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Digital Minimalism Experiment: 2 Years Later

Digital Minimalism Experiment 2 Years Later

A little over two years ago, I read Cal Newport’s book, Digital Minimalism (#affiliatelink), and it made a huge impact on me. I immediately did a digital minimalism experiment by setting rules regarding my phone and laptop. In fact, I wrote about it in a blog post back in March 2019, “Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.”

Here’s a snippet:

“Scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and various news sites often eat up precious evening hours. And I couldn’t tell you what I’ve gotten out of all the mindless scrolling! Another problem I have? If I’m working on my laptop and check in on Facebook, I feel anxiety over unanswered private messages (I don’t use Facebook Messenger on my phone and only get private messages from my laptop). Ditto for unanswered emails–even if I get them at 10pm!”

I also went on to describe the actions I was taking to combat the digital takeover of my free time.

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Writing Through Your Moods

Writing Through Your Moods By Jill Kemerer

When I’m feeling blue, I don’t want to write. I don’t want to do anything writing related, either. I just want to sit on the couch, eat peppermint patties and caramels, take a nap, then sip coffee and watch the Food Network.

Do I sit on the couch and do all those things? No.

Well, I might take a thirty-minute break to indulge in them, but for the most part, I force myself to get something done on my work in progress.

Writing through your moods is a necessary skill.

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Let’s Set Goals! {June 2021}

Let's Set Goals {June 2021} Writer Productivity

My writer productivity skyrockets when I set monthly goals. At the beginning of each week I break them down into daily tasks that will work within my current schedule. Do you know how great it is to finish projects? Of course you do! For me, setting monthly goals makes it all possible.

Every month I share how I did the previous month as well as my new goals. Let’s get to it!

How Did I Do? Jill’s May Goals

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2 Great Contests!

2 Books Contest Giveaways
I’m participating in two BIG contest giveaways!

Contest/Giveaway #1: I’ve teamed up with 45 fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Inspirational Romances to 2 lucky winners!Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁You can win my novel NAME OF NOVEL, plus books from authors like Suzanne Woods Fisher and Josie Riviera.Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/InspyRomance-May21
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3 Ways to Avoid Distractions and Keep Writing

3 Ways To Avoid Distractions When Writing By Jill Kemerer

I’m currently writing the first draft of a new book. I’m working on one of those in-between chapters, and, needless to say, I’m distracted. How to fight distractions when writing?

Well, first let’s look at why I’m distracted.

I’ve reached a spot in the book where I’m not certain what will happen next or even what needs to happen. And instead of figuring it out, I avoid it.

I don’t even think I fight the distractions! Anything is better than the hard work of figuring out the best path forward with the plot.

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Trying a Makeshift Standing Desk

Trying A Makeshift Standing Desk By Jill Kemerer

Writers sit. A lot.

This writer certainly does! But I’m trying something different–I put together a makeshift standing desk to avoid sitting so much.

Some writers (and other work-from-home professionals) buy special stands to convert their desks from sitting to standing. Others have invested in treadmill desks. Then there are those who walk and dictate. I’ve tried dictation. It works in a pinch, but isn’t a long-term solution for me personally.

All of these methods to get out of the chair intrigue me, but I’ve never been motivated enough to try them.

Well, last week I was exhausted. I’m talking tired every day to the point I barely got anything work-related done. Part of it was a disruption in my routine (I had appointments every day). This week, I decided something needed to change.

For one week, I’m working while standing for at least an hour every day.

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Let’s Set Goals {May 2021}

Let's Set Goals May 2021 By Jill Kemerer. Writer Productivity

My writer productivity skyrockets when I set monthly goals. At the beginning of each week I break them down into daily tasks that will work within my current schedule. Do you know how great it is to finish projects? Of course you do! For me, setting monthly goals makes it all possible.

Every month I share how I did the previous month as well as my new goals. Let’s get to it!

