How Do I Know Who to Listen To?

Have you ever shared the same piece of your writing with more than one critique group?  If so, what happened?

I shared the first chapter of my last manuscript with three different critique groups, and this was after sharing with a one-on-one consult with a writer/marketing person.  I changed the first chapter three times.

I also became frustrated because I didn’t know if making all those changes was really necessary.  Who were the right people or voices to listen to?  That’s what I asked the head of the local writers’ group that I am a part of, and this is what she told me.  “If the advice sounds like an opinion, ignore it.  This happens when the person reading the piece isn’t a fan of your particular genre or writing style.

If the advice is specific and the advice or changes make sense, and more than one person is offering that same advice, take it into consideration.  Those are probably the people who are really interested in what you are writing and want to help you improve it.”

This has been helpful, valuable advice, and has taken the frustration out of critique groups for me.

Maybe you haven’t shared the same piece of writing with multiple critique groups, but I like to get a lot of input and feedback on my writing because I want a lot of readers to want to read it when it is completed.

What do you think?  How much input and feedback do you seek for your writing?

Time to Put My Nose Back to the Grindstone

Well, after a month break from novel writing, I feel refreshed and ready to get back to some serious writing.  I finished my first novel at the end of November, and when I did, I had no desire to start editing it or really digging into another novel.

So what did I do for the past month?  I let my novel rest, although I did send it to my writing buddies that I meet with weekly, and the editor completed technical edits (you know, grammar, spelling, and such), which I have only recently begun to look at.

Did I feel guilty for taking a month off?  No, I felt like I needed the break.  It is a busy time of year.  Also, I have heard other authors repeatedly suggest taking a break after completing a novel.  Suggested time off ranges from two weeks to a month.  It allows you to approach the novel with fresh eyes and mind to edit and revise.

During my month break I did not stay away from writing completely.  I couldn’t do that.  If you follow this blog, you know that I wrote a short Christmas story that I read at our church Christmas service, because I posted the original on this blog.  I also did a couple of blog posts, did some planning and research for my next novel, and I read and studied the book Revision and Self-Editing for Publication by James Scott Bell.

I found Mr. Bell’s book extremely helpful, and it has given me great tips and advice and motivated me to begin the editing and revision process of my novel.

For the past two weeks, I’ve had no time to write as I prepared for our family Christmas celebration, and then came the celebration, but during this period, I was still studying Mr. Bell’s book.  I was also blessed the Sunday before Christmas, to be able to spend some time talking to our church’s associate pastor, who is also a writer.  He has never published anything traditionally, but has printed and assembled some of his poems and stories to share with friends and loved ones.  He is now 92 years old and still writing.  We have been talking a lot about writing over the past couple of weeks, and I have had the privilege of reading one of his short stories and offering him some writing tips, because, though he has been writing for years, he hasn’t really studied the craft and is not up-to-date on today’s publishing options and what editors are looking for.  I love talking writing with other writers.  I also love to encourage and help other writers in any way I can.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I pray that God will bless you in the coming new year!  I hope that those of you who write, will enter the new year feeling refreshed and excited to write.

Look for glimpses into my novel in the new year.

The Value of a Writing Group

I have three friends who like to write, just like me, but have trouble making time for writing, just like me.  Therefore, we have created our own “Inkling” type group.  If you don’t know what that is, are you familiar with C.S. Lewis of The Chronicles of Narnia fame and J.R.R. Tolkien of The Lord of the Rings fame?  Well, they met with a couple of other writers at Lewis’ rooms or in English pubs to discuss writing, share ideas or their own writing, and to do some writing and brainstorming.

My friends and I decided to embrace this idea.  For a few months now, we have been meeting at various places one evening a week, and we talk about writing and things we have learned about writing.  We brainstorm.  We share our writing with each other to get feedback, and we spend time writing — at least an hour and a half of just writing.  We all have come to look forward to our one evening a week and we hold it fast on our calendars because it enables us to do some writing and to encourage one another.  It has become very valuable to each of us.

We would love to find a wifi cafe or coffee shop in a location central to all of us that we could meet in each week, that doesn’t close so early.  However, we haven’t found anything great in a central location, and many of our local coffee shops close quite early.  Therefore, we currently meet at two of our houses, McDonald’s because they’re open all night so if we get on a roll, we don’t need to worry about the time, and one or two coffee shops.  It works, but we really would prefer one great central location.

