Happy February, Insecure Writers! I hope your 2014 is off to a great start. If you aren't yet a part of this wonderful group, click here and sign up. This month I'm so proud to be one of the co-hosts, along with M.L. Swift, Sheena-kay Graham, and Jamie Ayers.
What am I insecure about this month? Divided attention.
My YA novel, The Boy Who Loved Fire, was recently released into the big wide world. It's been a crazy, exciting ride, and I'm still in the infancy stage of publishing and promotion.
As I look ahead to the rest of 2014, I have plans and projects stacked up in my brain. Enough work to keep me out of trouble for a while! But way more important than that, I have a family—a supportive hubby and three teen sons who deserve my attention.
As busy writers, how can we manage our divided attention? I boil it down like this:
- Family first—it sounds obvious, but sometimes we get lost in a zone and lose sight of what really matters. Spouses and kids should not feel like they're in line behind writing. If there's something I absolutely have to get done now, I let my family know I have work to do and I'll see a movie, have lunch, or watch the starry skies in an hour. They understand if they know I'm working now, but will turn my attention to them when promised.
- Prioritize the work—I have the attention span of a 10-year-old (SQUIRREL!), so it's important for me to focus on one task at a time. I usually work on the most pressing issues first. Then I take stock of what needs to be done and make a list of priorities. I sometimes plug tasks into my iCal, based on what needs to be done when. This keeps me organized and on point.
- Drop everything and … have fun—In order to write about life, we must live it. If something fun and unexpected comes up, I'll drop everything and go for it. The work can wait.
What's your opinion on managing divided attention? How do you juggle it all? If you have any tips, please share!