Category Archives: my writing
Welcome! It’s been a looooong time since I wrote a craft post but this is important in my writing life, so I thought I’d share some simple numbers that will boggle the mind–or maybe that ‘s just me– and make you say, “Pshh-I can do that!” even when you’ve just spent the day staring at the blank page and telling yourself you can’t do it, not again. I’m not going to tell you how to write a best seller, or a seller at any level. I’m not going to reveal some big, hidden secret to writing the book you want to write. I’m not going to offer a brilliant formula to finishing your book.
Heck, I’m not even going to tell you anything about writing, in actuality.
Now you’re asking what I am going to tell you. Well, here it is.
When you sit down at that blank page I know all the fears and doubts that begin to circle over and through you. Believe me, I KNOW. In fact, that’s sort of what made me decide to write this post. I’ve been struggling for five years to finish a new book and I’m still struggling. Why? Excuses. Life. Stress. Doubt. Frustration. Procrastination. Take your pick.
Words just haven’t been coming to me. It’s depressing at times, but it’s also overwhelming; the thought of writing 50-100K word ms and make them make sense. At times I ask why I ever wanted to become a writer. Other times I ask myself what makes me think I am a writer.
Then something like today happens and it all suddenly makes sense again, my world is right side up once more.
Today I was catching up on email (yes, instead of writing) and came across an interesting article from one of the many craft blogs I follow. The post asked, How long should a book be? We’ve all been told what is not enough words or is too many words at some point in our career. Length is loosely explained in this interesting article by BLAKE ATWOOD.
Ok, yes, we already know how to break words down per day. I have multiple worksheets for plotting word count. But for some reason, probably having something to do with my inability to finish a manuscript, his words struck me as an AhHa moment. So I did some calculating myself and as I write this I’m wondering why I haven’t been able to write several mss in the last five years.
First off, for you math whiz kids, I know this may not be by exact numbers, but for my purpose it’s close enough to make my point, and I’m nopt a math whiz. I’m not even a math crawl. I avoid numbers whenever possible. 🙂
Anyhoo– Without knowing exact numbers Blake uses, my total word count is divided by 255 days per year– subtracting 52 weekends from 365 days– and gives a reachable word count per 8 hour work day. NaNoWriMo uses a similar break down, that I have used in the past and it worked for me. I know this, yet some days even that small per day number seems daunting to me. But really…
That breaks down even further to a much less formidable number, regardless of your ending word count goal. I know you’re aware of that, but sometimes it helps to see, rather than hear something. I am sure the visualization will help anyone manage to finish a ms, no matter how long it is.
Let’s have some fun, since you’re here with me procrastinating, instead of hammering out that incredibly mind boggling daily wc. 😆 Yeah, I know why you’re really here so, while you are let’s begin.
50K in 255- 8 hour days (some are rounded to the nearest approx. whole number, so you might get a slightly different number than I do). That’s just 196 words per day, only 24.5 words per hour, 12.25 per 30 minutes, or a measly 6.125 words per quarter hour.
Now, I don’t type as fast as others, and some type four or more times that number per MINUTE (yep, that thought just made my head spin). Some of us can manage 500 words per hour, some struggle to get that number, but even I can manage 24 words in 60 minutes! That a mere .4 words per minute!
60K= 235 pd, 29 phr, 14.5 p 1/2 hr, 7 words pqtr hr
70K= 274.5 pd, 34 phr, 17 p1/2 hr, 8.5 pqtr hr
80K= 324 pd, 39.25 phr, 20 p1/2 hr, 10 pqtr hr
90K= 535 pd, 44 phr, 22 p1/2 hr, 11 pqtr hr
100K= 392 pd, 49 phr, 24.5 p1/2 hr, 12.25 pqtr hr
So who’s with me? Can we write 7, 8, 10, 11 or 12 words–in the next fifteen minutes? What? Seriously? All we have to do is BICHOK: Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard, and count that word count down.