I advise you to talk to other people and let them know you’re a writer.  Who knows?  You may find another writer or two that you have things in common with or maybe you already have a couple of friends who write, and maybe you can begin your own small writers’ group, and you’ll see how much it begins to mean to you.

Do any of you already do this?  I’d love to hear how it’s working for you and what kinds of places you meet.

How Do You Inspire Others

How do you inspire others?  Have you ever thought about it?

I don’t think I have ever thought about inspiring others.  I think about helping others, encouraging others and persuading others.

Well, I recently found out that I do inspire others, especially writer friends.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have had a couple of writer friends tell me that the encouragement that I offer them and my enthusiasm for writing “inspires” them and they have been writing more or coming up with more writing ideas since speaking to me about writing.

Wow, that was quite a compliment.  Compliments usually make me uncomfortable, but that compliment made me feel good because I am always glad to help others, especially in a common interest.  I get excited to see their progress!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now for an update on my writing journey.  I posted on June 23, 2015 about Lisa Lawmaster Hess speaking at our last Lancaster Christian Writers’ group meeting.  Well, in that meeting, she also mentioned that she is a “pantser”!  You have no idea what a relief and encouragement that was to me!

I have been studying writing very diligently for the past two years as I continued to write.  Most of what I learned was about the “Planners”.  I have always been a pantser — ever since I began a love of writing in the 5th grade.  However, I was afraid that since I heard so much about the “planners” and not much about the “pantsers”, that only the “planners” were successful.  So imagine my surprise when Lisa Lawmaster Hess, a published writer, confessed to being a “pantser”.

Woo Hoo!  My spirit leaped for joy!  I had been trying so hard to force myself to become a “planner”, and I was miserable and I was so unhappy with my writing.  Thanks to Lisa Lawmaster Hess I was free!  I could go back to being a “pantser” and worry about edits after my story is down!  Well, I started my work-in-progress over a-gain, for the fifth time, and this time I am going all the way back to my roots and writing with pen and paper.  And, guess what?!  It is making a tremendous difference!  I now LOVE writing again!  I get excited about the next time I get to sit down and write, and when I do, the story flows out of me, and it’s so much better than what I was producing when I was trying to write in a way that is completely opposite of my nature and talent.

Why all the way back to pen and paper? you ask.  Well, I find that when I type on the computer, I tend to go back over what I wrote every time I sit down to write and I am changing and tweaking constantly.  It becomes quite counter-productive.  I find that writing with pen and paper seems to have the opposite effect — I can simply start where I left off and still hit that groove that keeps my story moving and keeps me writing.  I am a happy writer again!

What about you?  Have you been trying to fit a particular mold?  Know that you can be free to be you and write in whatever way allows you to get your story out and write your best and do your best editing later.

Realistic Ways to Fit Writing in Your Day plus a Brief Update

I was able to attend our last meeting for Lancaster Christian Writers for the year this past Saturday.  Our guest speaker was Lisa Lawmaster Hess and she shared ways that ANYONE can find some time to write most, if not all, days.  She presented the material and a fun way and shared some of her personal experiences.  Basically, the following is the plan and you can use it and tweak it any way you need to:

Ready   —     Set    —    Sprint!

1 hour

1,000 New Words   (These 3 items, above the line are the Gold Standard)

Daily

____________________________

Split Sprints

Set a Timer

Half Sprints

Double Sprints

You may be wondering what all of this means.  Well, so many people tell you that you MUST sit down and write EVERY day.  They say your goal should be 1 hour and/or 1,000 new words a day.  This is a great goal, but it’s not really realistic for most writers who have many other responsibilities in their families and lives or who still have to work a full-time job, outside of writing, in order to pay the bills.

So, look at the ideas below the line:

Split Sprints — This simply means that you do your best to try to get an hour in, but you may not be able to do it all at once,

so you split it up into pieces that work for you, which may be only fifteen minutes four different times

throughout the day.

Set a Timer — This is to help you meet your goal time.  Set your timer for one hour when you sit down to write.  If you get

interrupted and can’t complete the hour all at once, stop the timer, but record the amount of time you did

spend writing.  Then try to get back and finish the hour later, but even if you don’t get the hour finished that

day, you will still see that you have made progress, because you did spend some time writing.

And,  * “Any time you can put into your writing, is better than no time at all.”

Half Sprints — This simply means splitting your hour long sprint of writing time into two half-hour time slots.

Double Sprints — This is a bonus for the times when you sit down for you hour and find that after your hour, you are still

going strong and have had no interruptions, and you manage to put in two hours!

