Monday, January 30, 2012

Daddy's Little Matchmakers by Kathleen Y'Barbo Ends February 13th


RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few. A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has a daughter and three grown sons. She recently married her own hero in combat boots and is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

Kathleen is giving away a copy of her new release, Daddy's Little matchmakers.Tell Kathy something you procrastinate at writing related or other to be entered in the drawing. Be sure to leave your email addy so I can contact you if you win!

 A Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting to THE END and Hitting Send 

Some people have no trouble writing books. Words flow and contracts arrive almost as frequently as 747s land at LAX. Life is good and so are the royalty checks. Is this your idea of the writing life? Guess what? That’s fiction. Writing is work. Sometimes hard work. Not for the faint of heart or those prone to dropping projects before they’re done. 

Strike a nerve? Good. Because you’re not alone. I tried to find statistics on how many books are abandoned before they’re complete, but couldn’t get close to a good estimate. Know why? People with good intentions who figure they’ll finish that book someday so it’s not exactly abandoned. Add in the ones who just can’t quite turn the book loose after edit #3212 and you get the idea. 

It is a widely accepted fact that a book cannot be published unless it is released from the confines of the computer. So, how does an author finish a book and let it go? Easier said than done, right? 

Maybe not. 

1. Know what you have. Print out the manuscript and do a complete read-through in hard copy. Aloud. Yes. Read your manuscript to yourself. I know. You’ll look like an idiot. Who cares? You’re getting your book finished, and that’s what’s important. 

2. Know what you have to do. Whether you’re writing or editing, I want you to stop right now and decide exactly what needs doing. And write it down. Yes, like a goal. A real goal. Because once you’ve identified what you have to do, you must then figure out exactly how you’re going to do it. 

3. Know how to reach your goal. Need to finish the book? Okay, let’s look at that. What’s your word count goal? How many words can you comfortably write in a day? Or, maybe you need to look at a weekly goal. Underestimate the amount of hours in a week that you can devote to writing. That way you’ll be ahead if you do better than what you’ve projected. 

4. Know when to stop. Yes, that’s right. There are authors out there who do not know when to stop working on their completed manuscript. Yes, editing is important. Yes, we want to have the best possible manuscript to present to editors or agents. But how are these publishing professionals going to usher your book into print if you don’t release it into their hands? Ask yourself: Why can’t I let this go? Is the Lord telling me to wait or am I in defiance of what He wants? Yes, defiance. Because writers, if you’ve been charged with the job of writing for the Lord then you’ve got to be gut-honest and ask yourself if you’re standing in the way of what God wants to use you to do. If you are, you’ll know it. And if you are, you’re walking in disobedience. Just sayin… 

5. Know what to do next. Yes, next. You’re finished with the book. You’ve done the work of editing, and now you’re placing your manuscript in the hands of an editor or agent. Great! That’s awesome! Now what? Are there other manuscripts languishing in a file somewhere that need attention? Knock the dust off the next.





Veterinarian Eric Wilson is confounded by the classified ad his three young daughters have placed. The handsome widower is not in the market for a bride! But when the story of his little matchmakers hits the papers, would-be brides start swamping his waiting room. Despite them all, Eric finds himself drawn to the temp worker at the classifieds office: adorable free spirit Amy Spencer. Amy's been running for a while, and it's time she planted roots. Together, can Amy and Eric realize that trusting in God's plan is the sweetest surrender of all?

26 comments:

  1. Just a reminder; To be entered to win her book tell Kathleen something you procrastinate at writing related or other. Be sure to leave your email addy so I can contact you if you win!

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  2. I procrastinate at snail mail, lol, I got some info printed off for my aunt and it only took me two weeks after that to get it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and to the post office. I love getting letters but I HATE writing them and always put it off.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

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  3. Great advice, Kathleen! All these are something I really needed to hear - especially the idea to read your book aloud. I hear so many mistakes that I miss when I read it through silently. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

    And thanks, Debbie Lynne, for sharing this post with us!

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  4. This is a great article! I'm a charter member of the Procrastinators of America :D For example, I know how much I dread writing a synopsis because I'll actually do housework instead! Or, I'll get so involved in my story that we use up every single spoon in the house (and we hav 2 1/2 flatware sets!) before I wash dishes. But it's been editing that has me snagged right now. Not over editing. I do sincerely need this round of deep edits. I have to chop out chunks of story that have no value beyond "beauty" - good writing but doesn't move the story forward. That's the hardest thing to do, IMHO. I will though (eventually!)

    Thanks, Kathleen, for great advice and motivation & thank you, Debbie Lynne, for sharing the article. Blessings to both of you :D

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  5. I have some relatives who do not use email. I procastinate writing them letters. As soon as I do send them one, they send one right back and I'm always behind!!! This book looks very good and I'd love to be entered.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  6. I procrastinate at many things...if there is a deadline I will get it done, but I usually leave it until the last minute!
    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. Oh I can relate on the snail mail stuff. Why is that? But it just seems like so much bigger of a deal to write it on paper. LOL. Angie, thanks for stopping by. Tammy, too funny using all your flatware! Yikes! I'd be afraid to procrastinate on a deadline. I do hate writing synopsis though. Especially if I have to cut a ch. by ch. down to a one page. NO fun!
    Thanks everyone for stopping by.

