Like a lot of us, novelist Jill Kemerer sometimes tries to take on too much. Life is short, and there’s so much to do! We talked about how she manages that urge while she balances a full-time writing career with making a good life with her family.
Managing a Writing Career and a Busy Family
Jill works from home as a full-time writer. Besides writing her novels (the latest of which is releasing as this episode is being published!), she needs time to work with her editor, handle marketing tasks like blog tours and social media, and all the other myriad tasks that go along with being a published novelist. She also has a husband and two kids with their own busy schedules. She has to be pretty organized to manage a busy life. A few of the highlights of our conversation:
- Make a written to-do list for every day, with the “must-do” tasks first, and the “would-be-nice-to-do” tasks for if there’s time.
- Write everything down. Save the brain cells for creative work.
- Keep a written calendar in the kitchen, with all the kids’ ball games and other activities, along with the meal plan for each day, so the family can check it to see what’s happening.
- Set long-term and short-term goals and work steadily toward them.
- Find the productivity tools that work for you, and stick with them. No need to jump on the bandwagon of whatever “everybody” else is doing.
- When everything’s getting away from you, start keeping track of what you’re doing so you see how you’re spending your time, and give yourself credit for what you actually accomplished.
Resources Jill Recommends
1. Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style, by Carson Tate. This book helped me tame my inbox and deal with emails once. It also gave me the motivation I needed to stay organized.
2. SUCCESS. I check out the online version of Success magazine when I need a reminder that what I’m doing is important to me. Writing is my business, and I’m the owner, manager, creative director and CEO of my business. I enjoy the print magazine, too, and I buy a copy a few times a year.
3. Writers’ rooms | Books | The Guardian. This is an old series, but I like to browse the articles now and then. It reminds me I’m not alone and that all writers have deeply personal habits and spaces. It’s comforting.
4. My Fitness Pal – an app to track exercise, etc.
5. Evernote for taking notes, creating meal plans, etc.
6. Google Docs to write short projects (short stories, blog posts, etc.) during those free moments while waiting for an appointment, etc.
7. Microsoft Word and OneNote to keep track of research
A Little About Jill
Jill Kemerer writes inspirational romance novels with love, humor, and faith. Her latest novel, Unexpected Family , releases September 1, 2015, through Harlequin Love Inspired. A full time writer, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules.
Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&Ms, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website jillkemerer.com and find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Pick Up Jill’s Books
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Royse City, Texas