Wednesday, July 22, 2015

On Writing: Interruptions, Blessings, & Minions

with guest Laura McNeill.

An author’s life is a delicate balance. Writing time is precious, and many times, difficult to come by. It’s especially true when you have children, a spouse, a full-time job, the laundry, and (for me) graduate school.

As the single mom of two boys, I’m often in the midst of writing, revising, or doing homework when I hear “Hey, mom?” 

My younger child, who’s ten, will ask about an upcoming play date, a lost toy, or if I can help find the popcorn when he needs a snack. My older son, who’s 17, often wants the car keys, has a question about his upcoming college courses, or needs advice on installing anti-virus software on his computer.

I was thinking about balancing writing and interruptions while in church this morning. Interestingly, our pastor’s message hit home.  His message was “Made to Serve,” the fifth of a five-part series on popular summer movies. This week’s film, Pixar’s The Minions, tells the story of the adorable and precocious yellow creatures who seek the dastardliest villain on earth to obey.

Using the movie as a humorous example, our pastor’s point was this: We are created to serve. We are God’s workmanship, created in Jesus Christ to do good works – Ephesians 2:10. He spoke about Jesus setting an example for all of us—after all, the Son of God was never too busy to perform miracles. Jesus paused in the middle of a wedding celebration to serve the bride and groom, turning water into wine. And Mark 10: 48-49 tells us, Jesus stopped and said, “Call him,” taking time to cure Bartemaeus’ blindness on the way out of Jericho.

So, how do we, as authors, write and serve? Here are my thoughts about writing, goals, interruptions, and life:

1. Keep a schedule – I write best in the morning, before I go to work. I try to keep a firm schedule of writing from 6 am – 8 am, but on weekends, my schedule is a bit more flexible. That said, life happens. Children get sick, your boss calls an emergency meeting, or your car needs an oil change and new tires. Give yourself permission to stay up until midnight to finish a chapter or revisions.

2. Set goals – While working on the first draft of a manuscript, I set a daily goal of 1500 words. Sometimes the sentences come fast and furious; sometimes, it’s a major effort and I need a handful of M&Ms to get to word 1499. 

For me, it’s also helpful to make my writing time “official.” I block off writing time on my calendar, add my publisher’s manuscript submission and revision timelines, and send myself reminders when deadlines draw near. If you need an extra push, send yourself a daily iPhone or Android message telling you it’s “time to write!”

3. There are never perfect conditions – Ecclesiastes 11:4 tells us, “If you wait for perfect conditions you will never get anything done.” Until your children leave the nest, and sometimes even after, there will always be “Hey mom” moments. If you don’t have kids to worry about, a neighbor will be outside mowing the yard when you need to edit, there may be a crisis at work, or your hot water tank may decide to quit in the middle of writing the final chapter of your manuscript. 

Roll with it. Learn to write with noise, head to the quietest corner of the local library, or buy a set of Bose noise-cancelling headphones. All in all, it’s better to write with a bit of chaos than not at all. 

4. Lean on other writers – If you are lucky enough to belong to a writers’ group, or have author friends, don’t be shy about asking for help. Beta read each other’s manuscripts, offer to critique chapters, or swap ideas on titles and cover designs. If you’re releasing a book, inquire about writing up a guest post for your friend’s blog, promising to you will return the same kindness when his or her next novel is released. If you have lots of experience, pass it on to new authors. It’s my hope they will do the same.

5. Lend a helping hand – When your children or spouse interrupt, they may have a question they can answer themselves or they may really need your love and attention at that moment. Give it freely. Your best friend may need a ride to the doctor’s office or a neighbor may be grieving over the loss of a loved one. It is okay to “Forget yourself long enough to lend a helping hand” – Phillippians 2:4. You never know when you might need the same kindness. 

As Jesus tells God in John 17:4, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” So, complete your work as a writer as best you can, keep a schedule, and set goals. But remember that we were also created to serve. 

So, embrace the “Hey moms” and your inner Minion. Sharing your talents in those stolen moments might spark a story idea. You may meet someone new and wonderful, experience the unexpected, or be given a blessing in disguise. 

