Monday, October 28, 2013

Why Am I Here?



A couple of weeks ago, my son had surgery and after almost eighteen hours without something to eat, he wanted food fast…not fast food necessarily…but good food fast. We spotted a Raising Cane’s, and he said he’d eaten there, and that he’d enjoyed it, so we headed that way.

In this age of being everything to everybody, I was surprised to find nothing but chicken tenders on their menu. Yes, they sold a few side items, Texas toast, cole slaw, etc, but their main focus is chicken. But then I realized what a brilliant marketing strategy. They know what they do well—fried chicken tenders—so why mess with a good thing? Their chicken was delicious, so, yes, this is one instance where less is definitely more!




As freelancers, we can take a lesson from Raising Cane’s. We’re pulled in so many directions: writing, marketing, social media, taking care of the business side of writing, just to name a handful of tasks. Especially in the early years of our careers, we wear all the hats, in addition to holding down a public job and raising a family in many cases.

The one thing I’ve learned (am still learning) since leaving Unpubbed Island is that I need to focus on the dream, the one thing that got me into this crazy, exciting business in the first place.

So what’s the answer? Better yet, what’s the question?

Why am I here? How did I get here? What am I doing here?

I’m here because I’m a writer.

I must focus on my craft and creating a good story. Focusing for me means devoting the most creative times of my day to brainstorming, plotting, writing, editing, immersing myself in my story, and guarding that time very carefully. Write a good story and the rest will follow.

Yes, the checkbook must be balanced, the website updated, the books mailed out. The marketing has to be done, the blog tour scheduled, the contract reviewed, the phone answered. There are a ton of things demanding an author's attention: blogging, tweeting, sending out a newsletter, hosting a book signing, or speaking every other weekend, attending conferences. But if we don't focus on the one thing that brought us to this place -- story -- none of these others things will be needed nor necessary.

I don’t want to get so caught up in the multitude of things screaming for my attention every day that I forget to focus on what brought me here.

I’m here because I’m a writer.

Keep your focus and keep writing!

Today's giveaway is a $10 gift card to Raising Cane's *Subtitution will be made if the winner doesn't have a Raising Cane in their area.



Every comment enters you in this week's overall prize and also in the BIG BIRTHDAY BASH GRAND PRIZE for the month--an iPAD MINI!!!! Good luck, everyone!

124 comments:

Christina Rich said...

Awesome post, Pam! I know I tend to curl into a shell when I become overhelmed by everything being thrown at me and then I forget to go to the one place I find refuge-- my writing.

FOCUS

Tina Radcliffe said...

Amen. Guard the work.

First rule. I heard that from Jenny Crusie years and years ago.

Because nothing else matters if you aren't writing.

Joanne Hill said...

Great reminder about what started this all in the first place - wanting to write. A very good reminder!!

Vince said...

.
“Dance
with the one
who brought you.”

Natalie Monk said...

You are so right, Pam. Even in my present unpubbed stage, there are things that distract from keeping story central. Especially in the hunt for an agent with research, synopses, author bios, query letters, proposals and other promotional stuff I've yet to learn about(I'm eyebrow-deep).

Needed this reminder very much. Thanks, cuz! ;)

Melissa Jagears said...

Considering we don't even have a Wendy's in my town, we definitely don't have much besides mCDonalds. So glad for Braums milk though since I drink a gallon a day....what am I rambling about?

Anyway, not only focus on writing, but focus on what YOU do well writing. Sure, learn every aspect of the craft, but what is your specialty? Find out what makes your writing special and exploit it.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Loved your post Pammers. I have had to remind myself of this so many times.

And Melissa--good point. Do what you do best. Smile

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oh, this is really good. Every few days I see a post about 'the thing writers REALLY need to know' or something like that. Most of the time I click it, when it would have been a better use of my time to actually sit down and write.

What we REALLY need to know, we probably already do. But there's a whole subset of the business that is selling TO writers, rather than supporting us. It's hard to see when it's time to say 'enough' and put on the blinders.

Seekerville and four other writing/ info blogs are my main stops. The rest could take over my very little writing time if I let them.

That said, I'm off to write!!

Cindy W. said...

Wonderful post Pam. I also have enjoyed the responses to your post. Obviously your post has spoken to many this morning and I'm sure it will throughout the day.

