Sarah Lynn Phillips Shares Her Story

My guest today is Author Sarah Lynn Phillips. Another Jubilee Writer. Penned Without Ink: Trusting God to Write Your Story  is a memoir of hope and inspiration. Welcome Sarah.

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Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

I’m from the Buffalo, New York area, went to college in Tennessee, and married a teacher/educator from Michigan. Barry’s work led us to a school near Rochester, NY and a college in Northeast PA. God has given us three wonderful daughters and all these years later, two little grandsons. My husband unexpectedly passed away in May 2015. I’m still adjusting . . . grateful for God’s grace every single day.

Besides college papers, I didn’t write much until about sixteen years ago. At that time, I took a community poetry class and discovered I really enjoyed it. I soon found the courage to submit some of my work to small houses, and to my delight, had a few poems published. Little by little I crossed over into prose and found some success writing devotionals and articles. My mom introduced me to the Montrose Christian Writers Conference, and I later joined a critique group.

Share about your memoir.

In September 2016, Penned Without Ink: Trusting God to Write Your Story was published by Straight Street Books/Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. This inspirational memoir shares “My Story,” “God’s Story,” and invites the reader to reflect on “Your Story.”

Here is a book summary as found on my blog:

Penned Without Ink: Trusting God to Write Your Story will draw you into the true story of one family’s journey of faith. It begins with a near-fatal car crash, resulting in trauma, uncertainty, and life-long limitations. Their experiences will lead you to sit at hushed bedsides, observe delicate operations, and feel the angst of life and death decisions. In the midst of multiple layers of pain and loss, you will witness quiet miracles, sure and certain lights that pierce through the darkness.

With portrayals of both present-day individuals and biblical characters, Sarah captures the essence of hope born through her struggle to trust and rely on God. Between the lines, you will also uncover your own journey of trust. A faithful and loving God desires to write your life story—no matter what happens.

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How do you research for your book?

Accurate research was very important to me, but writing memoir can be tricky. Especially since I didn’t remember some of what happened immediately after the crash and beyond. I not only found news articles about the accident but interviewed a young woman from the scene – whose best friend’s aunt “happened” to be a friend of mine. My journals from that time period were probably the most helpful resources. I also interviewed family members and pieced together their stories with my recollections. I read each section with my husband, going over the last chapter just days before he passed away. I checked with nurses, a medical doctor, and a certified counselor to be sure I communicated those parts of the story with integrity. Photos of the crash and our recovery are on my blog under PHOTOS.

 

I also included many references to the Bible and not only carefully consulted context and commentaries but went over and over each reference in order to represent the Scriptures well. I depended on beta readers to catch errors I couldn’t see.

 

What inspired you to write your book?

The themes in my articles and devotionals often began with real life events, leading to come-along-side encouragement and hope. This became my pattern (http://www.sarahlynnphillips.com/p/my-stories.html).

After our family suffered the trauma and repercussions of a fiery car crash in 2003 and after months of recovery and years of adjusting to our new normal, I wondered if perhaps our story could encourage others. God opened doors for me to submit short pieces about our experience. I never dreamed of writing a book until later, but I needed these years to better learn the craft of writing and publishing. More importantly, I needed time to fully process what had happened to us and then be able to write about God’s grace through our suffering in a personal and realistic way that would lift others up.

After speaking on the topic of “story,” I began to seriously consider sharing our story in book format. It took multiple attempts using a variety of genres, but finally in 2014, I chose an inspirational genre and took the next year to rewrite my previous work. In July 2015, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas offered me a contract. I didn’t need to think twice!

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

For me, it was a gradual process.  As a young student, I struggled to “write” until a high school English teacher assigned a character sketch every week. Because of her line-by-line patience, I did well in college—writing papers that helped me make the Dean’s List.

The poetry class and small “successes” along the way led me, step-by-step, to the decision to write our story in book form. Writing a book begins with an idea . . . a dream . . . then a few false starts . . . tenacity . . . hard work . . . re-writes . . . multiple edits . . . finally a book proposal . . . hopefully a contract . . . more hard work . . . more editing . . . and then the marketing. And lots of courage. I count it a privilege to share God’s work “with the world.”

