January 15th, 2016

Margie’s Rule #13: Set Yourself Up to Win!

Margie Lawson

Cheers for Laura and Fae and Jenn and Orly. WITS Rules!

Want to be more productive every day?

Keep reading.

Want to take charge of your minutes and hours?

Keep reading.

Want to act and feel like a winner and super star?

Keep reading.

This blog is a new take on To Do lists.

I saw you cringe.

Don’t miss how to be a winner!


I included some amazing examples from Immersion-grads at the end of this blog.  Plus, you could win a lecture packet or an online course.

Do not think my Winner and Super Star lists are your average To Do lists.

That’s like thinking Zac Efron is just an average looking guy.

And we know that’s a lie.

What you’ll read below is easy to do, and it could be life-changing.

Yep. It’s that smart.

Divide your day into sections. I’ll call them chunks. Think chunks of chocolate.

Are you smiling?

You may plan one or two chunks of time in the morning, and/or afternoon, and/or evening. An hour or two each.

You may have chunks as small as 15 minutes. See my WITS blog: Power Punch Your 15 Minutes!

You may have chunks as long as 3 hours. That’s the maximum I recommend chunking.

Want to write or edit or do writing-related things for longer than three hours?

Do one three-hour chunk, and take a break. Move your body. Exercise. At least walk around for 15 minutes, or play chase-me with your dog.

Then plan your next chunk.

Create two lists for each chunk of time: Winner Lists and Super Star Lists.

Your Winner list is for things you know you can complete in that chunk. Your Super Star list is used only if you complete your Winner list.


Items on your Winner List are absolutely DOABLE in that time frame. For a two-hour chunk, your list could be as simple as this:

Winner List:

  1. Write new scene.

That’s all you will do in those two hours.

You won’t read emails.

You won’t go on Facebook.

You won’t answer your cell phone. You already turned the ringer off and put your phone in another room.

You all know your other steal-your-time traps.

You control these minutes. You control your behavior.

Just write that scene.

You may have three items on your Winner list instead.

Winner List:

  1. Find out if some barouches were like convertibles, if the hood collapsed on those 19th century carriages.
  1. Rewrite the last page from last writing session.
  1. Write fight scene! Just get it on the screen.

 You know you can complete those three items, unless you get research-crazy and click around in the 19th century too long.


If you have some time left after you’ve completed items on your Winner List, you can do the first item on your Super Star List. They’re writing and writing-related items too.

You must complete your Winner List first.

No list hopping!  

If you don’t get to any items on your Super Star List, some of those items may move to your next Winner List.

Super Star items don’t always move to the Winner List right away. It depends on your needs, deadlines, and priorities.

It’s important to keep assessing. Do what needs to come next, not what you’d rather do.

What if you didn’t complete everything on your Winner List?

Did you misjudge time? Okay. Put it on your next Winner List.

Did you fall into your time-stealers?

Did you waste 30 minutes supposedly fixing a cup of tea, but you really did five other things too?

Some people make awesome award-winning lists, then they don’t do them.


They do what they’d rather do instead of what they need to do to succeed.

Picture this cliché.  Shooting yourself in the foot. Or knee.

Yep. You’re hurting yourself.

You’re postponing success.  And you’re setting yourself up for failure. And depression.

Creating these two lists every day, WINNER and SUPER STAR, will boost your productivity, boost your mood, boost your success!

Take this challenge:  Set Yourself Up to Win!

It takes 21 days to create a habit.

Who will use Winner and Super Star lists from tomorrow through February 5th?

Are you in? 

Here are some stellar examples from Immersion-Grads.


DIRTY MAGIC, Jaye Wells, USA Today Bestseller

  1. That kind of money could buy a large pack of diapers or some special time with a discount whore.
  2. I must have gasped because suddenly my lungs felt too full. Sweat broke out over my chest where my heart thumped like jungle drums.
  3. My heart started running before my feet did. The short distance separating us felt like miles instead of yards.
  4. He didn’t say anything else. Just watched me, perhaps thinking if he stared long enough he could see through my skin and into the shadowy parts where all my secrets were hidden.
  5. All the adrenaline pulsing through me demanded action. I turned to find some.

Super Sekrit Title for November Release, Steena Holmes, NYT Bestseller!

  1. The bomb dropped and the power of her words obliterated everything and anyone in its way. 

    Especially him.

  1. In that moment, Abby reminded him so much of his dead wife that the sucker punch came out of nowhere.
  1. She wanted to be outside, rolling balls of snow in her hands. She wanted to feel ice crystals form on her lashes. She wanted to build a snow family and use carrots for their noses and sticks for their hands. She wanted to create a field of snow angels and have her backside completely soaked.

    She wanted to do all the things she never could when fresh snow fell.

  1. She was hungry. Plain and simple. Eat-like-a-pig hungry and she could care less who was watching.
  1. She talked about my mom like she was an angel, beautiful and sweet and always there for her. Me? Not so much. I’m the demon child, repulsive and sour and completely unreliable.

DAYS MADE OF GLASS, Laura Drake’s January 11th release!

  1. Available on Amazon - $4.99

    Available on Amazon – $4.99

    She glanced up, her deep brown eyes reminding Harlie of those dime-store paintings of soulful-eyed puppies digging in garbage cans.

  1. She lifted the box and laid it in the bed, her stomach jumping like she’s swallowed a cricket.
  1. Harlie’s hammering heart sent a flush of heat down her limbs and up her neck.
  1. Harlie knew her sister. She felt sometimes they were one person living in two bodies, separated only by a flimsy barrier of skin.
  1. A shadow of the emotion she’d felt today passed through her and she shivered in a delicious, secret thrill. Standing in the arena today, she’d breathed in the rare ether of alive. In those frozen seconds before the bull charged, her senses seemed to crystallize — she could touch, taste, savor it – feeling poised on the knife-blade edge of the future.

BLOG GUESTS: Post a comment!

Let us know if you’re in for the 21 day Winner and Super List Challenge!

Or just click in and say Hi.

Post a comment, and you have TWO CHANCES to WIN!

  1. Lecture Packet from Margie Lawson. You might opt for my lecture packet on Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors. Over 200 pages of tools for taking charge of your writing life.
  1. An online course from Lawson Writer’s Academy – worth up to $75!

Check out the courses offered by Lawson Writer’s Academy in February:

  1. 3D Worlds on 2D Pages
  1. Triple Threat Behind Writing a Scene
  1. Pinterest for Authors
  1. 30 Days to a Stronger Novel
  1. Diving Deep Into Developmental Edits

The drawings will be Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

Margie LawsonMargie Lawsoneditor, international presenter—teaches writers how to use her psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques to create page turners. Margie has presented over ninety full day master classes for writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and on cruises in the Caribbean.

To learn about Lawson Writer’s Academy, Margie’s 4-day Immersion Master Classes (in Denver, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Canyon Lake, Dallas, San Jose, Melbourne, Australia, and more), her full day Master Class presentations, on-line courses, lecture packets, and newsletter, please visit www.margielawson.com.

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