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The Business of Writing To-do Lists: Turning Have-to to Want-to

I have a break in my workday as a personal trainer and fitness instructor and so am writing from my favorite coffee shop (Philz). I’ve been a mover and a writer since I was a kid, mostly because those are my passions, and passions demand doing. That and by moving a lot, I clear my head and tire myself out enough to sit and write.

Today I’m working on my first newsletter to writers on my mailing list. This task is part of dozens of items on my to-do list leading into the publication of WINTER LIGHT in October 2020. Any younger and I would have waited to get going, as I did when my first novel, THE WIND THIEF, was published. But experience has taught me to immediately move forward on the more difficult underlying mechanisms of communication. That said, such tasks can be daunting.

To make them less so, I want to recommend four resources that turn my attitude from have-to want-to.


Leaf Creature by Betty Auchard

The above illustration was done by Betty Auchard, a friend, fellow author and artist. She calls such beings Leaf Creatures.

For me, the visual stimulation of this art, and most art, helps focus me on why it’s important to engage in the business of writing. Doing so creates a road between me and those to whom I want to offer my art. Brain stimulated and heart committed to eventually talking to people — rather than promoting — I can look at my to-do list with enthusiasm.

A profile pic

At every point along that road to meeting those who might be interested in your work, you need a profile pic that reflects who you feel you are. Nowadays we take a lot of photos of ourselves, but consider having a pro do the job. Just talking with him/her will help you determine what attitude you want to impart to those you want to meet and greet. Friendliness? Serious contemplation? A rogue unafraid to push controversial ideas?

I am indebted to photographer friend, Jeremie Fremaux. If you have someone to recommend, feel free to do so.

Automated email

Other authors at Vine Leaves Press recommended two main services, Mailchimp and ConvertKit. I have to admit that while these services strive toward a simple user interface, my techie husband still had to help me set up my account and run a test email.


I’ve been reading BE THE GATEWAY by Dan Blank of WeGrowMedia on how to connect with those you want to use your art to help others experience make more sense of the world and their lives in particular. Very inspirational!

SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter and get a Free novel excerpt!

I’ll provide you with updates about my newest book, Winter Light, forthcoming Oct. 6, 2020, by Vine Leaves Press. As a thank you, I’ll give you a FREE excerpt of my first novel, The Wind Thief!

I look forward to hearing from you!

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