EMEPiper Ep 12: Defeating Procrastination

Procrastination is a serious challenge for me. I find myself procrastinating all the time and I’ve rationalized to myself to make it okay. But it’s not.

Writing doesn’t happen while I procrastinate. No matter how much I think I’m getting done, I’m not doing the thing that matters: writing. 

So here’s a short podcast on recognizing and defeating procrastination. After all, the longer this podcast episode is, the less time either you or I are writing. Give it a listen, then get back to writing. 😉

Highlights

  • Where’s Piper? In her new recording CLOSET!
  • Recognizing Procrastination
  • Block Out Procrastination Enablers
  • Achievable Goals and Rewards

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

Posted in podcast

Taking the concept of Bar Con too far…

Authors at Top Floor Bar RT 2016*Rant warning/*

Planning to be at a con but not paying registration to be at said con, some call it “Bar Con-ing”, seems to be happening more and more and there are those who’ve taken the concept of Bar Con too far. Here’s the thing – Bar Con itself is a positive aspect of any con. The key consideration here is that Bar Con occurs because the con is happening. It’s a part of the con.

When you didn’t pay registration, but you’re at the con all weekend in the bar or lobby? Posting publicly in advance on your professional author pages or websites to tell readers you’ll be there and let you know if they want to buy your books? Selling books out of your bag or hotel room? Not cool.

When you’re sneaking into a panel or event to see friends? And oh, you didn’t plan to do it but you did? or it was for research? You didn’t pay registration. You’re hurting the con.

This is why we can’t have nice things, people.

Yes, there are amazing networking opportunities at a con, especially at the bar. Everyone goes to the bar eventually. And hey, if you’re not attending the con but you’ve set up some time to have drinks with an agent or editor or fellow author for networking while they’re in town? Cool. Or maybe you pick them up in the lobby and head off site for dinner. Great.

But “I’m attending… sort of” or “I’ll be at the hotel all weekend” or “come find me at the bar all weekend” and flying or driving long distances to get there? You are attending the con and not paying the con for the confluence of professionals and meeting of minds you want to take part in. The con suffers. You’ve hurt the con financially and if it deteriorates as more people like you do it, you wonder why.

You are part of the problem.

Authors and Readers having drinksBut the networking! “I need the networking and I can’t get ROI on the con itself”. I see this argument a lot from people. But did those people approach it in a constructive way? Reach out to agents and editors and industry pros who’ll be there to schedule meet up times that don’t conflict with con interests? Most of the time no. They sit at the bar where the magic happens because they might accidentally or randomly talk to an agent or editor who likes the convo so much they invite the author to submit their manuscript.

Yay! It could happen!

Yes, it could.

That agent or editor is also going to see the author doing this unprofessional thing. They will likely research the author online–because that happens when considering working with an author–and see that the author even posts about planning to do this unprofessional thing. Or the author posts after the con describing how they snuck into panels or events. Not only unprofessional but indiscreet.

Classy.

The writing career is tough. I get it. I live it. There are also nuances to every situation that could argue for why what a specific person is doing is not hurting the con and is important for their life or career. Bar Con is a great thing and valuable to career building. It is.

Piper at OtakonHowever, people have jumped way the hell over the line in taking advantage of it –taking Bar Con too far– and then they wonder why their favorite cons deteriorate. They say they only do it to this one con because whatever but really it’s like cheating in a relationship. If they do it once, they’ll rationalize doing it again and again. I’ve seen this at anime, SFF, and romance conventions. It frustrates me when those cons go down under the weight of this sort of behavior.

I prefer to contribute to the cons important to me and support them, as opposed to cutting corners and cheating the con.

*/end rant*

ETA: Brief recap to be clear…

  • Bar Con can be good when not taken too far. Meet ups and getting together can be super valuable. Bar Con in general = GOOD.
  • Sneaking into convention panels or events = BAD.
  • Selling at the bar or in the lobby or out of your hotel room = Tacky as hell. And Bad.
  • Camping out all weekend stalking agents and editors coming to the bar = Questionable results.

There can be times when Bar Con is great! It’s just lately, I’ve seen people take advantage to the point of extreme WTFery. There is the source of my rant.

What do you think?

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EMEPiper Ep 11: Interview with Melissa Schroeder

Interview with Melissa Schroeder

Interview with Melissa Schroeder

Since the publication of her first book in 2004, Melissa has had close to fifty romances published. She writes in genres from historical suspense to modern day erotic romance to futuristics and paranormals.

Along the way she has garnered an epic nomination, a multitude of reviewer’s recommended reads, over five Capa nods from TRS, three nominations for AAD Bookies and regularly tops the best seller lists on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

http://melissaschroeder.net/

I’m happy to have Melissa join me on EMEPiper, talking about juggling multiple series and time management.

Highlights

  • Introduction to Melissa Schroeder and her work
  • Why writing multiple series at the same time works for Mel (and Piper)
  • Shout out to Joyfully Reviewed – Mel’s making ribs!
  • How writing something different can make you a better writer
  • What kinds of deadlines does Mel face with 5 series in progress?
  • Mel’s routine and how she hits her goals, even dealing with chronic pain
  • Mel’s Time Management Tip

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.
Check out this episode!

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True Heroes series continues!

I am happy to announce the True Heroes series continues in 2018 with three new novels!

Alex Logan of Forever (Grand Central Publishing – Hachette Book Group) is editing these brand new stories. I am so very excited to be working with her. 

Of course, 2018 seems to be a long way away. Both my publisher and I are already working hard on these novels. More details will be coming soon, including insight into the new setting and cast of characters as the True Heroes series moves into its next arc. I promise these stories will continue with strong ex-military heroes and heroines with the amazing service dogs who love them at their sides.