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

The theme verse I chose for my book is Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (italics added).

My inspiration for writing comes from Ecclesiastes 12:9, 10: “Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.” These are my writing aspirations . . . so eloquently expressed.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Write with vulnerability. Avoid the extremes of sounding too plastic, preachy, or academic. It’s when you honestly write from your heart that you connect with your readers.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

My writers’ group. There are six of us who meet regularly. Each brings a unique voice to the table. We take turns reading our work and critique page by page, line by line. We learn from each other, brainstorm ideas, and give suggestions. We go back and make our work better, so therefore read a fair share of re-writes. We give an encouraging word whenever we can and pray for each other. I have loved being part of this wonderful group of women, all believers in Christ whose goal is to glorify the Lord in all we write.

 

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

I try to read a variety of genres to help me stay balanced and well-rounded, but if I just want to chill and relax I usually reach for historical fiction (many also published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas).

 

Where is your favorite place to write?

My office. My resources are close by. It’s set up in a way that works for me. And I have two windows to offer inspiration!

 Check out her Book Trailer: https://youtube.com/watch?v=FryrDFsS73Y

 

Author Bio: Sarah Lynn Phillips is a freelance writer from Northeast Pennsylvania and has authored numerous articles, devotionals, and poems for both online and print publications along with her book Penned Without Ink: Trusting God to Write Your Story. Her life story has many wonderful chapters, but it has also taken some unexpected turns, including her family’s near-death experience resulting from a car crash and the untimely death of her husband. Through her writing and speaking, Sarah uplifts and challenges her audiences with her vision of hope in the hard times. She has three daughters and two grandsons. Winner of the Bronze Award in the 2017 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program for the Best Inspirational Category

Find Sarah at:

Her blog, Penned Without Ink at www.sarahlynnphillips.com.

Website: www.sarahlynnphillips.com  OR www.pennedwithoutink.com

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/sarahlynnphillips3

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/sarahlynnph/

Google+: www.google.com/+SarahPhillipspennedwithoutink

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15549995.Sarah_Lynn_Phillips

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahLynnPh

Linkedin:  www.linkedin.com/in/sarahlynnphillips

TO ORDER (Paperback OR Kindle Formats): 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Penned-Without-Ink-Trusting-Write/dp/193849931X/

Publisher: http://shoplpc.com/product/penned-without-ink/

Have you ever thought about writing a memoir? Is there a memoir you’ve read that has inspired you? Share in the comments.

Writing Prompts and Giveaway

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Have you ever been to a writer’s class where the teacher starts it out with a writing prompt? You get a few minutes to write something based on a sentence opener. A few brave students share their words. I hate it. Don’t misunderstand, I love writing prompts they get my mind engaged and the creative juices flowing.  I don’t want to share that initial mess with anyone. I always write poo my first attempt. There are moments I’m inspired immediately and the cleaver words flow onto the page. But that is rare.

The writing prompt isn’t designed to embarrass or prove what pathetic creatures we writers are. It’s a chance to loosen words from your brain. Like fruit trees the ripe ones fall to the ground first where they get bruise and rot in a short time. Later we get a ladder and pluck the ripe fruit by hand carefully placing it in baskets. The bruise fruit can still nourish as part of a pie or sliced so only the good parts show. But if they’d never fallen to the ground, we’d not have realized how ripe the fruit was getting. How ready we were to write those particular words. Creating something delicious for the reader.

Completing a sentence not of our own creation can open our mind to so many possibilities. A storyline forms, a call to action from deep in our heart takes shape or a long overdue belly laugh sets us in the right mood to open those neglected word documents.

Below is a list of prompts. Pick one.  No timer—just write. When you’re done reread it. How’d it turn out?  Did the exercise inspire? Are you ready to conquer those other projects?

