Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Three Ways to Handle A Ticking Clock

Angela E. Arndt

Since this is a week for being thankful, I thought I'd share one reason that I'm thankful this year. I'm talking about handling ticking clock moments.

Have you ever seen MacGyver? In one episode, there was a literal ticking clock counting down to the launch time of a missile aimed at MacGyver and a beautiful woman. As two unlikely heroes struggled to rescue two brilliant scientists, they also had to stem the flood of acid from reaching the water supply of Los Angeles. Of course they did it all with chocolate bars, cigarettes (he coughed as he lit them) and a cold capsule. It was a true MacGyver moment.

Life can have its own ticking clock moments. Last April, I took one of my dogs in to the veterinarian for a simple issue, never dreaming it would lead to heart surgery for me. But she took one look at me and told me to go to the doctor. I’d been having chest pain for about a year. Since chronic pain and I were old friends, I just thought it was another muscle issue. Two weeks later a team of three men repaired one of my coronary arteries with a wire, a balloon and a spring (stent). It was a scary time and I was so blessed to have a team of people all over the country praying for me.

How do you handle your stress-filled moments? How do you start when you have to meet a deadline for a contest, conference, appointment or some other writing “time bomb” that you can’t defuse? Here are some tips to help.

Do Your Research
Since I’d been having chest pain, I had a cardiologist in mind when I went to general practitioner, just in case. Gather all your materials before you start to write. Take advantage of Seriously Write. Just type your subject into the Search box in the sidebar widget, halfway down the page. You’ll find all kinds of posts to help you with your project.

Use a Professional
I’m glad a cardiologist operated on me, not a mechanic. When you’re ready to submit, have your work professionally edited, if possible. If you decide to self publish your book, have the cover designed by a professional designer. Your first book haunts you throughout your career: make it the best you can by using professionals to help.

Gather Your Support Team
When I found out that I had an 80% blockage in my heart, I called on my friends and family to pray for me. Covered in prayer, I was calm (and awake) throughout the procedure. You'll need to gather your own prayer and support team to help you after you click Send to spread the word after you're published. A successful novel is a team effort, it’s never a one-man show.

Those are my tips to de-stress a serious situation. I'd love to know: what’s your best tip to handle a ticking clock?
About the Author
Angela Arndt was a corporate trainer before health issues sidelined her. These days she’s active in her local church, ACFW and My Book Therapy. She’s a team member of Seriously Write, a regular contributor to My Book Therapy's Weekly Spark and she'd love to have you join her on her website, www.angelaarndt.com.

Angie is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. She’s currently working on a series of novels set in small Southern towns. She and her husband, a beekeeper, live in the middle of a big wood outside a small town in South Carolina.