truly refreshing refresher!
    cAmy

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  45. Thanks, Amy.

    It's been a refresher for me too. I read the workshop last night and discovered dozens of things that I had done to keep myself organized that have sort of slipped out of my memory. It was fun to remember them!

    I especially like the 10 minute exercise programs I used to do. Looking at my ... well, enlarged body status...I'm thinking it's time to get back into the 10-minute exercise routines.

    s

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  46. I list things such as: Page 134 Jeb admits to Sophie that he doesn't like to be around children.

    Okay, I've been swamped at work and just came up for air.

    Susan, this just jumped out at me. Do you plot by the PAGE? What a novel idea!!!

    I love it!

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  47. Susan, besides ten minute exercise routines, do you have other hints for using your system?

    Janet

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  48. Pam...

    I don't plot by page number, but I do write down the page numbers for signicant events in the story -- the ones I'm listing on my five by eight index card!

    Just in case I need to go back and read that page or scene.

    s

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  49. Jean

    Reading through the workshop last night, I found some things I had forgotten.

    Like having my kids write the day's most important notes from their classes to create 10-minute study cards -- back when they were in high school. They could review the information on the cards while waiting for the bus ... or before a test.

    I had a great segment on housecleaning in ten minute breaks in between writing sessions. I still do this. There's nothing like doing ten minutes of housecleaning every hour and at the end of an eight-hour day not only having lots of pages written...but also having a clean room. LOL

    I keep a cleaning supply bucket on all floors of my house so I don't have to run downstairs or upstair to find the duster or cleanser. If you only have ten minutes to clean, you don't want to waste five of those minutes looking for your supplies!

    Right now I'm researching Nevada. Honestly, some of the books I'm reading are dry, but I sectioned them off into ten-minute segments and read a segment every day...That takes a somewhat dry job and makes it more than tolerable!

    I think the thing I like most about working in ten-minute snatches is that jobs I hate get done. I find I procrastinate about the things I don't want to do, or things I believe will take too long. Breaking things down makes it possible for me to do things I'd normally skip. LOL

    susan

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  50. Susan, I love the idea of lots of pages and a clean house too!!! Sitting in a computer chair for hours is bad for circulation, not to mention my spreading posterior. This is a perfect solution. :-)

    Janet

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  51. After sitting for an hour or two we call need to get up and stretch a bit!

    Taking ten minutes to do something simple like dust your dining room table or dust an end table or even run the vacuum over an area rug is a good way to get yourself moving a bit and get away from your work.

    When you return, you reap the benefit of also having a clear head!

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  52. Sorry I am late..long day at work.

    Susan, thank you for being a guest today.

    I read your post and nearly wept.

    Thank you. I am printing it up.

    THIS IS DOABLE. THIS IS PRACTICAL INFORMATION.

    Thank you.

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  53. Patty, Cheryl did a blog on the Alpha Smart on June 17 in our archives.

    http://seekerville.blogspot.com/search/label/writing%20tools

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  54. Thank you, Janet and Tina, for filling me in on the Alpha Smart! I remember seeing an ad for one, and drooling over it--LoL.

    This whole conversation has been greatly encouraging for me! Thanks so much!! I'll be living in 10 minute slots now. *grin*

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  55. Susan, thanks for sharing your precious time and wisdom with us today. It's been a great day in Seekerville! I'd love to stay and chat but my ten minutes are up. ;-)

    Janet

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  56. Patty, glad today was encouraging! We all need a hearty dose each day.

    Tina, I knew the practical nature of the Ten Minute Solution would appeal to you. I've made a copy too.

    Janet

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  57. Susan is awesome! I was so lucky to take her seminar at the Pennwriters conference in May. Her suggestions and input helped me get a manuscript on the desk of Irene Goodman. Now I've just got my fingers crossed... thanks for dropping in to share these great tips!

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  58. Susan, it's almost midnight and I just had to stop by to read your Ten Minute Solution! Thanks for great tips on how to incorporate more writing time into an already busy schedule!!!

    Okay, I've got nine minutes left, I can . . .

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  59. I keep my DVR (digital voice recorder) handy at all times. With this, even my driving time is spent plotting or in characterization.

    As many of you do, I also do my house cleaning in increments so that I'm thinking while I'm working. Then I go write on my laptop what I've just thought then go clean/think some more.

    This is a great blog post!

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  60. Incredibly helpful post!

    Definitely one to print out.

    Thanks, Susan!
    Cheryl Wyatt

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  61. Tina,

    You're welcome.

    I was thinking about this last night and realized that the first few times a person gets up from the computer to do her dishes or vacuum an arbitrary rug, it will feel a little bit odd. LOL

    But trust me! Once you begin doing little ten-minute tasks throughout your house, you'll wake up one day with a feeling of satisfaction!

    s

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  62. You're welcome, Patty.

    I hate to tell people that this changed my life, because it sounds silly...but it did. LOL

    s

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  63. Janet,

    Thanks for having me. It's been a fun discussion!

    I'm down to 20 pages on the book and 3 days to go. LOL

    Wish me luck.

    I see a few more comments, so I'll answer those before I go.

    s

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  64. Babs!

    How nice to "see" you here.

    I'm thrilled that you have an opportunity with Irene Goodman!

    The workshop I did in May was a day-long workshop. To get into the class since entry was limited to only 15, participants had to submit the first three chapters of their work.

    Reading Babs' submission really was MY pleasure. LOL. What a great story she has. I'm looking forward to seeing that one on the shelves soon!

    s

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  65. Debbi

    You sound like exactly the kind of person who can benefit from the ten-minute solution!

    Anybody posting after midnight has to have a busy life!

    Glad you stopped by and the tips help!

    s

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  66. Anita,

    You reminded me of something I keep forgetting to mention.

    Writing is all about thinking. Those ten-minute pauses I've taken have given me time to thinking through the next passage I need to write.

    But...

    When something is "iffy"... when I'm not sure of my next step, pausing for ten minutes to houseclean and clear my head, keeps me from making mistakes.

    Something that seems good when you're in the thick of things...might not be so good when you actually think it through.

    It's sometimes better to think as you dust than to write something that ultimately ends up being deleted!

    s

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  67. You're welcome, Cheryl!

    It's exciting to me to share something that's worked so well for me.

    I hope it works as well for all of you.

    Just remember to get your supplies. Keep what you need on hand so that you don't find yourself procrastinating because you don't have the "right" tool or pen or passage printed out when you need it.

    s

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  68. Susan, from all your responses, I suspect you gave Seekerville your ten minutes all day long yesterday. Bless you for that! Hope the last twenty pages are fabulous and fly off your fingertips.

    Janet

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  69. Thanks, Janet!

    It was a fun day...and this morning my words did flow from my fingers...and in my ten-minute breaks I did laundry, washed dishes, read the local paper and tried to coax my cat into telling my why her fur's all matted. LOL

    I hope everyone enjoyed yesterday's segments and that everyone finds a ten-minute tip or two to makeing her day go more smoothly.

    Peace...susan

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  70. " ... you're not going to change your family ..." cracked me up. My writing time has been seriously compromised BECAUSE we did change our family.

    My children had hit school age and I enjoyed one full year of 8 AM to 3 PM writing days before we decided to take in foster children in the age range of newborn to five. Now all I think about it potty-training! :-)

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