Hi. My name’s Liz and I’m a procrastaholic. appointment-15979_1920

I start out with really good intentions to sit down and write, or plan, or edit. I have the tools I’ll need at the ready. I have a gigantic cuppa coffee to keep me fueled up.

But then I lose focus.

Usually it starts pretty innocently. I don’t quite know where to start, so I’m looking for inspiration. Or I feel stuck on a particular project and I’m trying to decide what to do about it.

So I sit there. Thinking. Processing. And I’m inside my head, knowing I really should be doing something rather than just mulling it over.

And that makes me feel guilty. So to block out the guilt I try to think of something to do. Then I’ll make the mistake of opening my email. Or Facebook. I’ll go to check something out on the internet.

Once that happens, it’s all over. Ten minutes of email turns into, “how the heck did it get to be 4:00 in the afternoon?” And as much as I hate to admit it, there are other things I have to do besides staring at my computer. There’s housework and a husband and dinner to be cooked and eaten. There are the other commitments I have that I can’t simply blow off for more screen time. There are books to be read. There’s a dog to be walked.

Far too often I find that the time I have available for writing simply slips away from me, like mist across the water.

But I have a plan. That plan is to learn how to plan.

No kidding.

I’ve always been more of a pantser. That’s a writer who writes by the seat of her pants, for the uninitiated. One who sits down and just writes without necessarily having a concrete idea of where a story might be going ahead of time.

Pantsing feels more creative than plotting. Plotting feels too structured, too organized. Plotting will suck the life out of my writing. Pantsing seems so much more free.

Now is when you might ask, And how’s that working out for you?

Clearly, it ain’t. It’s fantastic for developing my procrastination skills, and terrible for getting any actual words on the page.

So this coming week my goal is to create a plot outline for at least one of the stories that have been percolating in my brain or languishing on my computer. The good news? I have plenty to choose from!

I’ll probably start with something relatively short, but not too short. One of my short story or novella ideas should work. I’ll create a basic structure for it, fill in a few details, and know what story I want to tell.

pen-994464_1920And from that, hopefully, I’ll be able to sit down with my coffee and my blank page and fill up the one while I empty the other.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

On being a professional

Every now and then I say something that makes me think, Yeah. That was good. Today is one of those days. So I turned it into a meme.

Presented here without further comment…


Feeling stressed? Overwhelmed? Write something!

I’ll admit it – I’m not the world’s most organized person.

  • Sometimes I’ll start a project and realize halfway through that, oops, that other project I started has a deadline.
  • Sometimes I’ll completely forget I have something to do until it’s too late to get it done well.
  • Sometimes I’ve got something I really want or need to do, but I get stuck and frustrated, letting writer’s block keep me from moving forward.

brain-954823_1920And on and on.

And I know I’m not the only one. I hear similar things from other writers (and non-writers too) all the time.

Some of it is bad planning and time management – not really knowing how long something is going to take. Some of it is ADD, or should we call that Creative Brain Syndrome – just about every creative type I know suffers from this to some extent. And some of it is probably also fear – not trusting myself to be able to do something well, and so putting it off until I have no other choice.

Since my procrastination is very often in the realm of writing, I’m going to use writing to break my procrastination. In other words, I’m just going to do it, even if I feel overwhelmed, scattered, or nervous and afraid.

And I’m going to invite you to come along for the ride.

Get Writing Promptly

I have a story that I have to get written for the Blog Hop planned later this month. So here’s a writing prompt that I’m giving myself for that story:

Write a 500 word story about someone who gets in completely over their head.

If you want to play along you’re more than welcome! And if you don’t want to write fiction, feel free to turn it into a non-fiction prompt:

I couln’t believe I’d gotten in so far over my head… Write 500 words about a time when you discovered you had too much to do and not enough time to get it done.

I’ll be sharing my story at the blog hop on July 27th. If you want to share yours, feel free to post it in the comments below!

Shouldn’t I be writing?

Really I should print this out and keep a copy right by my desk at all times…. as a reminder.

Yes, that’s the reason. It’s a reminder.

