Tag Archives: NANOWRIMO


I love a writing challenge. That’s why I participate in NANOWRIMO every year, and whenever my local  chapter of RWA holds a writing challenge, I am raring to go.

Personal challenges are another thing entirely.

Backstory. Last Spring I attended a fund raiser for Project Graduation titled DANCING WITH THE KEENE STARS. It was exactly like it sounds – the television show DWTS, just a local edition with people in my community as the “celebrities” or Stars. Everyone with me, including me, had an absolute blast. It was such a fun evening, that I volunteered to be a contestant the following year if they held it again.

Yeah, so. Be careful what you ask for.

I was asked, I said “Yes,” and I was thrilled.

Then the real work started. I am not a dancer. I barely have enough rhythm to keep upright when I walk (as evidenced by  the fact I fall a lot. A lot.) It  looks so easy SO EASY on television. The dancers get up, do a few steps, and there you have it.

Yeah, NO! I haven’t  sweated, thought, or worked so hard at something in a very long time. I actually think the last thing I did that was as mentally and physically challenging was childbirth. And my daughter is 25!

Anyway, the real purpose of this entry was to say that challenges come in all forms, and in order to grow and thrive as humans, we need to take them up from time to time. Learning how to dance the cha-cha has been an enervating and exhausting thing for someone as sedentary (both in mind and body) as myself. I have to think logically, count ( not my strong suit!) and concentrate on so many aspects – head up, don’t look down, keep your shoulders square, smile. It’s a lot for someone like me who basically hibernates in a solitary writing room.

But having said all that, it is a challenge that I willing took on and I don’t have ANY regrets. I have learned a great deal about myself these past two months and wouldn’t change anything I’ve gone through. Well, maybe I’d lose a little more weight before starting, but that’s it! By challenging myself personally, I feel I’ve grown more as a person and a writer, because I have a million story ideas now concerning dancing. Ooo, baby!

If you’re in the neighborhood, here’s the link to get tix. Maybe I’ll see you there.  Just don’t throw any tomatoes at me!!

Project Grad 2015




Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

I love a challenge…

I love a challenge. There’s just something about committing to it, planning for it, and then executing it.  The ultimate goal – completing the challenge – is a high like none other. I’ve done 2 half marathons and the only goal I had with the first was to finish it upright and not on an ambulance stretcher. The second marathon had the same primary goal – run across the finish line – but I’d vowed to shave some considerable time off of my finish. And I did.

And I love a writing challenge most of all.

My local RWA chapter has a writing challenge every summer. You pledge to write every day, no matter what, for a week at a time. Every day you enter your word count for that day and it is totaled at the end of the week. The prize: accomplishing your goal. No trophies, cash prizes, or fabulous trips abroad ( although, wouldn’t that be nice?!) No, just the internal knowledge that you set out to do something and you did.

I’m a huge lover of NANOWRIMO. I’ve done it for the past several years and to me this is the ultimate test of your writing commitment. In order to “win” you must complete 50,000 words of your WIP from 11/1 until 11/30. You track daily and at the end of the month you must have a minimum of 50,00 words committed. This is a wonderful way of getting that first draft on the page.

Currently, RWA is having a writing challenge. You promise to write 2000 words each month in your WIP and then enter the actual word count at the end of the month on the RWA site. This is another motivator to get those fingers flying across the keyboard and unleash your imagination. And I can do 2000 in one sitting, never mind an entire month so this will be not only a fun challenge for me, but a relatively facile one as well.

So, what motivates you? Do you like a challenge? Does the idea of throwing down the gauntlet and committing yourself to a worthy ambition appeal to you? Do you need that proverbial kick in the a** to get you started? If so, CHALLENGE yourself.


Leave a comment

Filed under Characters

An interview and an Anniversary with author Susan A. Wall

IMG_1095s copy



Fellow NHRWA member, Susan A. Wall is visiting me today, talking about the one year anniversary of her third Puget Sound book, The Sound of Suspicion. Susan is a multi-published author, the number 1 Bon Jovi fan, and one of the greatest cheerleaders I know for fellow authors.  Stick around after you read the interview: Susan is doing a giveaway. It’s an honor and privilege to host her today.