I get distracted very easily and find I step away from my writing way too often. I can't continue to let the distractions eat up my time or I will never get close to leaving unpubbed island. Thank you for the kick in the pants.

Raising Cane's sounds wonderful but there aren't any in my neck of the woods. Would love to be entered for a substitution.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Annie Rains said...

This reminds me of what Nora Roberts said at RWA. Someone asked her how she wrote so many books and she said it was because she focused on the writing. She wasn't on Twitter or Facebook, she was using that time to be a writer.

Thanks for today's post, Pam. I've never heard of Raising Canes. We don't have those in Jacksonville, NC. I guess our version of that is KFC? or Church's Chicken? I'm not sure, lol.

Jackie said...

Hi Pam,

We discovered Raising Cane's while traveling to tennis tournaments and love it. We now have a Raising Cane's about ten miles from my house and it usually has a good crowd. Not only is the food good, but they train their employees to care for the customer.

Thank you for reminding us that neglecting our blogs and other things is okay in order to focus on our writing.

I'm so glad you stopped by today!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pam, I love it when someone feeds me!!!! Your son and I have that in common.

My family probably longs for the days of old, when Mom labored over other stuff, but now... because I love writing sweet, touching stories and getting paid for my favorite thing in the world except rocking grandbabies...I write.

I wake up writing.

When my day job is complete in the evening, I write.

And I do it because I so absolutely love what I do that I figure it's a gift from God, with no hint of exaggeration.

I love creating stories. I love making people laugh, cry, smile.

I've cooked, cleaned and worked for decades. Now I juggle all of it and only rarely drop a spinning plate (Thank you Tina for watching my plates!!!!) because I'm from that old school mentality: Ask the busy person to do one more thing.

I'm in love with my job and possibly need an intervention, but if you do plan an intervention, bring food and chocolate. I'll be the gal at the laptop, oblivious to half the world because I'm doing what I waited my whole life to do: Writing.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Love what you said Ginny! I couldn't agree more that there's this whole sub-industry focused on giving advice and selling things to writers, when what everyone should be doing is WRITING.

Sometimes I'm not sure whether to laugh or gag when I come across a post or "new writing book" written by someone who thinks he or she should be telling novelists how to write. Then you take a closer look,and the last time this oh-so-wise author wrote a new novel was about a decade ago.

Sorry, but I really won't be taking advice from someone who hasn't published a new book for the past 10 years.

Anyway, I digress . . .

Naomi Rawlings said...

Melissa J. . . . Are you talking about exploiting your writing? REALLY??? Because you're kind of making me laugh at the moment.

Mary Hicks said...

I copy you, Ruthy. My sentiments exactly!

Good article, Pam. Thanks for taking the time AWAY from your writing to share with with all of us. :-)

Amanda said...

Great post! Yes, the balancing act is very hard, as I'm learning first hand. I'm getting really serious about writing - sending submissions to magazines, entering contests, etc. - while working as a dental hygienist. I'm also a pastor's wife, mom, and children's pastor, so juggling it all can be overwhelming. Sometimes I need to step back and remember why I started this. Thanks for the encouragement!

Rose said...

Pam,

Excellent advice to start out the week.

Writers write.

annalabno.com said...

It's 7 a.m. and I have one hour to write before waking children to school. Then I'm off to work.

Blessings!

Bridgett Henson said...

Thank you, Pam. I so needed this reminder. I'm in the wearing-many-hats stage, and it's easy to get worn out by marketing, editing, formatting, etc. Your post really made me think. I need to keep the writing time sacred.

Kav said...

I love this because even over here on unpubbed island I can see all the distractions and demands placed on y'all on the mainland. Makes me think unpubbed is the place to be. :-) (okay, not really!)

kaybee said...

OH, it is good to begin a horrifically busy week with a word from Pam narrowing my focus. Both the pubbed and we unpubbed need to prioritize. I've cut way back on Facebook and television.
I think it's an extension of what we have to do as Christian women, because there are so many demands on us today. Really in any era. Women in earlier times had the coffee klatch and the PTA. We have Facebook. We need to say no to anything that saps our energy for Him, whether it keeps us away from writing or any other ministry.
I'm older now, almost 63, and I've noticed a shift in my church work. I don't just want to minister any more, I want to minister to the ones ministering, if that makes any sense. So I took a Sunday of Children's Church once a month, so the young mom who usually does it can sit in the service and be fed for once. This way everyone gets blessed -- the kids, the tired young mom, and me from the energy of the children. If I do anything in the church, it has to have that value-added piece.
Rambling. We need to be passionate about everything we do. So the pieces all fit. If we are following the Lord, they will. Ecclesiastes says, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might."
RUTHY, love the way you are so obviously in love with WRITING!
Me too, every moment at the computer -- or with the yellow legal pad -- is joy.
Have a good day, may check in later,
Kathy B.

kaybee said...

