Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Putting it in perspective

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Good Wednesday morning! Today’s the day I find out if I made it to through the 1st phase of the #manuscriptmatch writing contest for Love Inspired Historical from Harlequin. Keeping fingers crossed and saying many prayers!

Do you organize your writing? By that I mean, do you put it into an organizer and set up your writing schedule? As you know from other posts, I’ve began to organize my writing so that I’m more aware of my deadlines and word count needs.

Of course, I have my handy journal calendar that has my deadlines for things like, word count daily requirements, also I have to give my manuscript to my editor, when it needs to be put into Amazon to meet the preorder requirements and when it officially releases. But this past week, I went one step further. I made a file for all of my releases for the next eight months. I now have a place to put research that I print, outlines, and a page with all of my important dates regarding the manuscript. I can even put a copy of any ads I’ve run on that one book.

It may seem like a lot of work, but it actually cuts down on the workload. I have all of the files in this nice, vinyl accordion file that looks nice and keeps all of the paperwork from cluttering my writing space. Try it, you won’t regret it. This is especially helpful when you also have a full-time job. I now have everything at my fingertips. Of course, I have a lot of this in my Scrivener program too, but this way I can do plotting without opening my computer if I don’t want to.

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/58612482@N07/12551866924″>02.07.2014</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Patience is a Virtue!

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Patience… What exactly does ‘Patience’ mean? Well, according to Google, it means the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Umm, wow, do writers need patience? Yes!

I’ve always been a mostly patient person on the outside, but on the inside, I’m a nervous wreck. Like today, my brain is a ball of mush because the #ManuscriptMatch with Harlequin is over at 1pm tomorrow, so I have to wait. But, I need to be patient, because as my grandmother used to say, ‘a watch pot never boils’.

As a writer, we have to have patience and here is a couple of reasons why:

  1. Of course, we have to be patient as we write the manuscript. That can be a hard one. The story goes through most writer’s mind faster than our fingers can type, but we have to be patient that the story will be finished when it’s finished.
  2. Waiting on the edits, that can be hard. You’ve worked hard to get that manuscript done, now it’s time to wait.
  3. If it’s on preorder, then you have to wait for the final release day. This one can be hard for me. I get excited when it’s all polished and pretty, just sitting there, staring at me as the clock slows to a snail pace.
  4. And contest, yep, that’s the mode I’m in now. You enter, then you wait, if you win a phase, then you supply the next part, and you wait, then wait some more. At least this newest contest is only a couple of hours away. It can really make you a wreck.
  5. Here’s a good one and one I’ve heard from fellow authors, you turn your work into a publisher and have to wait for a response. That wait can be grueling. I have two submitted to Avon and I’ve been curious, but trying to hold on.

So, are you a patient person or writer. What do you do to keep from gnawing your nails to the bone or eating everything around you?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Just a little additional mention, my newest book ‘Seaside Beginnings’ is taking off. The response has been humbling, to say the least. I’ve received some of the sweetest emails about it. Ladies are flocking in to ask for more of the over forty books. I’m excited to say that by the end of 2016 there will be another one, but I have several coming out before it. So thanks to all the wonderful response, it makes this writer smile with joy.

Seaside ad

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/85608594@N00/24938724510″>Melody Beattie Believing that things happen too slowly or too quickly is an illusion. Timing is perfect</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;


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Reading in bed…

Literature Onboard

It’s finally Friday folks! I can tell you this, thank goodness it’s Friday, but of course, I’ll be working all weekend. At least, it’s a more laid back work situation on the weekend.

How many of you grew up reading in bed? For me, when I was younger, I’d sit in bed and read every night. After my parents told me to turn out the light, I’d pull the covers over my head, with my trusty flashlight, then continue the story that had me spellbound.

I read many different genres back then. Some weeks I’d be hooked on suspense-filled mysteries. Yes, I was a Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew kind of girl. I’d devour them with such a thirst that soon I would be rereading until I could get to the store. It wasn’t like today, I couldn’t just scan and buy on Kindle.

Of course, as I grew older, my nightly reading turned to paranormal, fantasy type books. I’d read books about witches and ghosts. Then I moved to romance, which changed my young life. I would get lost in the romance of the story, the faraway places that the book took me to, it was great.

Everyone gave me books for Christmas, Birthdays, every occasion. I carried a book with me all the time, reading at lunch during school, on the bus, just about everywhere I could. I still have many of the books from my teen years, especially the ones that pulled me in. But they’re yellowing, packed in boxes, ready to be visited again. Often I pull out some of my favorites and read them again, enjoying the thrill of the story and remembering the first time I read it. My collection of Harlequin romances is extensive to say the least.

I still read at night, usually sitting in a warm bath, trying to lose myself for a little while. Some nights when I can’t sleep, I’ll go to the den and curl up in a blanket, then get lost in another story.