Susan, it’s the 1 year anniversary of the publication of your third PUGET SOUND book The Sound of Suspicion. First of all, congratulations! Tell us why you are so drawn to this setting. What does Puget Sound – itself – mean to you as a woman and as an author?

For our third wedding anniversary, my husband took me to Seattle (he’s from eastern Washington). I instantly fell in love with the city, the water, the mountains, all the green (they call it the Emerald City for a reason), the casual nature of the people. I knew someday we would live there and we did for a year (2003-2004). We plan to move back after the kids are all grown up.

We met your Hero and Heroine for the first time in book 1, The Sound of Consequence. Why did you decide to continue telling their story in book 3?

When I wrote the first book, I knew then it would be a three book story for Owen and Stacie because each of their pasts are so complex and have had such a tremendous impact on the people they are. At that point, it was only going to be a three book series, but then I fell in love with Jenny, Bryan, and Morgan and knew the world needed to hear their stories as well. Right now the series is mapped out to include 9 stories because those secondary characters keep wanting to be the center of attention. So we will be seeing Owen and Stacie again in the fifth book, The Sound of Circumstance, out later this year – that story finally gives Stacie closure on her past.

The title of your book, The Sound of Suspicion, informs the reader right away issues of trust are coming their way. Owen and Stacie both seem to have this problem with trust in spades. How did you decide how each character would handle their issues? Did any personal past experiences guide you in how they dealt with their concerns?

How did I decide? Haha. You’re funny, Peggy. My stories are very character driven and the characters like to control the outcome from the get-go. I like to write strong women because that is the kind of woman I am and I have so many strong women in my life. But even the strongest woman faces challenges. Stacie is mature and responsible, but with the traumatic brain injury, she’s lost some of that and it makes her very interesting, but her strength still shines even in the worst situations. She is exactly the kind of woman Owen needs to help him get through his ex-wife’s manipulations.

You are an extremely prolific writer. Tell us a little about your process. Do you write every day? Do you have a certain word count that needs to be completed before you are satisfied and call it a day?

Thanks. I write in layers, so when I sit down to write a book, I write fast and furious and generally have word count goals each day. Drafting is my favorite part of the process, which is probably why I do it so quickly. Once the book is drafted, I go back to add details such as setting, physical details of the characters, the five senses, etc. This part of the process takes longer than drafting. Then I go into editing mode and polish (obsess) until I’m happy with the story. Once I’m happy, I ship it off to my editor and deal with the self-doubt that plagues every writer. Fortunately, my editor is as good at stroking my ego as she is at finding holes in my plots. I generally write every day, but sometimes I get into a slump and you can tell when that is because I’m antsy and irritable. Writing makes me happy and easier to live with.

You are a big NANOWRIMO fan and participant. Did the Sound of Suspicion start as a NANOWRIMO production?

I LOVE NANOWRIMO, the challenge of hitting word count goals every day, how quickly the story comes together. I’ve participated and won four years in a row, but The Sound of Suspicion was written before I started doing NANOWRIMO. Owen and Stacie’s next story, The Sound of Circumstance was my 2nd Nano book and I wrote it in 12 days (really, the book wrote itself). The sixth book in the series is my 3rd Nano novel. I plan to have that book out this year too! 

I know you are a big music fan, Hallahhh! Bon Jovi!! Did any music inspire you while writing The Sound of Suspicion? What do you usually listen to while writing?

With every book I write, I create a playlist. Certain lyrics grab me and just speak to the story and the characters. There are 30 songs on my “Suspicion” playlist. A few of them are: You Save Me by Kenny Chesney; You Had Me From Hello by Bon Jovi, Hard to Love by Lee Brice, Every Road Leads Home to You by Richie Sambora, Your Arms Feel Like Home by 3 Doors Down, Glitter In the Air by P!nk, Undo It by Carrie Underwood, Phantoms In the Night by Blabpipe.

