The Write Frame of Mind – How I Found My Perfect Distraction

Keeping the path clear  for the writing journey aheadWalk to Ranworth Church Norfolk Broads, England (c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Keeping the path clear
for the writing journey ahead
Walk to Ranworth Church
Norfolk Broads, England
(c) Sherri Matthews 2013

Friday already!  Where has the week gone? 

This has been the first week when I’ve felt properly ready and able to get back into writing and blogging on a regular basis again since Christmas.

Yet, I still couldn’t quite shake off a certain ‘brain-fog’ which has plagued me for some months now, a feeling of going around and around in circles, of being overwhelmed with my writing projects and not able to think clearly.

I had every hope that after the Christmas break I would emerge refreshed and invigorated with a brand new writing schedule to hand, fired up and raring to go but alas, this didn’t happen.

Not even a little bit.

What I did emerge with is the realization that the biggest obstacle standing in the way of my being able to achieve any kind of proper writing schedule is my appalling time management skills.

I used to be good at this, so what went wrong?

Every day, with the best intentions in the world I would set out with all my writing goals for the day in tact but I would fall at the first hurdle time and time again.  This is because I couldn’t resist the urge to have just a ‘quick look’ at my emails first.  Then my blog.  Then read other blogs.  Big mistake.

Before I knew it, the clock would be chiming 3 pm, my morning tea had gone cold, I was still in my PJs, cold, hungry and dehydrated, the cats swirling around me like sharks sizing me up for their midday meal (their lunch long forgotten) and not even caring why the postman looked at me strangely when I had to open the door to take in a parcel for Aspie daughter. (She has an Ebay habit you know).

Do you think that if I told him I was a writer he would understand?

No, I thought not.

So far as accomplishing any writing other than on my blog, the day would be lost and I would be left feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and very annoyed with myself.  Not a good way to be.

Working from home is not as easy as it sounds, anyone who does so will agree. The distractions can be endless, if you let them.  Holding onto a proper schedule is a constant struggle and takes great discipline.  Procrastination becomes your closest companion.   ‘He’ loves to huddle up next to you in bed first thing in the morning, tempting you with a nice cup of tea and whispering all kinds of plans and ideas for the day ahead.

None of which include writing I might add.

So I was not in the best frame of mind when this week started off, despite my commitment to really get down to writing my book yet still not knowing just how I was going to manage the juggling act.

Then, quite unexpectedly, I had my breakthrough.

Wouldn’t you know it, and it came in the form of joining not one but two weekly photo challenges.  Yes, you read that right.  My cure is to take on more challenges! This is what stirs me up, energizes me, enables me to have some badly needed structure and discipline in my week, and boy, do I need that.

These challenges give me focus, the perfect distraction.  I will do my WIP first thing in the morning and  I have my photo challenges to look forward to as well as my ‘normal’ blogging and I just know that I will be in a much better frame of mind to make the transition in this way.  I need to come up for air when writing my book and this is the perfect solution.

Maybe I’m crazier than a box of  frogs, but just to prove a point, on Monday I wrote 2,500 words for my memoir (up to chapter 4), two articles for two website newsletters and prepared my blog post for the first weekly challenge. I had time to visit you all and I’ve manged to keep up all week with my blogging.  I didn’t panic, things flowed nicely, I still managed to go for a walk, cook dinner that evening and the cats were fed on time.

Can it last?  Let’s hope so!  I will certainly give it my best shot.  I’m so excited about these photo challenges and once again I would like to thank all of you for showing such an interest in my posts.

The important thing though, as we all know, is that we do what works for us.  This might not be the best way forward for some but for me it works.   The key is to enjoy the journey and not to look too far ahead thinking, ‘I’ll be happy when…’  The problem is that ‘when’ might take an awful long time coming, sometimes it never does.

What about my annoying companion, ‘Procrastination’?  Well, I’ve told him to take a hike. Maybe take a few photos while he’s at it.  You never know, I might just decide to use one or two for one of the photo challenges.