Well, there you have it. Ramblings on ways to trick my muse into cooperating long enough to finish a ms. Thanks for tagging along and I sincerely hope this will help someone even a tidbit. If not, I hope you get a giggle at least. 😉
Though it’s not Thursday, I thought now would be a good time to post my writing goals for the year. Yes, I’ve been procrastinating doing this. I’m a very good procrastinator. 😆 But, January is quickly slipping away and I need to do this before the New Year isn’t new so, here I am.
Some of you may have read my goals last year, that HUGE 2-year plan I set out with last January 7th. What a disastrous mess that turned out to be! If you missed it, you can find that memorable post of My Writing Plan For 2024-2015 here. I warn you, take a deep breath before reading it! LOL
I’m doing it again. Yes, again! Why? Why torture myself? You might be thinking I’m a glutton for punishment, that I like to set myself up for sure failure. You’d be wrong. I did it for the same reasons, I guess, that I started edits on a five year old manuscript this weekend. Partly because I’d never set a long term plan and wanted to see if I could. Well, I can set goals. I did. And, as you can probably tell…I failed. Miserably.
I also did it, and am doing it again this year, to push myself, challenge myself. I didn’t set those goals last year for anyone but me. That’s why I do it. But, as with all new things, goals are meant to learn from, I think. And learn, I did!
What did I learn? For one, not to bite off more than I can chew. In other words, I need to set realistic goals, not what I want to do in one or in two years, but what I can do in that time. Can I realistically write four novellas and a full length manuscripts in 12 short months, plus revise another novella to re-publish? Obviously not when it takes me three months or more to write just one.
Did I accomplish any of my goals for 2014? Yes. I was successful in promoting Risk Factors after it’s new release with my new publisher, Kensington-Lyrical Press, in March. (Do you like how I did that? 🙂 )
I didn’t succeed in getting any other goals completed. Not even blogging once a week. In fact, I didn’t get one novella finished last year. Why? Because I overwhelmed myself. Good lord!! On top of the goals I set, I took on a new project, that isn’t finished yet, either.
Part of my failure is due to a burn out that began in May and didn’t fully end until October. I couldn’t write, didn’t even look at a ms much less work on any. I had to give myself permission to take a break and reevaluate my writing and regroup.
This year I’m taking a new direction with my writing. So, take a look at my new goals for 2015. Yeah…no more two year plans for this writer. But I will be diving into the Self Publishing pool this year, finally.
GOALS FOR 2015
1. Learn to mute phone when working!!! (can’t turn it off with fil here)
2. Blog at least once a week, aside from guests and regular UnCover Monday features
3. Edit completed full length ms, HW, in progress
4. Post some free reads on website
5. Write two novellas, both already started, but not the DDD novellas from last year
6. Self publish HW, already have a cover in the works and tentative date, May
7. Submit, or self publish at least one of two novellas, not sure which pub route I’ll take yet
8. Write a second full length ms*, my first paranormal, in progress (Juliet’s story in my 2015 goals)
9. Figure out a better marketing solution, for me, or at least a more productive way to use what I already have
* By ‘write a second ms’ I mean complete the first draft in 2015.
So, there you have it. Eight (not counting #1 🙂 ) simple, less stress-inducing goals. Still challenging, but hopefully, doable.
What about you? Will you be making goals (again) this year? How tough are you on yourself? Do you torture, or love yourself with your goals?
I decided to write today and see how it goes. I fell on December 11th and broke another rib, or two? so any time on the pc is painful
still. Sitting up, walking, breathing…you get the picture. But while I can’t be on the laptop daily as often, I’ve been thinking about why it’s driving me nuts not to be working on the novella I’ll be publishing early in 2014.
I set a deadline for myself to have it completed and the cover made by the end of December, just four days from now. It’s not gonna happen, unfortunately, since I haven’t been able to work on edits since the tenth. My whole month is wasted because of the pain. I hate that! I’d planned to publish the book by mid-January and that’s not gonna happen now either.