Back for a bit. I didn't have to cut back on social media, I barely have the hang of it. Ha ha. I blog here, just started blogging on Nick Harrison's site (he doesn't know it yet), do book reviews on the Christianity page of about.com, post on Facebook when I have something to say but don't get into the drama or anything political, and maintain my two Web sites, one for writing and one home decorating/craft site. That's all I can handle, and some of it will have to go or be modified when I'm published. By the time I got the hang of social media, I had already figured out that I didn't have time for it. So everybody wins.
Does anyone remember Bill Gaither's "Alleluia" album from the 70s? There's a wonderful bit on there from a Christian recording artist, wife and mother who says, "All these different dimensions of my life would create chaos" if God were not at the center. We need to remember this. Except for a fortunate few, life is not going to get simpler.
Best,
KB

Cindy Regnier said...

Doing all the rest so that I can write. Writing is the reward. Writing is the part I would do if nothing else mattered. Thanks Pam. Good reminder.

Piper Huguley said...

Good morning Seekerville,

I was one of those who thought I could write better with the television on, However since I've moved into my desk, I find I'm more productive with it off. An Eye Opener for sure--thanks for the wisdom today Pam!

Down here in Georgia, at least in this part, we have Zaxby's. But Raising Cane sounds so good....

Piper

Pam Hillman said...

Good morning everyone. It's a rainy day in MS. What a great day to just lounge around at home and FOCUS on writing. :)

Skimming the comments so far, I don't see food, so let me set up the sideboard.

Coffee's on! And there's tea, scrambled eggs, homemade biscuits and sausage gravy piping hot from the wood stove to your left.

When lunch time rolls around, Raising Cane's will clear the sideboard and we'll have a feast of chicken tenders with dipping sauces: BBQ, honey mustard, ranch dressing, and sweet and sour.

Jeanne T said...

Great post, Pam. When we lived in Alabama, we had a pastor who frequently reminded us to "Keep the Main Thing the main thing." The same thing is important in writing. If I get so distracted with all the "side aspects" that go along on this writing journey, it all becomes pointless.

I appreciate your post today!

Pam Hillman said...

Christina, you sound just like me! I do the same thing. Writing IS a refuge and when we pursue it, it refills us.

Amen, Tina.

Pam Hillman said...

Joanne, thanks for stopping by.

Vince, EXACTLY. I had that quote in mind to use in the post when I was writing it, and forgot. GMTA! Of course your mind is greater than mine, since I forgot to use the quote. lol

pol said...

Short but sweet today Pam and could have so much more meanings...I am a reader and love to stop by Seekerville and learn from the best. I don't know this franchise but like the name. I esp like phrase from Vince...
thanks for sharing today,Have a good one guys and gals.
Paula O

Pam Hillman said...

Cuz Natalie, find your focus now, grab hold of it, and don't let go even when you are further down this writing road. You'll be glad you did.

Victoria said...

It is SO easy for me to get distracted by other things when I should be writing even though I haven't started down the road towards being published yet! (or, shoved off from the island, I should say :)) I've seen the quote several times that says, "Being a writer is 5% talent, 95% not getting distracted by the internet." Of course, 'internet' there can be replaced by just about anything that takes our focus of what's important.

Thank you for the reminder!

Pam Hillman said...

Melissa, you're drilling down to a deeper lever of focusing. Brava!!

The word SPECIALIZE was in my notes when thinking about this, but I didn't include that thread...uh ...because my brain was fried about that time.

...we had homecoming at our church this weekend. Great to see old friends, and the delicious array of food would put even Seekerville to shame...

But, yes, once we focus on writing, we can then expand (that's when the MORE comes in!) our focus on what our strengths are.

If we're so fragmented with all the other stuff all the time, we don't have time and energy to "dance with the one who brought us" so to speak.

