5 Tips For Staying Motivated

It’s the “lazy hazy days of procrastination” in Kansas. Motivation? It’s too hot. Focus? There are swimming pools and parties and picnics calling you. Not getting far on that project of yours? Here are five tips for staying motivated during the lazy hazy days of summer (or any time of year.)

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

Zig Ziglar

Get Started

There will be days when you don’t feel like working. Do it anyway. Take a small step. If necessary, take a tiny step. But do it. Once you’ve taken that first step, no matter how small, the next step is easier.

Can’t get started? Check out my post on creating the life you want. It discusses a 5-second rule that might change your life.

Starve your distractions. Feed your focus.


Reduce Distractions

This is a big one for me. And yes, there are some distractions (husband and kids and family) one cannot simple “reduce.”

When my son was very young it was difficult to find the time and quiet to write. Then, when he got a little older, I used a noisy timer. I’d set it for ten minutes at first. When he could hear the ticking he wasn’t supposed to interrupt Mommy. Of course he did. Inevitably, not five minutes into my writing session he’d come to my desk.

Son: “Mom, Mom, Mom…” Mom: “Is it on fire?”
Son: “No.”
Mom: “Is it bleeding?”
Son: shakes his head
Mom: “Is it dead?”
Son: “No.” usually accompanied by an eye roll or two
Mom: “Then it’s not an emergency, come back when the timer rings.”

Today, I my son is grown. Now I distract myself–a lot. The internet is my big distraction. From social media to web-based games to “research,” I’m quick to go down the rabbit hole. There’s web based software that helps control internet distractions. Some software blocks certain sites. One piece of software I use keeps track of the time I spend on the device (phone, computer, or iPad). When I see my time go up, I re-evaluate and usually learn I need to refocus.

Boost Your Energy

Play music that gives you energy. This is huge for me. I have a playlist of music I call high energy. When I’m cleaning house or exercising that’s the music I play.

I have another playlist that’s for writing. Those pieces are dramatic and emotional.

Find the music that gets you going. Don’t know what to play? Youtube is a great place to try out a wide variety of music. See what came up when I searched for energy boosting music.

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.

Neil Gaiman

Know Your Why

Remember where you started and why. It’s probably the best motivation you have. If you haven’t already, write down your reasons why you first wanted to do this thing that seems so hard now. Rekindling your passion will be the best motivation.

Looking down at two pair of feet on a patio with the words "passion led us here." One of five tips for staying motivated.

See the Big Picture

Make a visual, something that represents you achieving your goal. What will it look like? How will you feel?

Put that visual somewhere you will see it every day. Seeing your goal helps you reach your goal.

Tips for Staying Motivated

Quote on black background, "You didn't come this far to only come this far." 5 Tips for staying motivated

Summertime is full of distractions and heat and other things that can de-motivate you. Follow these five tips for staying motivated. Keep working toward your goals regardless of the procrastination season you’re in. Please share other tips or motivational tools that have worked for you in the comments below.

Cover Reveal for Fellowship

I’m delighted to be able to post the cover reveal for Fellowship, my latest book.

Cover Reveal: Fellowship by Lynette M. Burrows shows a young man in a frozen forest over an image of fog in the mountains

On Preorder Now: Amazon

On sale: July 8, 2019

Artist/Illustrator/Designer: Cover Shot Creations


The Angel of Death is real.

Eighteen-year-old, Ian Hobart couldn’t believe it. Didn’t want to believe it.

But his parents and older brother were Taken.

And the Cleaners want him and his three younger siblings.

They escape and hide in the wilds of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Now his siblings depend on him for their survival.

But resources are scarce. The mountains unforgiving. And winter is only weeks away.

Ian relies on his best friend’s help…

And puts his friend at risk.

Will Ian lose the last friend and family he has left?

Or can he identify and neutralize their betrayer before the Fellowship’s Cleaners find and neutralize them?

Told from two different viewpoints Fellowship is a an action-adventure and a coming-of-age story in a dystopian America. It will be available in all your favorite online bookstores on July 8th.

If you like Fellowship you’ll also want to read My Soul to Keep


Nicole from Cover Shot Creations created the cover. Her website says “enjoy a dependable designer and get the quality work you deserve.”

In my experience you get a professional designer who is easy to work with, who has superior skills, and who produces high quality work in record time.

Cover Shot Creations provides custom book covers, premades, blog and facebook graphics along with any other design needs.

