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Blog

Danielle Donaldson blogs here. What I'm reading now. What I'm writing now. My various thoughts about romance novels, publishing and writing at large and the sexy stuff that comes to mind! 

Filtering by Tag: Organization

iOS Screen Time and Productivity

Danielle Donaldson

Recently, there was an iOS update for my iPhone and iPad that included a new feature of managing and tracking screen time. At first, I was completely annoyed. I already know how much time I waste on my phone every day. I already feel a lot of guilt about it, I didn’t need the very thing that I was addicted to constantly reminding me to stop being addicted to it. 

Yet, this is also NaNoWriMo month and distractions from writing my novel are abound. I need to reign in my phone use and had to do it quickly.  

From the Screen Time feature, I could tell that I wasting hours and I mean hours scrolling through social media needlessly. But, I could also set myself limits on that usage. So, I buckled down and set week day limits of 2 hours on all social media apps including Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. All of the apps where I could lose myself in doing nothing productive.  

And since then, I have written every single day and met my word count goals. *insert self high five here*  

If you are like me and lack most self-control around device usage. It might be helpful for you take a look at this feature on your device. Even if it makes you feel like you’re grounding yourself from fun, you might surprise yourself and not even miss it. 

Image from my iPad which I don’t actually use that often. Trust me. You don’t want to see how often I use my phone ;)  

Image from my iPad which I don’t actually use that often. Trust me. You don’t want to see how often I use my phone ;)  

Being Busy and Creativity

Danielle Donaldson

I've been busy. My older son's 4th birthday was this past week and so I've been running around trying to make sure he had a memorable birthday on top of all the normal madness including my son having a huge reaction to a bug bite on his forehead, him having a fever and describing a headache as his brain feeling "wobbly," and the normal everyday home stuff that needs to be completed. Because my energies and attention was drawn in a million other directions, I wasn't able to focus on my writing as much as I wanted to. That doesn't mean that I wasn't thinking about my stories, but it means that I was tapped out and I couldn't be creative. 

 

I am a big believer in the idea that you only have so much space in your life. I don't mean it in the way that you have a overflowing closet and should probably stop stalking the clearance section in Target's Women's clothing kind of way. Okay, imagine that you have a series of buckets. Each bucket can only hold so much stuff. Each bucket has a label: Emotional energy, brain space, physical energy, creativity, family, self, etc. They are fuel markers. You can take brain space fuel and pour it into your creativity bucket, but then you have less brain space fuel for emotional care or family time or physical energy. Life is about finding the balance everyday of where you "spend" your fuel. 

 

Last week, most of my fuel went into the family and life buckets. That's fine. My creativity bucket is still hanging around, ready for its turn. I hope this week can be a creativity week. Most importantly, I'm not going to hypothetically beat myself up about my lack of creative output last week. I'm going to accept my limitations and move forward. Maybe this is a sign of growing up. 

 

Getting Sh*t Done

Danielle Donaldson

Every once in a while, I get a wild idea that today--TODAY--will be the day that I finally get my life together. Today, I'm going to lay out my clothes for the next day. I'm going to overhaul my diet and meal plan for now until the day I die. I will finally exercise 5 times a week. I'm going to organize my underwear drawer. I'm going to color code my planner. I'm not going to forget or misplace anything. Today is the day that I finally get sh*t done.  

Alright, I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this way. I'm not the only one who runs to Target to buy a billion organizational tubs or obsesses over Pinterest that now I'm only going to eat my salads out of mason jars or tries to make her own fruit fly traps out of vinegar and dish soap. Every few months, I feel this internal scramble to get back in control of things and get my life together.  

To be fair, my life is pretty well maintained. We always have clean clothes in our drawers. Dishes are done at least once a day. While there is the normal sea of children's toys, we aren't maneuvering over 2 foot high piles of clutter. Bills are paid on time and there's food in the pantry.  

Yet, I always think that I could be doing better. I could have an Instagram worthy lunch or figure out what kind of red lipstick looks good with freckles or lose the 10 (let's be honest, it's more than that) pounds that I have been hoping to lose.  

Today, I felt that urge. I felt the urge to figure it all out. To feel on top of things. To feel like somehow, I'm not faking my way through this entire "adulthood" thing.  

But, I'm not going to fall down an organizational rabbit hole. I'm not going to read the book about clearing out clutter of things that don't give me joy. I'm not going to purge my closet (again!) in some attempt at having a "minimalist" wardrobe (whatever that even means).  

Today, I'm going to relax. I'm going to enjoy my kids and try to get some writing done. I'm going to go grocery shopping like I do every Tuesday and buy the same things I always do because that's the food we like and it's not terrible and no human can subsist on only hummus and juiced kale (no matter what the latest diet trend tells you).  

You're doing a great job. Whoever you are out there. You're doing the best you can and that's good enough. Enjoy yourself. Know your limitations. Here's the validation that you have been looking for.  

You're good enough.