Category Archives: Writing

TAF, books, upcoming writing things, etc. Any/everything having to do with writing.

WFH: Time Management

*This article was written 20.04.29th, when the corona-virus lock down was beginning to go into full swing in Canada. Please excuse any reference/comment that is no longer applicable.


Now that everyone is pretty much forced to work from home*, you may be scouring the internet trying to find ways to make it work. After all, you’ve always had a physical separation of your work space from your home, so how are you supposed to focus on work while wearing pj’s, and being so close to the dirty laundry?

Maybe you have set work hours from your job, or maybe you’re trying to start a work from home business and the line is a bit blurrier. Either way, you’ll need to know when to close your laptop and switch from Work Mode to Home Mode.

Walking the line between getting work done and having time to relax can be difficult for those who aren’t use to it. Fortunately for you, I’ve been working from home since I started my writing career, which was around 2016, and while I’m not a master, I’ve definitely picked up a few things.

The best thing tip I’ve found is learning how to time manage. Without time management, you’re pretty much lost in the sea of work and relaxing.

But, never fear! Below are the best tips to help you with your time management, so you can take some practical steps into getting things rolling.

 

Tip #1: Have Clear Work Hours

Scheduling your work hours is probably the #1 most important tip for being able to pull this off. If you don’t draw the line in the sand of when Work Mode begins and ends, you’ll constantly be feeling like you could be working when trying to relax, and trust me, feeling guilty for not working 24/7 is not conducive to a good work environment.

Whether you have set hours from your job, or you’re making it up as you go, set yourself work hours. I personally work (about) 10am-8pm. This will help ease your planning of say, knowing when to take a break and do some chores, or when to get dinner ready.

And don’t forget to allow yourself to take breaks within those work hours! You get breaks in the office, and your home office shouldn’t be any different. It’s okay to take a quick coffee/smoke/pee break during your work hours. Or, if you have an unexpected knock at the door? (Which you shouldn’t unless you’re getting stuff delivered) Get up! Don’t feel that just because you’ve set work hours, you need to be glued to your chair.

That’s actually not healthy at all! If you’re able, get up and stretch every few hours, or stand at your desk so you aren’t sitting all day. This will also help you feel less like you’re ‘stuck’ doing work. Just because it’s ‘business hours’ doesn’t mean you can’t take a quick break.

If you worked in an office and used to take regular breaks, do that at home! Try to keep as much of your routine the same, so it’s easier to stick to.

And, once the scheduled Work Hours are up? Get off your computer. I’m serious, especially if you’re starting your own business, I know how tempting it is to keep going. But then the next time you look up it will be 3am. Detaching yourself immediately from your computer once work is done is a big help in mentally keeping those work boundaries straight.

 

Tip #2: Schedule/Make a To-Do List

I know, I know, not everyone is great at scheduling, and not everyone likes to-do lists. But, scheduling stuff is honestly not as hard as some would make it seem. You can schedule literally as much or as little as you want/need to. If your brain will explode at the near thought of having to plan out your whole year (or week), start smaller!

Start with a to-do list for just today. Or, you could break it up even more by making a morning/afternoon (or hour by hour) to-do list. Everyone loves checking/crossing things off a to-do list – it gives you a sense of accomplishment, so go ahead and make one!

Now, again, if you are working a regular job from home, you may have clearly marked things to do, but if you’re a blogger, or similar ‘not real’ job person, this may be more essential to you.

As a blogger (and author!), I’ve found it imperative that I schedule my posts. Back when I started really getting into blogging and making my website functional, I would post 5-10 posts in a few days, and then wouldn’t touch it for a few weeks/months. That’s not exactly a good business model, neither for gaining fans, nor for your sanity.

Having a set schedule will take a lot of pressure off, so you don’t feel like you have to do everything right now, and it will give your fans a dedicated time to check in. It’s hard to see what’s new with someone you like if they post sporadically.


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I’ve found it helpful to list out everything you want to eventually get posted/done, and then organize from there what takes priority. For me, when I’m deciding on what posts to do, it’s actually kind of easy. Since I have a bunch of different interests, I cycle through them.

The way that works the best for me, is to list all the posts I want to (eventually) post, and then fill them in (rotationally) to an editable calendar. This helps keep me organized, since I plan out the entire year, and it takes the edge off my anxiety, because I know it will all get done.