Not only are you a prolific writer, you also do all your own graphics and designs on your books – which, BTW, are great! How much time do you devote to the covers and designs of your books, and how do you KNOW when you’ve got it just right?

Thanks. I’m fortunate that my background in instructional design has helped me develop graphic design skills. I spend a tremendous amount of time on covers because I tend to be a perfectionist and a bit obsessive. I send it out for people to give feedback and when I can just sit there and not find anything to nitpick, then I know it’s right. I love doing my own covers because it is such an intimate connection to the story and the characters.

What’s next writing/publication-wise for you? What are you working on?

I plan to publish books 5 and 6 in my Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love series this year (The Sound of Circumstance, which is Stacie and Owen’s final story and The Sound of Reluctance, Holly and Keith’s (Stacie’s brother) story). They are both drafted, so just need to go through the revision and editing process. I’m also polishing a women’s fiction story titled Too Many Daughters (my first Nanowrimo novel) and hope to pitch to an agent at the RWA National Conference in July. And, I’m writing Worth the Fight, the next story in my Fighting Back For Love series – those books will be on sale Feb 3- 5 to recognize World Cancer Day.

I love quick fire rounds, so here’s yours. One word answers ( if you can):

Favorite color: purple

Favorite band: Bon Jovi

Favorite character in literature – not your own!: Colleen O’Rourke (Kristan Higgins)

Best date night location: Pub

Boxers or briefs: boxers

Sweet or salty: Salty

Favorite word: Wicked

Least favorite word: die

Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate

Patriots or Seahawks: Seahawks

Best song ever written: The Star Spangled Banner

Susan is doing a Goodreads giveaway. Here’s the link for those interested:


Following is a complete list of places you can find Susan’s work and visit with her. Stop by and send her some love!

The Sound of Suspicion (free at Amazon Jan 30 – Feb 3) http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Suspicion-Puget-Alive-Love-ebook/dp/B00I56PSLW

Website (and blog): www.susanannwall.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/susanannwall.author

Twitter: (@susanannwall) https://twitter.com/susanannwall

Tsu: www.tsu.co/authorsusanannwall

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/susanannwall/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/susanannwall

Relay for Love and A Flame Burns Inside will be $.99 Feb 3 – 5 to recognize World Cancer Day (Feb 4).

Here are the Amazon links (they are available at other ebook retailers too):



1 Comment

Filed under Characters, New Hampshire

What motivates you to keep writing?

NaNoWriMo2014 is over and I was lucky enough to reach the goal of 50,000 words early this year, due to a kick-ass and thorough plot line/outline and the ability to devote time to it every single day. I’m not done with the story yet, not by a yardstick. This challenge is a huge motivator for me to keep on writing after November 30th rolls around. The fact I’ve been able to keep the writing momentum up and sailing is a major reason why I’m so far along in my w.i.p.

With the holidays just next door, this ability to devote so much time every day to writing may – out of necessity – take a back seat. I don’t want it to, and I’m planning on it not, but life does intervene. It’s difficult for anyone, whether they’re writing, or training for a marathon, to keep the momentum at such a high level. So this got me to thinking: How do you stay motivated to keep on writing? What, exactly, motivates you to continue?

For me, the story and the characters won’t leave me alone until I commit them and their antics down on the page. This is the truth: I get woken up from a deep sleep many nights by storylines and characters intruding on my slumber. They want their stories known. Now, before you start to think I suffer from delusions or latent schizophrenia, hear me out.

When my mind rests ( as in sleep ) my characters come out to play in my dreams. They say exactly what they want to say, do exactly what they want to do, and basically tell me what I should be writing about them.

Okay. So maybe it does sound a little delusional and schizophrenic.

What can I say?

Anyway. These characters and their stories inspire me to put their lives down on paper.

And there are a lot of them hanging out in the backroom, tiny recesses of my mind. They will not leave me alone and get out of my head until they are locked into my laptop, so I have to give them a platform. This kind of sounds like a Stephen King plot line: irate characters torment fiction writer until they literally pop-out on the page!