What are your thoughts? How do you handle writing and interruptions?

Bio: Laura adores hot coffee, good manners, the color pink, and novels that keep her reading past midnight. She believes in the beauty of words, paying it forward, and that nerds rule the world. Laura is a fan of balmy summer nights, fireflies, and pristine mountain lakes. She lives in Mobile, Alabama with her two sons.

You can find Laura Tweeting @Lauramcneillbks and blogging at After July 14th, Laura’s suspense novel, Center of Gravity, can be found wherever fine books are sold. 

Comment today to win a copy of Center of Gravity. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

The truth could cost her everything.

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful.

Or is it?


Vince said...

Hi Laura:

What an interesting title and cover. It makes me think it's a philosophy book or a deeply psychological novel like "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". It also makes me think of being a pilot.

An airplane can only carry so much weight and it's not just how much weight is on the plane because even more important is where that weight is placed on the plane. If the center of gravity is where it should be, the plane is stable and can fullfil its flight mission. However, if too much weight is near the front of the plane or the very rear of the plane, then the plane is unstable and may very well crash and burn.

This makes me think of dealing with interruptions. Where is your personal center of gravity? In other words where do you place your values? If your values are in the wrong location, then your life will be unstable and it may figuratively crash and burn. However, if your center of gravity is in the optimal place, you can carry the most weight (burdens) and still fly straight and true.

In a way, God is your load master. Do you load your plane the way God wants or do you load it your way?

Now that's what I think of when I think of your title: "Center of Gravity". Of course now I must read your book to learn if my ideas are anything like the story. : )

Great to have you here! Can't wait until tomorrow to read all the comments.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

The premise for your books sounds so good! Welcome to Seekerville!!!!!

This is good advice, but Vince, I love how your analogy brings it home in a concrete way. We all know we should achieve or aspire to balance, but the idea of inciting our own crash by how we handle things, where we put the weight, is wonderful. Now I see it!

Hey, I brought coffee! And bagels, NYC bagels in honor of all of our friends in the Big Apple this week! Lifting a mug of joe in hopes that they have a great time!

The coffee is real good, btw!

Cindy W. said...

What a great post and as Ruthy says, Vince brought it home with his analogy.

I went over to read more about your book Center of Gravity and WOW!it sounds like a really good book. I'm anxious to see what the secrets are in Mitchell Carson's past. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Jackie said...

Thanks for sharing today.

I think putting my writing schedule on the calendar might help. We've had an overwhelming month, and I need to get back on track.

Center of Gravity sounds like a great book!


Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Seekervile, Laura! I admit to cyber stalking you because I saw your book over and was so excited! I live suspense and knew we had to have you in Seekerville. Thanks for taking time from your Minions to join us!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Laura, and welcome to Seekerville! Handling interruptions with grace, the way God would want us to, is such a challenge at times. The unexpected is bound to come up, even in the midst of a tight deadline. Thank for the ideas on how to deal with those times.

Center of Gravity looks intriguing!

Good analogy, Vince. If WE'RE packing the plane without God's input, we're certain to find the ride even more rocky than expected.

Glynna Kaye said...

JACKIE -- I HAVE to put writing on my schedule and make it a priority or "the tyranny of the urgent" will roll right over it and I won't get a single word written all day. My pastor says we need to learn to "live deliberately" -- which entails scheduling things into our days, weeks, months--blocking time off for God, family and friends, too, or time passes and we suddenly realize we haven't invested in the relationships that are most important to us.

Laura McNeill said...

TINA - Cyber stalk anytime! Am so excited to be here today! I feel that my pastor's message came at the exact moment I needed it for this post! Blessings, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

VInce - exactly! And although the book is fiction, your analogy to airlines and flying is spot on! My father is a pilot and I have been on a week-long tour for my books - flying to Charlotte, NH, NY, ROC, etc ..... and those flights ARE all about the delicate balance of timing and stability!

""""An airplane can only carry so much weight and it's not just how much weight is on the plane because even more important is where that weight is placed on the plane.""""

