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Blog Posts I Recently Enjoyed Reading

Blog Posts I Recently Enjoyed about Staying Focused

To stay with January’s productivity/time management theme, I’m sharing links to a few blog posts I recently read.

The first one was a guest post by Tamera Alexander over at Seekerville–“10 Writing Tips for Staying Focused & Finishing Your Book.”

Here’s an excerpt:

1. Disconnect…and be disciplined about it—

So easy to say, so hard to do.

In my early years of writing there weren’t as many distractions as there are today—yes, we did already have cell phones and email (I wrote my first novel in 2002, not the dark ages!)—but phones and email and social media weren’t the “great commanders of time” as they seem to be now. The number of ways to communicate has increased exponentially since then. Which, in turn, has contributed to our lack of concentration and ability to focus.

Now there’s Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, blogs and the list goes on and on. An author could easily spend the majority of her time doing social media, staying connected with readers (which is an absolute blast!), and sorting the rest of “life stuff” that always crops up—and never write. Or at least never finish that novel.

The best—the only—way I’ve found that works for me is to turn it off. Literally.

There’s much more to it, and it’s worth the entire read. You can find the rest of the post HERE.

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The Secret to Getting Started

The Secret to Getting Started by Jill Kemerer author

As I write this, it’s Monday. I woke up in a crum-diddly mood, and that’s not a good thing. I can’t point to one specific reason. There were many reasons, and they all sound stupid. Regardless, I was not motivated to do anything–not one single thing–on my schedule.

Every weekday morning, after my Bible reading and coffee time, I exercise. But today? Wasn’t feeling it. In fact, my thoughts went to danger-zone territory.

  • I’m too tired.
  • It’s overcast and depressing outside.
  • Everyone else has a national holiday from work, why don’t I take one too?
  • The workout is forty-five minutes long. What kind of person ever wants to exercise for that long? Not this kind of person, that’s for sure.
  • I have other things to do. Better things. (I didn’t.)

At that point, I knew I’d be mad at myself if I chucked my entire schedule. However, I also knew today wasn’t going to light the world on fire as far as my productivity, so I decided to take a nap–with the firm agreement I would work out as soon as I woke up.

Then I’d get started on my day.

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Bite-Size Sessions for Lower Priority Projects

Bite-Size Sessions for Lower Priority Projects by Jill Kemerer

This month I’m sharing tips based on my experience with setting and meeting goals. I’ll be the first to admit I’m self-motivated and disciplined. However, I have blind spots about habits that don’t always work well for me.

Three years ago, I got serious about reworking my schedule to address those habits. You can read about it in “Get More Done with a Plan.” The schedule worked really well until the pandemic hit.

Then…things fell apart.

I slipped into my old habits. Yeah, I still met my deadlines, but I was no longer making time for the lower-priority projects. When I don’t make time for them, they NEVER get done. Because there’s always another high-priority project to jump the line.

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January 2022 Goals

Let's Set Goals January 2022. Writer productivity. Jill Kemerer

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 December Goals

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A Cowboy To Rely On Release Day

Release Day! A Cowboy to Rely On

It’s here!!

A COWBOY TO RELY ON release day–book 2 in my Wyoming Ranchers series is in stores now! Woohoo!!

This book follows Jet Mayer as he searches for answers about his estranged brother’s death a year ago and stumbles onto two shocking secrets–a widow and a baby! Holly and little Clara are struggling, so when the Mayer family comes into the picture, she reluctantly accepts their help. Little do she and Jet know how much their lives will change by the end of the book!

Here’s the cover and back copy:

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Let’s Set Goals {December 2021}

Let's Set Goals December 2021

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 November Goals

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Let’s Set Goals {November}

Let's Set Goals November 2021 Jill Kemerer

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? October Goals

  • Writing
  • Finish prep for all the marketing/promotion for my October 26 release, The Prodigal’s Holiday Hope. CHECK!
  • Plot Wyoming Ranchers Book 5 and write synopsis. CHECK!
  • Prep for speaking engagement mid-October. CHECK!
  • Start revising Wyoming Ranchers Book 4. CHECK!
  • Health
  • Exercise 5 days/week. CHECK! The 12-week exercise program is going well. Very hard, though.
  • Continue eating more unprocessed food. NO CHECK. I love Halloween candy.
  • Drink minimum of 72 ounces of water every day. CHECK!
  • Other
  • Get back into my 20 minute fiction reading every weekday. Kind of CHECK. I read a few novels and a biography, but I set aside more than one novel because I just couldn’t get into them. It might have been my mental state. Who knows?
  • Sneak in a walk outside when it’s nice weather. CHECK. I only got a few walks in, but they were just what I needed!