For example, this post is scheduled for publishing August 3rd, but I’m writing it April 29th.  (Hello from the past!) That kind of advanced planning doesn’t happen by accident! Since I have the entire year planned out, it allows me to schedule posts as far in advanced as I need, thus giving me more time to do other things I enjoy. (Like starting the next book, or working on merch, or even just relaxing/having time to spend with family)

Being organized and scheduling my shit actually feeds my lazy side. If I don’t want to do any work at all and take a day off? Sure, I’m scheduled till August, so why not?

The one downside to this method is that you will eventually have to kick your own butt to make sure things are getting done. Which actually leads us into the last tip:

 

Tip #3: Discipline

Not everyone can thrive while working from home. I understand this kind of not-as-structured lifestyle is for everyone. But, I also think one of the main reasons why so many people fail is because they lack the discipline.

Having the ability to kick your own ass is a dying art, but it’s something you’re gonna have to learn to do if you want to succeed.

A lot of people in my life have complained to me about being ‘stuck’ working a job they don’t like, and thus they don’t have the life they thought they would. And, not to sound like a privileged white lady, all I can think is nobody forced you to get that job. Sure, there may have been people who forced you to get a job – but other people can’t force you to make decisions.

They can try to manipulate you either emotionally or some other way, but ultimately, it’s your life, and you just need to find the inner strength and courage to stand up for yourself and say ‘hey, this is my life. I’m going to do whatever I want.’ And if they don’t like it? Well then maybe you need to analyze what it is they’re adding to your life.

If you’re unhappy with your life, take some time and really think about why. Where did things go wrong and what steps can you do to change your life? It’s your life, you have the power to make yourself happy. Do some soul searching and think about what you want your ideal life to look like. What way of life would make you happy?

Once you see the figurative light at the end of the tunnel, start thinking about how to connect yourself from where you’re at now to there. What steps can you take – even if they’re small – to get yourself to your ultimate life? It’s never too late to make yourself happy, you just have to try.

Honestly it is that simple.


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Son of a Bitch! (#2, Summer Edition)

Written: 20.08.01

Words: 549

Gen.

Written for the SPN Amino Heat Wave Weekend Challenge.

Yes, this is an ‘extra’ fic, that doesn’t fit into the 1 fic every 2 week posting schedule, so you better enjoy it. 😛


“Son of a bitch!”

Sam bolted upright, jumping off the bed, snatching his gun from the bed side table, slowly stalking toward the open motel room door, “… Dean?”

At the lack of response, he stiffened, bracing himself as he came up to the door. He took a deep breath and ripped it all the way open, nearly shooting his brother in the face.

“Whoa! Dude, what the hell?” Dean  swiftly disarmed his brother, tucking the gun into the back of his pants, “Are you crazy?”

Sam shook his head as he was instantly hit with a wall of summer heat. The kind that makes you feel like you can’t breath, “Oh my God.”

“I know, right?” Dean shook his head before walking back into the motel, “The first day we get off in how long and it’s this gross out?” He let out a heavy sigh as he grabbed a beer from the fridge, “So much for a day at the beach.”

Sam closed the motel door behind him, easily catching the beer his brother tossed at him, making his way over to the small table his brother had stopped at, “Alright, so what’s Plan B?”

“Well I don’t know what you’re gonna do,” Dean shrugged as he crossed the room, grabbing the laptop off the night stand before nearly throwing himself down on his bed, “But I’m gonna sit here, drink and, uhm…” He adjusted his sitting position as he settled against his pillows, “relax.”

“Yep, got it,” Sam nodded, swallowing down a gulp of beer before snatching his phone and key off the night stand, making his way to the door, “I’m gonna go to the library.”

Dean snorted, raising an eyebrow at him, “You are allowed to have fun once in a while.”

Sam shook his head, hand pausing on the door, “Text me when it’s safe to come back.”

“No promises.”

 

 

Ugh, Sam pulled at his sweat soaked t-shirt, doing his best to unstick it from his chest as he made the way back to the motel, how is it still so hot out? He checked the time on his phone and shook his head, it definitely should’ve cooled off by now.

He continued down the sidewalk as the motel came into view, glad it wasn’t too far away from the library. I never thought I’d be looking forward to a motels’ AC. He took his key out of his pocket, unlocking the door just as he heard his brother swear.

He opened the door, hope dashed as he didn’t feel a temperature difference between the street and the room. He raised an eyebrow as he saw his brother, sitting on the floor, face twisted in despair, disassembled AC unit laying in front of him, “Uh, Dean?”