Next week, in addition to my photo challenge posts,  I will be delving back into the world of all things ‘Aspie’ and I will be doing my first-ever blog interview – with Aspie daughter!  As I always say, watch this space!

For now I’m just off to check my emails and pay you all a little visit…I’m happy that at this moment you are my perfect distraction.

Have a great weekend everyone and keep warm and safe 🙂

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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82 Responses to The Write Frame of Mind – How I Found My Perfect Distraction

  1. A Maine Mama says:

    The perfect distraction…how I can relate. As what seems to be a lifting of the fog, my reality charges in with calls for dinner, a buzzing washer or dryer, my teen boys in need of a ride, a ringing phone, and worst of all, the text alarm going off on my cell phone. I’m so glad to have stumbled onto your blog and look forward to reading more posts, enjoying photos and challenges, and catching glimpses of you in a fog knowing I am not alone! 🙂 Happy Friday!!

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello A Maine Mama and oh how I know all about this kind of reality! You know, it’s amazing that you mention the buzzing of the washer or dryer, that is the single most irritating thing that just drives me crazy when I’m trying to write! I can’t write in my summerhouse at the moment due to problems with my laptop and it is very frustrating to have all these distractions to say the least!
      I’m so glad that you came by, thanks so much, and yes, you are not alone in this fog – there, I see you now, and I look forward to many more ‘sightings’!!
      A very Happy Friday to you too 🙂

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  2. Whatever keeps you excited, enthusiastic and energized is good, Sherri. Even if it makes you crazier than a box of frogs, which is all the “e” words above, just doesn’t make for lots of words on the page by the end of the day. And if the new plan doesn’t work, you’re resilient. You’ll find a better plan. I’m eager to read the interview with your daughter.
    As an aside, have you read Jodi Picoult’s book HOUSE RULES? It’s about an 18-year-old young man with Asperger’s whose brilliance with crime scene forensics sets him up to be charged with murder. I agree with author Stephen King’s analysis that this book is written with unassuming brilliance.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ha ha!! Love those ‘e’ words – better than the ‘p’ word that’s for sure! Marylin, I am finding my bliss 🙂
      I haven’t read this book, no, but thank you very much for letting me know about it, I will certainly look out for it. I love crime novels and to know that it also has a young character with Asperger’s sounds like the perfect read for me 🙂 Interestingly, my daughter really loves anything to do with forensics and would love to work in that field one day but one step at a time…

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      • Sherri, if your daughter also loves forensics, she will probably totally understand Jacob, the Asperger’s character in HOUSE RULES, and why he does what he does. I think you’ll understand and relate to the mother, and the search for evidence and pre-trial will blow you away. Enjoy! It’s been out for several years; I got my copy at a used book store.

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  3. Rachel says:

    I’m really looking forward to reading your interview with your daughter. Great idea.

    If I ever felt that I had to blog, then I probably wouldn’t do it. I blog to unleash steam or share joy or sadness. It’s more of a release for me. I think I would lose interest if I got paid or *had* to do it. That would be too much pressure. It sounds to me like you’re putting a bit of pressure on yourself to blog and to follow a routine. A routine does sound like a good idea to a certain extent, provided you are not pressuring yourself too much and in the process losing some of the pleasure which you may get from it.

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, I know just where you are coming from on this Rachel and I am exactly the same. I find it very hard to keep to a too heavily structured routine. I too blog for the pleasure of it, it is great to have this as an outlet for whatever reason. Anything that reads about all those rules about how to blog etc. just don’t interest me either. I have to be creative and free otherwise I just can’t do it. That is why I’m only doing photo challenges. I love photography (although only an amateur!) and I love windows so this seemed perfect for me. It is pure pleasure, a hobby, not a constraint. I can still blog as normal and also write. I am just going to change the way I go about it in the day with my timings. As it is I have to fight for time to blog (I would spend much more time on it if I could!) but this way I can make sure I get that time without feeling pressured. I know it sounds the opposite but trust me, this is the way it works for me 🙂 Thanks for the concern, I really appreciate it, but don’t worry, I actually feel less pressured so that is a good thing 🙂

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  4. I so relate. If I didn’t peek at emails and such, I might get something done. I am forever worn out and my writing is suffering and I’m frustrated as I get farther behind. Such is life. 😉

    Glad you got your mojo working.

