2 min read


At the desk, 8:58 a.m.

I've actually been sitting here trying to write a post for about an hour. Today is just one of those days when my monkey mind wants to jump here and there.

And there's so much I want to tell you!

Did I tell you about my weird trip to Fort Worth? What about the golden eagle (yes, that's right a golden eagle) who chased Mary Bess and I out of Trader's Park? Or the ghost that took over my new cell phone causing all the bells to go off at once? Or the human debacle of not a single promise fulfilled by usually steadfast people? Or the other ghost who knocked me over and sent my cell phone skittering across the floor at Miss Molly's?

Have I told you about the 7-11 which we call 'the sev' or Mina from East Africa or...?

What about the garden? The trees were planting this weekend?

How about the book I'm reading on writing mystery novels? Or the audio interview I just heard with Jeffrey Hazlett (someone I'd never heard of) and Darren Hardy?

What about the sunflower seeds I've been sending out? Anyone get their seeds yet??

Wait, did I call the bee lady? Shoot...

And my list goes on.

If I've learned one thing as an author, some days are just like this. Sometimes, like today, I don't have huge deadlines and I can let my mind explore all of my thoughts.

And sometimes I have chapters due to editors or the wheels come off the cart. On those days, I light a votive candle in a cobalt blue holder on the right side of my desk. A cream colored pillar candle to my left. I close me eyes, clear my thoughts, and say, "Settle down and get it done." (If clearing my thoughts is hard, my super ninja trick is to listen to my Holosync audio.) That usually works.

But it's a habit. The more I allow my mind to monkey, the more my mind hops from topic to topic. The more I practice settling my mind, the more settled it is.

When the candles and mantra don't work, I turn Pandora to hard rock, get some caffeine - which I don't usually drink, and repeat. My monkey mind dances to the hard rock and the caffeine helps me focus. I have also shut off the Internet by unplugging the cable or using Freedom, but this is a truly drastic measure as I often research while I'm writing and can easily get stuck.

I only get really super duper stuck when I know I have to hurt, kill, or maim a character I care about. I'd rather do anything in the entire world than hurt anyone. These scenes are gut wrenching. In the last month or so, I killed off Lo Downs from the Queen of Cool and had Jeraine from Denver Cereal jump off the Pinacle Towers (which I see sometimes on my walks!). So I know exactly what I do when I'm super duper stuck! ;)

And, truth be told, sometimes there's nothing for it. Life is lifey and needs my attention. In these moments, I blow out the candles and trust that tomorrow or later today, I'll sit down and the focus will be there. I then focus all of my attention on whatever is distracting my attention. Usually, if I focus on the distraction I can get it taken care of so that later in that day or tomorrow, I can sit down and get it done.

What do you do when you're distracted? What's your super ninja trick to getting it done?