The blonde wiped the sweat off his forehead with one arm, desperate eyes flicking up to the giant, “I-it just stopped working. I tried to fix it, but,” he kicked it, face falling further, “Stupid thing is too old.” He got up, giving the thing another kick, before turning his eyes to the giant, “What are we supposed to do now?”

“Well,” Sam couldn’t help the smirk he felt split his face as he made his way toward the freezer, “I’d start with removing the flannel.”


Like this fic? Check out more (regularly scheduled fics) here!

Also, I was thinking of possibly making a series of fics that start with ‘Son of a bitch!’ because I think it’d be fun, and I have a lot of ideas for fics to start that way. Let me know below how you’d feel about that. Love it? Hate it? Would you read them if I did decide to go ahead and make them a series? Or, do you think it’d be too confusing? Let me know!

So Close

Written: 20.04.22

Words: 584

Inspired by the song So Close from the movie Enchanted. Listen to it here!

NFF, Song!Fic, Fluff


You take in a sharp breath as he extends his arm to you, raising an eyebrow as the music starts. I can’t believe it, you take his hand, unable to pry your eyes away from the look on his face, I’ve never seen him look so… happy.

He pulls you in, eyes not leaving yours as the two of you begin to move. He leads you backward, and you’re surprised at yourself you don’t fumble and fall on your ass. We’re both secretly bad-ass ballroom dancers… who knew? You try to swallow your smile at your own dumb joke as you move in perfect time to the beat – definitely more graceful than anything else you’ve ever done – and you can’t help but momentarily think of all the grand dance scenes in rom-coms you’ve seen as the two lovers finally get their happy ending.

Is this what that feels like? You resist the urge to glance at the guests, heart beating so loud you can barely hear the music over it. You feel as though you’re flying around the room, barely registering what your body is doing, and part of you hopes someone was smart enough to bring a camera, as if anyone would believe this happened without video proof.

Your breath catches as he flashes you that soft smile of his – the one reserved for sleepy mornings and staying in bed cuddles – and you can’t help but beam back at him. I never would’ve thought I’d be in the middle of a scene like this. You make a brief mental note to write down your emotions so you can recall them for later needs, and continue dancing. He twirls you then, and as your hand finds his again you swell with pride, after everything we’ve been through… I can’t believe we’re finally here.

An overwhelming wave of love surges through you and you can’t help but pull yourself in closer, so you’re barely a hair apart. You rest your head against his chest just as the music begins to fade, and you can’t help but smile as you feel his heart beat is synced with yours. Guess it’s true what they say…

A deafening roar of applause breaks you out of your moment and your eyes focus on the crowd of family and friends. You feel your cheeks heat up as you’re suddenly pulled back into the now and give them a sheepish smile. He leads you to your table, that soft smile slipping off his face in place of his usual social mask and you find yourself wishing your dress had sleeves to hide your goose bumps, I can’t believe everyone saw that…

“Wow!” Your best friend swipes at her eyes as you come closer, “I never knew you were so… I mean,” she turned to your other bridesmaids, at a loss for words, for once. She sniffed and shook her head, “I take back everything I’ve ever said about you not being romantic. That was just… wow.

You chuckle and wave a dismissive hand at her, eyes on his retreating back as he goes to greet his own family, “Yeah, well, don’t expect to see anything like that again anytime soon. I should be good until I’m dead now.”

She shoves you in a playful way before crushing you against her, “You’ve gotta write that down for me.”

You smile at her as the two of you take your seat, heart fluttering as your eyes catch his from across the room, definitely.


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Believing

Written: 20.04.22

Words: 581

DeanxReader, fluff


You stumble as you hit a crack in the sidewalk and nearly face plant. You luckily catch yourself and look around, feeling your cheeks heat up, stupid heels. You shake your head, before digging your compact out of your purse, checking to make sure you didn’t dislodge any of your carefully placed hair curls. Oh thank God. You sigh in relief as you see you didn’t mess up your hair and replace the compact, would’ve sucked if I did all this just for it to get messed up five minutes before he sees it.

You turn up the driveway and feel a small knot begin to form in your stomach. What if he doesn’t like it? You resist the urge to chew your lip as you climb up the porch steps, don’t think like that. He’s the one who suggested dressing up, remember? You shake your head at yourself as you go to knock, hand pausing in mid-air.

Why are you psyching yourself out? You know you look awesome. Don’t forget what that guy at the bus shelter said. You look smokin’! You swallow down your chuckle at the memory and take a deep breath before knocking.