IN fact, on one smaller flight (CRJ-200) the pilot asked ONE person to move from the front to the midddle - to balance everything out. No one moved. (I was in the middle). Finally, one woman stood up and changed seats. A simple thing for the safety of all on board. We do have to load the way God wants us to!

Thank you for the insight and thoughtful comments Vince,


Laura McNeill said...

Ruth - exactly! (And please pass the creamer and sugar!) Vince did bring it home, didn't he??

""We all know we should achieve or aspire to balance, but the idea of inciting our own crash by how we handle things, where we put the weight, is wonderful.""

Every day, every moment is an opportunity to find balance and live as God intends us to! We are so blessed to be able to have the freedom to shift and change and recorrect!

Thank you for being here and bringing bagels!!!

Hugs, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Cindy - There are so many secrets and he is a troubled man. Ava learns to trust herself and trust in her own strength and love for her children ... a hard-fought battle, but necessary when one loses herself in a mirage of "love and happiness" When she peels everything away .... it is a house of sand and fog.

Many thanks for stopping by!



Laura McNeill said...

Jackie - as funny as it sounds, putting an "appointment" on my writing calendar does nudge me in the right direction. It makes it "official" and gives weight to the task!

Thank you for being here!

Hugs, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Glynna - Thank you for sharing your wisdom about the need to "live deliberately" -- I love that your pastor recommends blocking time off for God, family and friends, too, ((or time passes and we suddenly realize we haven't invested in the relationships that are most important to us.))

I am so glad that you are here today -- I certainly am blessed to be a guest here on the website!!!

xxxx, Laura

Sarah Claucherty said...

Great post Laura!

Barbara Scott said...

Thanks for the coffee, RUTHY! I hope it's dark, French roast. Since I use flavored creamers, I need a robust blend to balance it out. See? Even coffee needs balance.

LAURA, I feel like you were writing your post just for me today. I've set a goal of 1,000 words a day for 6 days a week, but to make it, I need to get up at 5:30 every morning and write for two hours first thing. This week I decided not even to let myself log onto Seekerville until I reached my daily output.

One of our pastors recently asked me to teach a Sunday night class, beginning August 9. I could think of a million reasons why I couldn't do it: writing, editing two manuscripts for other authors, exercising, talking and loving on my retired husband, choir practice, nurturing friendships, housework (what little I do) plus prep time to teach. Couldn't she find someone else? I guess not. Evidently, not everyone has the gift of teaching. Besides, life isn't all about me, right? So I'll watch a little less TV, and I may not log onto Facebook every day. Big deal.

Pass the coffee, Ruthy. I may drink the whole pot today.

Laura McNeill said...

Sarah - THANK YOU! I am blessed to be here among so many fabulous men and women!

Hugs! Laura

Jewell Tweedt said...

Hello Laura,
I enjoyed your blog post. Interruptions are another way of someone saying they need us.

DebH said...

I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO needed this post. Finding the balance has been my nemesis this past year. What you've written has smacked me upside the head (a good thing, btw) to help me moving forward. THANKS!!!!!

also, Vince: thanks for the bringing it home comments. Talk about an eye opener.

I just LOVE Seekerville. I learn something new everyday.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good morning LAURA and welcome to Seekerville today. Thanks for the great reminder that our goals need to be aligned with our Lord. So many times, we can get side-tracked and for sure life happens. Have a great day with us today.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hello Laura! Nice to meet you.

I need this post because I seem to be frittering my summer away! Possibly because my latest wip is not coming together the way I would like. Sigh... Prayers for inspiration appreciated!

Thanks for your words of wisdom!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Great anaolgy of an airplane VINCE. It is a matter of balance isn't it?

Myra Johnson said...

Great wisdom here, Laura! Thanks so much for being our guest today!

I do try to keep to a weekday writing schedule. Writing "busy work" in the mornings (social media, blogging, etc.), then "real" writing in the afternoons. I can put in a good 4-5 hours of writing time that way, usually 4-5 days a week.