Here they are:

Why is it Mildred always___________

 

“Harald, this is the last time______________

 

Willy raced ahead, his legs pumping hard on the pedals of his ten-speed. “Why ___________

 

“Pling, pling, pling water droplets beat against the pans covering the floor____________

 

Blood smears trailed along the kitchen floor to the back door where a large _______

 

Let’s make it more interesting

You can start with the prompt or put it anywhere within the paragraph or two or three or pages of words your imagination pours out for you. Have fun.

Anyone who is brave enough to share their creation (or a part of it if it goes beyond a few paragraphs) in the comments please do. If you prefer to tell me how doing this exercise help their creativity. Wonderful. All commenters will be entered into a giveaway.  I’ll send an autographed copy of Secrets & Charades to one winner.

If you’ve read Secrets & Charades I’ll send a copy of Writing in Obedience: A primer from Christian Fiction writers by Terry Burns and Linda W Yezak as an alternative.  So, enjoy the prompts. Write away and comment. The drawing will take place next Tuesday the 25th.

Don’t forget if you’re not following this blog but would like to please subscribe so you don’t miss a posting.

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The Many Marketing Categories of Your Novel

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Imagine we are in the hallway at a writer’s conference with a group of fellow-writers. We’ve been discussing highlights of the event and throwing out snippets of knowledge. Small incomplete bits that need further information. My post today is a snippet. One I need to understand more fully but thought you might find interesting. Or better yet you might have thorough knowledge and could share in the comments.

Marketing snippet

Here is my factoid about marketing. I’ve noticed it as I complete my second author kit for my upcoming Contemporary Romance. I’ve heard it mention by many publishers. I’m still a bit confused.

Authors define the genre their book falls in before they begin writing. We use that tag to focus our words toward those readers. This is the general category our book would be marketed in. Secrets & Charades is a Romance. More specifically a Historical Romance.

For marketing purposes, it can be placed in a variety of other categories. Because of its faith theme.

  • Christian Fiction
  • Christian Historical Fiction
  • Christian Romance
  • Clean Romance
  • Christian
  • Inspirational
  • Religious

Because of the cowboys:

  • Western Romance
  • American Western Romance

Amazon allows you to list your book under three categories. My understanding (this is where I remind you this is my hearsay in the hall) if you change the listing you could increase your sales. If a historical novel were a secular romance it might be categorized under some additional categories steamy romance, erotic romance, sexy romance.

Some of the categories cross over as far as audience appeal. If a prospective reader loves Historical Romance with lots of heat my novel might not be their cup of tea. But then again, they might love it because the storyline engages them.

My upcoming contemporary romance can be listed under Romance.

And because of its faith theme:

Christian Romance

Inspirational

My hero has a prosthetic leg so we can add Wounded Warrior Romance (yes, it is a thing).

It might even be classified under categories that appeal to dog lovers. My hero has a service dog.

Don’t choose wrong categories

Although we narrow our genre focus while we write our story we want to be sure we are marketing it to as broad a market as possible without missing the mark. My novels are not children’s books or sci fi. Neither contain gratuitous sex. Listing them as erotica will irritate perspective readers. (No need for angry reviews.)

Another example

A YA Sci Fi would be classified under YA fiction

Sci Fi

Fantasy

Dystopian

Again, if it has a Christian theme it might also be listed under Christian Fantasy

Christian Dystopian

Christian Sci Fi

Inspirational and Religious.

If there is a strong romance element it might be listed under YA Romance or Sci Fi Romance.

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Variety of categories draws more readers

Adults could find a YA book in the Sci Fi categories. Adults read YA, by the way. Men might find Secrets & Charades in the Western and my upcoming release in Wounded Warrior.

I’m too new to this publishing biz to have any idea what is the winning category. And some of the categories I mention may not be one anymore. Even so I need to have some alternative genre categories in mind to add in future marketing. And for me I leave the final decision to my publisher and my marketing gal. If your self-pub you might want to ask your successful Indie friends what they would recommend.

Okay readers, any of you have more snippets of information to share about this topic. Curious minds are desperate to know.

Want to continue following Jubilee Writer. Don’t forget to subscribe before leaving this page. Please and Thank you.