You know…..

So, for me it’s the characters and their desires to be freed from the confines of my imagination.

What motivates you to keep writing? What will be your driving force to keep the momentum going  after NaNoWriMo 2014 is but a memory?

Leave a comment

Filed under Characters

Almost half way thru NaNoWriMo…

30 days can be regarded in a number of ways. It’s a full month on a calendar ( if you disregard February and forget the 31 day months); it’s a little over 4 exact weeks; it’s a pay period for most workers, a menstrual cycle, and a billing rotation. It’s the amount of time most people set aside to get a haircut. Psychologists tell us in 30 days we can form new and better habits, changing out old, bad ones. Many contact lenses need to be replaced every 30 days, and you should really change some of your makeup monthly as well.

All those things can be done in 30 days. Most with relative ease.

What’s not so easy to do in 30 days is write a 50,000+ word novel/first draft.

Don’t get me wrong: it can be done. And has.

But it really isn’t that easy.

We’re almost at the halfway time mark of this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m doing well – better than I expected, really. Right now I’m sitting in my local Subaru dealer getting my car inspected and fixing a recall problem.

And I’m typing. At this moment – this blog entry. But until a minute ago I was working on my NaNo WIP. I’ve found I bring my laptop with me everywhere I go, including to work, and when I can manage it – lunch hours and breaks in the day, – I open my NaNo file and … go.

The goal of 50,000 words can seem daunting. For most, it is. But for people like us who write for a living/hobby/obsession, it’s not as bad as it seems.

Breaking it down to a little over 1500 words per day – or roughly 6-7 pages of  double spaced text – it can be done.

And remember – this is a first draft. It’s not the finished, polished, ready to submit one. That comes later with editing.

I find with this draft I usually do a lot of dialogue. I can always put in the subtext, tags, and descriptions later with the editing, but I like to know what my peeps are gonna say first and take the story from there. Dialogue comes quick to me – probably because I never shut up in real life! But seriously, whatever comes easiest for you – dialogue, exposition, description, or even backstory – go with it. Let it flow and let it go. Like I said, you can always go back later, after the challenge, and make it better.

But get those words on the page now. That’s what the important part of the challenge is. Training yourself to type everyday, to create on a  timeline, to focus your thoughts and words.

So, how far are you at this halfway mark?



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Putting the “NO” in NaNoWriMo.

Day 3 of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)  has just finished for me. I am at 9716 words – not bad considering I had to work at my real paying job today. I don’t’ want to get boggled down in the numbers game, though,  because for me the real reason to do this challenge is to get into the habit of writing constructively every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

This challenge is the impetus many writers need to get them going, motivated, and excited about the task at hand: namely, writing the book of their heart. As writers, it is really important we write every day to keep our creative mind active and productive. I heard Nora Roberts explain it this way at conference recently. She was asked if she ever takes a vacation from writing. Her reply is why she is one of the greatest authors of all time. And one of the most prolific. She said, “Your writing is like a muscle. If you don’t work a muscle, if you don’t use it all the time, it starts to get weak and can deteriorate and even die.”


Best analogy I’d ever heard for why writing every day is a must. I’ve mentioned before I write every day, whether it’s my blog, my WIP or even just editing some work I’ve already “finished.” To me, not writing is like not eating – I don’t think I could live if I didn’t do it!

So day 4 is about to start. Target goal today is at least 2500 words. Check back later to see if I made my goal.

Or exceeded it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Dialogue, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

A Visit with Author Susan A. Wall

In celebration of National Novel Writing Month, or NANOWRIMO for short, I’d like to welcome multipublished author Susan A. Wall today as my guest blogger. I was lucky to meet Susan at a meeting of my local NHRWA chapter last year and I was immediately drawn to her. Her sense of humor ( bawdy and quick) coupled with her writing talent ( visit her website for a complete list of her extensive publications) and the fact that she loves purple and  Bon Jovi ( sigh!), made her someone I wanted to know. And I’m so glad I do. She’s blogging today about – what else?- NANOWRIMO. Her advice about, and insights into, the challenge are a worthwhile read. So without further ado…..here’s Susan!

