Sunday, March 31, 2013

Setting Priorities

Writers, at least if they want to be successful, must be publicists and business executives. That means multitasking, and that means setting priorities.

A rule for setting priorities
After searching the web for organizational ideas, I decided that I already had a golden rule for setting priorities. In my new novel Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight (Oak Tree Press will publish this medical mystery in March 2013,) Linda Almquist, the heroine, is given this advice.

"There are three types of problems. A few problems are like wine; those situations improve if you delay decisions and let them age. Most problems are like waste paper. You can ignore them because they don’t matter. Unfortunately like waste paper, they tend to be messy when they pile up. And some problems are like manure. You must identify them quickly before they stink.”

Application of the rule
I admit that I dislike setting up speaking engagements, but enjoy fussing over my slides and handouts for talks. This probably reflects the fact that I was a professor for many years. I’ve resolved to spend less time on details that no one notices and more time on trying to schedule engagements.

With further thought, I realized that I was not listening to the advice given Linda. I was solving a “waste paper” problem. I was not attacking my “manure” problem – reaching a larger readership. That means for me doing more and varied guest blogs, increasing the outreach of my own blog (, and, in general, being more active in promoting my books. So if you're reading this, let me know if you'd like one of my guest blogs.

When you analyze your situation, you’ll draw different conclusions. Many of you will like me tend to attack the “waste paper” problems before the important “manure” problems.

Which problems are like wine?
I bet we all waste time dreaming about how we’ll spend our next royalty check.

J.L. Greger
Author of medical thrillers and mysteries: Coming Flu and Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight.

Here’s a sneak peek at Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight: Someone in this southwestern medical school doesn’t like women. Two have been murdered already. Linda Almquist suspects the deaths are related to her investigation of a “diet doctor,” who is alleged to be recklessly endangering the lives of his obese research subjects. Maybe she’s wrong. The murders might be related to something in the past – something involving her boss the Dean. While Linda fears for her job, the police fear for her life.

Learn more about JL Greger and her muse Bug at http: www.// It (the website not Bug) is getting a facelift and changing vendors in March. It's been a tough process. Maybe I should write a blog on it, but I doubt anyone wants to hear griping from one more inept computer user.

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