The cool thing about my love for books, it fueled the fire to write. I’ve penned books since I was a young teenager and all of this came from reading in my bed at night, usually with a flashlight as the rest of the house slept. Who needed sleep when the heroine was falling in love with the knight in shining armor and needed rescuing?

So, did you read in bed, or maybe you still do…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Tuesday Shoutout

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Hope your Tuesday morning is wonderful! Mine has been blessed so far. For one, I got up this morning, for another I received my March Issue of Southern Writer’s Magazine. What’s important about that? Well, let me fill you in…

This month I’m featured on Page 5 in the Magnolia Corner section. Check it out:

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Pretty cool to be included in such a wonderful magazine that supports writers at every turn. When Gary sent me an email about wanting to include me in the Gallery of Stars I was so humbled, but then he asked me to write something for the Magnolia Corner. If you haven’t subscribed to Southern Writer’s Magazine, then I suggest doing so. As a writer, the subscription is 100% tax deductible, but it goes way past that. This magazine will open new doors for you.

So, go over to http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/ and check out all the things they offer, like Mic Nite and the Suite T blog. I’m telling you now, it’s a must for writer’s.

Go by and check out my page in the Gallery of Stars at http://authors.southernwritersmagazine.com/stephanie-payne-hurt.html

Visit Me in SW Gallery

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Time? Who has Time?

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Time… it flies by without stopping… never ceasing. So how do we fit it all in? I’m often asked how I fit writing into my busy schedule with running my accounting office, being a wife and mom, being a children’s minister, life, reading, researching, among other things that fill my days. Well, some days it’s not easy.

How do I keep up with my word count and publish on time? I have a schedule of word counts, but that doesn’t mean that I make that count every day. Some days I don’t even type a word, but guess what, that just builds it up to the next day and so on… My daily word counts during tax season are low, but they add up quickly when I don’t meet my daily count.

So, how do you stretch your time? How do you fit it all in? I have some advice on that very subject. This is advice that I ignored years ago, but now I take it very seriously. Make a schedule and a list of what needs to be done daily. That seems easy, huh, but it’s not on most days. So what do I mean?

Here’s how I schedule my week. Sit down on Sunday afternoon and look at the week ahead. Look at meetings on the calendar, work that needs to be completed, deadlines, and anything else that comes into the week. Then prioritize the items that don’t have a specific set time, like meetings.

With tax returns and accounting, I look at deadlines for the week first, don’t forget to look ahead to the deadlines for the next week too. Then I sit down at my desk and make a list for each day. I number each task, start with the most important daily task, then work my way down. I know how many tax returns I can do a day, then I separate them and bind together each day’s work. That way I accomplish what I need to accomplish and meet my deadlines. But remember, if it’s not important to finish this week, don’t waste valuable time trying to fit it in. Put it on the next week’s schedule. That way you’re only accomplishing this week’s needs.

What about writing? This is where it gets tricky. If my day is filled with appointments and I have to work later than usual, well, my writing time suffers. I use the time after my hubby and son leave for work and school. I sit down with my coffee and write. If I’m behind on my count, well no blog that day and I don’t check social media until I’ve caught up on the count. That’s hard to do. A couple of days this week, I wrote when I came in for lunch. That helped too. (But now I need to clean the crumbs from my keyboard!) Also, I make my Saturday word count higher than my weekday, but only when I’m behind.

I know, you’re sitting back going, wow, she’s so organized, but don’t get the wrong idea. My life is always disorganized in one way or another. Like last night, I wanted to write at least 1000 words, but my brain just wouldn’t cooperate, so I read for an hour, which helped my brain to calm a little, but then it was time to go to bed, so I have an extra 1000 words to add to today. By the way, I need to get back to the writing.

How do you stretch your time? Don’t forget to schedule in some ‘me time’. It’s important to your sanity…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

A little note, Ridge is finally free on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Ridge-Five-Oaks-Ranch-Book-ebook/dp/B00TFOPOFI


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Writing Fun…

It’s finally Friday… hope you have an awesome weekend planned. My son is out of school for 10 days so I’m happy to spend time with him.

As for writing, do you have fun with it? Me, yes I love to write. It’s a big part of me that get’s to flow from my fingers daily. Some days I struggle when something is on my mind, but I still enjoy it. Writing is a stress reliever, which is great therapy for me.

I’ve heard writers say that writing isn’t fun, it’s just something they have to do. What? I just don’t understand that frame of mind at all. For me, writing is fun and I think it’s what helps me stay sane in this insane world we live in. After a busy day, I can sit down at my laptop and lose myself. Even if it’s just an hour or so, but it helps clear my head.

Don’t forget all the fun of meeting such wonderful people, other writers, bloggers and reviewers. Then you have the great fans that fill your inbox with wonderful words that make you want to write even more. It’s a wonderful life, the life of a writer.

Writing is fun, if you don’t think it’s fun, then maybe you need to get lost in it for a minute, then rethink it.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…Thanksgiving Cowboy