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  5. Denise says:

    This reminds me of how starting to write my blog helped the flow of ideas come for my creative writing.

    Clearly blogging has its perils too! But I think freshness is the key. I remember when I had more *time*, when I was stuck at home, in part time jobs when my kids were small. I too used to get into that pattern of distraction – really I was craving stimuli.

    I am glad you have found fresh challenges to keep you engaged with the world, new things will suggest new patterns to your mind.

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, this is just what starting a blog did for me, definitely got those creative juices flowing! I would love to blog even more but time doesn’t allow it. It seems crazy taking on more challenges but that is why I’m only doing photo challenges, not writing ones. I want to stick to my normal blogging for the pleasure of it but not feel so worn out with also trying to get my book written. I do feel confident I can do this now that the fog is lifting a bit.
      You are absolutely right, freshness is definitely the key. It is precisicly the stimuli that I need, it has energised me!!
      Although I’m not home with school age children any more and I relate so much to how you felt about having more *time* back then yet being even more distracted.
      Yes, stimuli – you hit the nail on the head Denise, as you always do, and for that I thank you very much 🙂

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  6. jennypellett says:

    Sounds like you’ve worked out a good plan – here’s hoping you stick to it. You never know what might happen if you keep opening the door to the postman wearing your pyjamas.
    Am looking forward to your interview with your daughter – how lovely of her that she will go public. Good on her!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ha Ha! I’ll give it my best shot…
      I think our poor postman is like the one in Keeping Up Appearances – when he dreads going to Hyacinth’s door and makes a run for it every time!!!
      Yes, hoping to get going on that long-awaited post about synesthesia too, will let you know as and when… 🙂

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  7. I’m glad you’re more positive right now, and that you seem to have things sorted 🙂 I hope it lasts for you. I’m quite intrigued to see the blog interview of yours, too.

    Take care, and keep that resolute focus up 🙂

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  8. Your posts are like a cleansing yoga breath. I look forward to them every time. Your photos are beautiful, too. They always “speak” to me. Such talent!

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  9. Oh, I can SO identify with this. I’ve actually scheduled out my blogs this year well in advance, but I do get distracted writing on my longer project. Seems as soon as I hit a mental block, I check my email and see 175 new ones…well, I’m like a dog trotting along peacefully in one direction, then seeing a SQUIRREL! Down the rabbit hole I go! (mixed metaphors, I know, but that’s the way my mind goes, ADD and all…)

    I need to set writing goals on the project like I did at the beginning of last year and stick to them. That and the Holy Spirit is what got me through. Writing at home is difficult, but I’ve just got to get disciplined. I seriously need an accountability partner. I may be emailing you about this, good buddy!

    Really looking forward to the interview with daughter. I think it will be insightful for a lot of people. Oh – just as an aside, I loved watching the series, Alphas, partly because it was a crime drama, but also because one of the main characters was an Aspie. You can find it on Netflix – don’t know it you get that in the UK, but daughter might like it, being a fan of forensics and all.

