just one step closer

Gill Fernley

Indie authors have so much to think about and learn, and that’s before you even tackle the world’s most enormous to-do list. There’s writing, editing, finding beta and ARC readers, social media, emailing your list, and on and on. Oh yes, and having a life!

So how do you get it all done without going completely bonkers or deciding that particle physics really would be a much easier career?

Well, you don’t! If you think about that huge pile of tasks and try to accomplish them all, you will probably become overwhelmed, won’t be able to decide where to even begin, or run off and join the circus.

Instead, try picking just a couple of things tonight that you have to do tomorrow. Not ten or twenty. Just two or three. Then pick the most urgent or important one and do that first. Focus only on that, on what’s right in front of you, then move on the next task and the next until you’re done.

If you still have time in your day, you can tackle something else, but you’ll have finished the most important things first.

If you can focus on what’s most important right now while still keeping in mind your long-term plans and goals, you’ll have the perfect mix for staying productive.

Pro tip: Outsource as much as you can that you really don’t need to or want to do yourself. Take a look at our article on outsourcing from October’s issue if you haven’t already ( Joanna Penn has a great book, Productivity for Authors (, that also talks about outsourcing, among other relevant topics.

As you go, you’ll probably find faster and more effective ways of working that suit you. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask or to learn what you don’t know.

It takes some practice and patience to focus on one thing at once and take it step by step, but you will get there. One step at a time.

Quick resources:

Success One Step at a Time Visualization:

Ten-Minute Focus Visualization: to Write Faster and Better:

Picture of Gill Fernley

Gill Fernley

Gill Fernley writes fiction in several genres under different pen names, but what all of them have in common is humor and romance, because she can’t resist a happy ending or a good laugh. She’s also a freelance content writer and has been running her own business since 2013. Before that, she was a technical author and documentation manager for an engineering company and can describe to you more than you’d ever wish to know about airflow and filtration in downflow booths. Still awake? Wow, that’s a first! Anyway, that experience taught her how to explain complex things in straightforward language and she hopes it will come in handy for writing articles for IAM. Outside of writing, she’s a cake decorator, expert shoe hoarder, and is fluent in English, dry humor and procrastibaking.

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