Archive | 2:58 pm

Focus and Hard Work

14 May

003I’m still looking for a way to produce more hours in the day.  I’ll let you know when I solve that puzzle.

I’ve been busy!  How about you?

I’m in the middle of an edit for a friend’s children’s book, and I just took on a ghostwriting project for a real estate client.  The money is good, and our urban farm needs the infusion of cash but my goodness, as noted before, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

I think I need some positive energy.


“True health infuses positive energy in the mind, body and spirit; it is a main focus in my life.” Maximillian Degenerez

Mary, a friend on the writer’s site HubPages, recently asked me this question:  “I was wondering if you have any mantras to keep you focused or do you think all that positive thinking stuff is just nonsense?”

No, I don’t think positive thinking stuff is nonsense, and I’ve been known to read self-help books as needed….but the thing is….I’ve never really needed mantras to stay focused.  This is something I was probably born with, and it was reinforced by my parents and in particular my dad.  He believed in hard work. He was very goal-oriented, focused and, quite frankly, a little anal in that focus.  I guess some of that rubbed off on me.

I get it that not everyone is focused like I am.  Heck, Bev is at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to focus.  She is helter-skelter, all over the place, bouncing off walls and heaven help anyone who tries to follow her path.  She eventually gets to the end goal, but it drives me nuts trying to watch her…and I’m sure it drives her nuts being around Mr. Anal as well.

Whatever works, my friends.  If you need focus then try the mantras, or try some other method.  Break your task up into small chunks and tackle one small chunk at a time.  Don’t think in terms of the mountain of things you have to do but rather on the immediate task in front of you.

It’s hard for me to give advice on this topic because it is completely foreign to me, so take what I say with the proverbial grain of salt.


I’m in the early stages of ghostwriting this real estate book but it’s going to be fascinating for sure.  The topic is a snoozer to me but it’s a topic I’m familiar with, having written blogs for this guy for four years now.  What is fascinating is the fact that, even though the topic is a bit dry, he is as excited about his book as I am about my novels….and that’s how it should be.  This book will be a part of who he is….it will be a statement by him about his career and about him as a person…so my job, as the ghostwriter, is to capture that passion through my words.  It is a huge responsibility and one I take very seriously.

Someone asked me recently how to get ghostwriting jobs like the one I’m working on….my answer sounds flippant but it’s not meant to be….you have to work at it.  I’ve been doing this now for five years. This is my business and I treat it as my business.  A lot of hours came before scoring my first ghostwriting gig.  Anyone out there looking for a quick score from writing is in for a very long search.


From my friend, his first historical fiction…..give a shout out and some support to Bill…..Back to the Homeplace, the debut novel of William Leverne Smith, is available on and elsewhere, both in print and Kindle editions.


I am currently working on the 4th Installment of the “Billy the Kid Chronicles,” this one titled “Home is a Dangerous Place.”  It should be out in a month or so and it will be brand new, completely separate from the short stories I have shared on HubPages.  The 3rd in the series, “Ashes to Ashes,” is now available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

And that’s all I’ve got for today.  I hope you are all well and, as always, I look forward to your comments.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”