“I got it!” You hear some rustling and hurried footsteps before the door swings open, revealing the wrong brother.

“Hey, Sam.” You give him a small smile and lean slightly to see around him, “… Is Dean ready?”

Sam gives you a once over, sly smile creeping up his face and he steps aside, “Almost.”

The knot in your stomach grows and you wonder if in your three hour getting ready routine you remembered deodorant. You go to take a step over the lip of the door and nearly face plant again, “Fuck!” You glare at it, “Stupid door.”

Sam catches your hand easily and chuckles, eyes on your shoes, “You sure that was the doors’ fault?”

You feel another blush creep up your face and try to remember what you usually do with your hands, “So, uhm… h-how’ve you been?”

“Eh, y’know,” The giant closes the door before walking the few steps over to the stairs, “Dean, c’mon! Quit dragging ass!”

“It’s called style, Sammy!” You hear a door slam before the blonde appears at the top of the stairs, wearing a three piece suit, “You know, you could actually learn a thing or two ab-” he stops mid-sentence as his eyes land on you, “Wow.”

You smile at him, smoothing your hands down over your dress, “H-hi.”

He stares at you for another moment, mouth still agape, before shaking his head, coming down the steps. You shift your weight under his gaze and try to calm your racing heart, unable to help but notice he’s yet to smile. He comes up close to you – close enough you can smell his cologne – but doesn’t touch you, opting instead to reach around you to grab his shoes.

Shit, you swallow thickly as you watch him slip them on, unable to hold back thinking the worst, he hates it. What was I thinking? Suddenly feeling foolish, you silently wish the floor would swallow you whole as he shrugs on his jacket.

He opens the door for you, wordlessly, and gestures for you to go ahead. Being so wrapped up in mentally berating yourself, you fail to see Sam toss a ring box at his brother, and the wink and thousand-watt smile the blonde sends over his shoulder as he follows you out, “Don’t wait up.”


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High Tide

Started: 16.08.08 (Originally written for Melting Hearts)

Rewritten/Finished: 20.04.15

Words: 1,128

Sabriel, Fluff


“Sa-am!” Gabriel bounded down the stairs toward the front door, “Come on!”

“Will you relax?” Sam came out of the kitchen, lifting the bag of snacks onto his shoulder, “I’m almost certain the beach will still be there.”

“What if it’s not?” The shorter man fake pouted as he slipped on his flip flops, “Do you really want another bowling alley fiasco?”

Definitely not, Sam chuckled at the memory as the ball of energy adjusted the duck floaty he had around his waist, “Why are you so interested in going to the beach anyway?”

“I… have my reasons,” Gabriel winked and wretched the door open, narrowly hitting the giant in the face.

“Gabriel-”

“To the beach!”

 

 

Gabriel smushed his face up against the glass of the bus, eyes wide with excitement as they passed the sandy shore. He pulled the string so hard Sam was worried he was going to break it.

“Okay, c’mon,” Sam stood up with the bag, extending his hand out to the angel.

Gabriel took the hand and stumbled behind the giant to the back door, slamming his shoulder into the pole as the driver stopped the bus, asshole.

“Gabriel, you can’t say that to the driver,” Sam hissed as they got off.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Gabriel brushed off as he hurried off toward the sand.

“Hey,” Sam caught his arm before he could get away, “you can’t call the driver an asshole. You don’t want to say the wrong thing to the wrong guy.”

“I didn’t say anything, Sammy.”

“Gabriel, please.”

“What? Sammich, I’m not lying. I didn’t say anything.”

Gabriel bounded off toward the beach, leaving Sam standing on the sidewalk confused. Why does he keep saying that? He didn’t say anything, I heard him, Sam shook his head and started off toward the shorter man, trying to put the pieces together, He didn’t say anything…

C’mon Sammich. Put it together so we can have fun.

Wait a minute…

“Gabriel that still doesn’t make it okay,” Sam smacked his arm as he finally got what his boyfriend meant.

Gabriel just smirked and took the blanket out of the bag, “Here Sammich, you sit and get some sun. I’m gonna go swimming.”

“You’re actually gonna go swimming wearing that?”

“Don’t say that,” Gabriel covered the fake duck’s ears, “you’ll hurt Harold’s feelings.”

Sam chuckled, “You named your duck floaty?”

“No, he told me his name.”

“Of course he did.” The giant reached into the bag and pulled out the sunscreen, “You should probably-” he cut himself off as he saw his better half was already racing toward the shoreline.