Secrets & Charades book trailer:

A Visit with Novelist Janet Grunst

Today, I welcome Janet Grunst, another Jubilee Writer whose journey to publication was as long and full of life’s unexpected twists as my own. It’s a delight to have her join me today.

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Share your journey with us.

In the early 80’s I wrote human interest columns for two local newspapers which got me interested in the vocation of writing. But I had a story that was germinating in my head and wondered if I could try my hand at writing stories.

I began reading books, writing fiction and asked God if that was the call I sensed He was giving me. With two very active preschool sons at home I needed to know it was His will and that He would make a way.

The Lord’s confirmation came through loud and strong and over the next year He provided the time for me to study the craft and research the historical era of the story.  I’m certain He helped me weave the tale. Then I studied how to market a manuscript to Christian publishers in an era when one didn’t need an agent. I submitted it unsuccessfully for several years.

I had to put the writing and searching for a publisher pursuit aside when life necessitated my getting full time employment to raise my sons on my own.

Many years passed, my children were grown, and my circumstances changed, including re-marriage. My husband read the story I’d written so many years before and encouraged me to once again try to get it published and continue to write.

So much had changed in the writing and publishing world in the intervening years. Lots of studying and editing ensued. I needed and found an agent who saw promise in the story and wanted to represent me. The advent of e-books, the need to have a platform, an online presence via blogging, websites, and social media required a lot of research, studying and developing a multitude of new skills.

Tell my readers, about your latest published project.

That original story, written so many years ago, was my debut novel published in December of 2016 ~ A Heart Set Free. I’m humbled and thrilled that it just won the Selah Award for Historical Romance in May.Other Cover A H S F - Copy(1)

Congratulations, Janet.

What kind of research did you do for A Heart Set Free?

When I started the story, it was in the era before the internet so I did a lot of research through libraries and reading everything I could get my hands on. I also visited an actual 18th century farm that was still operational not too many miles from my home. Since then, most of my research is via the internet or books.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

There are so many I love. Probably John 1:12 holds the most meaning.  “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” This verse truly spoke to me when my faith in Christ changed from believing in Him to also receiving Him and allowing Him to be Lord of my life. My faith traveled those critical 18 inches from my head to my heart.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

I would tell myself to not fear writing because I couldn’t make a living at it. Do it as an avocation and see where it takes you.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing? 

My husband, Ken, is such an encourager and will read anything I write. He is a luthier (builds guitars) so he understands that pursuing one’s vocation often means many hours of isolation on a regular basis.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Historical fiction. 😊But I also enjoy biographies, devotionals, and other fiction as well as non-fiction.

Where is your favorite place to write? 

My desksigning my first book contract(1)

 

Here’s the back-cover blurb for A Heart Set Free

In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.

Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blonde standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife?

When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, marries her, and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.

It is in the Virginia countryside that Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and of maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . .

and love will finally set her heart free.

Author Bio

Janet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight. She lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that can communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, and bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader.  She is represented by Linda S. Glaz, Hartline Literary Agency

Connect with Janet Grunst:

http://JanetGrunst.com                                                                                               http://colonialquills.blogspot.com/                                                                                       https://www.facebook.com/Janet-Grunst-Author-385405948228216/

Order A Heart Set Free at the link below

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Set-Free-Janet-Grunst-ebook/dp/B01MQK0SXR/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480454877&sr=1-2&keywords=A+Heart+Set+Free

There are more Author interviews coming this year. If you enjoy these inspirational stories and getting the scoop on new releases please subscribe before you leave this page. 🙂

 

 

Interview with Douglas Cornelius Author of The Baker’s Daughter

Today I’ve invited another Jubilee Writer to share his story with us. Retirement can be a great time to write the novel of your heart. Douglas Cornelius has some helpful insights for novice writers. Thanks for joining me, let’s get right to it, shall we.

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Tell my readers a little about your writing journey.

I must admit I am not someone who “always wanted to be a writer.” Yes, I enjoyed writing throughout a long business career. Then as retirement approached, writing for fun became an interesting challenge. I hooked up with a writers’ group at my church (Church of the Open Door, Maple Gove, MN) and felt called to a writers’ conference (’14 Colorado CWC). That’s when I found myself determined to become a writer. I was attracted to a certain niche genre: YA Christian historical fiction (that would hopefully also appeal to a wider spectrum of readers).