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Susan, yes, it is so difficult isn’t it! I know just what you mean about hitting the emails when you have a mental block and then going down a rabbit hole like a dog after a squirrel!!! That’s a great way of putting it!
      I haven’t heard of Alphas, but I’ll ask my daughter, she seems to know about all these things. Sounds really good. There is also a series over here called The Bridge. It is actually Danish and Swedish so with sub-titles and the main character, a female, is an Aspie. Seems to the be way of things right now! Will definitely find out about Alphas and let you know, thanks for the info 🙂

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  10. Hi Sherri, I know exactly what you mean by this. It is one of the reasons I too do the photo challenges. I wonder if they’ll become an obsession for you as they have for me as I now do one sometimes two in a day. The thing is they do get the creative juices going and other things happening as well such as (I’m sorry to be boring you with this but I want to tell someone) I have just had two articles accepted for publication in a literary magazine. My first published work (apart from the blogs that is). Anyway, I’m glad to see you are back as your posts are always so enjoyable to read. Cheers Irene

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh wow Irene, many, many congratulations, woo hoo, you go girl!!! I’m so happy for you, I feel honoured that you shared this with me and you are not boring me at all! We are here to share in each other’s great news!! What a fantastic accomplishment and you deserve every success 🙂

      So interesting what you say about the photo challenges, you really inspired me with yours and I’m so glad that I have taken it up as I do feel that it really helps with getting those creative juices flowing. I probably will get obsessed lol 🙂

      Great to be back…now go and toast your wonderful success and I share in a huge ‘cheers’ with you my friend 🙂

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  11. Heyjude says:

    I know exactly what you mean about the day running away from you! Not because of emails (I rarely get any of those these days except from companies and they usually go straight into the trash) but reading other blogs!! Like now! I am supposed to be eating my supper, but here I am reading your blog. And there’s that book (or two) that I made my mind up to finish this year – haven’t been anywhere near those and it is already half way through January. Oh well, I’m sure it will all work out for all of us. One day. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Well Jude, you and me both! I’ve got my dinner ready and waiting and here I am replying to you! I promised Hubby I will sign off after this, so I will disappear shortly!!
      I really hope that you can get to your book (or two) and get them finished. We are on this writing journey together and yes, I’m sure it will work out for all of us eventually…and we can remined ourselves to enjoy the journey along the way 🙂

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  12. We are different, in this regard, but I am glad that you found insight into how to get yourself motivated.

    I’m afraid my mind has a mind of its own. If I behave and do what it wants to inquire about, there is not limit to its motivation.

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  13. Great to hear the blockage had cleared – and the cats are fed!
    Good luck with the next chapter x

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  14. Wow, you were the Queen of Productivity on Monday, Sherri! When I sit down with intentions of working on my WIP or a blog post, I know I’m doomed if I check my e-mail first. I can easily spend hours reading and commenting in the blogosphere. Like you, I’ve learned to take care of business first (most of the time) and then reward myself with perusing blogs. I can’t wait to read the interview with your daughter, no doubt she’s as amazing as her momma!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ha Ha! I don’t know what came over me Jill!! Notice I didn’t say anything about the rest of the week, although to be fair, I did write a little more off-line but my week was chocca with appointments. No excuses though 😉
      Yes, doomed is a very good word. The hours just slip by don’t they when spent reading and commenting on blogs. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do all that and write at the same time! Multi-tasking only goes so far… !!
      I am learning, slowly, to take care of business first but for me it takes so much discipline!! It’s great that you are already doing that but I’m not surprised as you strike me as quite a disciplined person and I really, really admire that in you 🙂
      And yes, I totally agree, nothing like having a reward afterwards for motivation!
      Ahh, you are so kind Jill. I happen to think my daughter is pretty amazing too but her momma?? Well, I’m not so sure…
      Have a great weekend 🙂

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  15. Kristin says:

    Well done, Sherri! As always, I am so impressed with you!
    I agree, it takes a lot of discipline to organize one’s home office day. When I had an office day back in my corporate days, I would always set an alarm clock to take regular breaks, otherwise I would have stayed in my PJ’s all day long…
    I hope the fog might vanish slowly – we probably all know exactly what you are talking about. Looking forward to your next posts and photos! Besitos from Mexico!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much Kristin! Oh it’s so good having you back! That is a great idea about setting an alarm clock as a reminder to take regular breaks. Not least of all to get some exercise and get dressed at least!! ‘Tis definitely time for a new regime 🙂
      The fog is lifting, it took a while, but the weight is lifting at last. It happens from time to time. Once I get things cleared in my head then I can move forward with a lot more energy!
      Likewise, I’m really looking forward to your posts too now that you have returned! Cheers to you from England and have a great weekend 🙂