So, dance, friends, dance!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Yes, good point, Pam! ;-) Which is why I need to write EVERY DAY if possible and do those blog posts that are hanging over my head when I'm too tired to focus on my story. Which is why I'm going to close here and go work on my story now!!! ;-) Thanks, Pam!

DebH said...

hi Pam
thanks for the reminder about WRITING. I know that is my problem a bunch of the time - distractions. I really need to be more disciplined.

would love to try Raising Cane's except i don't think we've any around here.

todays take-away? focus, focus, focus...

thanks!

Pam Hillman said...

Amen, Virginia. I know exactly what you're talking about. I am a sponge. If someone put helpful information out there to read, I figure I need to read it. It's a sickness!

Have fun focusing!

Pam Hillman said...

Oh, and I love the idea of blinders!! Yes, I need blinders!!!

I can see it now....

But I sorta resemble a mule without ears...

hmmmm

Sherri Shackelford said...

Pam--I hope your son is recovering well!

And thank you for the timely reminder :)

Sara Ella said...

What an encouraging way to begin my week. It can get a little crazy trying to wear all those hats. Focusing on the dream is just what I need to do. Thanks!

Cara Lynn James said...

Writing is the most important activity for a writer! The rest is secondary and we shouldn't make that number one priority just because it's easier or more fun. Writing is hard work! But without it we're just a tweeter -- or is it a twit?

Courtney Phillips said...

That reminds me a little bit of Chick-fil-a.(Never heard of Raising Cane).
Good post. I like the quote that says something like, "If you aren't writing, then you don't have anything to fix." That's my loose translation. Ha!

Pam Hillman said...

Cindy, distraction is my middle name. And, the bad (or, should I say good thing) is that the things that distract me are needful most of the time.

If I focus on writing first, then the rest will still be right there clamoring for my attention when I've got my writing time in.

Joanne Sher said...

Such a FABULOUS reminder, Pam. SO need that focus! (and the nearest Raising Cane's to me is 227 miles - but I'm totally intrigued). Thanks!

Pam Hillman said...

Annie, what was amazing to me about Raising Cane's was that it was just chicken tenders, not all different kinds of chicken cooked a multitude of ways.

And, their slogan says "Always Fresh, Never Frozen"

Man, by focusing, we can have fresh writing, never frozen or stale.

Adds a whole new dimension to staying focused, doesn't it? ha

Marianne Barkman said...

Sounds like all of us have distractions of some sort...mine is reading, but I guess that's a good thing, right? Keep those stories coming, please. Love your post, Pam and all the comments

Pam Hillman said...

Jackie, another Raising Cane fan! :) Glad to know that customer service is Job One with RC.

Wow, I needed you guys to help me write today's post because... isn't the our first priority for our readers (our customers) to write a STINKING GREAT BOOK?

Sure, writing blogs and socializing on facebook and twitter and hanging out with the Seekers at ACFW is mega important, but THE BOOK is even more important.

Pam Hillman said...

Ruthy's focus is EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

Folks, go back and read her comment.

That's focus.

That's dedication.

That's Ruthy, and she Rawks!

I think I'll print this out and hang it on my office door:

"I'm doing what I waited my whole life to do: Writing."

Love it!

Missy Tippens said...

Pam, that's so true. We need to guard that focused writing time or we feel frazzled and can't write well.

BTW I've never heard of that chicken finger restaurant!

Missy Tippens said...

Now, I need to catch up! I've been out of town since early Thursday morning. Missed the weekend posts!

Jan Drexler said...

Good morning, Pam!

No Raising Cane around here, but your story reminded me of one my husband read in a food-trade magazine. A big hamburger chain had branched out in the 80's to include all sorts of things on their menu (kind of like what pizza places are doing now), but their sales kept going down. When they went back to making burgers the center of their menu, they saved the company.

"Protect the writing time" is something I've learned on Seekerville. Part of the initial struggle was to find my most productive time - but now that I've found it, I just need to structure the rest of my day around it.

It's no surprise that my most productive time is NOT the middle of the night!

Pam Hillman said...

Naomi, it's actually quite funny when you think about it, isn't it?

There's a saying, but I'm going to paraphrase: There are writers, and there are those who talk (and read) about writing.

Yes, there's a place to learn and read and grow as a writer, but there comes a time when we need flip that around and write, write, write.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Pam,

You're right - we are bombarded by so many things in our lives, it's easy to lose focus on what's important.

