Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Deep Work by Cal Newport

I always have a blog post up over at The Write Conversation on the first Thursday of the month. I do NOT always remember to cross post it here. Yikes!

Starting off this new year, I'm sharing my thoughts about a book called Deep Work by Cal Newport. It's a fascinating book and one that I think would be interesting for writers and non-writers. My husband is reading it now. :) 

2016 was a great year. Covert Justice won a couple of amazing awards and I'm still smiling about them. Then I sold my next book to Love Inspired Suspense and that pretty much summed up the rest of the year! I was very busy with the revisions for Hidden Legacy, which will release in June! I'm hoping to have a cover reveal for all of you soon. (I've seen the first version of it and I love it!) 

2016 was also a crazy year for me. Juggling homeschooling the boys, Emma's unique needs, being a wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, and author...it's a lot! I know many of you can relate. 

Deep Work has been instrumental in helping me redefine my work habits as 2017 begins. And so far, implementing some of his strategies is paying off.

Here's a teaser of what I had to say over at The Write Conversation...

Finding Writing Focus after a Distracted Year

It’s a new year and if you’re anything like me, what worked in 2014 and 2015 did not work so well in 2016. You’d love to be more productive in 2017. 

I know for myself, I have to find a better way to do things or I’m going to be in really big trouble. This realization has been growing for a few months and it hit hard during the holidays.

So I did what I usually do when I want to learn something.

I went to the library.

I picked up a book called Deep Work by Cal Newport and I’m not going to sugarcoat this…it isn’t for everyone. Some people will not like his suggestions. Some people will not like the way he digs into the science and the metrics and the business-side of things. (Personally? My little nerdy, engineering, geeky self loved it.)

But with a subtitle like, “Rules for focused success in a distracted world” you can bet that it IS for a lot of people, including a lot of writers. 

I know—knew before I read Deep Work—that something is going on in my brain that makes it very hard for me to concentrate on anything—good or bad, easy or hard—for more than a little while before I need a distraction of some sort. 

And here’s the thing—I don’t have time for that mess. When I get time to write, I need to be able to write. I don’t have time for quizzes about which Harry Potter character I am (there’s a hint for you in this post) or how OCD I am (I bet you can guess that one, too) but that doesn’t mean I won’t catch myself burning up precious creative time with junk like that. 

Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing inherently wrong with a Facebook quiz and that obituary for Leia Organa was brilliant—but what is wrong is when I feel almost helpless to stop myself from frittering away valuable time on something that is virtually meaningless.

I can’t be the only one who feels like her brain has turned on her. (Right?)

You can read the rest of the post here

Thanks to those of you who have checked in on me. I promise that my "What I Learned ..." posts will be back starting this month, as well as all the fun stuff leading up to the release of Hidden Legacy

I'm so looking forward to all the 2017 holds!

Grace and peace,

P.S. In case you're interested, here are some of my posts from The Write Conversation from the end of 2016...

Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller - not a writing book, but so important for everyone who has ever wondered if their work matters

The Story of With by Allen Arnold - seriously, everyone needs to read this book

My Impressions of the ACFW Conference - this was my very first time attending ACFW and it was amazing