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  16. Dylan Hearn says:

    Well done Sherri. I found that looking at emails first or writing my blog was a big mistake. My routine on my writing days is to turn on the computer and write my book (at least as best I can). Then comes the blog, followed by email and social media. If I do them in any other order it’s a day lost.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Dylan and yes, this is just the way to do things, I totally agree. It’s great that you have already got this routine down pat and I fully intend to follow your example!
      I hope that you are pressing on with your second book and that you still have that writing excitement… have a great weekend 🙂

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  17. bulldog says:

    On week days I start with the emails, then others blogs, then answer comments and try (if I have material) do my own blog… 9 am it is, then its into the editing of the book, now that is a pain, with rewrites after rewrites… and then when I come back to them again I’m still not happy… lunch, emails, business and back to the blog… end of the day and I’m back looking at blogs that come in at a different time to the locals and answering comments… day end… Weekends, all fun, blogs when I feel like it and answer comments when I feel like it and sometimes even a post, although I’ve noticed weekend posts are not as well read as week posts… but who cares I do it for fun not for reads…

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    • Sherri says:

      Sounds like you have your ‘system’ down pat Bulldog! Weekends I usually don’t post or blog (yet here I am on a Saturday afternoon, but soon to sign off and that’s it!) but that is the beauty of being able to dip inand out when you want to. And yes, that is the thing, keeping the enjoyment of it all and not letting it become a burden. Otherwise it all goes horribly wrong…

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  18. What a pretty path, Sherri! I also find it impossible not to catch up on emails and various blogs, before I’ve even drunk my morning tea. I keep promising myself that I will shower, dress and have breakfast before I do this, but it never works that way. Maybe mañana. 😀

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Sylvia, thank you, I’m glad that you like the photo! We took that walk back last summer, it leads to a church and then you can climb the tower for wonderful views! Oh yes, I know just what this is like and yes, there is always tomorrow! I hope that I can change this, let’s see… 🙂

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  19. lilkaraphael says:

    You know Sherri sometimes we just have to do what works whether or not it makes sense to anyone else. I’m glad you found your breakthrough! Keep it up! This is the year for significant changes and the benefits thereof. I pray you are having a wonderful weekend. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Marko, many thanks for visiting my blog and warm greetings right back to you from a slightly frosty England 🙂 I’ll take a look at your link as soon as possible and I look forward to seeing you again at my summerhouse 🙂

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  20. Steven says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who stays in PJ’s all day. Yes procrastination yes not laziness, I like the sound of procrastination 😉 I’m so bad at it though, seriously, and always have been. I would set myself a time to start work which is fatal. 8 o’clock in the evening. Then at 7:45, I’ll think hmm, well, I guess I could push it to 8:30, then I’ll DEFINITELY start work. Before I know it, it’s 11:30 and everyone’s gone to bed. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, it’s just, other things get in the way…. 😉

    Have you tried anything like ‘the fifteen minute rule’? It works for me at times when I really need to focus. It’s basically 15 minutes graft, then 15 minutes playtime (:P), rinsed and repeated for as long as you wish. It helped me with my revision as a student and I’ve persevered with it ever since.

    I’d be majorly pleased with myself if I got 2500 words done in a day! It’s nice to hear that its coming along – i’ll inform Richard and Judy 😉 And the interviews are a great idea – looking forward to those, very much indeed!

    Bonus points for the Ranworth snap again too 🙂 lovely place!

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    • Sherri says:

      JG!!! It’s great seeing you here again, I’ve really missed you!

      Noooo – definitely NOT laziness. This is the problem with our friend Procrastination though, the time disappears in front of our very eyes and I don’t like the way ‘he’ does it…very sneaky if you ask me.

