Monday, August 18, 2014

Rose Zediker: Keeping All the Balls in the Air

Merriam Webster’s definition of a writer is: A person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc.. This is a true a statement except Mr. Webster left out one very important detail. So I’m revising his definition.

A writer is a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, and can juggle.

Yes, you read that correctly. A writer needs to learn to juggle. Of course, I don’t mean oranges, balls or even chain saws. I mean writing, meeting deadlines, completing art sheets, handling revisions, appearing at book signings and maintaining an online presence. Sometimes while working a full or part-time job, many times simultaneously, and always while life happens.

If you‘re not yet a published author whose found a tried and true system for keeping all the balls in air, I have a suggestion for you. Create self-imposed multiple deadlines and take them seriously.

What I mean by multiple deadlines is not write one thousand words a day or thirty-thousand words in a month. Your self-imposed deadlines need to be simultaneous because that is how multiple deadlines and juggling works.

Start out slow with multiple simultaneous deadlines. Try one week.

Here’s your first ball. Set a word count goal of a 1000 words a day. That’s a pretty standard goal which you should have no problem completing.

Get ready to catch your second ball. Create a sheet with pictures that depict your characters and your stories setting. Be choosey. Copy and paste just the right people to portray your characters and just the right house or town square where your story is set.

That’s a nice balance with one ball in each hand, but that’s not juggling. So here’s another ball. Describe three romantic scenes in less than one hundred words that would make a good cover for your book.

Are you keeping your eyes on the balls in the air? Great. You’re going to make that goal. Wait a minute though here come some more balls you didn’t expect. A parent/teacher conference, overtime at the day job, a sick child or spouse. Are you’re balls still in the air? Did you drop any? Were the balls you dropped, the first, second, and third?

I hope not. If you did, set the same goal the following week. Keep doing this until you complete all the goals and manage to take care of the ‘extra’ activities thrown into your juggling routine then you will fit the definition of a writer at the top of this page.

Published authors don’t face multiple simultaneous deadlines every month, but they do happen. That is why it’s imperative for unpublished authors to practice their juggling routine prior to publication. Once you get used to multiple simultaneous deadlines, they don’t seem daunting at all and you’ll always be able to keep all your balls in the air!


Rose Ross Zediker was juggling three publisher deadlines and two self-imposed deadlines when she wrote this blog post from her home in rural South Dakota. She writes for Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents line of inspirational romance novels. During the two decades she’s been writing, her byline’s been found on over sixty-six works of fiction, non-fiction, and Sunday school curriculum. Rose works full time at the University of South Dakota and enjoys sewing, quilting, embroidery, reading and spoiling her granddaughters. Visit Rose at


Sweet on the Cowgirl:

Laura Barnes Wants to Be a Cowgirl 
Laura has always dreamed of being a trick rider in her family's Wild West show. But her father will only allow her to perform if she disguises herself as Mr. Buckskin Jones. When soda-pop king Guy Roberts shows up to do business with her family, Laura is torn between keeping her identity under wraps and revealing her growing feelings for Guy.

Guy is drawn to Laura's poise and beauty, but he, too, guards a secret. As their affection for each other grows, Guy begins to think about a future that includes Laura. When both their secrets suddenly come to light, their romance will face the ultimate showdown.

Rose is giving away a copy of SWEET ON THE COWGIRL to one lucky winner who LEAVES A COMMENT HERE on this blog post. Simply comment to be entered in the drawing.


  1. Cheryl,

    Thanks for hosting me today. I look forward to answering readers comments!

  2. It's always my pleasure, Rose. Love your pic by the way. You and your stories are lovely.

  3. Soda pop king? I am in love with this already. And a girl disguised as a
    Can't wait to get my hands on the book, Rose. But don't put me in the drawing. I'll get it when we do our booksigning together!!!

  4. What an interesting article, I've always admired authors, not even more so. I am looking forward to reading this book, thank you for the chance to win it.


  5. Hi Wendy,

    I'm glad you stopped by and read the blog. It's always nice to 'see' you.

    Good Luck,

  6. Mary,

    At least I know I'll have a customer at the signing (wink, wink), and so will you because that is when I'm buying your new release. AND I am counting on this book store STOCKING it for the signing! HA!

  7. Very well said, Rose. I wish I would have seen this before my first contract. I came home from vacation to finish promo, a new contract, edits from my editor, and polishing my WIP for submission. Those are times for deep breaths, prayer, and prioritizing.

  8. Hi LoRee,

    As I was writing this blog, I had three immediate deadlines and one looming deadline for my editor and four blog posts to write. I'm sure it's how I came up with the topic!

  9. Rose, I've always known you were a very organized person, this just really put it into perspective. Do you get your ideas from places you visit or visit areas once you've thought of a storyline?

  10. There is certainly a lot more to writing than just writing.


  11. Hi, Rose. I think we met in Chicago! I so enjoyed talking to you. This was a wonderful post!

  12. Hi Gert!

    I usually get my ideas from places that I visit. I was actually researching Casey Tibbs for a non-fiction book that was never accepted when I ran across lady trick rider, Mattie Newcombe who is also a part of the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Museum in Pierre, SD. Her information was so interesting to me, that a story line started to form which turned into Sweet on the Cowgirl.

  13. Hi Mary,

    Yes, there is much more to writing than getting the story down on paper. Marketing and revisions are a bigger part of writing than most people realize.

  14. Hi Liz,

    We did meet in Chicago! I had fun at the conference despite dealing with recently broken kneecap. I'm glad you liked my post. I hope to chat with you at another conference.

  15. Interesting post, I am pretty sure I could never be an author, its just not in me. I know it would have to be very hard work. 1000 words a day seems like a lot to me. I really admire authors and their work. I have not read your work before but will be looking for it. Thanks for sharing your book with us.

    quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com

  16. Quilt Lady,

    I'm glad you stopped by Cheryl's blog. I have three quilt themed books that are available as ebooks and will be released as a 3-in-1 in January 2015 under the title Dakota Love.

    Good Luck in the drawing!

  17. Hi Sherri,

    Sometimes I wish I was an octopus when I'm juggling those writer's deadlines.

  18. I'm juggling chocolate chips to deal with the stress! Blessings on your wonderful writing, Rose!

  19. Hello Cheryl I'm Ana Paula and I'm your fan, I'm from Brazil and I loved the tips you gave to say that writers have to juggle and I believe you therefore have a prórpia life is no longer easy, imagine having to take care of your life, and still give life to the characters of the books, to captivate readers.
    ONLY BEING EVEN a juggler

  20. Cathy,

    LOL...instead of juggling those chips try throwing them in the air and catching them with your mouth like popcorn!

  21. Ana,

    Cheryl is indeed a GREAT writer and a WONDERFUL person.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  22. Secrets coming to the light! Sounds fun and I'm a horse lady (as opposed to cow boy), I'll love the western setting :) Blessings from Texas!

  23. Hi Caryl,

    Glad you stopped by and I like your description, horse lady!