Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Will Do X When Y

Thursday Thoughts on Reading and Writing

Our guest blogger today is Tifffany Colter who is a writer, speaker, and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers.

I will do X when Y
By Tiffany Colter

I remember back in my late teens or early twenties reading one of those nifty little quotes we all like. The sum of it was I’ll change my life after the next thing happens. The summary of the little “story” was that there is never the perfect time to do things, so do it now before your life is over.

That poem made such a huge impact on me I actually blogged about it a while back [Grow where you’re planted]. However, my personality type is one who plans. In college I had to write meals on my “to-do” list or I would find them a distraction to my tasks and simply not eat.

I’ve softened a bit since those days, but to make “taking that leap” a bit easier for those who plan I’ve put together a small list for you.

1.      Keep your heart and thoughts on the dream, your mind in the game. You have to know why it is you’re doing what you’re doing. I’ve found this true in my writing career and in building my business.  By focusing on the end result you can force yourself to do the things you don’t really feel like doing. The danger is you’ll spend so much time day-dreaming that you get nothing accomplished, so have clear steps and a definite plan for each day or week.

2.      Create trigger points. Decide where your point of overwhelm is and then look at the step before that and have help ready. When my company began to grow, I knew when I was editing more than three books at a time I would need help watching my kids for about 10 hours that week. Therefore, when I got the second manuscript I’d check my husband’s work schedule to be sure there were no special meetings, I started asking around for help with the kids and then I scheduled the work on my calendar. That meant I was ready when the third arrived and I wasn’t stressed.

3.      Have the people you need ready for the next level. As I continued to grow I found that I needed outside help and staff. This gets difficult because you have to balance your needs with your budget and qualified help. The process is the same. When I see a particular area of my business growing I begin to look for help. When I saw my business to business sales really growing, I began to look for sales staff to help me in that area. That is still one of my high growth areas and a department I’m still hiring in. I also understood that as that area grew, I’d need to build others. The same is true with writing novels. When you start getting requested manuscripts, fulls and book deals, you may need to hire a virtual assistant to help you with emails, newsletters, or even scheduling book signings.

4.      Take down time. This is a tough one for me because my mind never stops. If my funds were limitless I could honestly keep 12 people busy all at the same time, full-time with all I have sketched out to do. I love what I do, but I also need down time. Don’t look at rest as a waste. See it as a necessary part of your success formula.

Over the next month work to add these small tweaks to your schedule and your life. Then continue to do them consistently.

You can read a complete interview with Tiffany on my blog
Tiffany can be reached through her website


  1. Great advice, Tiffany. I know what you mean about down time. I actually have to give myself permission to not do anything. Literally.

    Jo, I love reading your blog!

    1. Pat, thanks for commenting on the blog. Glad you enjoy reading my blog; please keep on reading it!

  2. Hi Tiffany,
    Thanks for sharing today. I'd love to reach the point where I need help managing everything related to my writing.
    You gave me some good things to consider.
    Thanks again!

    1. Jackie, thanks for commenting and for following my blog!

  3. Thanks, everyone. Jackie, keep doing the things that bring success and it will happen sooner than you expect, in ways you don't expect.

    Pat, more than once illness has been required before I'd slow down. I'm starting to figure out how dumb that is and schedule down time BEFORE I get myself sick.

    Jo, thanks for having me.

    1. Tiffany, you are so welcome. Look forward to having you on here again.