I've already started juggling more hats (or plates as Ruthy would say) and it just takes FOCUS!

Had some interesting news last week. Now that I've sold two contemporary stories, the historical I was pitching in Indianapolis (with Zero interest from agents or editors), is a finalist in a contest that I forgot I'd entered! And the next round will be judged by Dave Long at Bethany House plus an agent! The judges were so enthusiastic about my entry, it made me so happy! Maybe this story isn't so off the mark after all.

So suddenly I had to dive back into my historical, fix up the entry and re-submit for the next round. Yup, learning to juggle really well!!

It's an amazing trip!

No need to put me in the draw, Pam. I'll let some other person enjoy their chicken!

Susan Anne Mason said...

P.S. If Melissa J. is around, just wanted to say I am LOVING your book! A little more than half way through and I just want to slap Everett upside the head. LOL! No seriously, great writing!

Sue

Myra Johnson said...

Excellent reminder, Pam! You know, I think back to the "olden days" pre-Internet, and it sure seems like I had a LOT more time to just write.

Plus, I had more of a real life. I did volunteer work a couple of mornings a week, had more time for pleasure reading, and actually did some housework and cooking! And STILL had quality writing time almost every day.

So, much as I love the Internet and all it has to offer (and couldn't live or work without it, frankly), there are times I really miss the peace and quiet of being "disconnected."

Pam Hillman said...

Amanda, you are the poster child for today's post. In this stage of your life, you sound like you don't have a lot of time to devote to your writing, but focus on that spot that you can give to writing and guard it.

If it's 30 minutes every morning, or in the evening, let that be your joy, your focus.

And, a bit of advice from someone who's been there, done that. When the time comes (pun intended) that you are handed MORE time on a long-term basis, don't squander it away thinking you'll add your new-found time to your writing schedule tomorrow.

Deviating from your writing schedule should be the exception, not the norm.

Pam Hillman said...

Anna Labno is our heroine today! Go Anna! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Bridgett and Kav, we are all in the same boat when it comes to time constraints and priorities. I don't know a soul on either the Mainland or Unpubbed Island who isn't maxed out!

If we can take one thing away from today's discussion, it's to carve out that writing time and then guard it. Then when and if more time comes your way, don't relax your guard and pull a monkey (everybody remember the monkeys?) by saying, "I'll play today and write tomorrow."

Tomorrow never comes.

Slot that new time into your writing schedule THE VERY FIRST DAY IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.

I love that Seekerville is a discussion, not an "I wrote a brilliant post and I know it all", because let's be honest, today's post was pretty bare bones, but I'm loving the discussion HERE in the comments.

Melissa Jagears said...

Naomi,

exploit="use to greatest advantage" does not necessarily mean monetary advantage. If you do slapstick well or dialog well highlight it in your writing, make that high priority to write books that take advantage of your strength.

If I'm naturally good at slapstick, writing literary novels is not exploiting my writing strength. That's what I mean.

Alicia The Snowflake said...

Thank you for this reminder. I've recently returned to blogging. And I found that I missed it. I love the process of putting thoughts on a page. That is fueling my focus at the moment!

Jamie Adams said...

Great post to start the week! Now to get back to writing :)

Vince said...

.
Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket.”
Andrew Carnegie
.

Got to focus. Deadline for edits, 1 November!!!

Heidi said...

So true! Thanks for sharing your perspective!

Pam Hillman said...

Kaybee, what a wonderful way to minister. Some day when I pass the baton of teaching pre-schoolers off to a young mom at church, this will be a great way to give them a break once a month. I like! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Amen, Cindy! Writing is the reward.

Yep, Piper, moving into my desk does that to me too! :)

Connie Queen said...

Great post, Pam.

Let me ask you something. Does it matter for what publisher you write for. Another words do some publishers require more self-promotion than others, making all the time-sappers a part of the contract? (I know, the author still has to write...)

I don't have to worry about this right now since I'm not published, your post made me wonder.

Erica Vetsch said...

Brilliant! I have felt so scattered recently. But I am a writer! :)

kaybee said...