      I’ve not tried the ‘fifteen minute rule’ but I will try it and see. The problem is I keep saying to myself ‘just one more thing’ then I’ll stop but it never happens. This must take great discipline, so I take my hat off to you my friend (or should I say take down my umbrella 😉 )

      Yes, make sure to keep Richard and Judy updated with my progress, we need to keep that interview slot open. I’m counting on you JG!

      Talking of Ranworth…I honestly haven’t forgotten about the train cake but I haven’t had a minute to go through the massive box of pics to look for it. It’s one of the photos I haven’t scanned in on the laptop. I seriously need to do something about all my non-digital photos. But…I WILL find it, promise, so don’t give up on me…(actually Ranworth has nothing to do with chocolate train cake but you know what I mean).

      Have a lovely evening and it’s really good to see that little spring in your step again… 🙂

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      • Steven says:

        It’s nice to be back! Less time to procrastinate, or maybe more…? I notice I missed your blog’s birthday too – many happy returns, indeed!

        Ha, well, disciplined isn’t something I get called often… and usually when that rule works, I would have somebody around to invigilate so as to stop me from that temptation of ‘one more thing’ (usually on the playtime segments, natch! C’mon, just one more game of dominoes… etc.)

        Ha, oh yeah, me and R+J are ‘like that’ *whatever that gesture is that means close friends* it’ll be fine 😉 How’s the writing been going lately, or do you not work weekends?

        Haha! Wow, funny you bring that up as only this afternoon that popped into my head, that I hadn’t seen that cake yet. Was beginning to think you’d forgotten 😉

        I wish I could feel a spring in my step! Alas, I’m thinking of calling off the search for my missing marbles.

        Have a good’un yourself 🙂

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        • Sherri says:

          Ahh, you better not call off the search, ‘cos I think I’ve just found your missing marbles – right here 🙂
          I’m catching up like crazy so will be over to your blog very shortly, if not this evening (or should I say night)definitely tomorrow morning. That’s what happens when I get to spend the day with my mumsy – to coin your lovely phrase!
          So much for my new regime, but I can’t sit at home and write constantly, can I? Thanks for asking, it is going ok, I am getting my book written slowly but surely. Got to do it. Can’t let R+J down after all 😉
          Thanks about my blogoversary, it took me ages to get back into blogging and writing after Christmas, I felt really ‘brain-fogged’ up but I’m getting back now slowly.
          That’s spooky about the cake. See, great minds and all that…
          See you soon 🙂

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  21. I’m happy for you and for us that you’ve found your writing mojo again! I can completely understand how the new blogging challenges have boosted your inspiration – that’s what blogging has done for me in the past year – though I’m now taking the opposite approach, a little less blogging, because it did make me neglect my other writing. Here’s to a long period of inspiration!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Andrea, as you well know I’ve been struggling a bit. I do believe that doing the photo challenges will help me get back my writing mojo! I might take the same steps as you at some point and I can fully understand that. It does seem to go in cycles doesn’t it! Here’s to a very long stretch of inspiration for us both, whether blogging more or less 🙂

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  22. Jodee says:

    You know, it’s all about being in the moment. Then there is creativity and no procrastination. Since I create those digital landscapes for a new comic I feel every single day free and full of energy. Maybe it’s also about having something to do one likes to do.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello Jodee, many thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. You are so right, It really is about doing what you want to do and enjoy doing. Feeling boxed in can definitely kill any creativity. It’s got to be about what works for you and how wonderful that you have found such energy and freedom in your digital landscape art. I wish you every success in your ventures 🙂