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  8. I put off writing replies to letters that I need to actually write by hand. The more I delay the heavier the burden! I'd love to be entered for Daddy's Little Matchmakers.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  9. I'm not much of a procrastinator...except when it comes to buying clothes. That's not to say I don't enjoy shopping, just the purchasing part. Hubby doesn't mind, though, saves him money. lol

    DADDY'S LITTLE MATCHMAKER sounds like a great read, Kathleen! Thanks for sharing these tips. I always enjoy stopping by your blog, Debbie Lynne.

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  10. Merry, maybe we put it off because we have become too technical. It takes a fraction of the time to type something verses had write. But I see several of us suffer from this. heehee

    Dora, I'm so glad you enjoy my blog. You made my day! LOL I'm not a big shopper either. It takes way too much time! But I bet my hubby agrees with yours. Saves lots of money.

    Good luck on winning ladies!

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  11. I procrastinate with my junk mail. I take out all the important stuff (usually). I hate dealing with the rest, till it reaches a ridiculous huge pile on my kitchen island. Thanks for the giveaway.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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  12. LOL! Amy, mine hits the trash can almost before it hits the door. I never know what I missed.

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  13. This was a great article! Thanks Kathleen and Debbie. Yes, I have to admit I can be a procrastinator too. I have a hard time writing if the house is messy...or maybe I use that as an excuse sometimes. Anyway, I appreciate the suggestions.

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  14. Thanks for the writing tips! Great info! ANd I love the concept of your book. So cute!

    I procrastinate with filing - whether it's paid bills, edited manuscripts, etc - it collects on top of my filing cabinet until it's ready to fall and I HAVE to deal with it.

    Some of the comments were about junk mail. That's my mother's weakness too, but we figured out a great plan. She puts all of her junkmail in grocery bags, and then once a month she gives the bags to me. I sort through them, keep or giveaway the usable freebies (note pads, cards, calendars, etc) and discard the rest. She isn't tempted and nothing goes to waste. (And it's a lot more fun to go through someone else's junkmail!)

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    rrgreene62(at)gmail.com

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  15. Thanks for the very helpful writing tips:-) My goal is to finish my historical romance WIP by the end of April. I've figured out the word count goals per day/ week. So just need to put the time in:) Thanks for the 'kick-start"...needed that!

    thanks for the giveaway:)
    lornafaith@gmail.com

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  16. I have had 3 Editorials published in local paper but have 2 stories I have been writing that I have had to put aside due to family problems and health. I love your list to keep writing and hope to begin writing again soon.
    I also have Rebecca's procrastination of not filing as I should and here it is tax season. on my..not good. lol I am now retired but did work for over 40 yrs and actually filed. Don't know why I stack but probably because of the stress.
    I look forward to reading Daddy's Little Matchmakers and have on my wish list. Thanks for opportunity to enter.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  17. I procrastinate in STARTING. Once I'm sitting down and working, I'm good to go. Getting me in the chair is a whole 'nuther critter. *sigh*

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

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  18. I procrastinate on filing papers. I stack them until they overflow and realized yesterday that I need to go through them all since there are so many that need to get thrown out now.

    This book sounds like such a cute book and want to read it. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  19. Thanks for the great tips, Kathleen. You do ask the hard questions. I figured out when I needed my novel done, then backtracked to how many words per month, how many per day and wrote the goal on the calendar over my desk. It really helps keep me on track.

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  20. I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone in the issue of procrastination. When I'm on deadline it seems like there are a hundred other tasks calling my name. Email, social media, house cleaning, desk straightening come to mind but there are so many more. One thing you can do online is to invest $10 in a program called Freedom. It locks you out of the internet for an amount of time selected by you and can only be overcome before the time limit by restarting your computer.

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  21. Thanks for the helpful tips. I'm the Queen Procrastinator. I always say, "I'll do it tomorrow." 'Tomorrow' has yet to come in every area of my life. And heaven help me if it ever does. I work best when there's a deadline, but I still wait until the last minute.
    Janetta
    miyp@sbcglobal.net

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  22. My goodness, I don't believe that space or time permit me to list all the things I procrastinate about...housecleaning is # 1...I try to pick things up everyday and keep the dishes washed, etc...but the big things like cleaning out the closets and getting rid of things I don't use anymore...I could put off until eternity comes to pass!!! I am a border-line hoarder and I know it...it's in the genes...inherited directly from my Dad. My biggest hoard is my books and I always love to add another good one to my pile...would love an opportunity to win a copy of Daddy's Little Matchmakers. If I tried to write a novel, I would have to hire a ghostwriter to finish it. margie at mijares dot net

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  23. Hi Kathleen,
    Great post. I have no problem letting go of a manuscript when it's done (okay, not a big problem with it!) but sometimes reaching the end IS a challenge. I have files of half-finished projects to prove it. I like the "one step at a time" idea, and I've been writing a minimum of 1,000 words a day for precisely that reason: It's a manageable, small-step goal that leads eventually to that last page. I also like to tell other people what I'm working on so that I HAVE to finish it.
    Great blog, Debbie Lynne!

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  24. I'm loving all your stories on procrastination. Kathleen, I can believe someone came up with an antiprocrastination device. LOL Who would have thought. Great idea though. Like Linore, I have always set a goal of how many words a day to get done and if I don't make it because of an unforseen something I make it up the next day. Susan, many times the way I choose my word count is by when I want to finish my ms.

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  25. a great posting...i procrastinate about cleaning the shower...thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story ;)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  26. I procrastinate between parts of writing--brainstorming, plotting, writing, editing, polishing--drafts, and when I lose momentum after a vacation.

    Ann
    Ann_Lee_Miller[at]msn[dot]com
    AnnLeeMiller.com

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