CHRISTINA, you are right. It's a refuge. What a good way to put it. YOu should be a writer...
PAM, I love scrambled eggs in any form! And it's really cold in New England today, so a hot breakfast, even virtual, hits the spot.
SUSAN MASON, congratulations on finaling in a contest you forgot you entered -- the Lord must have a plan for your historical.
Oh way to go Seekers.
KB

Pam Hillman said...

Jeanne T., your pastor was spot on.

Paula O, This lesson is good for us in all walks of life, not just us writers. :)

Terri said...

So true, Pam. A fact I was reminded of this weekend when asked wasn't I supposed to be writing. Those nudges are needed and appreciated.

Pam Hillman said...

Victoria, what a great quote, and so true. Must write first, THEN check email, fb, and Seekerville. Oops, did I SAY that out loud???

Go Melanie! :)

I will say that for most of us (or for ME anyway), I'm fresher in the mornings and once I start on my writing, I can work on it for hours, then work on all the other "stuff" that doesn't require a lot of creativity later in the day when I'm tired or there are distractions in the form of people in and out of my house.

Who are these people? They look familiar, but...

Maybe this will be flipped around for some of you. So just do whatever works for you to stay focused.

You can do it!

Pam Hillman said...

You're on the right track, DebH.

Anyone care to share how they stay focused? I KNOW what I need to do...

Get up, make coffee and work on my writing for 2-3 hours before caving to balancing the books or working on taxes, checking email or fb or blogging.

That's MY focus strategy.

What's YOURS?

Anita Mae Draper said...

Goodness, Pam, that's a great reminder!

And it's something I very much needed today, so thank you.

Chill N said...

Good heavens, Pam, there are timely posts and then there are TIMELY posts. I experienced a soul-searching weekend regarding writing, came to a conclusion, and when I read your words this morning it was as if you had been there with me:

" ... guarding that time very carefully."

In most cases, I have allowed distractions to intrude into my writing time and given them undue time and attention. Time to take responsibility. Time to write.

Thanks for the words, Pam!

Nancy C

Pam Hillman said...

Thank you, Sherri, he is. :)

Yes, Sara, we have a dream. Wow, so many people don't have a dream and don't pursue it.

The amazing thing about the writing dream is that all you really, really need is a pencil and some paper. Granted, all the "fluff" is nice, but in a pinch, a stubby pencil and a grubby piece of paper will do.

There are no startup costs to take the first tiny step to follow this dream.

Amazing!

Chill N said...

SUSAN -- that is super news about the contest. What a great final judge. Sending good thoughts and big congrats.

Nancy C

Pam Hillman said...

Okay, I never thought of myself as just a twit, Cara!

ROFLOL

Pam Hillman said...

Another good quote, Courtney. Similar to "You can't fix a blank page."

Pam Hillman said...

Joanne, seems like Raising Cane's is few and far between. Hmmm, shipping fresh fried chicken tenders just doesn't quite work, does it?

Hey, it's almost lunch time here! The buffet is filled with chicken tenders and a variety of dipping sauces.

What's your favorite?

I'm grabbing a couple of dippers of ranch dressing. Yum!

Pam Hillman said...

Marianne, reading is a wonderful pass time. So many books, so little time has never been so true around here. Sigh.

Pam Hillman said...

Jan, thanks for sharing that story. It's another reminder to focus on what we do best.

I've found that I work best to get a good night's sleep and then work throughout the day.

But, then, there have been a few deadlines that have caused me to pull some all-nighters. So, I know I can do it, but I'm not much good the next couple of days.

Audra Harders said...

Great question for all of us to ask ourselves, Pam. Too often with all the other tasks assigned us in promoting our books, we tend to forget the most essential element...

We love to write.

And chicken tenders aren't too bad either. Cajun spice, please : )

Janet Dean said...

Pam, great post! You nailed what's important! Writers write. The hard part--many of us work surrounded by children, retired husbands, a To Do list that can't be totally ignored. But, if we want to write, we will find a way no matter what.

We don't have a Raising Cane's in our area. Sounds great!

Janet

Connie Queen said...

I've never been to Raising Cane's but just looked it up and we have 4 under 25 miles from here. I'll have to try it now.

Pam Hillman said...

Sue, congratulations on finalling in the contest!

Whoo-hoo! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Myra, unplugging from the 'net has it's perks. I could do it for a while as far as the social part. The business side would be difficult for me though.

Pam Hillman said...

Alicia, that's wonderful!

Different things fuel different people. Find what works for you and grab hold of it.