I hope angels don’t get sunburned. He shook his head as he watched the man jump at the wave that was racing toward him, getting knocked back on his ass. Good thing he has that floaty. Sam dropped the sunscreen before picking up the crumpled blanket off the sand, flicking it out. He sat down before reaching for the sunscreen, beginning to slather himself as he watched the angel get knocked back by another wave, giant smile on his face. At least he’s enjoying himself.

He replaced the sunscreen before stretching himself out on the blanket, reaching into the bag for his book, time to relax.

 

 

“Ow, ow, ow, ow!”

Sam shook his head as he helped the fire-red angel down the street, “We gotta get you home.”

“But it hurts!” Gabriel whined and slumped over in the giants’ arms, nearly knocking him off his feet.

“Gabriel!” Sam huffed in annoyance, adjusting his grip on the too-hot skin. He closed his eyes for a moment as he took in a deep breath, “Since you’re too injured to flash us home, we have t-” He cut himself off as he felt himself hit the ground. Confused, he looked around and deflated as he saw he was standing in their bedroom, “You couldn’t of did that before we tried getting on the bus?”

Gabriel shrugged, making his way over to the bed, “I didn’t think it’d- ow!”  He glared at the mattress as he struggled to sit up, “Traitor.”

Sam did his best to keep the smile off his face as he watched, “It’s not the mattress’ fault.” He walked over to the dresser, digging out the aloe vera before joining the angel, “I thought angels couldn’t even get sunburned.”

“Apparently we can.” He shook his head, eyes skyward, “Thanks, Dad.”

“Alright, well, c’mon.” Sam held out his hand as he placed the aloe down on the nightstand.

The angel raised an eyebrow at the retired hunter, holding out his too-red arms, “Where exactly do you think I’m going?”

The giant smirked, pulling him up by the wrist, “The shower. We have to stop your skin from cooking any further.”

“Whoa, what?” The angels’ jaw dropped as he followed, “My skin is doing what now?”

Sam chuckled, closing the door behind them as they reached the bathroom, “The sun cooked your skin, that’s why it’s red. The longer you’re out, the deeper layers of skin it reaches.” He leaned into the tub, turning on the cold water.

Gabriel gave him a disbelieving look, “And you’re an expert on human cooking how, exactly?”

Sam chuckled and shook his head, before beginning to peel off his shirt, “It’s quite common, actually. Luckily, it’s also simple to treat.”

Gabriel winced as he touched his stomach, “I-it is?”

“Yep.” Sam pointed at the shower, “The cold water will help your skin stop cooking, and then I can rub aloe on the burn.”

“That definitely sounds like my kind of treatment.” The angel winked before getting into the tub, letting out a yelp as the water hit his skin. “What the hell is… ooohhh,” he let out a breathy sigh as he felt his body relax, “this is actually nice.”

“Glad you’re enjoying it, cause you have to stay in there for at least ten minutes.”

“Pfft, no problem!”

Sam chuckled and shook his head, reaching for the door handle, “Let me know when you’re finished.”

“Wait!” The angel poked his head around the curtain, frowning at the giant, “You’re not gonna join me?”

Sam blinked at him in momentary surprise, “No… the waters’ too cold for me.”

“B-but,” he pulled the curtain back a bit, raising his arm over his head, before wincing at the movement, “I need you to do my back.”

Sam rolled his eyes, unable to keep the smile off his face, “We’re supposed to be cooling your skin down, not getting you steamed up.”

“Fine!” Gabriel huffed before sliding the curtain closed again, “But we’re gonna have to do something to distract me from the pain!”

Sam shook his head as he reached for the door knob, smile growing, deal.


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Everything You Never Expected (Preview)

Started: 17.07.20

Rewritten/Finished: 20.04.14

Words: 2,045

Samifer, Destiel (Implied)


“Remind me again why you thought doing this in the time it took him to shower would be a good idea?”

“Because he’d definitely be surprised.” The giant smiled triumphantly as he got the streamers untangled.

Cas looked down at the bag of balloons, tilting his head in confusion, “What am I supposed to do with these?”

Sammy?

Dean rolled his eyes, “You don’t have to breath, I figured you could blow them up faster than we could.”

The giant froze, eyes immediately going to the kitchen door, … yeah?

You’re not going to join me?

He pushed the decorations to one side, climbing up onto the island to hang the streamers, join you…?

Where do you think?

