Guest Post- 7 Tips to Write, Make Deadlines, and Not Get Lost in the Process

Hi everyone! Today I am very excited to bring you a guest post by Max E. Stone, an author who knows the struggle of writing, hitting all the deadlines, and staying focused on the task at hand. He has agreed to share some of his tips and tricks to help you be able to manage the crazy  writing life!


If your life tends to be stressful and hectic like mine, keeping deadlines is tough to say the least. Maintaining a cool head in the face of that turmoil is harder still. Add “Writing” into your “already-crazy” schedule and you could downright lose your mind.

Speaking from personal experience, there were times I’ve worked myself into so much of a ball of stress that I swore up and down it was Tuesday morning on a Friday afternoon. Since that time, exactly a year and a half ago, I’ve learned a few things about keeping cool and managing my time.

  1. Set workable deadlines

You know you better than anyone else knows you. You know what you can do in a given timeline and you know what is important to you. So dig deep. Ask yourself specific questions. One of the things I ask myself whenever I put together my work for the day, week, or month to come is this: “Of everything on my to-do list, what are the most important things?” From there, set deadlines you can work with and make provisions for changes that may come along the way. Which leads to the next tip…

  1. Start early

Life gets in the way. I’ve been there. You’re into the hour you’ve schedule for writing when suddenly you get a phone call that’s going to send you out the door for what you know will be at least another hour or two.  I’ve found that, if I have a task due in two weeks, I’ll begin for a half hour two weeks early. Then, I will do a little bit of it each day until it is completed early or on time. This way, I’ve made room for the changes that might come in the day, I can complete my other tasks, and I haven’t driven myself completely nuts in rushing to the end of that one thing to do.

  1. Don’t freak if/when you don’t make those deadlines

As hard as you or I will try, there are going to be times when you don’t make the deadline set. When that happens, don’t freak out. Don’t worry. It happens.  Just keep going and keep pushing.  You do that and everything will get done.

  1. Exercise/Get some fresh air

Straight from my mother’s mouth.

Both fresh air and exercise have numerous mental and physical health benefits. Sometimes, you have to step away from the computer, desk, etc. in the middle of the day because, frankly, you’re sick of looking at it or in my case, your eyes are burning and your bottom’s sore from sitting. At that point, I strongly encourage you to go outside, get active, go for a walk, or do some yoga. During the mornings, I run, and during the middle of the day, if I feel the need, I’ll go for a walk. So do what you can. Your body and mind will not only thank you but the quality of your day and work will immensely improve.

  1. Read

Books are awesome. No doubt about that. However, the mental advantages are similar to that of exercise and fresh air. I read for about an hour a day, whether its fiction, non-fiction, or education. I just read and let my mind take me away for just that hour. When I come back to my tasks, I’m fresh and all set to finish up what’s needed.

  1. Ask others

I spend a good portion of my day asking questions. No one person has all the answers to every question. Researching and asking questions is so essential. If you know someone who has mastered the art of managing their day, talk with them. Pick their brain and find what works for you.

  1. Rest

I learned this one the hard way and ended up not only losing a day but driving myself crazy in the process. So do yourself a favor. If you’re tired, go to sleep. Get a nap. If it’s late at night, go to sleep. It’s not only refreshing to do so, but medically necessary. Not getting enough sleep can’t hurt you and, among other things, impair your sense. Your body does a lot for you. Take care of it. Let it relax and reload.


Max doesn’t remember ever not creating a story, pen or no pen.
A writer and lover of books since the age of nine, Max first set pen to page as a hobby, constructing stories that were anything but fit for children. Entertaining classmates 13692597_1057472987641139_8414948098222036885_nwhile simultaneously concerning surrounding adults with blood-ridden tales of gory mysteries and heavy suspense that “just came to mind”, Max, with the help of family and the encouraging words of an inspiring fifth grade teacher, continue to develop this gift.
Little was it known at the time, but said gift would become a lifeline.
From horrific trauma in max’s teen years, writing played an instrumental part in the difficult recovery and the Warrens, Bennetts, and Johnsons, three interconnected families all with issues, mysteries, and secrets that threaten their livelihood and lives, were born.
Max reads everything and everyone and relishes the journey, learning something new each day.
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Book Review- A Lie For A Lie