The “want to” of writing

For years, I wanted to be a writer. I loved words. I loved books. I loved reading. That was, to me, an ideal form of entertainment. And I loved the idea of putting together stories that would entertain other people. But when I sat down to write, it wasn’t fun, and I wouldn’t follow through. Why? Partly because I had mental blocks getting in my way. Partly because I didn’t have the skills I needed to get me where I wanted to go. Partly because I didn’t have people coming alongside me, learning with me, sharing the journey, and encouraging me while I encouraged them.

The bookThe fact is, I wanted to have written, but I didn’t even really know what it looked like to actually write.

What did I really want?

For a long time, I quit more than I succeeded. I never really stopped wanting to write, but I wasn’t putting in the time or effort of writing. In some ways I think I was in love with the idea of writing… of being a writer. But I didn’t know how to be in love with the actual writing. It just seemed so overwhelming.

Then I found Holly Lisle, and that all changed. Her classes helped me realize that I was looking at the process of writing in the wrong way. I didn’t know how to set aside my desire for perfect words and sentences and ideas, and just get the story itself written down.

As I worked through How To Think Sideways (affiliate link), I pulled down some of those mental blocks, I began putting in time and effort, and I quit thinking of stories as something passive that I wanted to be entertained by, and started thinking of them as something that I would get more out of creating than I ever had from just reading. I turned up my passion and started working at being a writer. I discovered that some of the stories I knew I would love, hadn’t been written yet. So if I wanted to read them, I was the one who would need to write them.

And, big surprise here, I’m actually doing it. I am a writer. It’s no longer just a dream–it’s my identity. I’m still have things to learn. Every day I’m still met with writing challenges that can be hard. But I can no longer imagine a life in which I’m not writing, because writing is just too much fun.

What do you really want?

Because I’m passionate about writing, I wanted to make sure I let you in on an opportunity. As I said above, Holly Lisle’s writing classes have made a huge difference for me, and I’m always thrilled to be able to share them. However, How To Think Sideways will be closing temporarily later this month, and it won’t be available again for about a year. (No, Holly isn’t being rude or playing coy–she is in the middle of a major website redevelopment, and wants to be sure any recurring payments are finished during the actual changeover when it happens later this year.)

If you think you want to be a writer, or if you’re already a writer and you want to up your game, I would strongly encourage you to consider signing up for this comprehensive writing class before it disappears for a year.

How To Think Sideways (affiliate link) is the perfect class for anyone who is either just starting out in writing, or who has been writing for a while, but doesn’t have a finished novel. This is a comprehensive class that will take you from figuring out where to get an idea, straight through to preparing to submit to a publisher or even self-publishing.

How To Think Sideways is designed to help you build a career writing fiction, if that’s what you want. Obviously, there are no guarantees that your writing will sell, or that you’ll be able to quit your day job anytime soon. But as a professional author with more than 30 published novels, Holly Lisle absolutely knows what it takes to get there, and she will teach you the processes that she uses to get paid to write and publish fiction.

I’m also planning some bonuses for you, if you purchase through my affiliate link. Part of that will be special access to me, in addition to the forums on Holly’s site. I’ll be taking a project through HTTS at the same time that you’re working through it. So you’ll get to see what I’m doing, and I can give you feedback on what you’re doing. I’ll be posting one more time before registration closes, and I’ll give you the details on what you’ll get from me then.

I hope you’ll consider joining me! Follow your dreams, and become the writer you always hoped to be.

Note: links on this page are affiliate links. If you make purchases on the sites linked to, I may receive compensation.

See my first post on Holly’s How To Think Sideways here.

Do what you love

I haven’t been posting here nearly enough.

The good news is that part of the reason is because I’m working on planning a short story series set in the same world as Watch Night! (Wait – you say you have never heard of Watch Night? Go sign up for my mailing list to get your free copy!)

The bad news is that, well, I haven’t been posting here nearly enough. Ahem.

But today, I am posting.

I heard a fantabulous quote from the fantabulous Jim Carrey, and I can’t resist. I have to share.

I’ll be honest – I cringe a little bit at some of his overall comments. He has a very different belief system than I do. That said, wisdom is wisdom, no matter where you find it.


Thank you, Jim Carrey, for reminding people to reach for their dreams.

You can hear just this piece of his speech on YouTube.