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the secret to getting writing done

It can be tempting, when you FINALLY sit down at the computer to get some writing done, to do other things. Check author blogs or facebook, etc. But, last month I found the secret to getting writing done: sign up for a standardized test for which you need to study.

I had to sign up for the Praxis test as part of keeping my teaching license current. So I bought this study guide, since I am rusty (I haven’t been in the classroom to actually teach in a LONG time). And yes, I recognize the humor in the fact that I, an English teacher, bought the Cliff Notes study guide.

But I digress.

Every time I sat down to study, I found myself writing instead. Because I would so, so much rather write than study for a standardized test. “What are you doing in there?” my husband would ask, as the sound of the keyboard rang out through the land. “Are you studying?” I pretended I had my earphones in and didn’t answer him.

I’ve taken the test now, but I’m keeping the study guide here to watch me. Whenever I get tempted to get off-task, I’ll pretend I have to study it and that will keep me writing. Maybe I should buy the GRE or LSAT study guides. Those would certainly scare me into submission.

So that’s the secret. It’s taken me all these years to discover. Aren’t you glad I shared it?

P.S. I’m doing a book signing this week, on Thursday. More info here. Also, it was wonderful to meet some of you at the AF writing conference last weekend!

P.P.S. Thank you for all the lovely comments on the cover! I LOVE it. That’s why I missed posting last week, so you could look at it for another week at the top of the blog. πŸ˜‰




+ comments (15)
  • Aubrey(AKAStacey)
    April 27, 2010

    Ha ha! Oh the Praxis. I remember it well. You are a better woman than me that you decided to keep your credentials up. This year I believe mine officially have expired.

    What makes me want to write? A desire to be like all the awesome people I know who write tons more than I do…including you! πŸ˜‰ What makes me actually sit down and write? I don’t know. I’ll tell you when I do.



  • Shari
    April 27, 2010

    Ew. The Praxis. *shudder* That makes me want to write, too. Thanks for the advice.



  • Sandy Shin
    April 27, 2010

    Hee, I’m going through the same thing! I’m supposed to be studying for finals and the MCAT, but instead, whenever I sit down and stare at my notes and the study guides, I start writing instead.

    (Except that means I will be failing my exams. Alas.)



  • Erin Summerill
    April 27, 2010

    Nice Ally. Um, I gave up on my praxis license thing a long time ago. But…you tempt me.

    Who are you signing with this time? Becca and Lisa? Or just you. I’ll come and papparazzi you. luv erin.



  • Sara B. Larson
    April 27, 2010

    Are you signing at the Women’s Conference at BYU??? say yes because I will be there so i can come see you!! Woot woot! I better go check and see….

    It was so fun to listen to you at the AF conference. You did awesome! And I still get chills whenever I see your cover. I just adore it.



  • Scott Condie
    April 27, 2010

    That husband of yours sure is a slave driver!



  • Carolyn V
    April 27, 2010

    Hee hee. I did that all last semester when I was studying Stats. Oh the pain of Stats (at least I passed the class). =)



  • Lindsey Leavitt
    April 27, 2010

    Hey, I’ve been lurking, but I had to out myself with this quandary.
    What does it say about my writing session today if the Praxis (which I took TWICE–once in Utah, once in PA… and let certification slide so as to avoid a third encounter) seems MORE appealing.
    What does that say?



  • Elana Johnson
    April 27, 2010

    Dude, my husband teaches Praxis classes in Alpine School District for teachers. That is too funny!

    And I just saw the cover — beautiful!!

    Also, I heard your keynote was amazing. Congrats! πŸ™‚



  • ally
    April 27, 2010

    Stacey, hang onto that motivation. You can do it.

    Shari, I am so glad someone knows my pain. πŸ˜‰

    Sandy, I think the MCAT might be the scariest one of all! Good for you.

    Erin, Becca will be there too. Party!

    Sara, I’m so glad you love the cover.

    Babe, you know it.

    Carolyn, I could never pass Stats. My hat is off to you.

    Lindsey, I think that means you get to take the rest of the day off! πŸ™‚



  • VeronicaRoth
    April 27, 2010

    …I think you might have something here.

    I’m afraid that I might run out of standardized tests after awhile. MCAT prep book, here I come.

    By the way, your cover makes me drool a little, because it’s so darn pretty. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, though. πŸ™‚



  • Ali
    April 28, 2010

    Funny. It was great meeting and talking to you at the conference. Your keynote address was inspiring. I hope to be able to attend your book signing on Thursday and the Writing for Young Readers conf. in June too!



  • Tasha
    April 30, 2010

    I have an old GRE study manual if you need some motivation- swing by CHS when you are down next time and I’ll even donate it to the cause…:)



  • Heather Moore
    April 30, 2010

    It was great to see you on Thursday! And, yes, as of this moment, I am procrastinating my WIP.



  • ally
    May 4, 2010

    Elana, thanks for the congrats! And next time, I’ll know to take that class from your husband.

    Veronica, I’m glad you like the cover. And let me know if the Standardized Test writing plan works for you too. πŸ˜‰

    Tasha, you are so kind. Maybe I can swap you a copy of Matched for it?

    Heather, it was great to see you Thursday too!




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