Janel Gradowski visits ePen!

There are two things that are indispensable for keeping me and my writing on track. Coffee and task lists. There are many things that authors need to do beyond writing books, from writing blog posts to keeping up with social media accounts. We all have personal lives, too. I have a husband, two teens and a spoiled Golden Retriever. So there are mountains of laundry to wash, various meals to cook then clean up after and a never ending supply of dog hair to be vacuumed. I love my family dearly, but I shudder to think of what the house would look like if I completely stopped cleaning and cooking. Of course I’ve learned it’s just easier to do some things myself rather than trying to delegate the tasks (what mom hasn’t?).
So how do I juggle writing and family life?
One: lots of coffee. I have a 20 oz. insulated travel mug that is almost always by my side. It keeps my coffee suitably warm for hours, so I can sip my way through quite a bit of writing or promotional work. My programmable coffee maker is essential in that I have hot coffee waiting for me when I get out of bed in the morning. I usually make another pot after lunch. And just in case the electricity goes out or horror of horrors, the coffee maker breaks, I have backups. A French press pot, a St____ks (oops Janel we just don’t say that “S” word around here) French press insulated mug, two single-cup reusable filters, a pour-over style filter…and an espresso maker. Do I need all of those coffee brewers? No, but you can’t say I’m not prepared. If all of those somehow don’t work there is always cowboy-style coffee boiled in a pot over a campfire. Yes, I love coffee and quite literally don’t feel right without it.

Two: I make lists. Everywhere. From my planner that sits on the table next to where I work to notebooks. My collection of sticky notes and colored pens is rather out of control, but adding a bit of colorful fun makes keeping track of all of the tasks just a bit more fun. I’m also experimenting with bullet journaling, an organized system that bridges the gap between to-do lists, appointments and notes. And I love index cards! I use them to write grocery lists, but most importantly to plot my books. I color code them by story line and then pin them to a giant corkboard. I write my books using a program called Scrivener, so as I write I get to use virtual color-coded index cards to track my scenes without having to sit down my laptop. Yes, I am a geek and I’m fine with that.
So, the equation of my life is pretty simple:
Life + Lots of Coffee + Lists = Happy + Organized (Me)

[Janel – you had us at “Coffee and tasks lists.”]

See more of her books here:  http://www.janelgradowski.com/published-work/books/

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