With all of this said, you have to understand that “writing requires intention and planning”.  Therefore, you need to plan some things before you sit down to write:  1) Will you use your entire writing time to work on just one particular project or will you divide it between two or three projects; 2) Will you use your entire writing time to write all new words or will you spend some of your time editing a project; 3) Or will you spend some of your time marketing?

Stopwatch vs. Timer — Use a timer when you have to be done at a specific time; Use a stopwatch when you want open-ended space to just keep track of time spent writing.

I hope you will find all of these wonderful ideas helpful in your writing life as well.

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Now, for the update for anyone who wants to know about me and my health.  I am healing very well from my surgery and feeling quite normal.  I am able to eat anything without getting sick, but still need to be careful with sugar and carb intake because of my diabetes.  I also am trying to be careful because I don’t want to gain back the weight that I have lost, and would like to lose some more.  My doctor still wants me to lose more weight as well.

I am able to live my normal lifestyle again, but must limit the amount of weight I lift to 25 pounds (my surgeon said that needs to be my limit for the next six weeks).  I told my husband I think I’m going to make that a permanent limit for myself because I am getting older and I really don’t want to experience another hernia of any kind.

Thanks to any of you who have been praying for my recovery.  I hope to be posting regularly here again,  now that I am feeling healthy again.

Is it Worth Attending a Writers’ Conference?

YES!

I attended the annual Lancaster Christian Writers (LCW) Super Saturday one-day conference this past Saturday and it was fantastic!

Why should a writer attend a writers’ conference?  Well, we all know that writing is a solitary, sometimes lonely, job.  We need interaction, and what better interaction than to connect with other writers?  I made some new friends as well as connected with friends I already know.  It was exciting to talk to other writers about writing!

I also was able to have 15 minutes of one-on-one time with published author, Karen Whiting, and what a fantastic fifteen minutes that was!  I took approximately 2 1/2 pages of my current work in progress (WIP) with me (it was the third beginning I have written for this WIP).  I was able to ask Karen to read it and give me feedback, and she did!  She gave me wonderful feedback that was extremely encouraging to me because she had very little corrective comments, but she also had lots of great ideas for my story, AND she gave me a great title for my story.  (She had asked me what the title of the story is, and I said I didn’t have one yet, so she gave me a couple of ideas, one of which I loved and thought would be a great fit).

In addition, there were some outstanding workshops to attend.  I attended two workshops that were presented by author,Dina Sleiman — one on using Myers-Briggs personality types for characters.  My favorite workshop was presented by author, Kelly Long.  She presented a workshop about including “absolute truth” in our fiction — stressing that “absolute truth” only comes from the Bible.  She included two really good activities that we had to participate in, and she shared some of her personal life story.  It was a powerful workshop.

I’m not sure if I mentioned on this blog before or not, but this is my second year as a member of LCW, and this year I also became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), which is a nationwide organization.  They have lots of great resources and ways to connect with other writers online.  There were quite a few ACFW members at the conference and we sat together for lunch and took a group photo after lunch.  That was fun!

After lunch, I attended the second workshop by Dina Sleiman about writing blockbuster scenes.  She went over Making Every Scene Count, POV, setting your scenes, creating your scenes, and exiting your scenes well.

The final workshop I attended was presented by Karen Whiting, and it was on Marketing, and it was another great help to me, as she handed out index cards at the beginning of the workshop and told us to write the title of our book, our name, and what our book is about on the index card and hand them in.  Then as she spoke about the many ways to market, she went through the index cards and offered marketing suggestions to those individuals for their book.  So, not only did she help me by giving me some great ideas for writing my book, as well as the title I plan to use, but she gave me some great ideas for marketing the book, when the time comes.

I also want to mention that our opening Keynote speaker was Grace Fabian, and what an powerfully, inspirational opening she gave.  She has a remarkable testimony, and I bought her book so I can read her life story.  She has suffered great pain and loss but still has a strong faith in God.  What a blessing!

So not only was this conference wonderfully helpful for my writing, but it was a revival to my spiritual soul that had me praising the Lord!  I’m so thankful to know Him.