Normally I don't write on weekends, unless something really messes up my weekday routine and I have a pressing deadline. Otherwise, weekends are housework and family time.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good for you BARBARA. I find I have to accomplish my goals first before i log onto the Internet also. It can be such a thief of time. But don't drink all the coffee. I need some too. LOL Hey, RUTHY will make more. And those NYC bagels sound yummy. It was while in NYC that I learned to love those.

Laura McNeill said...

Jewell ~ Exactly! Thank you for the kind words and I am glad that the post might be helpful for you!!!!

Blessings, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Deb - I am thrilled that the post was helpful! My pastor is so wise and I felt like God was speaking directly to me -- and asking me to share this message today.

Vince's post was awesome! Great insight.

xx, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Sandra - YES! Our goals need to be aligned with our Lord. It was a great reminder to ME while writing the post.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read today! I am thrilled to be on Seekerville! What a wonderful group of smart and strong men and women!

xx, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Susan - Prayers zooming your way! WIP in progress seem like raising children or training a puppy sometimes .... one step forward, one step back ... but the end result is magical and rewarding.

I will be thinking of you and would love to hear how the WIP turns out!

Blessings, Laura

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandra and all, more coffee... and yes, robust but with a second pot of slightly lighter brew for those who don't like to be #ruthywired all day long. :)

And more bagels, I found this great NYC bagel shop in Brooklyn, Mary Curry showed it to me!

Ain't nothin' like NYC bagels. You can find fancier, and gummier, but the real deal is on the streets of New York.

And I saw Debby Giusti made it to the 9-11 Memorial museum, good for you, Debby!!!! Heart-wrenching and thought-provoking.

Laura, I'm so intrigued by this book because your description... and the cover.... seem to unwrap happiness.

Tell me why I'm going to LOVE it.... because I think I am, I love deep stories.

(Vince is sighing and nodding, because he knows me well!!!)

Laura McNeill said...

Myra - Hats off to your organizational savvy! You are spot-on when it comes to keeping a schedule and getting things done!

Thank you so much for stopping by to read today! I am thrilled to be here. :D

xx, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

RUTH - Oh, such kind words! Thank you so much!

""The cover.... seems to unwrap happiness.""

It surely does ... after many bumps in the road and many tests of faith, strength, and love.

Please let me know what you think! xx, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Sandra - I LOVE bagels and coffee, also!

:D Laura

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Laura, did you see that Amazon has the paperback priced lower than the Kindle? They can't reduce the Kindle price, but they can reduce the paperback price like any other outlet... and it's a dollar and a half less...

I will be glad when these publisher wars fade into nothing because my Kindle readers like affordable Kindle pricing... and not all of them read paperbacks easily.

But I'm thrilled for you if your royalty is based on the cover price and not the actual sale price!

They've done this with some of our Love Inspired books, too. Publishing is never boring, is it?

Jeanne T said...

Laura, you don't know how much I needed this post . . . today. I've been struggling with my lack of time to work on my book. With summer, two boys at home, vacations and real life and wanting to meet my personal deadlines, I've found myself feeling frustrated and discouraged at my lack of progress. A friend reminded me yesterday that I'm on a personal deadline, not a publisher's deadline. And I should enjoy the process and my kiddos. They are only this age once! :) So, I'm taking your words to heart today.

And we're planning to take our kids to see the Minion Movie this weekend. :)

You have an intriguing book cover!

Laura McNeill said...

Ruth - I did see that! It is a dollar and a half less...and I had no idea until a friend pointed it out! No idea how long it might last :D

I'm hoping -- and in agreement -- that the Kindle book could be much more affordable.

NEVER boring!! LOL

Thank you so much for being here today! Blessings, Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Jeanne - It is truly "DEEP BREATH and kiss your children" time, even in the midst of craziness! I get it - I have two boys as well, a full-time job, and deadlines -- it's a whirlwind.... but I consider these "good problems to have!"

I had the opportunity to spend time with good friends last night at my favorite coffee shop and I did stop and just soak in the blessings. It was a wonderful feeling, and reminding myself to live in the moment was completely worth it!

Best of luck with everything! Blessings,


Caryl Kane said...