                            Happy NaNoWriMo!!

No, that’s not some crazy alien greeting! It means us writers are in the midst of National Novel Writing Month, 30 days and night of literary abandon!

Every November, millions of writers put butts in chairs, fingers to keyboards, and ignore all other responsibility in an effort to write 50,000 words of a first draft novel.

Sound crazy? Maybe a little bit, but when you break down the numbers, it’s not so daunting.

I’m not a math whiz, but doing some simple calculations makes the goal of writing 50,000 words in 30 days seem doable. Let’s do some simple division.

50,000 words divided by 30 days equals 1667 words a day. 1667. That doesn’t sound so bad, right? But what does that look like on the page?



In MS Word, using the default ‘normal’ setting which is Times New Roman, 11 point, one inch margins and 1.15 line spacing, 1667 words is less than 3 pages.

Less than 3 pages! That doesn’t sound so daunting, does it? Can you write 3 pages a day? The only answer is, YES, you absolutely can.

Let’s be clear on what these 3 pages are.

Yes, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, but the goal isn’t to write a beautifully polished, ready for publication novel in 30 days. If you can do that, Kudos to you, and I now worship the ground you walk on. For us mere mortals, no one, absolutely no one who matters, is expecting you to write a perfectly polished novel in 30 days. The point of NaNoWriMo is to write a first draft of a novel.

It’s okay to write garbage or complete and total crap. You’ll have time later to correct your grammar and spelling, to find all those redundant words, to put in the appropriate dialogue tags or hair color or weather or fragrance. If you can’t remember whether Sergei has green eyes or blue eyes, don’t worry about it. Fix it later. The goal now is to write. Write like the crazy person you are.

So you may be wondering whether I’m a plotter or pantser? By nature, I’m a pantser. I tried plotting once and my characters didn’t like the path I planned for them, so from day 1, they forged their own. I went with it. This is my 4th year participating in NaNoWriMo and I’m writing my very first romantic suspense titled Broken Strings. Since romantic suspense is a genre I’ve never written before, I’ve done a lot of planning. I’ve drafted the backstory for the hero, heroine, villain, and detective and come up with the premise and a list of horrible things that happen. I found myself wanting to outline, so I did and I’ve got the outline all plotted out in Scrivener. But (there’s always a big ole but) if once I start writing the story goes in a different direction, I’m okay with that. The plot is just Plan B.


Untitled  Are you curious about the story? Here’s the premise:

Best friends since college, witty and guarded Colleen Cooper and misguided playboy Jake Donovan have both sold out to propel Jake’s music career, but now they are trying to find success on their own terms. As a radio station DJ, Colleen has finally made a name for herself, but when Jake offers her the opportunity of a lifetime her own self-doubt and the anonymous threats she can’t escape have her second-guessing her qualifications and ability. Jake will do anything to prove to Colleen that he’s worth taking a chance on, but when the women around him start turning up dead, his reputation makes him the prime person of interest in the investigation, threatening his career and his future with Colleen.

I’ve had a successful history with NaNoWriMo. My first year, I wrote Too Many Daughters, a women’s fiction novel about three women who are all dealing with the loss of their fathers in very different but equally self-destructive ways and it is through their newly forged friendship that they finally start to heal. I wrote this story in just 20 days and I am hoping it finally goes to print next year.

My second year, I wrote The Sound of Circumstance, the 5th novel in my Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love contemporary romance series. This is the novel I plotted but the characters would have nothing to do with that plot and it went in an unexpected direction. I achieved 50,000 words in just 12 days. I swear that book wrote itself! In this story, Owen and Stacie must finally conquer the demons of their past in order to find the happily ever after they both so desperately want with each other. This book will be released in just a couple of months.

suanLast year, my third year, I opted not to plot and wrote The Sound of Reluctance, which will be the 6th book in my Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love series. I had major surgery mid-month, so it took me all 30 days to finish, but finish I did. In this story, lawyer Keith Nightingale visits Seattle to check up on his little sister. He doesn’t plan on meeting Holly Dion, a nursing student with a harsh past. He’s reluctant to get involved with a client, but can’t deny the way she makes his heart race. The emotional scars from Holly’s abusive ex-boyfriend have her worried that her attraction to Keith is more knight in shining armor than true love.

