Jessie: In New Hampshire, wishing the blackflies would practice more social distancing.
The fifth Beryl and Edwina Mystery is due to my editor on June 1. Which is exactly two weeks from today, according to the yearly calendar looming menacingly over my shoulder as I sit at my desk. Naturally, my mind offers a wide variety of distractions from the task at hand. I wish I could say that I always manage to ignore the allure of such sweet suggestions and instead focus with laser-like precision on the revisions I know need to be made before the book could be allowed to be seen by anyone besides myself.
Sadly, this not the case. I have, over the years, gotten to be more and more adept at managing my mind in the face of temptation but I am not entirely immune to suggestions by some nefarious part of my brain that delights in offering up sidetracking enticements. I have, however, learned through a great deal of trial and error that it is possible to bribe that wiley part of my mind with promises of treats if only it will go play quietly elsewhere until my work is done for the day.
And what does it seem to like best, this unruly toddler part of me? Even before the global population was encouraged to remain in their homes, armchair travel always topped the list. For years, a promise to allow myself to wander via books and even websites has been enough to buy myself a few hours each day of focused effort.
Old favorites to re-read, set in distant lands, travel magazines promoting life in tropical locales and online resources like Atlas Obscura and The National Archive can always be counted on to do the trick. Even suggesting a session for dreaming of trips to be taken when travel is once again possible by perusing the cruise schedule for the Cunard Line or looking at the cost of winter rentals on a beach in Brazil is sure to quell the clamor and stay on task long enough to make progress.
The upside of all of my mental gymnastics is that not only should I have a book completed in two weeks, I may have a vacation scheduled for sometime in 2021!
Readers, how do you get yourself to do those things you know you ought? Writers. what makes it possible for you to honor your deadlines?