The Writer's Life with Children’s Author, Donna McDine PLUS $25 Paypal Giveaway!

Hi Mayra, thank you for hosting me on the second day of my Working Writer’s Club Virtual Book Tour. Several years ago, when my daughter began taking violin lessons I came across your book The Magic Violin to give to my daughter and we were both mesmerized with the story and illustrations. Who would have thought several years later we would become colleagues (fellow angels) at Guardian Angel Publishing.

Today, I’d like to share what my writing life is like and that no two days are the same. As much as I want my writing schedule to be the same every day it is just impossible. Beyond my writing, I am the owner of Author PR Services (, the Working Writer’s Club Publicist (, and Editor-in-Chief for Guardian Angel Kids Ezine ( And with the daily book marketing efforts for The Golden Pathway, carving out the necessary writing time needs to occur before I tackle any of the above. Now that both my girls head out to school at 7 am, I make sure I’m ready for my writing session no later than 8:00 am. I spend at least 30 minutes three times a week away from my computer until I get a first full draft written. This way I don’t have the distraction of the good old Internet and email. Both the Internet and email are wonderful tools, but if I don’t monitor carefully, before I know it I’ve spent the majority of my day on these two things alone. Thirty minutes may not seem a lot but you would be surprised how much you really can get done. This way when I start focusing on my other responsibilities that little voice is not nagging me that I haven’t written today. It makes for a much more focused day.

And before I know it the girls are home and I get a little bit more of a reprieve while they are working on their homework before the grind of making dinner and driving them to their various activities of Leo Club volunteer group, fashion design lessons, religion, and basketball and lacrosse practices. This spring Nicole and I will be spending quite a bit of time in visiting her top five choices of colleges. Then before you know it (Yikes) the college application process will begin!

To make my days even more organized and focused I planned out my “Three Major Goals” with guidance from Suzanne Lieurance at the Working Writer’s Club and what I’d like to accomplish to achieve these goals on a quarterly basis. Before the New Year began I zoned in on what I truly wanted for my writing career in 2012 and broke it down into three manageable goals without overloading each of my days. By leaving room for unexpected opportunities or family responsibilities alleviates the frustration of not getting my tasks done.

I truly believe that my years working in Fortune 500 companies for multiple bosses at one time have afforded me the training to be able to shift gears easily and effectively. No two days may be the same, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To learn more about my writing career or to order an autographed copy of The Golden Pathway visit, Gift with purchase: The Golden Pathway Educator’s Guide.

Additional ways to order The Golden Pathway:

Guardian Angel Publishing:


Thank you for visiting with me today. I appreciate your time and interest. Please enter below at a chance to win a $25 PayPal payment.

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The third day of my virtual book tour continues tomorrow at Suzanne Lieurance’s blog There visitors can enter again at a chance to win a $25 PayPal payment.


Magdalena Ball said…
Those 3 major goals are a great tip Donna. Thanks for sharing your schedule.
Donna McDine said…

Thank you for hosting me on the second day of my tour. I appreciate your never ending support.


Thanks for stoppingby and for your always wonderful comments.

All the best,
Karen Cioffi said…
Donna, you certainly have your plate full. I think a lot of us writers don't have schedules that are consistent on a daily basis. But having those goals in place and visible is a good way to stay on course.

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing
Anonymous said…
Hi Donna! Thanks for sharing about your writing and your daily work schedule. Best wishes with your tour!

Karin Larson said…
Great advice, Donna! Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said…
Wow Donna you are one busy girl. And you do it all so marvelously. Great to learn more about you and your writing life.
Donna McDine said…
Karen, Susanne, Karin, Billie, and Debbie...

Thank you for stopping by to visit with me today and for your lovely words of support.

All the best,
Cheryl said…
You are amazing. I need to get away from the computer too. Way too many fun things like social networking and giveaways otherwise.

Wishing you the best,

Mayra Calvani said…
It's a pleasure having you on my blog today, Donna! :-)
Donna McDine said…
Thanks Mayra...always a pleasure!


VS Grenier's latest SFC newsletter she states the following:

"Writing should always come first before networking, marketing and building your author platform. Think about it, do you want to be a one hit wonder or do you want to have books, stories, articles, etc. out in your readers’ hands? Many of the New York Best-selling authors, A-list authors, etc., are not busy on Facebook and Twitter. They are busy writing. Yes, when a new book comes out they do spend time promoting it, but they don’t keep promoting it every day three, four or five years later. They do what they love once the word it out…WRITING."

Oh so very TRUE!

Happy writing,
What a great way to conduct a book tour! Donna, I'll put this up on Facebook as a suggestion to my followers!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Excited about the new edition (expanded! updated! even more helpful for writers!) of The Frugal Book Promoter, now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right (
Donna McDine said…
Hi Carolyn:

Lovely! Thank you for the Facebook update, much appreciated. BTW, are you going to be at the NY Book Expo?

Best regards,
SuseADoodle said…
You are very disciplined. I think -- no, I know -- I am jealous.

When I did work in an office, I had a "tickler" file that kept me on track with the various repetitive tasks I had to do and I had my ever-present to do list.

Somehow, the stories grow and grow but seem to have a hard time finding their way into the computer. Maybe because most of my writing used to be done by hand but I have a hard time reading my own handwriting sometimes and find transcribing it to be difficult. Typing direct to the keyboard used to also be a favorite method when I used a typewriter but a computer seems to somehow inhibit my creative writing. I wonder why ...

I agree, though, wholeheartedly about the Time Vampires of Facebook, Twitter (what a truly wasteful thing that is, I think), and email.

I like my computer, but sometimes, I think I am becoming more and more of a Ludite ... LOL!

(P.S. Can I get the extra entries because I already get the Build Your Business Write Newsletter? LOL Just kidding, BTW ...)
Donna McDine said…
Hi Suse:

Thanks for visiting and for your quite humorous comment. Glad to hear you are already a subscriber to Build Your Business Write newsletter!

Good luck and best regards,
Talex said…
I enjoyed Donna's post - I fully support anyone who wants to promote reading for and by children.
joannie said…
Hi i wish i could be organized like that now. I used to be before i became disabled,now everyday is a guessing game on what i do depends on how i feel. I Want to win the kindle if not the 25 cause i am saving for a kindle fire for myself to take to all the doctors when i go. Thanks for the chance to win. Joannie jscddmj [at]aol [dot]com
T. Forehand said…
Wonderful to hear more about your writing day. The three major goals make all the difference in moving forward.Thanks for sharing.

Author of The Cancer Prayer Book.
Thanks for sharing! I liked your first 30 minute daily schedule. 30 minutes in front of the computer really is nothing but without it, it does become quite long
Liese2 said…
Thanks for sharing your three major goals. I admire you for having the discipline to keep to this schedule when you are also a mom. I need to work on a daily schedule for myself!
THEQueenCobra said…
I love that you spend at least 30 minutes three times a week away from your computer to get it done! The internet can be such a distraction!
Donna McDine said…
Talex, Joanie, Terri, Abby, Liese2, and The Queen Cobra...

Thank you for visiting with me and exchanging your comments during my tour. I appreciate your time and support.

All the best,