It's great to "see" Laura here at Seekerville! Laura, thank you for sharing these wonderful tips. Some days its quite a battle to shut out the distractions in order to focus on the important things in life. We have to be careful to choose our battles wisely.

Also, CONGRATULATIONS on the release of Center of Gravity! I can't wait to read it.

Laura McNeill said...

Caryl! Thank you so much! It is all a balance, isn't it? Focusing on the important things can be so difficult when it seems everything and everyone needs our attention.

""We have to be careful to choose our battles wisely."" - definitely!

I appreciate you being here today - am simply thrilled to be a part of this wonderful community today! xxx, Laura

S. Trietsch said...

Thank you Laura for the reminder that all they may need is attention! I'm a newly empty-nester and my husband's job requires him to travel for the first time in 25 years.

I miss those interruptions and sometimes it's too quiet. I have found to be a welcome addition to my writing atmosphere!

Please enter me into your drawing!

Blessings on your day~ Stephanie

Mz.ZeyZey said...

This post was so needed! I've been pulled in a million different directions lately, so this came around at the time I needed to hear it. We were indeed created to serve, both through writing and through everyday kindnesses and helping hands.

Please enter me in the drawing. I love suspense books!

Laura McNeill said...

Mz. Zey Zey - Thank you so much! We were created to serve ... definitely through kindnesses and helping hands.

I appreciate that you stopped by today and SO glad you found the post helpful!

Many blessings! Laura

Pam Hillman said...

How do I handle interruptions?

Not well, I'm afraid.

But I'm working on it.

Pam Hillman said...

Vince, not too long ago, I was on a plane where they actually asked some of us to move to different seating to distribute the weight more evenly. Never had that happen before.

Meghan Carver said...

Good morning, Laura! I homeschool my six children, so I say a hearty AMEN to your statement that there will never be a perfect time. Some days, it seems that all I manage to get done is to feed them. :-) Thanks for the tips and the encouragement today.

I saw your book somewhere else online just yesterday (sorry, I can't remember where), and it looks fantastic! Would love to win a copy. Thanks!

Pam Hillman said...

Unlike Myra, my best time to write fresh content on the rough draft is mornings. Then I can work on the blog posts, marketing, emails, etc.

The problem is that somebody loaded all of that other stuff in the front of the plane and when I get on (or UP, as the case may be) I am too easily pulled into those things because they are important. I need to reload my plane!

CatMom said...

Welcome Laura - - and thank you for taking time to share today.
Powerful reminders - - especially about serving and handling interruptions.
I must confess that after years of being super busy (teaching school and raising 3 kiddos) at times I'd think how nice it would be to have some "peaceful time" to write. Now that I'm no longer teaching and have an empty nest (except for numerous cats, LOL) I'm thankful for the time, but have to say I MISS not hearing "Hey Mom" *sigh*. So I always encourage the moms who still have kiddos at home to treasure that time--it goes too quickly (even though some days are truly exhausting).
Your book sounds wonderful! Thank you again for sharing today (and I must add I also LOVE the color pink). ;)
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

Julie Lessman said...

WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, LAURA -- IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE! Excellent post that I realllllly needed today, so thank you!

When I visited my daughter in Birmingham last December, her pastor did a series using movie clips that was absolutely WONDERFUL. The Sunday we were there, his "movie sermon" utilized clips from Saving Mr. Banks, and halfway through, I actually broke down and silently sobbed into my husband's chest through the entire final quarter, heaving against him hard because the "movie sermon" touched me so much. She goes to the Church of the Highlands, and I would love to see me movie sermons because it truly is an effective teaching tool.

You asked: What are your thoughts? How do you handle writing and interruptions?

My thoughts are that I need to implement #1 a WHOLE lot better than I do. I have found that I write better in the morning, too, but I'm one of those gals who likes to have a clean slate before I begin, which unfortunately never happens. What I mean by that is I want to get my Bible reading/prayer time in first, then my hubby likes to sit outside with his coffee and talk with me and/or take a walk, then email plagues me until I plow through it, and before I know it, it's lunch time! Needless to say, by the time I get the slate "clean," it's 1:00 or 2:00 PM and I'm not fresh anymore. I experimented with getting up at 6:00 PM to write from 6-8 before I do anything, and it works very well, so that's apparently what I need to do when my schedule settles down (grand kids/out-of-town company here for a while), so thanks for the confirmation.


