November 2002 Anticrastination Tip Sheet

What's the opposite of Procrastination?
A monthly Idea and Tip Sheet to
Help You Avoid the Procrastination Habit
From Rita Emmett


Quote for November:

To speak gratitude is courteous & pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous & noble,
to live gratitude is to touch heaven.
Joahannes A. Gaertner
To those of you who celebrate it, HAPPY THANKSGIVING

And a bonus quote from a new Nobel Peace Prize Winner:
--- Former President Jimmy Carter


ATTENTION WHINERS (no, I did NOT misspell winners)

Starting this month, when anybody subscribes to this newsletter, they receive a free Special E-Report on "SURE FIRE WAYS TO ELIMINATE PAPER CLUTTER" that includes "11 TIPS TO CONQUER PAPER CLUTTER"

Now I fear that many of you who are ALREADY subscribed might start whining that you too deserve, yea verily, you too have a RIGHT to that Special E-Report. So in an effort to keep you happy, here's the deal.

Just click on reply and simply write, "Dearest Darling Rita, I love you and your Tip Sheet and would cherish a copy of that Special E-Report that will help me rid my life of paper clutter.'" OR you can write "send report". Whatever.


"How Does It Feel When That Brand New Book Arrives?"

So many of you were SO cool to write and ask me about the release of my second book, THE PROCRASTINATING CHILD: A HANDBOOK FOR ADULTS TO HELP CHILDREN STOP PUTTING THINGS OFF.

The most common question was: "How did it feel to see your brand new book after all that work?" Several people asked if it was comparable to seeing your newborn baby for the first time. Well, it's not quite that tidal wave of emotion, but it does feel like a number of smaller but beautiful waves of feelings because the book kind of arrives in chunks.

First you see the words and how they are formatted in a "galley" which has rough drafts of the inside illustrations, lots of typographic errors that still need to be corrected and a fake cover. Then you see a mock up of the cover but it's in black and white. Now, I don't know how it works for other authors, but  with me, a magazine writer who interviewed me said that he had just seen the final cover of my book at I went there and sure enough, he was right. I loved it immediately.

Next, I received in the mail a copy of the real honest-to-gosh book. It was a thrill, but it arrived as I was walking out the door to present a seminar, so I opened it as I drove, and kept sneaking peeks at it as I presented.

The next highlight would have been seeing it on display in a store, which has sort of happened. While doing a program in Collinsville, Illinois last week, a local bookstore set up a display at the conference to sell my books, and there were seven copies of my brand new book. I was thrilled and then even MORE thrilled when they told me it sold out in five minutes.

For those of you who love to hear numbers, the first printing of THE PROCRASTINATING CHILD was 8,000 copies and after the book was in the stores for ten days, the publisher (Walker & Co., NY) is doing a second printing. My first book, THE PROCRASTINATOR'S HANDBOOK just had 10,000 copies run off for its 16th printing.

Walker and Co. has a wonderful publicist named Linda Johns Gibson who has already landed a review of the book in TIME magazine in September, an interview with Family Circle magazine that will run in February, and tons of radio and newspaper interviews. Just 5 days ago, she called to tell me there will be another feature in TIME magazine; this will be an interview PLUS they will send a photographer for a photo shoot. THAT sounded pretty exciting. I've heard of photo shoots in exotic places like Hawaii and Cancun, and thought "Well, Chicago has some exotic places like the top of the Sears Tower and Buckingham Fountain. Who knows?"

Next day, Matt the Photographer called with a short, quick message: "We want you looking at a big clock at a train station, with you in focus and the people behind you out of focus." 

I told him, "We have a train station right here in Des Plaines that has a big clock." 

Matt said, Perfect. See you tomorrow."
Later that day, the phone rang. It was the photographer again.
Matt: Not Des Plaines, Union Station downtown Chicago. OK with you?
Me: Sounds like fun. Almost exotic.
Matt: Rrrrright ... OK ... see you tomorrow.