Oh, right, sorry, he shook his head at his own stupidity, I ugh, I can’t right now. His brows creased in confusion as he reached for tape that wasn’t in his hand, what the…? He looked back over the island and dug it out of the pile of decorations, won’t you be done soon, anyway? Not really a point in joining the shower if you’re already clean.

I guess…

He blew out a breath of relief and taped the corner of the streamer.

 I changed my mind, by the way.

His hand faltered and he nearly dropped the tape on his brother, it luckily landed on the kitchen island.

“Dude, watch it!”

“S-sorry.” He scooped it back up and turned his attention to the other corner of the streamer, as Dean got out from under him, … What?

I’m taking a bath instead.

Oh, okay.

Sooo…?

So… what?

You gonna join me or what?

Oh, right. He shook his head again before reaching for another streamer, sorry Luce, but I showered while you were out, so I’m already clean.

Who said anything about cleaning ourselves?

That made Sam burst out laughing, hand sliding off the wall, nearly making him fall off the island, startling the other two. He caught himself just in time, and tried to keep the embarrassment off his face.

Dean gave him a concerned look, “Whatcha doing up there, Sammy?”

“Ugh, nothing, sorry.”

“Hey, uh,” Dean took a cautious step toward him, “maybe you shouldn’t be so… elevated.” He raised an eyebrow at him, “Y’know cause of the thin air, and all that.”

“I’m fine.” The youngest waved a dismissive hand, before turning back to the streamers, “Besides you’re too short to reach up here.”

“Well maybe we could get Cas to use his-” the blonde turned back to the angel and groaned, as he was still starring at the bag of balloons, “Dude, what the hell?”

Cas turned confused eyes to the hunter, “I don’t…”

Dean rolled his eyes before grabbing one out of the pack, blowing it up, before tying off the end, raising an eyebrow at the angel, “Think you manage the rest of them?”

The giant taped the last corner before taking a small step back to admire his handy work. He nodded once to himself before carefully getting off the island.

I guess that means you don’t want to get dirty either?


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Working From Home: Focusing

While I think I touched on this in my Top 5 Pros and Cons of Working From Home article, I thought I’d dedicate a whole post to perhaps the biggest/hardest part about working from home: focusing.

(If you live alone feel free to disregard most of the following)

When you’re working from home – especially a home that you share with others – sh*t is gonna get loud, especially around the time everyone else comes in from work. They just got back from work, so they want to relax with watching T.V., playing video games, and they most definitely need to cook dinner. You may need to call/text friends and family through out the day, go to the store and if there are pets you need to attend to?

And that’s not even mentioning digital distractions, like social media. So, with all these distractions, how are you ever going to focus? Well, the answer is both simple and complicated: You just gotta make yourself do it.

Whether this means waking up earlier/staying up later than everyone else so you can have a few hours of quiet, working with headphones on, or having a dedicated ‘work’ room (or space), do something that will allow you to get your shit done.

Is it fair that you may have to work around others’ schedules just so you can get what you want done? Not really. But what is the other option? Sitting there doing nothing day after day when you could be working? Everybody has to start somewhere, and one day when you’re in the middle of living your dream, you’ll thank your past self for taking the initiative.

Anything that’s worth getting is worth the work.

If interruptions are unavoidable/people absolutely need to talk to you, maybe try giving them certain times they can interrupt you. Like a short recess, it allows you a quick break from your work, and allows the people in your life to not feel like you’re blowing them off. As your list of things that need to get done grows, it will be increasingly good to schedule yourself breaks and check-in times with those around you, so you don’t go down the work spiral. It can be hard to keep to your scheduled breaks, but working constantly isn’t good for your health. And, there are studies that show that constantly working and not taking breaks can actually make you less productive.

I actually gave myself a ‘quitting time’ of 8pm. This may sound late, but since most days I wake up at 10am, it’s actually only 9 hours of work a day – which is only 1 hour more than the typical 9-5.

I also usually write with headphones on, so if people are talking, being loud, etc. it doesn’t usually bother me. And, if I need extra non-distractions? I just close my door. (My desk is set up in my bedroom.)

Everyone in my house knows that if my door is closed, not to bother me, unless it’s really important. Or, a less invasive way to get my attention? Shoot me a text! I always have my phone to the left of my computer, so I can see it light up. This system has been working since I started publishing books in 2016, and so far there haven’t been many issues. (This may be because my mom is also a freelance writer, so she understands the need for space)

However, as life tends to do, things won’t always run smoothly. No matter how many scheduled times/breaks, meetings times, etc. you have, some days it will just feel like people can not give you time to yourself to complete your work. I understand the frustration (trust me), but try not to let this get you agitated. Sure, it’s annoying, but these people care about you, and chances are they don’t realize they’re being annoying.