Julie Lessman said...

I agree with Ruthy, Vince -- I love how your take on Laura's title nails it to the wall, so great analogy, my friend. You said: "Where is your personal center of gravity? In other words where do you place your values? If your values are in the wrong location, then your life will be unstable and it may figuratively crash and burn. However, if your center of gravity is in the optimal place, you can carry the most weight (burdens) and still fly straight and true."

As an author, I learned this the hard way and am still not all that great at it (as Pam said), but God and I are working on it too! :)


Sandy Smith said...

Great post, Laura, and so important for me. I have the same issues as some of the others who have commented. Like Susan, I have frittered away my summer. School starts up again in exactly three weeks and I will be back to substitute teaching. Yet I have hardly written anything this summer. My other goal for the summer was organizing all my drawers and cupboards and I have gotten a lot of that done. Like Julie, I have so many other things come up that need my attention that I don't feel fresh by the time I get to writing. I just have to make myself do it. Unfortunately, I am not a morning person so getting up early to write probably wouldn't work for me. But today I have nothing on my schedule, no errands to run, and I don't go to my other part-time job, so I have NO EXCUSES. So I had better quit writing this note and get started!

Your book looks intriguing. Please enter me in the drawing.

Keli Gwyn said...

Great post with lots of helpful tips, Laura. Thanks!

My husband retired recently, so we're learning how to deal with his freedom from a set schedule and my need to adhere to one. The interruptions come. He wants to talk with me, and I want to talk with him. Since we're crazy about one another, that makes sense.

I spent years with the house to myself all day long and an abundance of quiet. I could plop down in front of my laptop, get in the zone and stay there. If I was yanked out of it, though, it could take me forever to get back in. These days I'm learning how to get in and out of my story world more quickly. It is possible. Not easy, but possible. We'll see how I'm doing when I've had more time to adjust.

Mark Abel said...

Excellent encouragement Laura, thanks much.

For me it's my work deadlines that get in the way. Lots of them lately which I'm not complaining about as having the work is a gift from God. So lately I seem to only write once or twice a week in the mornings. I notice the in frequency causes me to be timid or possibly a little fearful of re-engaging with the story. I think possibly it won't flow or I'm not up to speed with where I'm at in the plot etc.

But typically it does flow once I get going. I do best when I'm consistent but need to remind myself interruptions are part of life and may also help with ideas in the book. Thanks again for your post, I'm going to do some writing now!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I've recently realize how wrong multi tasking . A myth. Living deliberately as Glynna mentioned is true living!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Laura what's next for you with your writing?

Leslie McKee said...

Great post! Thanks for stopping by.

The book looks really good. Please throw my name in the drawing.

Kav said...

Love this post. Gets me thinking outside the box a bit. Health issues are my main interruption and I've learned that there are days things won't get done and that's okay. I think accepting life interruptions is important if I want to keep positive. I do what I can as I can and read voraciously the rest of the time. :-) Your books sounds amazing. It's on my TBR list.

Laura McNeill said...

Dear Pam - Interruptions are tough! Hopefully the blog post gave you some ideas for handling them!

Thank you for stopping by the post today!


Kathryn Barker said...

Well, I used to think ~those people~ don't have to deal with all the craziness of my life...but it just ain't so!!

Thanks Laura for your wonderful help on how to do battle! I too, find setting aside a specific time (early morning) is key to accomplishing a word count. The rest of the day, I grab minutes when I can.

Lovely to read all the comments and be encouraged by everyone's approach in overcoming with joy and humor!

Wishing for scones to go with my tea, but can't take the time to make them! Have a beautiful Wednesday!!

Laura McNeill said...

Hi, Meghan!

I'm so glad that you found my post helpful! It really is all about finding whatever time you can.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Myra Johnson said...