Matt: Do you mind if you're holding the clock instead of
looking at it?
Me: No problem.
Matt: It's big
Me: How big.
Matt: Not too big.
Me: I can do it.
Matt: See you tomorrow

Matt: Not a train station. A playground. You know - like for kids?
Me: Sounds good. That'll be fun.
Matt: Um, do you mind if you're on a merry-go-round? The kind that's a flat circle and spins around?
Me: I can do that.
Matt: I'll be on it too, so you'll be in focus but the background will be out of focus. OK?
Me: I can do that.
Matt: We don't have much time to track one down.
Me: We have some playgrounds in our town with merry-go-rounds.
Matt: Hmmmmm, I'll have to scout them out, but I don't' have that much time tomorrow.
Me: My husband bought a digital camera that he is desperate to justify buying. He can take the location shots and email them to you.
Matt: Great. See you tomorrow.

Matt: Thank Bruce for the scouting and the photos. The merry-go-round in the first playground is perfect. Ummm, is it OK with you if my assistant Jim spins it around while I shoot your photos? That will give us a great out-of-focus background.
Me: I can do that.
Matt: Can you be holding a clock?
Me: I can do that.
Matt: It's big.
Me: How big?
Matt: Not too big.
Me: Matt, are we talking a 6-foot grandfather's clock?
Matt: No, its not really, really big.
Me: OK, I can do it.
Matt: Great. See you tomorrow. Oh, um, about the spinning, it won't be round and round, it will be back and forth.
Me: When I was a kid, there was this ride we called "The Vomit Comet" ....
Matt: Well, if you get sick, we'll do something else.
Me: OK, we can do it. See you tomorrow.

Matt: Would be nice if we had kids in the background.
Me: I can get kids.
Matt: Like running around?
Me: They can run.
Matt: Dressed in bright colors?
Me: They can do that.
Matt: Great. See you tomorrow

Now I don't have a copy of the photo that will be used out of the 120 Matt took, but Bruce in his desperation to justify buying his digital camera took many, many pictures of Matt photographing me. We have a copy of one at my web site; if you want to see it, copy and paste this and you will see a photo of Matt the Photographer, Jim the Spinner, and me --- balanced with my feet precariously wedged on wet metal because it's raining ... holding a clock that is not too big.

The shoot lasted an hour and a half, the children lasted 45 seconds. On the right (in this picture but not
included in Matt's photo) is daughter-in-law Michelle watching her two sons, Connor, age 6, and Noah, 4. She drew a large circle on the ground and while Matt set up in between shots, the boys ran around in circles just like Matt wanted; the instant he started taking pictures, the boys disappeared up the slide ladder out of sight. About 6 feet off to the left, (also not included in the picture) is our son Robb, who is the designated toddler-wrangler for almost-two-year old Brynn. Every once in a while Matt would call out "Any chance that sweet, adorable little girl will toddle through the background?" Robb, the cop, would shout back, "Not a chance. She's not being sweet, she's not being adorable, she won't leave the swings"

At one point, Matt said, "I'm desperate for a child. Please bring on the toddler." And Robb, who enforces the law, orders around drug dealers and gang members, and is feared by speeding drivers
who he pulls over, responded, "I can't get her to; she just wants to swing in the rain."

So, someday, when I see the final photo in TIME magazine, perhaps it will be from one of the rare moments in which one or more of my glorious, gorgeous grandchildren are running in the background, or perhaps not. But I will always cherish it as a happy reminder of my one brief, shining moment in a photo shoot at a semi-exotic playground in the rain.

Hope this satisfies the curiosity of all you who were so kind to ask questions about the glamorous life of an author. I'm living my dream come true.

NEWS FLASH: As we are on the brink of mailing this, Linda called. The TIME interview has been canceled.


An Offer From Pete
My buddy Pete Walkey has an offer that I thought you might find interesting. Want a free e-book that shows you how to improve your marriage by improving your finances in only 30 days? Go to and sign up for the free newsletter. You will be sent a copy of his e-book: Save It Forward: Eliminate Money Stress Now!


Next month: In December, we'll explore a strategy that works
when you feel soooooo overwhelmed.