Nicole Hutton owner/designer of Cover Shot Creations is a small town girl from the middle of nowhere. Creative work has always been a favorite outlet, pastime and inevitable career. With over a decade in the industry, she still finds time to ride horses, travel, and spend time with the beloved family.

Check out her designs on her website, Cover Shot Creations or her facebook page.


Lynette M. Burrows is a survivor. She survived moving to seventeen different schools before she graduated from high school. She contends that this makes her uniquely qualified to write a dystopian novel or two.

Lynette enjoys coffee, the pleasure of real books, and the crack of a nine-millimeter, not necessarily all at the same time—although they all appear in her stories. Spiced with a dash of intrigue, a dollop of mayhem, and a liberal dose of automatic weapons her stories aim to entertain. Read more about Lynette.

If you like stories of survival and this cover reveal for Fellowship appeals to you, place your preorder today!

Do You See a Dystopia in America?

Dystopia is all the rage right now. Nearly every day in America, someone refers to a dystopia. From The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu to the current administration in America. A dystopian American society seems closer than ever. Discussion usually becomes a lament that “America is turning into a dystopia.” Do you see a dystopia in America? It’s both in the present and the past. We’ll take a look at a few historical examples, but first…

What is Dystopia

Image of a bunch of rusted buildings with broken windows...dystopia in America?

Dystopia is “an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives.”

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937), a Russian novelist, wrote the first dystopian novel, We. Also a playwright and satirist, he was a “chronic dissenter.” Tsarist censors condemned, arrested and tried Zamyatin. He won an acquittal. He wrote a novel, We, in 1921. His manuscript circulated in Russia but he could not publish it there. An English translation was published in the United States in 1924. The original Russian text was published in New York in 1952. The story tells of a “Single State” where workers live in glass houses and have numbers rather than names. According to Goodreads, the novel is “ a resounding cry for individual freedom.” 

So is that what dystopia is? A fictional world of oppression yearning for or postulating that individual freedom is better?

Dictionary.com defines dystopia a “a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.”

You can find the definition of society on Merriam-Webster.

Under this definition dystopia is no longer a fiction. Sadly, there are many societies in the world that can fall under this definition. 


The first twenty African slaves brought ashore, landed in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.

Kidnapping African men, women, and children and selling them for slaves continued for years. Hundreds of thousands of Africans lived in “squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.” The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 abolished slavery.  


Next, it was the Native Americans. The first Indian Reservation was established in 1758. It was located in what would become Shamong Township, New Jersey.

Later, President Andrew Jackson prompted Congress to pass the “Removal Act” in 1830. The bill forced Native Americans to leave America and settle in the Indian Territories. One relocation effort forced Cherokees on a 1,000 mile march, the “Trail of Tears.” Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on that walk. 

In 1850, Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act. This act created the reservation system. The reservations put the Indians under government control, to minimize conflict with settlers, and to “encourage” Native Americans to take on the ways of the white man. Another American dystopia.

Internment Camps

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson established restrictions on German-born males over the age of 14 regardless of their citizenship. Hundreds of thousands of German-born males had to register at their local post office. They had to carry their registration at all times and report any changes of address or employment. 

Thousands of German-born U.S. residents were interrogated. More than two thousand people were arrested. Their imprisonment lasted for the duration of the war. 

In 1941, hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor the FBI arrested 1,291 Japanese community and religious leaders. The FBI had no evidence of any wrong-doing. 

From 1942 to 1945, about 117,000 people of Japanese descent—the majority of whom were American citizens—were placed in internment camps.

Determent Camps

The immigration determent camps have been in the news. You’ve seen the numbers. Thousands of children separated from their families. Thousands held in camps. 

According to global detention project, the U.S. has more than 200 detention facilities.

Some claim the detention facilities are prisons. They use arguments about the legalities in that immigrants (legal or not) are not citizens. There are some who claim the determent camps are equal to concentration camps.  That’s arguable. At the very least, these people have been forced to live in a dystopia as defined by Dictionary.com. 

Dystopian Fiction

I’ve written a post about why we read dystopian fiction. In it, a list of twenty reasons why we read dystopian fiction. You can read that here. But it didn’t talk about dystopia in America. 

So does writing dystopian fiction (books, movies, etc.) have a place in today’s world? I would answer with a vehement YES. Authors of dystopian fiction are not advocating this is a good way to live. They tell stories of pain and suffering. And there’s always a struggle to break free of the dystopian society.

Do you see a dystopia in America today? You may not live in it. I don’t live in it. But there are people who do. As long as there are, I will write stories encouraging people to break free of their dystopia.