What’s the Secret to Getting Things Done?

This is especially relevant for me in the next coming weeks while I prepare for another one of my children’s surgeries.

It’s human nature to get distracted. Life gets in the way, but you MUST KEEP GOING. I KNOW because I live it. #YouCanDoItToo. Here’s how:

Disclaimer: Everyone’s technique will be different and what works for me may not work for you, but I’m asked all the time how I do it. So here’s what I do. I encourage you to start with this, then adjust to what works for you!

1. Get a three subject notebook or use word docs. The first section is called “Today”. Add the one thing you want to accomplish today. This doesn’t include cooking, cleaning, remembering to pick up the kids at school, and that the class trip money is due. This is the ONE goal that will make you feel awesome that you can do today to move toward your goal.

Important: Make this goal small and achievable. What one thing will you be really upset about tonight when you go to bed that you didn’t do that may have only taken five minutes? That’s the thing you should do first.

What if the goal seems too big? ALWAYS break it up into chunks. Don’t expect to build a whole website or write a whole book. Instead, your goal might be to find 5 images for cover photos, buy a domain name, or brainstorm 10 chapter ideas. Then you’re done. That’s it?
Because it feels good to cross something off of a list! Because now you’re motivated and you’ve accomplished something. But the fun part is — it doesn’t stop there. Your mind will keep thinking. You will start to get excited to move forward! This is inspiration!

2. Section two is the list you want to get to. Call it “tomorrow”. Here, brainstorm your list of ideas you KNOW you will achieve in your lifetime, some how, some way! List all the writing projects you want to do, ideas you have, things you want to learn in order to achieve the goal.

3. Section three is your far-fetched list. What would you do if time and money were unlimited? What would you love to do someday, but it’s not realistic at all? These are things that you could be okay at the end if you don’t get to them … but hey, you never know! You’ll see why.

Specifics: The “Today” section always changes because every day is a new “Today”. So every day (or the night before) take ONE thing from section two. Again, break it down into smaller steps that you can achieve it TODAY!

Once you get in the habit and finish your “TODAY” goal, you’ll be searching for more out of column two! Before you know it, you’ll be checking off multiple things in column two and accomplishing more than you realized you could in one day!

One last thing about section three. Don’t forget it’s there. Dreams are made to come true also. Look at section three at the beginning of each week and chop away at it in very small bits. You want to travel? Put a realistic auto savings plan in place, just a few dollars each paycheck. Find a picture of that dream item or lifestyle. Column three will be in the back of your mind as your motivator. Small steps now will bring you closer to having that dream become a reality sooner than later. Say that one out loud. Small steps NOW will bring you closer to having that dream become a reality sooner than later.

Once you start checking things off of your section two list, you can take something from your section three list and move it into section two! That’s the goal! #youcandoit And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t!

#writing #goals #motivation #inspiration #justwrite #writinginspiration #nottoobusy #writingcommunity #amwriting #deadlines #writerlife #writerslife #MichelleSpray

Share with me on my Facebook page what has proven successful for you to stay on track with your goals. How do you stay motivated? We’d love to know! https://www.facebook.com/SprayBooksEtc/posts/2069873636614186

Kids with Differences want to be Like Everyone Else

I would like to thank Dr. Melissa Sue John of Lauren Simone Publishing House for her lovely blog about differences and her 5-Star Review of my newest children’s picture book: Like Everyone Else. Shout out to Valeria for making my words come to life with her amazing illustrations… and to all the “additional needs” families for staying strong through it all. This review is for you! https://www.laurensimonepubs.com/blog/can-we-all-just-get-along


Michelle’s son has #22q, a genetic condition second common to Downs, yet many have never heard of it. It can present with over 180 different symptoms: heart, lungs, kidney, failure to thrive, failure to grow, feeding issues, nasal reflux, Velopharyngeal Dysfunction, speech delays, developmental delays, (many issues are misdiagnosed as Autism), ADHD, behavior, significant motor and learning delays, apraxia, GI issues, orthopedic issues, VCFS, folded ears, low set ears, small mouth and jaw, to name just a FEW.

Join Michelle as she starts to talk about finding YOU when life gets in the way. #youcandoittoo #MichelleSpray (#22q: 22q11.2 syndrome)

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What’s holding you back?

#prforfilmmakers found me on Instagram and it sparked a stream of consciousness I wasn’t expecting.