Jill’s November Goals

  • Writing
  • Final edits for Wyoming Ranchers Book 3, Guarding His Secret.
  • Finish revising Wyoming Ranchers Book 4 and submit.
  • Start prepping promotion plans for Wyoming Ranchers Book 2, A Cowboy to Rely On
  • Start drafting Wyoming Ranchers Book 5
  • Health
  • Exercise 5 days/week (I’m on Phase 3 of the 12-week workout, and it is brutal. Brutal.)
  • Eat 2 fruits/day and at least 1 raw veggie/day
  • Drink minimum of 72 ounces of water every day
  • Other
  • Read 20 minutes of fiction every weekday
  • Decorate for Christmas!!

My writing is going well. I’ve had a few hiccups lately–migraines, colds amid looming deadlines–but the Lord has given me the strength to keep making progress. I’ve had to skip 3 workouts in the past 8 weeks, which isn’t too bad. And I’m actually on track to finish my Bible-in-a-year reading plan early! I’ll take the small wins every day!

*I’m sorry if you’re getting a weird menu in the upper left corner. My website theme just updated and there’s a glitch. Hoping it will be resolved soon!*

What were your October goals? How did you do? What would you like to accomplish in November?

In case you hadn’t heard: My new series, Wyoming Ranchers, kicked off last week with the release of THE PRODIGAL’S HOLIDAY HOPE!! It’s in stores now, or you can order it online. Simply click on the link above!

Release Day! The Prodigal’s Holiday Hope

I’m so excited! Today my new series, Wyoming Ranchers, kicks off with the release of book one, The Prodigal’s Holiday Hope!

The series follows six ranchers who’ve been best friends since high school. Each of them faces big challenges in Sunrise Bend, Wyoming, and the first book follows Sawyer Roth.

Let’s see…what’s in the book.

– Sawyer returns to Sunrise Bend after a decade of living in New York City. He’s deeply ashamed of his past and eager to have a new start as the manager of the ranch he grew up on.

– Tess Malone is the rancher’s daughter. She’s a single mom trying to take care of her toddler, Tucker, and her terminally-ill father, Ken.

– The ranch is rundown.

– Sawyer’s broke.

– Tess is angry at her ex for not being involved in their son’s life.

– And both Sawyer and Tess have trust issues a mile wide.

But…it’s Christmas and second chances don’t come around all that often.

You can find The Prodigal’s Holiday Hope at Walmart (typically for 25% off!) and other supercenters where Harlequin Love Inspired books are sold. It’s also available at Barnes & Noble and some Books-a-Million locations. Or you can order your copy from any of the retailers listed on my website. Simply click on The Prodigal’s Holiday Hope for all the purchase links!

And guess what? Book two, A Cowboy to Rely On, releases December 28, 2021! It’s available for preorder now!

Check out this short book trailer for THE PRODIGAL’S HOLIDAY HOPE!!

The Prodigal's Holiday Hope

He’s learned from his mistakes…

But can he prove he’s changed?

When Sawyer Roth is hired to work on his childhood ranch, he knows he has a damaged reputation to repair. Tess Malone, the new ranch owner’s daughter, is the hardest to win over. But as Christmas approaches, Tess and her toddler son find a way into Sawyer’s heart. He lost everything the last time he put his trust in love. Can he risk it all again?

Click on The Prodigal’s Holiday Hope for purchase links!

Thanks for celebrating with me!

Are you reading Christmas books yet? Watching Christmas movies? Do tell!

Have a wonderful week!

How the Week is Going

How the week is going (and book trailer!) Jill Kemerer

Well, it’s Monday as I write this, and I already feel overwhelmed. My grocery order had some surprises I hadn’t anticipated. The fruit flies are out in force, and spiders are making their way into my home because they know winter is coming. I hate spiders.

When I look at my planner for this week, I swallow and it’s more like a gulp.

A tight knot is growing between my shoulders. That’s how the week is going.

On the to-do list:

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