Two steps from scattered–to focused!

I've been experiencing a little post-conference paralysis. Have you, too?

The rosy conference glow has started to fade. Have you harnessed the energy and inspiration of the Colorado Gold, or, like me, have you slipped into the Dreaded Distractions?

Stay focused. No one will make your dreams come true but you. Only you.

You know them --







…even Google Earth.

All useful when harnessed, these websites and services have a dark side. Yes, they may produce useful information that can boost your creativity or provide key marketing information that may help you in your writer’s journey.

Or they may burn through that most precious commodity:  time.

Because you’re on the Internet right now, reading this blog, I don’t want to waste your time, so just do these two things:

One. Applying what you learned at the RMFW conference, make a checklist for what you know you should be doing. What you should be doing today, not in some vague, distant future. Two or three goals--don’t make it overwhelming. Add a box for your reward—one of the websites above.


Set new goals based on tips/insights gained from conference workshops.

Complete character sketch for my villain.

Write X new pages in my WIP.

Two. Scan the following checklist. If you answer “No” to any of these questions, GET THE HECK OFF THE INTERNET!

/__/ Do you have a specific reason to go to [name of website]?

/__/ Can you name the writing goal that visiting [name of website] will help you achieve?

/__/ Can you set your timer for fifteen minutes, and exit [name of website] if it hasn’t helped you toward one of your writing goals within that time?

Once today’s two or three tasks are checked off, treat yourself. Give yourself a half hour on one of those “rabbit hole” websites---then check it off.

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 above, and keep working toward your dreams.

I hope this is helpful to you, and I’m cheering you on!

Janet Lane

Janet has a new release this month! ETTI’S INTENDED, part of her #1 Amazon bestselling series, will release on September 1 in ebook and paperback format.

The fifth book in the series, Etti’s Intended is available now for pre-order at — order now and you’ll be among the first to read what Library Journal reviewed as “Almost too perfect … Lane does a superb job creating layers to the Gypsy culture… a must-have for fans of the series.”

Her novels are set in fifteenth century England during the so-called “Gypsy Honeymoon” decades. The first novel in the series, Tabor’s Trinket, is a #1 Amazon bestselling novel. #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author Lara Adrian called Emerald Silk “ enchanting medieval romance filled with passion, intrigue and vividly drawn characters that leap off the page. I loved this novel!”.

Janet was a featured author in RMFW Press’s Tales from Mistwillow anthology, and co-chaired the editorial board for RMFW’s 2009 anthology, Broken Links, Mended Lives, which was nominated for the Colorado Book Award.

Janet welcomes your comments here or via her blog at, or her website,

8 thoughts on “Two steps from scattered–to focused!

  1. Thanks for reminding me that we can minimize that sense of being overwhelmed by making the pie smaller. 2-3 goals sounds just about right for this time of chaos — floods, storms (political and otherwise).

  2. I am pleased to announce my addiction to social media has pretty well been buried. Now…if I can get rid of the other 100 things I do and feel to procrastinate.

    Thank you, Janet!

  3. Huzzah to you, Rainey, for that victory! I’m getting better at clicking away unwanted emails, no matter how intriguing they make those headlines. Thank heaven for the built-in times on our phones!!

  4. Great advice, Janet. My personal “rabbit hole” is internet shopping. I have to do something like you advise and make myself write on my WIP first, and then allow myself to shop for a brief time. It works when I do it!

  5. Good advice. It doesn’t require a post conference glow to drown in social media instead of swim in my current manuscript. Even though it may someday help to have established my brands – food is one of them, many know, I need to prioritize and that is not easy when that first draft is tougher than responding to someone’s post.

  6. Sorry to be so late to this party, Janet, but I somehow managed to turn off my email notifications for RMFW posts. Fixed it and am now trying to catch up.

    Anyway, yes I did my usual slide into procrastination after Colorado Gold, even spending time on the usgs earthquake map that updates whenever a new earthquake is reported around the world. Fascinating!

    I think I’m getting back on track now. I had warring ideas for my next project and couldn’t get enthusiastic about any one particular idea….so I wrote first chapters for each of them and that’s what I’m submitting to my critique group today. At least they’ll know I wasn’t lallygagging anymore. 😀

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