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A Lie For A Lie by Robin Merrow MacCready
Expected publication by Henry Holt on February 28, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Goodreads
Amazon

Kendra Sullivan loves taking pictures. But when a photograph reveals that her father is leading a double life, she sets out to investigate the situation. Before long, Kendra discovers her father’s second family, which he has hidden for years. Kendra’s knowledge soon turns into power; she is torn between exposing her father and destroying her family as she’s known it, or looking deeper for the truth and suffering that outcome. This emotionally charged mystery pushes the boundaries between truth and deception, and the consequences one faces when dealing with life-changing information.

A Lie For A Lie was predictable. Was it good? Yes. Was it original? No, not really.

After reading the first page or so, I already knew what was going to happen in the book. Yes, the whole book, not just the main plot. I easily guessed what Kendra was going to discover, who she was going to end up with, and just about everything else.

That being said, the book was enjoyable to read. It was short and well paced, and I do happen to like most of the characters (all the ones I’m assuming readers are supposed to like). Kendra was an interesting multi-dimensional character that overcame a lot in the story, and in my opinion, really achieved her desired “break-out summer”… even if it is nothing like the summer she planned.

Each of the characters in A Lie For A Lie was unique, and each  brought an interesting aspect to the story, even if I was able to guess their role from the moment they were introduced.
I would recommend this book for younger teen readers, who like a little bit of mystery and characters that overcome an obstacle that is holding them back. The book wasn’t quite for me, but I do feel like it is a book many people would like.

I am going to give A Lie For A Lie three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

*An ARC of this book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected or influenced my ideas and opinions of the book in any way.

Guest Post- How a Broke Ankle Made a Dream Come True

Hi everyone! Today I have a guest post from author Douglas Geller. He is going to share with you how his dream come true from something as unlikely as a broken ankle.


This night felt different, I was tired from waking up at 4:30 in the morning to go to work and it was the night before Thanksgiving. I really didn’t want to go to karate, instead I wanted to be lazy and play video games. But I went as I always did, I’d done it more times than I could remember because its what I always did.

The warm up was light sparring, just tap, tap among the few of us in attendance. We finished the drill before I reminded my dad (the lead teacher) that we forgot someone. So I lined up opposite tiny. Tiny is the nickname we have for the student that is 6’6 and 230 pounds. I duck under his punch and took his back. All 5’5.5, 140 pounds of me holding on to him. He starts dragging me around the mat and I hold on. I decide to hold on for an extra moment to see if he could figure out what to do, a teaching moment. He jerks back and my feet crossed which they aren’t supposed to do. I tell myself I should fix this but move slowly. Tiny starts to fall back and I feel a small crack in my left ankle. I say in my head that it felt weird but don’t make anything of it. I feel myself falling and think here we go. I land and as if I woke up from a bad dream I start screaming. A few hours later in the hospital I find out I broke my ankle.

I laid in my bed tired and in pain for several nights, restless I started reading anything that seemed slightly intriguing. I read an article about Aging Out, a book that tells stories of kids who aged out of the foster care system and their struggles and overcoming obstacles to achieve their dreams. I’m fascinated and can’t stop thinking about it, I think about the fighters I watch and all of their stories and decide that someone should write a story intertwining the two. That night I look at my computer and laughed that I could write the story. For a moment I think I could and I started typing and I found I really enjoyed doing it. So every night I continued to write without telling anyone, it was always the highlight of my day.

I dreamed I could share the story I wrote with the world and for a while I resisted. Who would take me seriously? How many people write books and are laughed at? But then I thought of the poem my dad read at my Bar Mitzvah, The Man In The Glass by Peter “Dale” Wimbrow Sr. and not to cheat the man in the glass. Nine months later I look at the man in the glass and he is smiling at me, because I overcame, pain and insecurity to make my dream come true.


headshotDouglas Geller is 23-years-old and works in public relations. He is a graduate of Ithaca College and grew up and currently resides in White Plains, New York. He has trained in martial arts since he was five-years old and has earned a fourth degree black belt and the title of Sensei.

He has written non-fiction for newspapers including: The Ithacan, The Examiner and Patch. This is his first fiction piece.

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