True Heroes series continues

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EMEPiper Ep 10: Getting Actual Work Done

 

Piper Write or Die

Tasks have been identified and prioritized. It’s time for getting actual work done. For some, this is very simple. However, it might not be easy when there’s a whole lot of life going on in your world.

Life is full of distractions. Your mind may dodge work, running in circles or latching onto various things to do in the name of research or administrative clean up when in reality, it’s all procrastination.

Some simple techniques for eliminating distractions may allow you to buckle down and be productive. Scheduling time and developing routines are very helpful. But more complex considerations may come into play when you travel like I do and can’t develop routines or schedule time. 

Highlights

  • Where’s Piper? In her home office!
  • It’s time to actually work
  • So how do I actually get work done?
  •  
    Sometimes I need encouragement and there’s an app for that
  •  
    What if my Focus needs more Focus?

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

Posted in podcast

EMEPiper Ep 9: Prioritization with Simple Lists or Using a Matrix

Piper's Prioritization Matrix

There are times when I’ve got so much to do, I’ve got no idea where to start or what the prioritization is. It’s just an overwhelming mess of things that need to be done. I’m frozen in analysis paralysis and stressed out.

It’s time to take a deep breath and apply what I know of prioritization to the chaos of all the tasks piled up in front of me. Sometimes, my approach can be straightforward and simple. Other times, I need to apply my flexible approach to evaluating and organizing my tasks in a matrix to easily decide what to work on next.

Highlights

  • Where’s Piper? In her home office!
  • When you need to prioritize your tasks
  • How to prioritize: Simple Approach
  • Matrix Approach
  • OMG something else hit my To Do list!

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.
Check out this episode!

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Focus on Writing in 2017

Piper Surviving Deadlines by Focus on WritingI made a careful decision to have a stronger focus on writing this year. As an author, one might think I write, therefore I have a focus on writing.

But here’s the thing: when an author goes to events, the author isn’t writing much, if at all. When an author is doing book signings, the author isn’t writing much. The priority is to spend time with you, the reader, and rightly so. It’s important and I love meeting readers!

But all those events take away from writing time. There’s also travel that both takes away from writing time and is generally exhausting.

I maintain a day job career in parallel to my author career and I do travel 85% of my time for the day job. Add writerly events in there and I am sometimes away from home for up to 3 weeks at a time. I don’t take vacations, I take time off from the day job to attend writerly events and conventions. There’s no down time and without down time, my creativity suffers.

Last year was rough and much of it was due to the killer schedule I set for myself. I wrote 5 full length novels and several short stories through the course of the year in addition to throwing myself into my day job for the most challenging project of my day job career.  I am proud of my work.

There’s no way I can maintain the pace. I wouldn’t survive.

This year, I’ve decided to manage my time carefully and only attend writing retreats. At these retreats, my writing productivity has been amazing. My intent is to come through 2017 with high quality writing and the foundation laid to do great things with my writing career in the future. My priority is to provide great stories to my readers. This year, I’ll focus on writing.

Even if you don’t see me in person, you can play Find the Piper all over the internet for insight into my writing and hijinx:

Sign up for my newsletter for occasional news about upcoming releases plus exclusive excerpts and giveaway.

Check out the PJRA FB group for fun interaction, shared writing snippets, and occasional contests as my readers track my Travel Hijinx.

Follow me on Instagram for photos of my travels and behind-the-scenes insight into my writing only available here.

Listen to EMEPiper and subscribe to my Patreon to support writing-related creative content.

And of course, I can be found on FB and Twitter, as well as Pinterest and YouTube.

Come 2018, I’ll be looking at events again. I’ll be out there to meet readers and network with pros in the industry. Moving forward, I’ll be carefully balancing these priorities so my writing — the core of me as an author — is still strong as I participate in upcoming events too.

If you’d like me to attend your favorite convention or reader event, please contact the event coordinators and request me. It’s the best way to let events know you want me there. These events are for you, readers. Let them know who you want. 😉

Posted in events & appearances, musings, writing Tagged with: , , ,

EMEPiper Ep 8: Looking Back to Move Forward Effectively

 

AZ Lantern Festival: looking back to move forward

Heading into a new year with a fresh set of goals is a great thing. It’s even better to take a pause to look back on what did or didn’t work in the past year to take lessons learned into the new. This episode is about looking back to move forward effectively.

Highlights

  • Where’s Piper? In a hotel room closet.
  • The final days of 2016
  • How have I been working?
  • Making sure I don’t get lost again
  • Staying focused through the coming year

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.
Check out this episode!

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EMEPiper Ep 7: I’m Not Actually a Multitasker

Piper and food and writing

I’ve got a lot to accomplish by the end of the year. Some days, it seems like I won’t get it all done unless I do some things simultaneously in order to have massively productive weekends.

But in reality, multi-tasking might not be the best idea.

So I’m talking about how I do get things done, when it isn’t the best idea to multi-task and when I actually do multi-task.

Highlights

  • A theoretical
  • I’m not a multi-tasker
  • Why it’s not actually good to be a multi-tasker
  • Why it looks like I’m multi-tasking
  • What I’m actually doing
  • When I actually do multi-task
  • Kanban and Trello

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

Posted in podcast

EMEPiper Ep 6: When There are Too Many Things

Piper J Drake sideways

Even when you know how to manage your time, life can happen and things can get in the way. This year I had a whole lot of life going on behind the scenes. Before I could course correct, I was way off track.

This is my confession and what I plan to do to get back to where I need to be.

Highlights:

  • Piper’s Confession
  • The Plan to get back on track
  • Trying something completely new – hypnotherapy?

Shout-outs

You can support EMEPiper and Piper’s other writing-related creative content at patreon.com/piperjdrake.

Check out this episode!

Posted in podcast