June 1, 2020– Have you heard of the OHIO method? Did you know that this way of doing things can increase your productivity by 80 percent?
The OHIO method stands for Only Handle It Once. A lot of the time, we go around in circles trying to multi-task and completing things on our to-do list that aren’t really that important. Here’s how you can improve your writing life and publishing business by sticking to this simple principle:
- Chunk into groups. If it takes 2 minutes or less to complete, do it right away. For example, emails, social media status updates, scheduling meetings, paying a bill, or rebooking a client, taking 2 minutes to deal with these things will ensure that you only handle it once.
- Prioritize big tasks. If you’re writing a novel, you know how difficult it can be to start writing and to continue to write long after the spark and ideas have gone. But, it’s essential to keep going and finish what we start as authors. What is the most significant task that you have today to write your novel? Is it outlining? Perhaps it’s character development or plot lines, whatever it is, choose the most important and get to work. Remember, this is not about editing, it’s about getting words onto the paper at this point. By doing this, you only handle it once, and you can go back later and refine your work.
- Set limits. The OHIO method is a great time saver because it frees up our options. I do this with my illustrators- every Friday like clockwork, they give me a progress report. This lets me know what they’re doing and how things are moving along and how close we are to completion on projects. By setting limits on when you’ll respond to emails or when you have staff meetings, this allows you to utilize your time more effectively and only handle it once.
The OHIO method works great once implemented, and you’ll realize that you have more time for the things you need to do and want to do.
March 13, 2020- I attend no less than three writer’s conferences per year. I need to keep up with information and trends in the industry, and I think that attending the workshops makes me a better writer and publisher. There is a lot to learn, and I always come back feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready to get to work.
Conferences can cost quite a bit of dough, so to make the most of your time and money, I’ll give you some advice.
1) Make a list. Who is going to be there? Who do you want to meet? Which speakers do you want to listen to? Organization is the key to success in all areas of life.
2) Don’t be dull. Make yourself memorable, everything from your pitch to your appearance should be interesting and should make an impression.
3) Make an appointment, if possible. There are some opportunities that you can sign up for in advance that will allow you to meet with potential agents and publishers.
4) Collect cards. Get as many relevant business cards as you can while meeting other attendees and guests. Jot down any pertinent info about the person or what you chatted about so that when you send them a follow-up email, you’ll remember who they were and the connection that you made.
Find a list of conferences in your area by doing a quick search online and see which ones would be suitable for your writing goals. Remember to have fun and make friends!
October 11, 2019– What is a bullet journal exactly? It’s a system of keeping track of notes, ideas, storylines, and anything else that is important to you. It’s an easy way to simplify things! It’s a quick and simplified way of getting a snapshot of where you’re headed in your writing life.
Here are some ideas of what you can put in your bullet journal should you choose to use this method of organization for your writing:
- Writing inspiration-write down story ideas as they pop into your mind.
- Tracking your submissions to publishers-when and who you submitted to along with guidelines if applicable.
- Organizing your storyline-plotting your novel and the important events that will take place in your book.
- Managing your time-jotting down most important tasks, deadlines, and projected release dates.
Bullet journals can work really well for some writers if they enjoy this method of organization, give it a try and see if it works for you! Happy writing! X LLB
August 16, 2019– Let’s dive right into the question of the week!
Q: “Lacey, As a writer how do you keep yourself from getting overwhelmed? How can you possibly stay organized with all of the books and projects you have?”
A: There are certainly days where I feel overwhelmed at times, but then I take a deep breath, remind myself that nothing is a crisis that can’t be handled, and I immediately stop what I’m doing to do something else. It’s very important that when you start to feel the walls closing in on you, that you change anything. Change your space, change your position in the room, stand up if you’re sitting, get a fresh perspective and stop what you’re working on! This is your brain’s way of telling you that you need a few minutes to regroup. Take as much time as you need, take the afternoon off, go do something wild or out of your comfort zone, do whatever it takes to make sure that you’re ok. You can’t be any good to yourself or anyone else if you’re burnt out and uninspired. It is ok to rest, it’s ok to let go, it’s ok to shut off your devices. It’s essential to your wellbeing every once in a while to just be.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have pretty amazing systems in place that take a lot of the pressure off. I have a social media scheduler that allows me to plan my posts for 30 days at a time, I’ve got a dry erase calendar in my kitchen that has all of my things to do for the week in order of importance, and I use technology to streamline as many processes as possible such as pre-planning my blog posts and YouTube videos. If I had to post every day without this help, it would be near impossible to do so and would be a time-consuming pain.
Find ways that you can help yourself get organized and how you can make your life a bit easier and less stressful by putting systems in place that become automatic. X LLB