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  23. i’m glad you find the challenges invigorating. i have been looking at lots of blogs and these challenges really inspire and i love seeing how varied the results can be. i would love to dive in and take many on but i know they would burn me out faster than a matchstick so i am staying clear for now. something for the furutre i hope. it is very inspiring reading how productive you are being, i hope it does last for you, i think it will! once you start to get into creative habits they stick. love your blog, the name jumped out and grabbed me and i really enjoyed your writing and photography once here.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi livingwithshadows and thank you so much for your lovely compliments about my blog, I really appreciate it!
      I never thought that I would end up taking part in any weekly challenge but something just clicked last week, as I shared in my post, and I feel very energised again. I hope I don’t burn out but I’m resolved not to do any more other than the ones I’ve commited to do! I’ll give it my best shot!
      I look forward to reading more of your lovely blog. Have a lovely day 🙂

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  24. I’ve reblogged this, Sherri because it is so similar to my own experience. My husband has suggested, in the nicest possible way, that I ought to at least get dressed, washed, have breakfast and possibly even let the dog outside for a pee before I get stuck into my emails. The screen, whatever’s on it, can eat up all of your time, and not with writing. I’ve found writing prompts a great stimulus too, and writing down the things that have struck me when I’ve been out on my morning walk. Keep at it, all these little prompts help to keep us focused!

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Jane for the reblog! I did have to smile when I read your comment, I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who does this! I know just what you mean about being inspired when you are out walking, I find that by taking a break not only am I getting some badly needed exercise but it also clears the mind and can bring a wealth of refreshing thoughts and ideas! Thanks so much too for your encouragement of the prompts, great to know that they have provided you with such great stimulus too 🙂

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  25. I know you face great challenges and constraints on your time working from home – but you have the gift of writing and i’m certain this is right for you and sure you will be rewarded.
    Please push forward – I so much look forward to your posts.

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  26. davidprosser says:

    I’m not sure we’re the ‘perfect’ distraction if we’re what’s keeping you from writing.I hope the new challenges you’ve taken on lead you back to the straight and narrow of managing your time. Me, I’m lost. From first thing in the morning I’m on an doff the computer answering messages, reading and commenting on blogs etc and I don’t get down to my own blog until late at night. Now I have to do the blog in diary form and just publish once a week, Actual writing is out the window.
    Good luck with the interview.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello David, many thanks for visiting my summerhouse and for your great comment here.
      Ha, ha, I know, point taken, but at that precise moment of writing I do believe ‘you’ were the ‘perfect distraction’, in that I was able to move away from the subject matter 😉
      It is so difficult isn’t it balancing writing off-blog with blogging. I hope that by publishiing once a week now on your blog you now have more time to concentrate on your other WIP. I hope that I can get the balance right, I will certainly give this new regime my best shot.
      Looking forward to hearing from you again and I certainly will be paying your blog a visit. Lovely, kind hugs, thank you, and the same back to you 🙂

      Like

  27. TBM says:

    When people hear that I work from home they say they’re are jealous and what not. Um, I’m with you. It’s hard to focus. And then on top of that, there’s the household chores that need doing. The dog needs a walk. The cat–I’m his slave. I understand. 2,500 words is great. I got 1,500 in today. Keep up the good work and tomorrow is always another day 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Tell me about it! The chores are always there, right in front of you and you can’t escape them when working from home. It’s definitely not the nice, relaxing thing people think it is that’s for sure! Lol, yes, that’s it, me too, I’m definitely the cats’ slave. When Hubby comes home I tell him all about how demanding they have been all day!!
      Thanks TB, and well done to you! I’m pressing on…going now to write some more on my book… 🙂

      Like

  28. parrillaturi says:

    Happy blogging, Sherri. I don’t know about you, but When the new year rolls in, I tend to focus on what I want to do this year, instead of what I need to do, to finish what I have started. Once I get back on track, things do return to normal. Blessings.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Johnny and yes I agree, it is very much a good thing to focus on what you want to do rather what you need to do as a new year begins. An excellent philososphy to live by and things definitely do have a way of settling down back to normal once more.
      Blessings to you my friend 🙂