That’s the kind of great stuff you can get out of attending a Writers’ Conference, and it doesn’t have to be a long, expensive one to make it worth your while.  Sure, I would love to attend one of the big Writers’ Conferences that last a couple of days and cost over a hundred dollars to attend plus the cost of a hotel room, but at this time, I am unable to do that, and not just because of the financial cost.  I hope to be able to do that some time, but until then, I attend all of the inexpensive, one-day workshops I possibly can, and I get something out of each and every one of them, and I have made some new friends by doing so as well.  I highly recommend that you get to whatever writers’ conferences you can, as well.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

One-Day Super Saturday Writers’ Conference

A writers’ conference is a great place to learn more about writing techniques and marketing and publishing opportunities and possibilities.  It is also a great place to meet other writers and make connections and form bonds, which is a wonderful thing since writing is a lonely business.  You can make lifelong friends who can help and encourage you and you can do the same for them as you walk your writing journey.  I attended this event last year, and cannot wait to attend this Saturday.  If you are anywhere near Lancaster County, I invite you to come and see what this one-day conference has to offer, and if you like, I can meet you face-to-face if you let me know you are coming so we can connect.

LANCASTER CHRISTIAN WRITERS HOSTS ONE-DAY CONFERENCE ON APRIL 11, 2015, AT LANCASTER BIBLE COLLEGE

For a bargain of excellence and price, no writer, whether beginning or advanced, within driving radius will want to miss Lancaster Christian Writers’ Super Saturday 2015!! to be held April 11th, 2015, from 8:30am.-4:30pm at Lancaster Bible College, 901 Eden Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.

This one-day writers conference offers a full slate of workshops taught by top industry professionals in both fiction and non-fiction fields. An early registration price of $50 is due by Wednesday, April 8, and includes soup/sandwich buffet lunch (think Panini!) and LCW membership. Registrations after April 9 and walk-ins day of the conference are $60.

A fiction track will be taught by award-winning novelists Dina Sleiman and Kelly Long along with children’s author Brenda Hendricks. Non-fiction faculty include TV/radio speaker, marketing expert, award-winning author of 19 books Karen Whiting, professional memoir and ghostwriter Shawn Smucker, journalist/social media experts Lisa Bartelt and Alison McLennan.

Keynoting the opening session will be linguist, missionary, and author Grace Fabian. Workshops cover such topics as: 

Market Yourself Now! Learn Tools to Develop Press Kit, Bio, Website, and Other PR Products.

Writing Blockbuster Scenes: How To Keep Readers Flipping Pages and Asking For More.

 Transformed Manuscripts: Repackaging Your Ideas (Sold or Rejected) to Expand Marketability.

 The Unfortunate Truth in Fiction: Addressing Hard Issues Without Pulling Down Your Story.

 A Story To Tell: Surefire Do’s and Don’ts to Write a Gripping True Life Story or Memoir.

 Myers-Briggs for Your Protagonist: Applying Personality Types to Create Characters with Distinctive Qualities, Motivations, and Voices.

 Let’s Ride the Seesaw: Recruiting Your Inner Child to Communicate with Young Readers.

 100% Guaranteed (Oh, Yeah?) Secret to Blogging Success Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!

A conference bookstore will offer a wide variety of writer resources and faculty titles. Conference attendees can get personal consultations with faculty on a first-come, first-serve basis. Lancaster Christian Writers welcomes writers of all churches and denominations, all levels and genres. Monthly meetings offer opportunities for manuscript critique, networking with other writers, workshops and guest authors.

Let’s Talk About POV and Deep POV

I have been an avid reader ever since I was able to read, as early as the Dick and Jane readers.  I have read many books in my life so far and hope to read many more.  I have read books that were fantastic, some that were just good, some that were mediocre and some that were quite bad.  Many of the books I have read were written in POV, but not Deep POV.  I don’t believe that made them bad books.  On the contrary, some of them were wonderful classic stories.

So, what are POV and Deep POV?  POV is the abbreviation of Point of View which is defined, by Merriam Webster, as a position or perspective from which something is considered or evaluated; standpoint.

In fiction writing, the position from which anything is considered in any particular scene should be the character through whose head we are viewing events.  In other words, a fiction writer should tell the story from only one character’s perspective, or two characters, but then separate each character’s point of view by page breaks or chapters.  There should be no head-hopping because that can lose readers.

Most books have been written well, without head-hopping, but many have used and many continue to use what is now deemed “shallow POV” and it is considered “telling” rather than “showing” and sounds as though there is a narrator telling the story to the reader.

Example:  He realized he was quickly running out of time to find a date for the prom.

Currently, in the fiction writing world, there is a push to do even better; to write in Deep POV; to get rid of the narrator.  This is done by really knowing your POVC, (Point of View Character); knowing him or her well enough that you are completely in their head and can only write things as that POVC sees and experiences them.  Taking the same example I used above for “shallow POV”, here it is rewritten in “Deep POV”:

Wow!  Where did the time go?  If he wanted to attend the prom, he’d better ask one of the girls today.