Pam Hillman said...

I've never heard that Andrew Carnegie quote, Vince. No wonder I've been so scattered all these years, trying to follow the old adage of "don't put all your eggs in one basket."

Talk about a fruit-basket turnover! lol

Pam Hillman said...

Connie, obviously different publishers expect different levels of commitment from their authors, but today's post is more about how I organize my time and my priorities, not so much what my publisher expects of me.

I'm more than happy to come alongside my publisher to market my books. We're a team and I want to do everything I can to make the books that I have out there a success. Tyndale has a great marketing and PR department, and I'm blessed to get to work with them.

But at the end of the day (or the beginning, to be more accurate!), it's still my responsibility to organize my day so that writing fresh content for the NEXT book is my number one priority.

Otherwise, this train is going to run out of steam before it gets much traction.

Does that make sense?

Pam Hillman said...

Erica, high five from one writer to another.

I write, therefore I am a writer.

I think some famous person said that, but with over 83,000 hits on the 'net, I'm not sure who said it first.

Connie Queen said...

Perfect sense, Pam.

Thanks

DebH said...

Lots of wisdom in the comments section today. Soaking it in while dipping that chicken in a BBQ, honey-mustard mix (learned that from my four year old).

Pam Hillman said...

Terri...uh...aren't you supposed to be writing? Seriously, so glad you stopped by Seekerville today. Now you can go write! :)

Anita Mae, you are welcome, sweetie!

Nancy C. we are so in tune with each other this week. I, too, am horrible about giving a task or situation "undue attention". It's not that it doesn't need attention, it's the amount of attention I give it that is SO embarrassing.

I get so involved in whatever task I'm doing (preparing a blog post, newsletter, a meme on picmonkey, balancing the books, the budget, etc, etc.) that I look up and hours have passed, and I'm worn out... too worn out to devote those wonderful, fresh brain cells to writing.

The GOOD news is that I can get just as deeply immersed in writing, and that's why I need to focus on it first thing in the morning. When I do that, I surface a few hours later, just as exhausted, but happy and content that my #1 priority has received my attention.

PatriciaW said...

Too bad there's no Raising Cane in our area. My boys love all things chicken.

I'm really starting to get it as far as guarding the work, guarding the writing time. Slow learner, I guess, but better now than never.

Christina Rich said...

All right y'all I can't keep my mouth shut!!!! So, Friday was an anniversary for me because that's when I received the email from Emily Rodmell asking me to call her. Saturday is an anniversary as well because a year from that date is when I actually sold my first book.

And GUESS WHAT?!!!

I just got off the phone with Emily. I sold another book! Three books in one year and two days!! I'm over the moon.

I told hubs that you know, one book seems a fluke and two may be a fluke of a fluke, but three....maybe I'm meant to be a writer. ;)

I love Seekerville!!! You all know it was through their birthday that I even received a request, dontcha?

Connie Queen said...

Yaaaaaaaaay,Christina!

It's no fluke.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

You're speakin' my language!!!

Thanks for excellent reminder, Pam.

I don't think we have a RC in our area, but from what you say, I might just make a trip to find one!

Hope your son is A-OK now... :D

Christina Rich said...

Hmmm blogger must not like me today, I have negative.

Pam Hillman said...

Patricia, if you're a slow learner, girl, I'm right there with you. :)

CHRISTINA!!!! Congratulations on the new SALE!!! Whoot! Whoot!!!!

Jackie Smith said...

There is not a Raising Cane's restaurant near me.....am in NE Georgia. Sounds like a place I would love though.

Naomi Rawlings said...

And yet, Melissa J, as true as that definition of exploiting might be, I can't help but think that if you're exploiting your natural abilities in your novel, aren't your book sales going to reflect that?

I think we're stuck in the middle of a vicious circle. Of course, we could just stop arguing if you admit I'm right and you're wrong. ;-)

Victoria said...

What fabulous news, Christina!!!! So excited for you ... and can't wait to read one of your books :)

Dianna Shuford said...

Great post, Pam! Very thought provoking, which I needed after my day at work. Thanks.

Elaine Manders said...

Really great advice, Pam. I am a writer on my way to being a word master and there's only one way to achieve that goal...keep writing.

Thanks Susan and Christina for sharing your good news. The accomplishments of fellow writers always lifts my spirits.