      Like

  29. So happy that you’ve found your cure. It’s not easy being a writer and we all have similar problems. I write when I have a few minutes. I love it when I know I’ve got a whole day to write. The time flies by so fast. I’m just getting around to reading this blog, because I’ve got deadlines for my second book that will be published in the spring and I’ve set a goal of having #3 ready for the editors by the beginning of summer and #4 later this year or the early beginnings of next. For me setting goals for myself keeps me going, but having a publisher setting deadlines for me, helps a lot too. I know you can do it too. You have a gift for words.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Having that discipline and structure I would certainly find really helpful too. I need that, but I do tend to do things at the last minute, although I seem to work best that way for some reason. And yes, I know just what you mean, I am the same with sqeezing in my writing here and there but to have an entire day just to write…oh joy 🙂

      Goodness Donna, you have a lot of writing to do though but wow, congratulations, it sounds as if things are going really well for you with your books, many congratulations! You deserve it so much.
      You are always so encouraging of my writing and it means so much, especially as I do understand how busy you are so thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and share your wonderful thoughts with me.
      Have a lovely week Donna … 🙂

      Like

  30. Sunni Morris says:

    Wow Sherri! I’m really impressed with your blog post. This is my first time visiting. You’re a very good writer. I wish you great success with this new routine of yours. I’m like most of the people here, always trying to make the time to write and stay away from emails, social networking, reading and posting on blogs, etc. Those activities definitely chew up the day.

    It’s funny to read about people staying in their PJ’s all day because I’m guilty as well. Someimes I think other things take preceent over getting dressed, I guess.

    I usually always write at night because this is best for me. There are too many distractions around my house during the day to get much at all accomplished in the writing dept. I do have notepads all over the house because inspiration comes to me at the “worst” time when I can’t get to my WIP right then, hence I have scraps of paper all over my desk. Or sticky notes all over the place and stuck on everything up here.

    I do find it helps to set deadlines for myself, but even then sometimes I wait until the last minute and then bust my butt to finish by the deadine. I work good under pressure though for some reason.

    Usually getting the time to write is the biggest factor for me. Lots of times I have to ignore chores, if it’s not something that’s needed immediately. If time is no object, I can write 5,000 words a day and have done that several times when I’m on a role. I’ll sit at the computer all day wth no food, etc, if I don’t stop myself. I even wait to the last minute to get up and go pee. I think there are times when I need my head examined. I always like to take advantage of every minute of time I have when I get it.

    Enjoyed your post.

    Sunni

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Sunni, my goodness, how lovely to meet you and thank you so much for coming over to my blog and reading my post and then for sharing your writing experiences!! I know just what you mean about leaving things to the last minute but then working best when under pressure, I can really relate to that! It was so good for me to read about other’s and your’s experiences here, that I’m not the only one staying in my pj’s the entire day sometimes!

      As you say, chores can be ignored, and have to be sometimes, but I never know with my Aspie daughter some days if she wants me to take her shopping or do something with her and so I have to be mindful of that. Oh to have a distraction-free day though! Being on a roll like that to be able to just write is wonderful! Wow, 5,000 words! Fantastic!

      I know what you mean about leaving notes about the place too. In case you might be interested in reading what I wrote about this very subject, here is the link: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2013/08/05/got-a-great-idea-write-it-down-lest-you-forget/

      I’m going to be house-sitting for my eldest son and his girlfriend in March, two weeks on my own, and I intend to get on with my book big time then, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise as ‘they’ say!

      Again, it is so lovely to read all about your experiences here and I am very touched by your compliment, coming as it does from a published author, about my writing, I thank you very much, you have encouraged me greatly 🙂

      I took a look at your blog and am fascinated to read about your life in California and Oregon. I lived in California for the best part of 20 years, 1986 – 2003 (I lived there in the last 70s too) and raised my family there. I went back last April with my daughter for the first time in 10 years and now I am homesick for it. California will always be a huge part of my life.

      I hope you will keep in touch Sunni and have a lovely weekend 🙂

      Like

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