This may not be the best example, as I am just learning this “Deep POV” stuff myself.  I shared a portion of my WIP (work in progress) in a critique group a couple of weeks ago, and it was suggested to me that I study Deep POV and do my best to use it because it really makes your writing better.  It allows your readers to connect with your characters on a deep level which will draw the reader deeper into the story and keep them reading.

A short ebook was suggested to me, and it was mentioned that it was rather inexpensive at Amazon.  So, I looked it up and purchased it and am currently reading it, studying it and trying to put it into practice.  I have to admit that it will require me to reprogram my thinking in my writing, and I am finding it challenging.  The ebook that I am reading is called “Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View” by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.  I think the book is well written and she gives great examples that appear so easy, until I have to try to do them myself.  Although, after doing her worksheet to try to change some “shallow POV” sentences into “Deep POV” sentences, which I found difficult, I, then, went to a scene in my WIP and tried to apply the concepts and change that scene from “shallow POV” to “Deep POV”, and I found that much easier than the sentences on the worksheet in the ebook.  I believe that is because I know my characters so well.

To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, I would like to share two of the examples that Jill Elizabeth Nelson shares in the book:

Shallow:  Pulling her coat tight against a frigid blast of wind, she thought she would never complain about the desert sun again.

Deep:  A frigid blast of wind iced her skin, and she pulled her coat tight around her.  She’d never complain about the desert sun again.

Shallow:  Thoughts of cake and candy tormented her.

Deep:  No sweets. No way. No how.  She wouldn’t give in to temptation.  “Yeah, right!”  Who was she fooling?

Can you see in these examples, how the shallow sound like they are being told by a narrator, and the deep sound like they are directly from inside the character’s head — no narrator?

So, what about you?  Do you use Deep POV?  Have you found it easy or difficult to utilize?

Taking Care of Me and Learning that Writing Requires Patience

This year I am trying to commit to doing things that I think are important for my own personal well-being.  Being a mother of two busy boys and one adult son who is preparing for college, and homeschooling makes life very busy.  Being a mother who has always put everyone’s needs before her own, it is difficult to consider my needs important enough to allow time to take care of me on a daily basis.

Last September, I had a wake up call that caused me to make, not only and effort, but a commitment to take care of me.  Last September, I had to wake my husband and have him take me to the emergency room because of severe pain in the middle of my chest that shot straight through to the center of my back and into my right shoulder.  I was frightened, worried that I might be having a heart attack.  After spending about eight hours in the E.R., I was relieved and thankful to find out it wasn’t my heart, but I was diagnosed with gall stones, and in order to avoid repeating this awful pain, I needed to change my eating habits.  (Also after a follow up appointment with a specialist, they made an appointment for me to see a surgeon to have my gall bladder removed.)  That never happened.  I found a naturopathic doctor instead, and what a blessing!  She has me on several whole food supplements and gave me a plan for eating healthy that would not aggravate my gall bladder, and it was the first healthy eating plan that I have found easy to follow and stick to, and I have been doing well since then.  So, pain motivated me to commit to taking care of myself physically, and now that the weather is getting warmer, my plan is to commit to walking my dog at least three times a week as well.

What about my other needs?  My need to feed my brain and my need to write.  My need to feed my brain is filled by having time to read, so I have committed to reading every night before bed.  This has been a blessing in three ways:  1) it feeds my brain with knowledge and entertainment; 2) it allows me to examine other writers’ works to see what is selling; 3) it relaxes me and helps me to sleep.  Finally, my need to write, and for me it is a need.  I find if I do not write, I get frustrated and short-tempered and feel like I could burst because I have story ideas and characters in my head that really need to get out.  I have been blessed by a supportive family in this endeavor, as well as the others listed above, in that they encourage me to write.  I have been a member of a local writers’ group for a little over a year now that meets monthly, and I rarely miss a meeting.  They also have a one-day writers’ conference in the Spring and I attended last year and am already registered for this year.  Any other one-day writers’ conferences or workshops that I find happening withing a reasonable driving distance, my family encourages me to attend, and I do.  I also committed to writing this blog, not quite a year ago, and this year I am doing my best to commit to posting three times a week, though I don’t always succeed.  I have recently committed to writing for two hours every evening and I have been blessed to be able to be faithful much more than not in this endeavor.  I am also committed to connecting with other writers/authors, both published and unpublished because it is an encouragement and inspiration to me to get to know them and to learn from them.

