Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On The Treadmill by Morgan Mandel

Sometimes I feel like I'm on a treadmill. I almost finish one thing when another gets handed to me to get done.

Time is racing by. Deadlines loom. I've got to prioritize. How can I do this?

I've decided to compartmentalize.

For Christmas, I'm removing my everyday decorations in stages and replacing them with holiday items.

I've simplified my Christmas card giving this year. Instead of signing, stuffing cards in envelopes and sealing them with labels, which takes up chunks of time since I have such a huge Christmas card list, this year I'm trying something different.

I'm sending out Christmas postcards with a Christmas scene I captured at our local park, plus a photo of our beloved Rascal, who at the moment is peacefully napping, instead of being her usual mischievous self. This will save time and money, and still show the special people in my and my husband's lives that we care for them.

As far as my writing life is concerned, I work hard at marketing. I've been getting my blogspots into shape, trying to build up readership and figure out what should or shouldn't be included in layouts. I blog daily at my personal blog, Double M, at

I also keep up with my weekly blog here at, my semi-monthly blog at
plus a semi-monthly blog at

This involves not only writing my own posts, but also hosting guests. Hosting takes up time. I not only gather the needed information, which sometimes comes to me at the last minute, then display it in a pleasing fashion for the readers. The blogs also involve advertising on my many listservs and interacting with other bloggers, authors and readers.

As you can see, I'm very busy with blogs, plus occasional booksignings and other marketing activities, including greeting my new members and keeping the main page and Authors Column current at

This leaves little time for the heart of what drives me, which is writing my novels. I've decided the only way to do this is to compartmentalize my novel writing also. I buckled down and finished my children's story about Rascal, who happens to be deaf, but still lives a normal dog's life. I'll do more edits on her story after a few people have looked it over, but for the most part it's ready to go.

Now that my Rascal book is ready, today I can concentrate on my halfway done thriller, which is aimed at the Boomer generation to which I belong. I hope to have it ready by the beginning of February, so I can pitch it at the Love is Murder Conference. Since Wednesdays are my day off from work, I'll be working on it today.

That means I'm putting the two romance novels I've already started on the backburner for now.

Left to go are housecleaning and exercise. I'm way behind on both. I've got Christmas at our house this year. I'm not the best housekeeper, to put it kindly. To get ready, I'm clearing up small piles of papers and other junk a bit at a time each day.

I can't walk Rascal on the icy sidewalks lately, so that cuts down on my exercise. Also, getting rides to the station each day because of the bad sidewalks and roads doesn't help any, but I have no choice.

Today, instead of going to aerobics, I'm stuck at home. I'm not a great driver in the best of circumstances, so I dare not drive on the icy roads.

The elliptical machine sits in the living room. A few days ago, I got on it for half an hour and worked out. I plan to do that three times a week, while listening to the radio or watching TV at the same time to keep my interest from flagging.

It's not a treadmill, but close enough. It kind of represents the way things are going lately. The difference is I can get off the elliptical machine easier than the treadmill of my chosen writer's life.

It's wild and crazy, but I love it!

Morgan Mandel
Today I'm blogging about Blago at
Today I'm also hosting mystery writer, Deb Baker, at


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I think every author feels like they're on a treadmill and at Christmas time, even more so.

I was supposed to be interviewed by phone at 10 by a newspaper reporter, but he called to postpone because there'd been a huge pile up on 99 (major highway that goes through the Central Valley), no doubt due to fog--that's what we have this time of year. Outside my window it's nice and sunny--but down on the valley floor, it's socked in.

So, like you, I'm doing things in stages. I've prepared for a big book thing I'm doing on Friday and Saturday, so now I'll go wrap some presents.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's nice to know I am not the only one who lives their life in a constant state of chaos! I had a new author once ask me how to balance it all and I told her that the chaos becomes the balance. At least that's how it's worked out in my life...

And with a break in my seminars until next year, I intend to tackle that 'writing' thing myself!

Fairy said...

I lost 13 lbs in only two weeks by obeying this one easy rule