Chill N said...

CHRISTINA! Great news. Congratulations -- obviously you spent time focusing on your writing :-)

Nancy C

Christina Rich said...

Oh, Susan, that is great news!!!

Chill N said...

Pam Hillman said...
Nancy C. we are so in tune with each other this week. I, too, am horrible about giving a task or situation "undue attention". It's not that it doesn't need attention, it's the amount of attention I give it that is SO embarrassing.

I get so involved in whatever task I'm doing (preparing a blog post, newsletter, a meme on picmonkey, balancing the books, the budget, etc, etc.) that I look up and hours have passed, and I'm worn out... too worn out to devote those wonderful, fresh brain cells to writing.

PAM -- You are describing me :-) I sat down this morning to update maps of my make-believe town and locale for three western historicals. Hours later I realized I was hungry. Let's just say it was long past the lunch hour. Not a total waste of time, though, as it made me think through some actions in the stories. But still ... I could've been writing.

Nancy C

Piper Huguley said...

Big congrats to Sue and Christina!

Piper

Melissa Jagears said...

Naomi, I never admit to being wrong, ask the hubby. :) Or I'll admit to it grudgingly days later....

CatMom said...

Direct and to the point----Love this, Pam! A great reminder for all of us who write, so thank you! (And I hope your son has healed nicely from his surgery).
Blessings, Patti Jo :)

CatMom said...

p.s. Just read the wonderful exciting news from SUE and CHRISTINA - - YAY LADIES!!!! Congrats to both of you!!
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Linda Finn said...

Great idea, I am saving these to a binder for later reference.
Linda Finn
Faithful Acres Books
http://www.faithfulacresbooks.wordpress.com
faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

Terri said...

Congratulations to Sue and Christina! Way to go ladies!

Pam Hillman said...

Hey, I'm back. Had to run some errands, and then cook some food for the natives.

Anybody ever made Hungry Jack Quick & easy biscuits? Okay, those little things are YUMMY! Just sayin'

Dianna, Mondays are always tough. Glad you're home. Home is such a wonderful place to be! :)

Elaine, you're on the right path. Keep plugging away.

Pam Hillman said...

Nancy, I do the same thing. It's nearly nine here and where has the day GONE????

CatMom, waving at you!

Linda Finn, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Julie Lessman said...

PAMMY, LOVE THIS!!!

You said, "But if we don't focus on the one thing that brought us to this place -- story -- none of these others things will be needed nor necessary."

WOW, I wish I had read this blog a LOT sooner, my friend, because this is a lesson I am just NOW learning -- 5 years too late, in my opinion, so I hope the new authors and soon-to-be-pubbed ones take this to heart.

Hugs,
Julie

Pam Hillman said...

Julie, we know it, we read it, we nod our heads when Ruthy says, "Plan the work, work the plan"...

when Tina says "Guard the work"...

when Vince says, "Dance with the one that brought you."...

But knowing and doing are two different things. Seekers will not just know, we will DO! :)

Donna said...

Thank you for this reminder. It is very timely!

Edwina said...

Pam,

What a great reminder! Thanks for getting us focused!

Esther Rose said...

Thank you for the encouragement to just keep going, Pam! This was a good reminder today.

Mary Preston said...

Sometimes it is best to just concentrate on what you do best.

Wanda Barefoot said...

This was a great post, Miss Pam. I'm not a writer but I thank God for writers such as yourself . The stories you guys write take me on journeys and life experiences I might never know otherwise. So, thank you!

Thank you for the giveaway also. :)

Wanda Barefoot
flghtlss1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bookishqueen said...

That is awesome!

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Great message, Pam!

Michelle said...

No Raising Cane's in my area. I live in Ohio. Chicken tenders sound really good. I'm hungry and I love chicken. I eat it a lot. I just used their store locator and you can search for restaurants up to 500 miles away. That brought up restaurants in Nebraska and Oklahoma. Please enter me in the drawing.

Pam Hillman said...

Donna, Wanda, Mary, Eva Maria, BookishQueen,Michelle!!! :) so glad you guys stopped by.

Michelle, same here. We raise beef, but we "Eat mor' chicken" as the ad says. lol Well, I wouldn't say we eat MORE chicken, but when my husband said we ate a whole beef one year (spaghetti and hamburgers a LOT), I started diversifying. :)