So that’s my NaNoWriMo experience in a nutshell. My life is crazy, but I was able to write these drafts by setting goals and making writing my priority. Do that and you’ll have a successful writing month!!

If you are participating in NaNoWriMo, I invite you to be one of my buddy’s (search for sawall) and I wish you the best of luck in writing with literary abandon!

Here’s a little treat, a snippet of the opening scene of my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel Broken Strings (you can read the opening lines that precede this part at Delilah Devlin’s blog):

Devon spun the gun around in his hand before offering it to her grip first. Colleen snagged the small weapon from his large hand and shoved it back into the holster clipped to her spandex shorts.

“Let me give you a ride home before you wreak more havoc in the park.”

Colleen turned away. “I ran here, I can run home.”

“Don’t argue with me. You terrified that couple when you pulled your gun and you’re lucky they aren’t pressing charges.”

“I’m lucky?” Colleen argued, turning back to him. “That woman ought to be thanking me for coming along when I did. Who knows what her boyfriend might have done to her if I hadn’t.”

“Couples argue. It doesn’t mean it will escalate to assault.”

She knew that, but her past made her a little … paranoid? Skiddish?


Yeah, that was a good descriptor and made her seem less crazy.

She stepped away, focusing on keeping her steps at a moderate pace, only to realize she was heading in the opposite direction from her apartment.

“Get in the damn car, Colleen.” The commanding tone of Devon’s voice was all cop, making her feel as if she was some criminal being detained. The couple she’d pulled the gun on stared at her, fear tightening the woman’s expression, annoyance the man’s. The woman still stood with her arms crossed and Colleen wondered what the source of the fear was. Intuition – maybe experience – told her the man was the source, but now that the adrenaline wasn’t assaulting Colleen any longer, she acknowledged pulling the gun on the couple could be what had scared the woman.

Colleen didn’t have a murderous bone in her body. Carrying the gun was a tool for self-preservation. It was loaded, but she doubted she could fire it at a person even if the situation called for such a thing. She turned away from the couple, surrendering to Devon’s command.

Holding the door, he gave Colleen space as she climbed into his badass black SUV. Everything about the man screamed cop, from the cropped haircut to the stiff posture beneath his department store suit, to the pimped out Tahoe.

As he put the cop-mobile in gear, the adrenaline plummeted and Colleen’s worst fears claimed her. She’d held it all at bay until now, knowing the panic attack was inevitable. Having it in Devon’s car was beyond humiliating.

“Just breathe through it,” he said, the commanding voice gone, replaced with something so much worse. The cop was easy to hate. The empathetic guy she’d once cared about, not so much.

“I don’t … need … your help,” she managed between gasps.

You can read more of this scene over at Susan’s blog on November 4th!

suasnwall     Big dreamer and certifiable overachiever Susan Ann Wall embraces life at full speed and volume. She’s a beer                                                             and tea snob, can be bribed with dark chocolate, and the #1 thing on her bucket list is to be the center of a Bon                                                           Jovi flash mob.

Susan is a multi-genre author of racy, rule-breaking romance, women’s fiction, and erotic fiction (her erotic titles are published as Ann Victor). Her bragging rights include nine books in three different series, three perfect children, and a happily ever after with her Hero Husband that started while serving in the U.S. Army and has spanned nearly two decades (which is crazy since she’s not a day over 29).

In her next life, Susan plans to be a 5 foot 10, size 8 rock star married to a chiropractor and will not be terrified of large bridges, spiders, or quiet people (shiver). She’s a member of NHRWA, RWA-WF, RomVets, NHWP, NEIW, and WREN.