I used to sing. I want to write lyrics. I used to dance. Before kids I was interesting! Now I’m just Mom or someone’s mom.
I’ve written a book the world needs on film about my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s … we’re still editing it. I want to write and sing the soundtrack for it. It’s been forever since I’ve opened my mouth to sing in public.

What do you want to do? What have you wanted to do that you’ve forgotten about? What’s holding you back? #youcandoittoo #MichelleSpray

Image Post via #Repost #prforfilmmakers #filmphotography #inspirationalquotes #filmmaking #filmmaker on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/spraybooksetc “Find your wings!”

How to Write a Book

Let’s talk about #writing! Specifically … How to Write a Book!

What do you want to know? Do you want to feel the smooth roll of my favorite Xtra bold ballpoint pen gliding against a stack of creamy paper? Do you want to mimic my rituals? Get a warm blanket, prepare a soothing cup of tea, make sure the conditions are just right?! The house is quiet and clean … yeah, right.

Do you want to spread notecards out all over the floor to follow a process or the dreaded word “outline” without animals or humans messing it up?

What the heck punctuation am I supposed to use? You start looking it up.

Before you know it, you’re so frustrated, you’d rather put away your growing pile of laundry than sit and #write. But really that’s all there is to it. #justwrite … Editing and specifics comes later. Just get your ideas down. Any way. Any how!

Then what? The simple answer is blunt and unglamorous. Don’t use a notebook!

Sure, notebooks and legal pads are inviting. And you can’t stop an idea when it just has to be written on the back of an envelope or my favorite, a blank journal … but then what do you have? You’re left with handwriting you can’t read and ideas you can’t find.

Use a computer. Trust me! At the very least use voice text or the NOTES section on your phone because then you can simply copy and paste into a document when you’re ready. Once you’ve written an entire book in a notebook, scratched out, re-written sentences up and down the margins, arrowed and renumbered to direct the sequence and more… now it’s time to type it all in? Great!!

That means you’re starting over … writing, editing it ..again! You can’t stop the urge to edit! You edit. You rewrite. You get tired. You put it down. And it takes you twice, three times as long.

So that’s my advice on How to Write a Book! Go digital. Save the notebook for brainstorming ideas, lists, and sketches. Ideas come when you’re soaking up salty breezes at the edge of the shore with your toes in the sand! But keep the detailed writing to something digital! You’ll thank me later! Enjoy! #writinginspiration #motivation #MichelleSpray

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You Must Keep Going

For years, people have told me that I need to share my story. I could be an inspirational speaker. For years I have avoided this.

I knew I could. Physically. I’d already written a book about my experience growing up with a curvature of the spine called #scoliosis and had spoken about it. But that was in the past. I wrote about it to close that chapter of my life and move on. I’m proud to tell you that that book is still helping teens nationwide!

But I’ve grown up since then. I’ve overcome many more life experiences that I have yet to reveal in much detail until now. A glimpse: my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, online dating, marrying the wrong guy, having children with additional needs, deciding to divorce in the middle of it all, and waiting several years to try dating again in my forties. Yeah, I said it.

Life literally handed me a bowl of poo. But that’s the point. I didn’t cry about it. Okay, maybe I did a little, but a good cry is necessary. One thing I’ve found is #caregivers and #specialneeds parents are so busy taking care of everyone else that they don’t cry enough in private. The long, cleansing kind of cry. So do it. But when the tears are gone, that’s it. You’ve got to pick yourself up and #keepgoing. You can do it. I know you can! We can!

Follow me as I share my story here and on my social media sites @SprayBooksEtc:

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Michelle Spray is the author of Growing Up with Scoliosis, and several children’s books including Like Everyone Else, a story about differences, to teach empathy and inclusion in the classroom.

Michelle’s book about her grandmother’s journey with Alzheimer’s is COMING SOON! http://www.facebook.com/LostMemoriesFoundHope Stay tuned!

22q Mom Embarks on New Journey

About me: I’m an “additional needs” mom balancing it all. Join me as I reveal tips and helpful quotes about parenthood, caring for additional needs children, balancing life … and staying positive through it all. #YouCanDoItToo #MichelleSpray (Be sure to comment and say hi. I’m on social media @SprayBooksEtc)

Shout out to all the “additional needs” parents and siblings! You GOT this!