Sunday, April 25, 2010

Please Welcome My Guest and Good Friend, Debra St. John - Romance Writer

I'm very happy to host my good buddy, Debra St. John, here today at Double M, as she tours the cyber world promoting her sweet and spicy romance, "Wild Wedding Weekend."

And now, here's Debra -

Morgan, thanks so much for having me back at Double M! I’ve been ‘touring’ the web promoting my latest release “Wild Wedding Weekend”, and it’s a privilege to be here for one of the stops. Today’s visit is special because Morgan is not only a fellow author, but a dear friend as well.

Over the past few months I’ve had several projects going on: promotion for WWW, edits on my upcoming release “This Can’t Be Love”, and trying to make progress on a new manuscript. With all of that going on, I’ve had to make sure I stay on track and on top of everything, so along the way I’ve set some goals as to what I’d like to accomplish.

As a writer, setting goals is an important part of the process. Without them, at least for me, not a lot happens. I tend to use two different types of goals. What I like to call informal and formal. An informal goal is one I have in the back of my mind that ‘someday’ I’d like to get around to. Someday could be today, tomorrow, or next year. These are nice because they give me a direction to head in, but being fairly open-ended, don’t really provide an impetus to get going.

What works better for me are those formal goals: ones I’ve written down. Somehow putting them in writing makes me more accountable. Plus it’s fun to check off or cross each goal out after I’ve accomplished it! For my formal goals I like to follow an acronym I picked up: S.M.A.R.T. I’ve seen several variations of this acronym used, but these are the phrases that work best for me.

SMART goals are:

Specific – Not I’ll write some pages today, but I’ll write at least ten pages today.

Measurable – Checking the page count at the bottom of my word processing screen will let me know if I’ve reached my goal.

Action-Oriented – Getting those pages done means I’ve actively put my fingers to the keyboard and put some words on the screen.

Realistic – I didn’t say I was going to write 100 pages today. Ten is much more manageable for me. And, I said ‘at least’, so I can go further if I’m inspired.

Timed – I want to get those pages done today, not whenever.

So, in a nutshell, my SMART goal for today is to write at least five pages. (Since it’s a work day and time is a bit scarce, I’ve adjusted my example of ten pages to make it a bit more realistic.) I’ll check back in at the end of the day and let you know how I did!

Now, how about you? What’s your SMART goal for the day?

Here's an Amazon link, in case you feel the urge to buy Debra's book.

And here's here website:

Please leave a comment below to welcome Debra here to Double M.


  1. Anonymous10:02 PM

    My SMART goal for the day is just to make it through this day. Been kinda rough. In retrospect, I could have done things smarter and avoided these conflcits. Sigh. Well, tomorrow's a new day.

    Stephen Tremp

  2. Thanks so much for being my guest, Debra. It's great fun seeing how far you've gone since you first became a writer, and I'm sure the best is yet to come!

    Morgan Mandel

  3. Debra - My goal for Monday includes starting my own blog tour! But I'm 100% with you on setting measurable writing goals. I used to have a goal of being at the keyboard for a certain time. My productivity increased wildly when I shifted to a goal of outputs, not inputs. Now, when I'm doing the draft, It's a real motivator to see those little numbers climb in the bottom bar of my Word document! Congrats on the new release. Got my copy close at hand to read soon.

  4. Hi Debra! My goal for the day - to start my new book and to return a bunch of phone calls that piled up over the weekend. I love setting goals for myself whether with writing or for life in general. Tomorrow my goal will be five pages while the kid naps. Keep your fingers crossed for me that he'll nap longer than an hour!

  5. Hi Debra,

    Congratulations on your latest release. My articles focus on time management and organization for writers, so your guest post certainly caught my eye.

    Today's S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

    * Spend the morning promoting my VBT clients--DONE

    * Conference call with an author at 10 to discuss ghostwriting

    * Complete 2 reviews

    * Continue finding blog hosts for June VBTs

    My lofty goal is to find half an hour in the day to sit down with my current WIP. We'll see. It might have to wait until tomorrow.

    Best of luck with all you do.


    The Book Connection

  6. Hi All,

    Thanks for all of the comments and visits already! Keep those SMART goals coming.

    Morgan, thanks for having me today, It was fun hanging out with you all weekend!

    Stephen, you know it. That's what Scarlett says, "Tomorrow's another day."

    Blythe, I'm almost done with "His Border Bride". I have about 50 pages to go! Can't wait to visit you on your tour.

    Joelle, I hpe your little one sleeps for a good long while for you.

    Cheryl, How fun! You already have something crossed off your list!

  7. DEBRA--I'm so glad to meet you. I use your SMART METHOD, in way. It's a simple process I learned from Liana Laverentz. I keep two running lists: One is numbered in a spiral flip book--things I should or want to do, but when I get around to them. As I finish one, I strike through it. At some point, I begin a new list, omitting the strike-outs and listing those still to be done. The second list is a notepad of to-dos for the day--just scribbles. All those must be done that day--a new page every day. Celia

  8. Hi Celia,

    I love lists, too! There is something so satisfying about crossing things off as you finish them!

  9. I love SMART! Also glad to find a new author to add to my to-read stack. Today's goals: emails, blogging, beginning process of setting up blog tour.

    It's easy to put too much on your plate. I have to learn to keep life more realistic.

  10. Hi KK,

    It is so much easier to be successful if I set realistic goals. Good luck with yours today!

  11. I might have to come up with a different acronym since mine would need to have an F in it. Today, I have to be flexible. A client has 2 agents requesting the full manuscript, so I've set everything else aside and am doing a read-through for her.


  12. Hi Helen,

    Sometimes that happens...I like adding the Flexible F, but you're right, it doesn't really fit into the acronym!

  13. OK, I’m convinced. I’m going to get SMART starting tomorrow! I plan to try writing my goals down in the hopes that if I see them there, I'll feel more compelled to keep meet them.

  14. Hi Jane!

    I'm telling you, there's something about seeing them written down that helps motivate me to get them done! Good luck to you!

  15. Okay, and now for the update on my goal for the day....I know you're all waiting with bated breath, so....

    I made my goal! I got five pages done. I'll have to see if I can be just as SMART tomorrow!

    Thanks to everyone for visiting and to Morgan for having me again!

  16. Great tips Debra! I've set myself up for writing at least 500 words a day but I often let my goal slip during weekends.

    Steamy Darcy


Your Comment Is Welcome