Her latest releases include The Sound of Deception (4th novel in her Puget Sound ~ Alive With Love contemporary romance series) and Quitting the Boss (3rd novella in Ann Victor’s Behind Office Doors erotic series), available in paperback and all ebook formats.


wall wall2

Websites: http://www.susanannwall.com and www.annvictor.com

Facebook: Author Susan Ann Wall and Ann Victor Author

Twitter: @susanannwall and @annvictorauthor









Filed under Characters, Dialogue

NANOWRIMO is here!

It’s a little hard to pronounce correctly; when you say it you sound like Mork trying to tell Mindy something that just sounds dirty;  but if you complete it, you’re changed forever.

Yup! NANOWRIMO has officially started as of midnight. The yearly NATIONAL NOVEL Writing Month Challenge is on!
For the next 30 days I vow to not only write daily, but to get my WIP done! At about 1600 words per day I will make the 50,000 word challenge by the 30th of November, but I’m actually challenging MYSELF to 2500 words per day. In lay terms ( for the non-writers) that’s about 10 typed pages a day. And for those of us who do write, that’s a lot!!!

This is a wonderful way of staying motivated, planning, and just free-writing. Visit the site link above to find out all about it. And challenge yourself. For any writer, staying motivated when life intervenes, plot holes prevail, and the muse takes the day off, is hard. FORCING, nay, CHALLENGING yourself to sit at that keyboard EVERYDAY and pound out the text – it doesn’t have to be perfect yet, it just has to get on the page  –  is a good thing.

I did it last year and The Wild Rose Press just contracted that book for publication. Hey!!

What have you got to lose? Take the challenge.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Effective Habits, Part II

So the second effective habit Barbara Wallace talks about in her article in the June 2014 edition of RWA magazine is about establishing structure as a writer. Structure, when used here, doesn’t mean how you construct your stories. It refers to being consistent and regimented in how much you want to write every day.

Writing goals are wonderful yardsticks when you write. They can be anything from a daily word count, to how many scenes you want to do a day, to how many chapters you want to get on paper in a given time frame. On the days that I don’t go to my paying job, I routinely set a goal of 1000-2500 written words. They don’t have to be perfect, they just have to get written down. This translates, when I’m working on my WIP, to about 8-10 pages per day. Some days I write a great deal more, but I never write less. And if I’m not pounding it out on the novel, then I’d doing it in this blog. Most of my blog entries average between 600 and 900 words, so that’s a fair chunk of writing still, on those days the WIP isn’t going smoothly. Every November a competition called NANOWRIMO occurs. The acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month, and the goal is to write AT LEAST a 50,000 word novel in the month. I’ve done it for the past two years and both times I’ve exceeded the word count simply by setting a daily goal and sticking to it NO MATTER WHAT. This is the key to structure: doing what you’ve set out to do no matter what.

Many writers who are lucky enough to actually support themselves with their writing and do not have to have outside employment to survive, will all tell you the same thing: they treat writing as their 9-5 job. It may not occur exactly in those hours, but the reality is they work full 8 hour days or longer on their craft. Sitting down at the typewriter/laptop, and producing words-sentences-pages every day is how writers ,who are successful, write.

I’m a terrible deadline-er. This means that, 1. I hate deadlines, 2. I have never, ever, made one, and 3. I hate deadlines.I was that kid in school who always had their summer writing assignment done before july 4, who always had the term papers ready to be handed in at least a month before they were due, and I never studied the night before an exam. Never. I always had the full studying done long before that. In my adult life this hatred of deadlines shows its head in similar ways:  I amortized my mortgage so my house was paid for decades before it was supposed to be. I pay cash for most things because I do not like that monthly credit card statements that says “minimum due now,” and I am always ALWAYS early for work. How does this apply to writing? Well, if you give yourself daily goals, you will never be in that deadline crunch when you are furiously typing those last, critical pages for submission, and you can have the luxury of reading, re-reading and revising the work to make it the absolute best you can do.

Structure is a good thing. To a writer, it is essential.



Leave a comment

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, research, Romance, RWA