This is why having a conversation about what you need to be productive can help. (Instead of not saying anything and then blowing up at people when they do the thing that’s secretly been annoying you) I’ve found most people aren’t actively trying to be assholes/annoying, etc. so just tell them what you need so you can get things done.

Okay, I feel like maybe things got a bit muddled up there (I was actually writing this while fielding interruptions… go figure!), so in the interest of keeping things simple:

Ways to Focus:

  • Get up earlier/stay up later than others
  • Work with headphones on
  • Have a designated ‘work’ space (that people know not to bother you)
  • Schedule breaks/check-ins with people so they don’t constantly interrupt (or feel ignored)

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Bad Attitudes (Preview)

Written: 20.04.09

Words: 1,063

Wee!Chesters


“But Dean,” Sammy whined, crossing his arms over his chest with a pout, “I want to go play!”

The blonde shook his head as he tucked his brother into the motel bed, “You know the rules. You can’t play outside at night.”

He raised an eyebrow as he pointed to the still sunny window, “It’s not night time!”

Dean chuckled and shook his head, pointing to the clock, “It’s 9pm, dude.”

The 5-year-olds eyes went wide and his jaw dropped open, “B-but it’s still sunny!”

The blonde shrugged before getting up off the bed, “That’s how it is in the summer.”

“But that’s not fair!”

Dean shrugged again, “Sorry, dude. I don’t control the sun.”

Sammy crossed his arms back over his chest and pouted, absently watching his brother get dressed, “Where are you going?”

The blonde shrugged on his jacket, flashing his brother a toothy grin, “Out.”

The youngest rolled his eyes, “Well what am I supposed to do?”

“Well you could try sleeping for one.”

“I can’t sleep when it’s sunny!” He pulled a face, “I’m not a baby, y’know.”

Dean shot him a sideways glance as he sat on the edge of the other bed, pulling his shoes on, “Oh sure, pouting because you aren’t getting your way is so grown up.”


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(I Wanna) Blow Your Mind (Preview)

Written: 20.03.04

Words: 2,286

Inspired by the deleted song Get This Right from the Frozen 2 soundtrack.

You can listen to the song here!

NFF


“Uh… hi,” she gave him an unsure smile, clearly surprised.

“Hi,” he took a step to the side and gestured, “Come in.”

“… Okay,” she stepped in, and gasped, taking in the small candle lit dinner, “what is all this?”

“Ssshhh,” he took her hand, leading her over to the table, pulling out the chair for her, “M’lady.”

She snorted, shaking her head, “Thanks.” She tucked herself in to the table, concerned eyes following him as he turned to the stove, placing the pot of mac and cheese down, “You cooked?” Her concerned eyes found his face, “Are you dying?”

“What? No,” he chuckled and sat down, beginning to spoon some of the noodles onto her plate, “Can’t I do something nice for you?”

“Not two nights in a row.” A small smile tugged at the corner of her mouth, “Are you gonna stick me with the bill tonight, too?”

He ignored the stab to his heart and shook his head, “I’m sorry about that.”

“It’s fine, I’m just… concerned,” she placed a hand on his, stopping him from spooning out his own dinner and their eyes met, “Is everything okay?”

“Everything’s great.” His face fell at the disbelieving look on her face and he let out a heavy sigh, “Actually, no,” he replaced the spoon, closing his eyes as he gathered his nerve, “everything’s not okay. There’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you, for a while now, and I-”

“Oh my God!”

“I know, but let me finish.”

“The table!”

“The table?” He heard her chair scrape against the floor and opened his eyes, seeing the knocked over candle and the quickly spreading fire. “Shit!”

He leapt toward the kitchen, yanking the faucet out of it’s holder before spraying it haphazardly at the table. The fire alarm began blaring then, just as the flames began to die down, shit! He sighed in defeat before replacing the faucet, grabbing a towel to wave at the alarm, I can’t believe I screwed this up again!


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Pendant (Preview)

Started: 14.02.27

Finished: 20.03.31

Words: 5,713

Destiel, Sabriel


Sam!”

A hand slapped itself over Gabriels’ mouth, “Are you trying to get us killed?” Cas narrowed his eyes, voice barely above a whisper, “I said last we knew it was empty.”

Gabriel glared at the angel but nodded, allowing him to remove his hand, “I can’t believe you sent him here alone.”