 

What is your latest published project?

The Baker’s Daughter under the LPC imprint was finally birthed on Feb. 1st of this year. It’s about teens using their faith in WW II Berlin to triumph over Nazi evil. It appears to be off to a good start. It’s exciting to get instant feedback from Amazon. (I’m also following up with a self-published teen piece from the Renaissance period: Da Vinci’s Disciples.)

How do you research for your books?

I’ll start by reading some other acclaimed books from the era I’m writing about. In the case of The Baker’s Daughter, I tried to digest Metaxas’ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Moorhouse’s Berlin at War, and Frossard’s Forget Not Love, among others. Then I supplemented with internet research as needed.

 

What inspired you to write your book?

I believe God wanted to do a good work in me, so the Ken Burns documentary on WW II and a Great Courses piece on Christian martyrs combined to point me to my story. I wanted to focus on how a person might get to the ultimate form of love, sacrificial Christ-like love, as exhibited by the martyrs, Bonhoeffer and Kolbe—the latter giving his life for another in a concentration camp. I was intent on weaving them into the story while showcasing their love as an extension of God’s unconditional love. I also felt the stresses of wartime provided ample opportunity to create conflict, both external and internal.

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Click on cover to order

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

With the book theme about God’s love, I chose to make my blog about “Love Lived Large.” So, the scripture I cherish goes back to how it all started: “We love because God first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

 

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Remembering that God’s timeline is different from mine. I would advise young writers to set some personal goals, stay focused, and pray that God will lead you past the bumps in the road, in His time. I also highly recommend going to a conference to begin making connections.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

My writers’ group at church has been invaluable as a means of consistent feedback, as well as keeping me on track.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Every once in a while, I like to pick up a delightful mid-grade book such as one I’m currently reading, The Land of Beyond Belief.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a comfortable wicker chair in a sunroom with big windows. The peace seems to override any distractions.

More about Douglas:

Douglas P. Cornelius is a life-long resident of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. He started writing historical fiction after retiring from careers at Target, American Express, and 3M. When not writing, he enjoys spending time with his wife, two children, three amazing grandchildren, complacent old dog, and frolicsome new cat Selah. The Baker’s Daughter is his debut Christian novel, one in which he hopes to inspire readers to reflect on God’s unconditional love while experiencing the challenges of confronting evil at a critical time in history.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/douglas.cornelius.96

Website: http://www.dpcornelius.com/

Twitter: @DPCBooks

Amazon Ordering: https://www.amazon.com/Bakers-Daughter-Braving-Evil-Berlin-ebook/dp/B01N1V2YB0/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496258309&sr=1-2&keywords=the+bakers+daughter

Douglas, thanks for visiting Jubilee Writer. The Baker’s Daughter sounds intriguing.

Readers if you have any questions for Douglas ask them in the comments. And if you purchase his book and enjoy it. Please post a review. Reviews are the life blood of authors. 🙂

Don’t forget to sign up to follow this blog if you’re enjoying the content. Thanks.

 

Pictorial Reflections on July 4th Celebrations

 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Independence Day an official federal holiday in 1941. The Fourth of July has taken on many forms in various geographic areas of the country since the first commemoration on July 4, 1777. Rural settings celebrations had neighborhood potlucks with group games such as potato sack and three-legged races. Families enjoyed visiting and rarely were there fireworks. But time away from daily chores made the day just as exciting. The mayor or some other dignitary read the Declaration of Independence and other well-known speeches of our forefathers. People hung on every word. Then exploded with applause when the recitations were finished. Patriot music commemorate the day.

I’ve collected some photos of July 4th celebration throughout history.  It’s fun to see how the holiday has evolved.

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Some things never change.

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ripley 4th 1890s

Early 1900s parade.

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Notice the greased pig  and slippery pole contests.

