Writing

How to Finish Your Book Faster

When I wrote Dirty Little Secrets in 2009, it took me about a month to finish the rough draft. That’s it. One month. 4-5 weeks. I took a little break, then started working on Part 2, which wasn’t published until 2012. Next, came Double Down and Dirty which was published in 2016.

It wasn’t until this week when I sat and finished a short story that I realized why it takes me longer to write some novels than others, and it’s not just because of research or other obligations.

I love reading novels that are written in first person. It makes it feel more personable to me. I wrote Dirty Little Secrets in first person. All the rest were written in third person. I’ve attempted to write short stories over the years, and this is the first one I’ve actually finished. It’s written in first person. It didn’t take me long to write Dirty Little Secrets or the short story I just finished because I was writing in the point of view I enjoyed. It felt effortless. The ideas and words flowed easily.

I learned it’s important to write what you love.

This not only applies to the point of view but also tense (present or past), and genres. If you love romance, then write romance. If you love mystery, then write mystery.

I do think it’s good to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone from time to time too.Β  Don’t limit yourself. Try new things, but if you’re feeling stuck and unmotivated with your writing, then work on something that feels natural to help get you back in the zone.

Writing

You May Be Working on Your Manuscript Without Realizing It

Yesterday, I had an idea for a short story. All day long the ideas played in my head. While I watched television, I saw something that I could use to add to my plot (don’t fret I’m not stealing ideas… simply revising and reusing). As I washed the dishes, I thought of more ideas. I downloaded a new book and as I was listening, guess what happened? Yep! Another idea.

All these ideas were downloading in my mind, and I hadn’t even sat at my computer yet. I didn’t type not one word, yet I was still working on my manuscript.

I bet it never occurred to you that working on your manuscript doesn’t always mean sitting in front of your computer or writing in your notebook (though you will need to do that eventually). Thinking about your manuscript, reading and studying great writing, watching television and observing characters and plot development, are other ways you can work on your manuscript.

Do not… I repeat… Do not use those things as an excuse not to sit and write because as I said, you will need to do that too, but give yourself credit for the work you are doing and don’t beat yourself up over what you’re not doing. When the time is right, you’ll sit at the computer, and everything you’ve been working on in your mind will surge through your fingers and onto the computer screen…. Trust me πŸ™‚

Writing

Confessions of a Full-Time Writer

You know those women who work from home and seem to have it all together? Their days are planned, their houses are clean, their meals are prepped. Guess what? I’m not that woman. I’ve been a full-time writer for 8 months now, and I’m still trying to get myself organized. Wanna know a secret? Organizing isn’t exactly my strong suit.

Honestly, I feel like I would do better if I could somehow shut my brain off. Well, maybe not the brain since I need that to function, but my neverending thoughts that won’t allow me to feel satisfied no matter how productive I may be. I have a list of tasks, all very important, and whenever I’m working on one of them, the guilt sets in.

For example, If I’m critiquing my client’s work, I feel guilty because I’m not working on my own manuscript. If I’m working on my manuscript, I feel guilty because I’m not working on my script. No matter what I do, I somehow find a way to make myself feel as though it’s not enough.

Why is that? Why is it so easy for me to give a great big kudos to my clients on their progress, but still find fault with my own?

When I walked away from my full-time job, I imagined a day of writing, filming, coaching, and the gift on an endless amount of time on my hands. I was wrong! Boy was I wrong. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent working on a schedule. How many Youtube videos I’ve watched to help me with planning and productivity. Nothing seems to work. And I won’t bother mentioning those days where the inspiration to be productive feels like it’s on vacation. So what now?

Now, I continue working towards fulfilling my goals. I try to train my brain to feel satisfaction instead of frustration. I keep reminding myself that consistency will help me reach my goal. My manuscript may not be finished by the summer as I planned, but I will finish it. I will constantly remind myself that I’m doing enough. That I am enough.

By now you may be wondering why I’m telling you all of this? Quite frankly I’m wondering the same thing. I don’t know, maybe you’ll see yourself in this blog and maybe you, like me, will come to the conclusion that you can’t do it all in a day. That being consistent towards your goals is really all you can do and maybe… just maybe… you’ll start to feel satisfaction instead of frustration as well.

Did this blog speak to you in any way? I’d love to hear your thoughts or even strategies that you’ve found to help increase productivity. I’m always open to learning.