Have no fear! I’ll get it done very soon and am revamping my schedule to get the book finished and published by the end of January. That’s right. I’ll just have to add a month to my original plan. 😀 I’m okay with that since this will be my first self-published work and I’m a little (okay, a LOT) terrified of the thought. 😆
So why do it if it’s so daunting? Because I want to. Because I’m confident enough in my writing to know readers will love it. Because it’s the new frontier of publishing and I don’t want to be left behind. And…because I can! I have a wonderful artist working on a cover for me that I know will bring out the essence of the story I’ve fallen in love with and I can’t wait to see the final product. I’m anxious to get back to work on the book edits, expansion really. It was written as a short story for an anthology it didn’t get finished in time to get put into, so I’m making it longer and self-publishing it because I want to share it with the world. As with my writing, it is a sweet, sensual story of love between a man and woman. I’m thinking it might also turn out to be a preclude to a new series later in 2014. Maybe. Possibly. I’ll keep you posted on that thought. 🙂 It depends on how my other series pans out this next year.
In the meantime, I’m sharing an excerpt for Risk Factors and why this time of year is so special to me, aside from Christmas. (Psst- it has to do with tomorrow and aging. 🙂 ) I’d love company at the wonderful Michelle Ziegler’s blog if you have time to stop by today! http://michellezieglerauthor.com/2013/12/27/fun-fact-friday-calisa-rhose-and-the-small-world
Tune in next week when I’ll post my new two year writing plan- and why only two years.
Until then I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year!
Welcome back to the Ranch! I am super excited this November!
But before we begin I need to announce the two winners of my Haunted Garden blog hop. I am excited to announce Sandy Rowland and Kristina Knight win the two gift certificates from me! I’ll be contacting you for your information!
Ok! Why am I excited? Ask me why. Go on, ask me! Ask…
Okay, I’ll tell you.
IT’S NAWRIMO TIME!!!!!!
I’m thrilled to actually get to participate again. This will be my third attempt at this fun contest where you write 50 thousand words (or more), a full manuscript to THE END, in one month–thirty days. My first two tries didn’t get me the golden crown because I never finished the word count. The first one in 2005 I got to 30K and it’s still growing today, but I spent so much time editing the previous days’ words that, though I always got my word count in, I would basically end up deleting half of those the next day. BAD!
My next venture a couple of years later just didn’t go well. I don’t even remember the story or how much I got, but it was less than 30K. LOL
For those of you who are going out for NANO this year–whether you’re new or experienced nanoers–heed my words…DO NOT EDIT! Turn off that internal editor, disengage the auto grammer and editor on the computer. DO NOT read back over anything written on previous days! The purpose of NANO is to JUST WRITE. To get words on paper, monitor, or whatever method you use to write. If you have a writing pad that won’t let you go back and edit readily, I even suggest you use that to get your daily word count in, upload that to your computer, but don’t go back into the word doc until December 1.
You need to write 1667 words each day to make the thirty days quota (that number gives you ten spare words btw).
Here’s the link to how it works- http://www.nanowrimo.org/about/hownanoworks/
My story, whatever it will be– because I have NO clue, even as I write this the night before it posts–will be at least 60K, so I’m making my daily word count goal 2000. I’d like to finish this story and type The End on Nov. 30th. 😀 I have a lot of other things to finish up this first week so I may not meet that goal but I’ll go make it up later and throw in a couple of 3K days. I tend to do that before the holiday too since I know I won’t keep up during that week, especially with my brothers visiting for three days at Thanksgiving.
When the day is done, if anyone wants to gab about how you did that day, I’d love to hear in the comments of this post throughout the month. Just pop in here and tell other Nanoers what your daily word count is and what we can do to help you if you fall short. I plan to keep this post active the whole time, so come dish share special lines about your story as it unravels.
Even if you aren’t participating–come cheer us crazy people on! 😆
There is a check list I complete daily and I’d love if you want to post your daily list here too. I’m posting it for everyone so come on back, grab a wine, beer, coffee and some L’il Smokeys and lets have a great NANO! There’s cake and chocolate for those who need it too.
(Un)Official NANO Daily Check List:
Nano Day- 1
Total Daily Words-
Total NaNo Words-
Treat when goal is met: When I reach today’s goal I’m gonna dip into some Halloween candy. 🙂
A lot of you know how long I’ve been waiting, working and waiting, for my second book to publish. Some of you probably know of the tedium I went through with Perfect Dr. Viv before Piper Denna and Lyrical Press, Inc. contracted it this past May, and the new title change. Many of you even know I’ve been biting my nails waiting through round after round of edits for a cover reveal.