1 Grand Army of the Republin in Parade

Civil War Veterans march in a parade circa 1890s

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A women’s foot race early 1900s.

Fourth of July celebration, hurdle race (colored)

Hurdle race at an African American celebration. Looks painful.

Check out the photos below. Children portraying the fife and drum players from the revolutionary war often were parts of parades during my childhood. Not the tricycles in the last group. Bike parades around a neighborhood were not uncommon in the 1950s and 1960s. The other two picture are taken decades earlier.

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Uncle Sam appeared in every 4th of July celebration.

Ben Shahn - At the July 4th celebration, Ashville, Ohio, 1938

What decade do you think this is?

 

Parade photo

Parades still continue to mark the day.

 

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Do you recall all the Independence Day fun you’ve enjoyed? Don’t forget to take a moment to thank God for the freedom you have.

 

 

The Advantage of Binge Writing

adult-2242164_640I always admired those author’s who post on FB “I wrote 6,000 words today.” Amazement overtakes me when they announced 10,000 or more a day. Not sure how long they qualify as a day. Was it 5 hours or 20 hours? Either way, I’m impressed. After all our goal as novelists is to get as many words out there for our readers as soon as possible. I’ve mentioned before writer’s words are their product for sale. We need to create more product.

I attended a class at Write to Publish a few weeks ago conducted by Cyle Young, an agent for Hartline Literary and author who writes many words in a short period. His subject was binge writing. And his explanation is doable.

First, you need a timer. That can be a kitchen timer, tomato timer (you know the ones shaped like a tomato) or the timer on your phone. Set it for 30 minutes and write non-stop until the timer goes off. No editing or rewrites just get the words down. Then do a word count. If this is a new doc, the number appears at the bottom left of your screen. If it is part of your novel highlight the portion and those numbers will appear next to the total number on the bottom of your screen. If for some reason you have no word count showing automatically you can find word count in your pull-down menu. In Windows, it should be under the review tab. This will give you your starting point.

I’m a pantster so this was an interesting challenge. Because I wanted to feature this method on my blog today I needed to try it.  The ideal is to be in a place alone with no distractions That is rarely the case for me. You all know I’ve a house full of family and gave up my writing office for my grandchildren. While the kitchen was empty, I chose that as my writing spot. I sat at the kitchen table and set my timer. It wasn’t long before people filtered through the kitchen. My grandchildren attempted to interrupt me. But I soldiered on, my goal of 30 minutes in sight. No editing, no spellcheck and no rewriting.

I decided to work on a character I needed to flesh out in my WIP. Because I’ll be adding the scene to an existing chapter, I opened a new document and wrote 600 words in thirty minutes.  I didn’t have any more time that day to do consecutive writing, so I did another thirty minutes the next day. Cyle suggested challenging yourself with a new goal. One more word than you did earlier. So, my goal was 601 words.  I wrote 665 words. Surprised myself.  Perhaps writing after a short break my count might have been lower. Cyle’s plan is to write in thirty, forty-five or sixty minute increments and try to add more words each time.

binge writing

Between your timed writing segments, you need to walk away from your keyboard. Take five minutes to change the laundry around. Cyle demonstrated free standing squats. (Not going to happen.) I thought of doing stretches or picking up misplaced stuff off the floor. Whether you write in intervals of thirty minutes or two hours you need to step away from your work and do other things. While your hands are engaged in meal preparation, taking a long walk, doing pushups or mowing the lawn your mind is still on your project. By the time you get back to it you’ve figured out your problem plot twists and added layers to your characters. These breaks are important to maintain good health. Writers tend to get fat from too much sitting. We also develop knee, back and shoulder pain not to mention carpal tunnel. And constantly staring at a computer screen is bad for your eyes. The binge method serves to accomplish two goals: increase your word output and adding healthy habits to your workday.

The value of binge writing in meeting deadlines is priceless. If I complete my project well before the deadline it gives me lots of time to edit and polish my manuscript. How great is that?

Have any of you tried binge writing? What are some of the things you do when you take a break from the keyboard?

Don’t forget to sign up for this blog if you want to continue receiving the tips and insights I share here.

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