Friday, April 29, 2016

Writing, revising, and rewriting your novel: how long is too long?

 One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder. ~Zaid K. Abdelnour

Have you been writing your novel for a long while? Are you hanging in there?

When writing one of my (completed) novels, I had the luxury to take my time. Write, rewrite, revise.  I knew I'd keep going with it and that I would give myself time. After all, it was a genre change, and I wanted to get it right. My efforts could be attributed to sheer stubbornness combined with a small flicker of hope—but I knew I would persevere. I believe it’s a good story. I think the (internal) journey my character takes will speak to someone who has the same doubts and questions.  My novels revolve around family. I believe in the beauty of family and the value of a loving unit. I love writing about families united and strengthened.

I made a determination to silence the internal critics that shout, “No one will want to read this! You’re wasting your time!” I recommend you do that too. And once you do silence them, you’ll be able to hear that still, small voice telling you, “Push forward, my child. Keep writing.” Trust me, it’s true. Trust that still, small voice that is clinging to the tattered raft floating in your sea of doubt. Hang on!

"True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful." ~Paul Sweeny

Believe me, more than one successful author has taken years to write a novel. Check out this list. I’m sure you’ve heard of these writers. 

So, I’ll keep on revising my novel. This, I believe will be my final pass before I declare it ready to be shopped around. I’ve been writing and pondering this novel for years. First, I gave myself plenty of time to play around with learning a new genre. Then I wrote and rewrote. Now I’m revising and refining.

If I could hang in there, so can you.  Write on!

I don't know how my story will end, but nowhere in my text it will read, “I gave up.” ~Unknown

Monday, March 07, 2016

Never give up!

Life is hard. Schedules get tangled in the pressures and tasks we face each day.It feels like we have more tasks than there are hours in the day. 

Sometimes it feels like you've stumbled and you're not getting any traction moving toward to your goals. 

Know what you should do? Get back on track, forgive yourself for your lack of enthusiasm, and move forward!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Finding Refreshing Story Ideas When The Well’s Gone Dry

Writers tend to grind away, pursuing their passion, but occasionally the well of our creativity becomes parched. We come to a point of creative fatigue. Don’t fear—it’s not permanent.

When we feel discouraged and wrung out, there are methods to refreshing your creative spirit.

According to, creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules and patterns, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, and interpretations. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Sometimes we just need to recognize the need to disengage from the grind and embrace the necessity to refresh our creative souls.

As believers we get to hang onto these glorious truths: 
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“So God created human beings in his own image.” Genesis 1:27a

God is the ultimate Creator, and He fashioned us in His image. When I look at it that way, my creativity is seen as an extension of my relationship with God and a component of my personality. I’m creative because God created me that way.

Our world is full of ideas; we just need to train ourselves to find them.

Here are several methods you can use to refresh your creativity:
  • Pray:
    • Keep yourself spiritually charged. Remember Who your writing partner is. The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. 1 Thess. 5:24         
    • Journal spiritual thoughts about your writing life, story idea, etc.
    • Write a prayer. Ask the Lord for His anointing on your writing and your writing journey. Ask for clarity of thought, passion, commitment, and the time to pursue your writing goals. 
  • Keep a writer’s journal:
    • A journal may include memories, jokes, story ideas, writing tricks, dreams, and descriptions of people, places or situations.
    • A writer’s journal may be as simple as a little notebook you carry in your purse or it could be a word document on your computer.
    • Train yourself to be alert for fresh ideas when they occur, and write them down. 
  • Invest in your health:
    • Go for a walk, hop on a treadmill—just get moving. Your imagination won’t work a maximum capacity if your brain is sluggish. 
  • Read a great book:
    • Sometimes reading great writing gives you the itch to write yourself. 
  • Try free writing:
    • Give yourself a time limit (10-15 minutes) and let your fingers fly over the keyboard. Even if you’re writing crazy nonsense, you may spark a thought or idea that will springboard you back to work. 
  • Take a creative field trip:
    • Visit a museum, listen to soul-stirring music, go to the movies.
    • Spending time in other creative environments, spurs the desire to be creative in your own work. 
  • Take some photographs:
    • Grab your camera and take a field trip to a local park, busy shopping area, or town square. Let yourself focus on whatever catches your fancy. You may look back at your images and see a spark of an idea in a situation, location or face of people being alone or interacting with each other. *Just don’t appear to be a stalker.
  • Try to write in a different place:
    • Sometimes a small change of scenery can help you overcome a block
    • Leave your laptop at home and write with a pen and notebook
    • I once had a very productive writing session while waiting for my car at the mechanic’s.
Not every solution may be the one for you, so pick and choose to see what refreshes your creativity and fires your productivity.