Well, I won’t make you wait any longer. Please help me celebrate the awesome job artist Valerie Tibbs did for me.
I present the cover for–
Risk Factors! Due March 2013
Love, like life, is not without risk.
BLURB- Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales,
Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being
considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife
vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.
Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material
because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away
from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him,
leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their
daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having
her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove
she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv–and himself–enough to play
I really would love to know what you think so comment away. Share your thoughts- honesty welcome.
Thank you all.
I wasn’t going to do this this week- lazitis acting up- but decided to beat it down. 🙂 So I’m offering up another taste of Healing Whispers and then I think I’ll go work on edits for this one so I can get it published soon! LOL
In this scene Tobi has left Mags, and her scrumptious fudge, behind to call her uncle about his attempts to take her horse. Maybe you can tell why Maggie refers to Uncle Mark as a ‘snake.’ 😆
Tidbit: In the planned book two it is Mark’s son, Garrett who takes center stage as the faulty hero. 😉
“Mark, we need to discuss this horse you’re trying to take. He’s not for sale.” She dove right in hoping to make him see sense, or at least to catch him off guard. His law suit was ridiculous, to say the least, and he had to drop it. She owned Starfire’s Comet, period.
“I didn’t plan on buyin’ him, darlin’.
Whew! Just reading that makes my blood boil! LOL
I hope you enjoyed this week’s peek. Click the logo at the top to visit other SSS snippets this week.
In case you have heard and commented on the fire situation, I want to thank you for all the prayers and well wishes. After one night evacuated, we’re back home and everyone human and pet in our family is well. Helicopters are flying over tonight looking out for hot spots and flare-ups. I’m conflicted in how I feel about this. On the one hand I’m relieved they are diligent in preventing more fire. On the other hand it disturbs me that it is even necessary. But I am so thankful for our volunteer and paid firemen working, risking life to protect us.
Hello to new visitors and welcome back to those who are returning to the Ranch! I’m going back to Healing Whispers this week. Tobi has introduced Tanner to Starfire, her ‘broken’ horse and she has returned to the house to check in with her cook on dinner preparations. My Tobi has quite a sweet tooth as you’ll see in this snippet.
Tobi was hoping for some of the woman’s delicious chocolate fudge brownies tonight, had hinted so strongly that morning that Mags had run her out of the house. The minute she entered the big old kitchen and smelled the rich German chocolate, she smiled and kissed Maggie’s age-softened cheek.
“You’re spoiled, girl.”
“I knows it and I luvs it!” she laughed and snatched one of the perfect chocolaty squares to bite into, as a sigh escaped her lips. “Better than sex.”
Maggie laughed, “You must be doing something wrong if my brownies are that good, honey!”
I just love this scene.
Thank you for coming by and I’ll check in when I get a chance. I’ll either be hanging with friends over ‘work’ or helping with refreshments for the firemen most of today. I’d love to chat so comment and I’ll be in as soon as I can.
Once more! I have been enjoying 6 Sentence Sunday for about two months now and haven’t run out of lines to share. That’s a great thing people. LOL Whether it’s your first time here or your fiftieth, welcome! I’m doing another 6 from Healing Whispers, my horse whisperer story I’ll be resubmitting once I’ve had a chance to revise it some later this year. I hope you enjoy my sample this week when I’m sharing a peek of why Tanner has his work cut out for him.
Men were—men—as far as she was concerned. They were good workers; she even had male friends, but not in the respect women typically thought of men. She knew from experience that if you gave them an inch, they invariably tried to take the whole shebang—and personally, she didn’t have a shebang left to offer. Not when her own uncle and cousin were after her horse.
They were trying to take her ranch from her a piece at a time since she wouldn’t lie down and give up the fight, sticking their fingers in whenever they saw an opening. So she made sure not to leave any openings.
I love this woman! Thanks for coming by and I hope you’ll hop over to check out some of the other participating authors by clicking on the logo at the top of this post.