Finally, this morning, I made another commitment that I should have made a very long time ago, and that is I committed to starting each day, Monday through Saturday, in devotion with the Lord.  Sundays I won’t have time to do this as we will I will be busy helping everyone get ready to get out the door for Sunday school and church where I will meet with the Lord on His holy sabbath each week.  This is huge because this fills my most important need; my eternal need; my spiritual need.  The first devotion/Bible study book I have decided to go through in my morning times with the Lord is Write His Answer by Marlene Bagnull because not only will this provide nourishment for my spiritual need, but will help me and encourage me in my writing, something I believe God has given me to do.

This morning I learned that “Writing requires patience”:  patience in doing the writing, patience in editing the writing, patience in receiving feedback on the writing, patience in waiting to hear back from the magazine or publisher or whomever I submit my work to, and patience to keep trying when my writing is rejected over and over and over again, all the while trusting in the Lord.  The two verses that the Lord impressed upon me this morning are:

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  (Proverbs 16:9)

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”

(Philippians 1:6)

These verses tell me that I need to seek God’s plan for my writing and set specific and measurable goals and to give myself and my writing time to develop.

How about you?  Are you taking care of yourself?  Have you learned to seek God’s plan for your writing and have you learned to be patient — to give yourself and your writing time to develop?

Discipline and Determination

Okay, so I have shared, in the past, that I struggle with finding/making time to write.  Well, on Saturday, February 21, 2015, I attended my Writers’ Group meeting.  I was to give the devotion that day, and I shared a devotion entitled “First Things First” from the book Write His Answer:  A Bible Study for Christian Writers by Marlene Bagnull that focused on Matthew 6:33  “Give Him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.”  I also mentioned, before sharing the devotion that it is often a struggle for me to find/make time to write.  The devotion ends with this Bible verse:  “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  (Isaiah 40:31), followed by this poem:

Pressures

Father, I have so much to do

and not enough hours in the day to do it,

I know that’s only partly true.

I do have enough time

to do the things you want me to do.

But, Lord, how do I sort out what they are,

when everything screams for my attention?

I’m exhausted from rushing —

uptight and irritable.

Please forgive me and help me.

Help me to learn from your Son.

People were constantly pressing in on him.

He could have been consumed–burned out.

But Jesus took time to be alone with you.

He made you his top priority.

I must learn to do the same,

especially when I’m feeling pressured.

Help me to be still and know

that you are God.

Even as you created and hold together the universe,

you can bring order to my life if  I will let you.

Thank you, Lord.

I always make time to spend time in prayer with the Lord each day, but, I will confess, I haven’t made much time to read His word each day.  That is something I want to begin to make time for and I plan to.  My plan was to begin doing so this week, but so many unexpected things have happened this week, it got pushed by the wayside, again.  I need to learn to make it happen even if unexpected things happen.

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What does this have to do with writing?  Well, just like making time to read God’s word requires discipline and determination, so does making time to write.

Our guest speaker, at that February 21, 2015 meeting, mentioned during his speaking, that it is good for writers to have busy lives because it gives us a full life which gives us lots of ideas and information to use in our writing.  However, he also mentioned that he writes for two hours a day, sometimes longer on weekends, even in his busy life.

All of this resonated with me and made me think, and I thought, “If he can do it, I can do it.”  So I determined to set aside two hours a day to write.  I talked to my family about it, and they were encouraging.  So, Sunday, March 1, (no, I didn’t begin doing this right after the meeting), I finally found my determination.  We came home from church earlier than we normally do because it was snowing, and everyone wanted to do their own relaxing activities, so I decided to write.

I grabbed my laptop and went to the dining room table, and that’s when determination kicked in.  You see, I’m horribly guilty of procrastinating at beginning to write because I get onto social media first thinking I’ll write after spending some time on social media.  However, the social media time goes to long and the writing never begins.  So that Sunday, I determined NOT to look at social media, but to IMMEDIATELY begin writing.  I spent three hours, that day, writing.  That was last Sunday.

Today is Thursday, and I have managed to set aside 7 to 9 p.m. every evening to write, and though I haven’t written for the full two hours every night, I have written 1,000 words each night, with the exception of one, on which I wrote 800 words.  Now I look forward everyday to my writing time, and I believe, now that I have made it part of my routine, I will be able to stick with it.

How about you?  How do you make time for writing?