How Did I Do? Jill’s April Goals

  • Writing
  • Polish/submit proposal for Wyoming Ranchers Book 3. CHECK!
  • Finish drafting Wyoming Ranchers Book 3. NO CHECK. After I turned in the above proposal, I decided to draft the rest of the book in May in order to work on my nonfiction project.
  • Health
  • Exercise 5 days/week. CHECK!
  • Continue eating more unprocessed food. CHECK!
  • Drink minimum of 72 ounces of water every day. CHECK!
  • Other
  • Continue reading fiction for a minimum of 20 minutes every weekday. CHECK!
  • Take one day to go downtown Toledo. The city is in a major renovation project, and I haven’t been down there in months to see the progress! NO CHECK. I did get to a few area metroparks, and my kids and I took a day trip to a really fun outdoor mall.

I wasn’t as productive on writing projects last month as I’d hoped, but I got quite a few marketing things in place that I’d been wanting to implement for quite some time. I also had a few volunteer opportunities come up. It was nice to be able to say yes to them.

Jill’s May Goals

  • Writing
  • Finish drafting Wyoming Ranchers Book 3
  • Health
  • Exercise 5 days/week
  • Continue eating more unprocessed food.
  • Drink minimum of 72 ounces of water every day.
  • Other
  • Continue reading fiction for a minimum of 20 minutes every weekday

My goals are minimal this month because I have a lot of stuff on my calendar. I’ll have to work hard to meet the goals listed! Some months I have more leeway with my work schedule. May isn’t one of them.

Wishing you all a very productive May!

What were your April goals? How did you do? What would you like to accomplish in May?

Thanks so much for joining me each month! Seeing your progress motivates me!

Slowing Down This Week

Slowing Down This Week By Jill Kemerer

My husband is off this week working on our deck, so I’m slowing down, too. It worked out perfectly since I have a lot of time before my next book is due.

I’m working on a nonfiction writing project I plan on indie publishing. If I get a chapter written, I’ll be happy. Besides that, I’m researching, baking, and hopefully, going birding.

What’s birding you ask?

Well, here in Northwest Ohio, birding is a big deal if you’re into that sort of thing. Unfortunately, The Biggest Week in American Birding will be taking place virtually this year, but since I’m within driving distance of some great spots to see warblers, I plan on taking a day to try to spot them.

This year I have a good camera and good binoculars! Last time I went (a few years ago), I had a $12 pair of binoculars from Walmart and my phone camera. Not the best equipment for birding, but it worked for me! I really enjoyed seeing different species of warblers along with native birds and bald eagles’ nests. They are huge!

So that’s my plan. Take it easy. See some birds. Write a bit.

Do you ever take a week to slow down? What do you like to do?

Join me next week for GOALS! Woohoo!!

One Healthy Choice can Completely Change Your Day

One Healthy Choice Can Completely Change Your Day, Jill Kemerer

Has this ever happened to you? You wake up, moderately ready for the tasks ahead, but by the time you have your coffee and get ready, your motivation has dissolved to nothing? A feeling of dread creeps in, and excuses march through your mind. One healthy choice feels like too much work. What started as a decent day now seems impossible to get through.

Lately the birds singing outside my window wake me up before my alarm. Not every morning, mind you. But yesterday I woke up a full hour and a half before my alarm went off, and I could not get back to sleep.

I didn’t fret. Just got up, made some coffee, did my Bible study, and scrolled through my phone for a bit. I had my workout planned–a DVD in our basement–and I was already dressed for it. I just needed to put on my shoes and get my butt down there.

But did I get my butt down there? I think we all know the answer to that!

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How I Distribute Digital Review Copies

Distributing Digital Review Copies. Jill Kemerer

Distributing digital review copies–where to start? One of the many struggles authors face in today’s publishing world is how to get advance copies of our ebooks to reviewers.

In the early days of having my street team, I would put out a call for anyone in the group willing to read/review my book. I would then gather their email addresses and send them a digital copy of the book. As the group grew, it became more difficult.

A street team is a group of readers who help promote your books by reading/reviewing ARCs, sharing book news/graphics with their social networks, or by generally getting the word out about your book.

An ARC is an advance review copy or can be referred to as an advance reader copy.

Distributing digital review copies. Jill Kemerer

Problems with individual distribution of ARCs:

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