Thursday, June 23, 2011

How a work-at-home mom learned structure from commercials

I thought I was busy writing, scheduling and directing commercials and promotions when I worked at a CBS television staying. I was wrong. I use to say, “if some asks what I do all day since filming a thirty second commercial only takes thirty seconds,” I would hit them. In case you are at risk of my wrath, filming a thirty second long commercial is a major business production. You have to:

1. Know your clients goals

2. Write a commercial that will use words and imagery to convey client’s objective.

3. Secure any props, actors, etc. Schedule the shoot.

4. Action: Shoot the commercial or promo

5. Review the footage

6. Edit

7. Show the client and hope that there are no changes.

The next time you are watching television, you may even be watching now, pay close attention to the commercials. I thought I was busy. I was so wrong. Being an author and professional writer, working from home with my daughter is the best job I have ever had. It is also the busiest and most challenging I have ever had. But this former PR/Communications specialist utilizing old checklists to sift through the day and be great in my current career.

1. Know your goals, both long-term and short-term. Prioritize them and keep them somewhere where you can frequently see them.

2. Write a list of tasks to do that will lead you to the goals.

3. Secure anything you need for the tasks. Prepare.

4. Action-work on daily goals and tasks.

5. Review completed goal

6. Edit- does completed goal need anything else?

7. Show the current status to the client (that’s YOU) Look at where you are and where you want to be. Make task changes accordingly.

But what when something doesn’t happen according to the schedule? Yep, this is the area in which I need the most work. Stuff happens, it apparently came with the title of mom. But how can you live without a to-do list? I’ll show you how even the most “must follow the list” person (moi) is making things work.

You may or may not have noticed a shift in my blogging style. I use to mostly write on writing because that’s what I thought writers did when I joined the blogging world. Now, I know better, thanks to having read Kristen Lamb’s latest book, “Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer.” The purpose of this blog is to SERVE YOU, not for me to bore you with whatever “writerly” issue is on my mind.

From now on, I’m blogging about what I know and what I’m best at—Time management related skills. Trust me, raising a baby and a high-maintenance dog has trained me to pull time out of thin air. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I can create time; but it’s a talent I must train and practice with each day. If you stick with me, I’ll share with you my triumphs and my failures, hoping that together, we can navigate the toys and that flying hunk of sweet potatoes along the road from Pen to Publish.


My non-fiction, “Caring for Your Special Needs Dog” is available for $2.99. A percentage of the profits go to The Texas A&M Foundation to the benefit of the Neurology Section, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinarian Medicine. Texas A&M CVM published a wonderful article regarding my book.

I really recommend buying "The Writer's Conference Guide" written by Bob Mayer and Jennifer Talty. This is perfect, especially if you are preparing to go to the RWA conference next week. I'll be there :-)

Blog Mash-up:

Rachelle Gardner- Commonly Confused Words

Lynette Labelle- Questions You Must Ask an Agent Before You Sign

The Writer's Alley- The Makings of a Character

Kristen Lamb- Give a Dry Blog New Life-The Power of Themes

Bob Mayer- If I Build It. They Will Come; If I Write It, They Will Read It


  1. Commercials are like mini-television episodes. I can't imagine the work involved! And I'm with you on time management. I squeeze every second out of each day!

  2. I think this redirection is great! I look forward to hearing your tips since I REALLY need them.

  3. You are absolutely right; making a TV commercial is difficult work! I remember I had to write a commercial for a class once. It was much harder than I'd thought it would be.