Dean cocked an eyebrow as he checked the perimeter, “Are you forgetting he used to hunt all the time alone?”

“And look at what that got him.” Gabriel trailed behind the pair, ticking the items off on his fingers, “Addicted to demon blood, possessed by Luci, thrown into the Cage, soulless-”

“I don’t need a play-by-play,” Dean spun around to face the angel, “I was the one who was there, remember?”

“And maybe if you did a better job-”

“If I recall,” The blonde rushed the angel, pinning him against the wall, “It was your family that started the shit-storm me and my brother went through. So if anyone is to blame, it’d be you.”

“Dean.” Cas’ warning made the blonde drop him. He joined the trench-coated angel a few steps away, starring up at the stairs, “He shouldn’t have gotten too far.”

Gabriel shook his head, “If you had just listened to me-”

“Oh, here we go.” Dean rolled his eyes as they started up the stairs, “All hail the great know-it-all.”

“Well I have been around longer than your puny brain can comprehend. Think that gives me a bit of an edge, don’t you?”

“Gives you more time to make mistakes, maybe.”

“Stop it.” Cas stopped in the middle of the hall, blasting all the doors open, shoulders slumping as they were all empty, “This doesn’t make sense.”

“What?”

“We were only a few seconds behind him,” Cas frowned, eyes narrowing as he thought, “He should’ve still been standing downstairs.”

“So… what? Something took him?”

“No shit, Sherlock.”

Dean shook his head, ignoring the comment as he turned back to his boyfriend, “I thought this place was warded?”

Gabriel let out a low whistle, “How short is your memory?” At the blank stares he let out a sigh, “The demons joined the party around the time Dean got surrounded by vamps, remember?”

Cas shook his head, “I came back after and finished the warding.”

Gabriel raised an eyebrow, “You expect me to believe you came back here, after it was overrun by monsters, defeated all of them – alone – and then warded the place?” He turned disbelieving eyes to the hunter, “Do you buy that?”

Dean held up his hands in mock surrender as he shrugged, “I didn’t go back with him.”

Cas huffed before pushing past the men, making his way toward the stairs, “I can prove it.”

They followed him down the staircase, toward the back door. He ripped a strip of wallpaper off the wall, revealing painted sigils, “See?” His brows furrowed as he saw the sigils, “Wait… this isn’t right.” He ripped off another few strips of wallpaper, swallowing thickly as he revealed some of the sigils had been scribbled over.  He took a few steps back from the wall, head tilting as he starred at it. “I… don’t understand.”

“What’s wrong with it?” Dean held up his hand as Gabriel opened his mouth, “Aside from the obvious?”

The raven-haired angel shook his head, “This warding prevented them from getting in. But they would’ve had to come inside to disable them this way.”

“… And?”

“Not the brightest bulb, are you, Dean-O?” At the hunters’ look Gabriel let out a dramatic sigh, “A monster would’ve just created an earthquake or something to break the warding from the outside. But these were scribbled out, which means-

“They would’ve had human help.”

“Well, give the man a cigar.” Gabriel rolled his eyes before bringing his hand up to rub his chin as he thought, “So… who does Sam know who’d be willing to work with monsters?”

“Whoa,” Dean held up his hands, brows furrowing, “What makes you think it’s someone Sam knew?”

“Well he’s not here, is he?” Gabriel gestured to the empty house, “And – assuming Bro here didn’t zap him somewhere else – since there’s no signs of a struggle, that means he went with whoever it was willingly.”

“I sent him here.” Cas finally turned from the wall, “Whoever it is must also have the necklace.”

“Okay, so…” the blonde looked between the two angels, “who would Sam trust?”

 

 

Sam couldn’t tear his eyes away from the blonde in the drivers’ seat. It had been so long since he’d seen her. Even longer since he’d seen her smiling, and although he wasn’t happy to learn she’d been hunting, he was just grateful to be within arms reach of her again. She was right there.

He couldn’t wrap his brain around it, he had watched her burn to death on the ceiling – and yet here she was, tapping her thumb against the steering wheel in time with the music. Just like she used to. He was doing his best to ignore the small part of him that told him something wasn’t right. He wasn’t stupid, when did these things ever not come with a price? But she’d passed every test he’d given her with flying colours, so he decided he would let himself enjoy it, at least for a little while.

“Will you quit starring?” Jess flashed him that gorgeous smile he’d forgotten all about, flicking her eyes off the road for a moment, “It’s starting to get creepy.”


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