PAM, my rationale for doing the busy work in the mornings is that then it's off my mind for the rest of the day and all I HAVE to do is write! If I know anything's been left undone, I just get too distracted to be creative.

Laura McNeill said...

CatMom -

You are so right! Thank you for the advice, and for being here today!

~ Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Dear Julie - Thank you for the warm welcome! I'm so excited to be here today!

I'm glad my words could help! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


Laura McNeill said...


I'm so glad that you stopped by! I know how it feels to put off things that you're "too busy" to do. I hope you'll find the time to finish everything that you planned to do!


Laura McNeill said...

Keli -

I'm so happy that you enjoyed my post! Good luck to both you and your husband as you adjust to this new chapter of your life!

Thank you for stopping by!

~ Laura

Laura McNeill said...

Hi, Mark!

God always knows exactly what to send to us. Consider the interruptions a blessing, and remember that He is constantly trying to teach us!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Laura McNeill said...

Tina - Thank you so much for visiting my post!

Hugs! Laura

Laura McNeill said...


I am so thrilled to be here with you all today. Thank you for coming by!


Laura McNeill said...

Kav -

Interruptions of all kinds can be tough. I'm praying that you'll stay strong and positive through everything you deal with.
Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the book!


Laura McNeill said...

Hi Kathryn!

Everyone has their own kind of crazy to deal with - I wish you luck in dealing with yours! Thank you for your sweet words!

~ Laura

Chill N said...

Super post, Laura! I've realized that, for me, there is no such thing as multi-tasking. Switching from one thing to another to another, constantly interrupting what I'm doing to do something else, requires energy and time -- which is exactly what I'm trying to save. Basically, I create more of my interruptions than the outside world does :-)

Thanks for the tip about making writing time “official.” I can see how that will definitely help me!

Best wishes for "Center of Gravity." That's a compelling book cover.

Nancy C

Laura McNeill said...

Chill N -

I'm glad that I was able to offer you some helpful advice! Thanks so much for stopping by!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

I brought cookies, and a thought...

Living deliberately doesn't have to mean slowly or mono-focused.

Mother Teresa.

She lived to do so many things, tirelessly. And smiling.

So I think you can live deliberately, multi-task (for some!) and accomplish what you choose without ruining the world around you.

I think we have to be aware of our own selves, our tendencies, and what works for us as people and authors.

Viva La Difference!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Butif you do a lousy job of multi, your brain may be wired for mono.

Laura McNeill said...

Ruth -

That is such a great point. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!


Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Laura! And thanks for sharing. It's so easy to get overwhelmed, and it really does help to have support.

Missy Tippens said...

Also meant to say that one way I handle the "hey mom" is to go ahead and answer and make the plans or whatever (like, "Yes, I'll go to the mall with you"). But I ask her to let me work for another hour first. Or I set a definite time for us to leave. That way she's happy that I've acknowledged her and we have a plan.

Laura McNeill said...

Hi, Missy!

Thank you for the warm welcome! I'm so excited to be here today! And thank you for the advice - sounds like a good strategy.

Hugs! Laura

Deanna Stevens said...

I enjoyed today's post.. I grab a cup of coffee & enjoy all the comments,
lots of wisdom in them :)
Your book looks interesting . Please enter me in the drawing.

Laura McNeill said...

Deanna -

Thanks so much for coming by and leaving your thoughs!


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

Hey Laura,

What an encouraging post, needed this today especially.
Thank you so much.

All the best to you with your boys.. Love boys!!!!
Enjoy them while you can... :)

Appreciate your being in Seekerville today with this pertinent post.

Laura McNeill said...

May -

Thank you so much! I've really enjoyed being here.


Danielle Hull said...

I'm not a writer, but with 7 kids at home, I understand interruptions! I still remember when the Lord spoke to me about serving! Thank you for sharing this :) And your book sounds amazing! Can't wait to read it!

The Kat said...

Your post on writing and serving gave me some good info about how to delegate my time in writing and then give time to my loved ones who need me. I hope to read your book as the title is very compelling. Hope that I'll be able to see success in the drawing.