Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Who’s my worst critic? Me!

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Good morning! It’s a rainy Sunday here in Georgia.

So, who’s my worst critic? As I write, I edit. I know, that’s not supposed to be the way it works. I should write, then edit, but guess what? There’s something inside of me that as soon as a line is written if a word comes up as wrong, my brain says go back and correct.

But the worst thing is, I’ll write almost a full chapter, then turn around and erase it. Then a little way down the road into the manuscript, I wish I hadn’t done that. Even though it doesn’t work in that spot doesn’t mean it won’t in another. Of course by the time I figure that out, well, it’s gone.

The moment I type ‘The End’ is when the worst critic in me starts. Even a couple of my bestsellers still haunt me. I think of a line I used and how I could make it better. My editor constantly tells me to stop overthinking. But it’s like a bad habit that I can’t break. One of my books pulled at me so hard that I almost took it completely down, but since it gets a great response, I held back. (That didn’t stop me from printing the manuscript and going back over it.)

If a line bothers me, I’ll write it over and over, which takes valuable time out of my writing. Then I’ll break down and just go with it, which is what I need to start doing. Since my brain stays in autocorrect mode, this is hard to do. But, I’m learning to push that mode off.

So, are you the worst critic you have?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Setting music to your work…

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Good morning! It’s been a while, but I have a great reason… Tax Season. But, I’m on the last leg of the first part.

So, as I was working last night, my Pandora was playing movie love songs. I tried to name the movie for each score that played. Then I thought about how powerful each song was to the movie. Actually, in my opinion, some of the music made the movies seem better. The music gave the parts so much power, more inspiring or just more emotionally charged.

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m talking about this, well, wouldn’t it be cool if we could input music into our manuscripts? Of course, like most of you, I have music playing in the background as I write, but if we could put music into our audio books, wouldn’t that be something?

And yes, we put music into our book trailers, which adds that pull. Think about how it would be added to our ebooks in certain spots? It would be amazing…

Ok, so that’s my crazy rambling for this cool, southern Monday. Since I only have two more days left in tax season, I’ll be back to regular posting soon.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What inspires me…

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Good morning all! I know, I’ve been MIA lately, but I have a great reason, sort of… For one, it’s tax season, so I’ve been snowed under with returns, then two, I’m on a mission to get ‘Beyond One Moment’ ready for publication. Oh and then, of course, my life has been busy with Easter preparations and my handsome son’s 19th birthday.

But, I was thinking this morning about inspiration. As an author, this is important. If you’re not inspired to write, then can you really put words on a page? Well, you can, but will they inspire others? So, with that in mind, I thought about the top 5 things that inspire me when it comes to writing.

  1. Music – This is one of my favorite inspirational outlets. If I’m working on a dreamy, romantic scene, then I want romantic love songs or soft classical music, but of course, if it’s a scene of dramatic proportions, then I want some classic rock or dark, chamber music. But even the craziest of songs can inspire you, that’s if you take the time to listen…
  2. Movies/Television – There’s nothing to inspire a romance author than a good love story. I love Hallmark for this part of my inspiration. They go from all the aspects including drama, love and even a little mystery.
  3. Reading – A great way to get inspired is to read in the genre you write. I’ve been inspired many times by some of my favorite authors. But, make sure if you’re inspired by other authors work that you don’t copy it… Just saying…
  4. Outdoors – A nice long walk in nature can inspire me. Especially if I’m stuck on a part and can’t quite get it to work out. I can walk, listening to the birds or watch the clouds roll by, then it clears my head and makes the inspiration seep in.
  5. Last on the list, but not least is People Watching – This is a sometimes funny way to get inspired. Maybe it’s just sitting on a bench outside a busy mall or sitting at an event and watching a group of people. But, watching the people around you and listening to what they have to say can inspire you in more ways than you can imagine. I love to people watch.

So, what inspires you? I’d love to hear your many ways of inspiration. What makes your words flow or even brings them to a halt?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Mondays, Memories…Coffee!

Good Monday morning! Why are Monday’s so hard? I think somehow the weekends have grown shorter or is that just me?

Yesterday, I took a short walk outside. It was short due to the high pollen count outside. My allergies are not fans of pollen. But, anyhow, as I walked I saw the two things in the pictures above. As a country girl, these two items are part of my pleasant childhood memories. The dandelions were fun to blow on, sending the little fluffy white seeds floating into the sky, of course as children, we didn’t know we were spreading the flowers everywhere. Then, of course, there were mad searches in among the patches of clover for the elusive 4-leaf clover. I’ve found a couple in my lifetime, which usually ended in a wish. But the memories are heartwarming. It makes me sad that children today, for the most part, don’t take part in this kind of fun.

Several of you have emailed me, asking about my latest manuscript. Well, I can tell you that the first half is in the capable hands of my editor. I’m working on the second half, which is exciting. As you know, I outline, so I’m seeing the ending coming and all I can say is, it’s different from anything I’ve published thus far. So, keep watching for release dates and snippets, which are coming…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S.: It’s Monday, so grab an extra cup of coffee for the road.

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Friday’s Ramblings…

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Good Friday morning! Yay… It’s finally Friday!

So, we’ve worked all week to get to this day, but what are we planning? Why might I ask? Well, someone made a good point the other day and I’ve taken it to heart. They said that we look forward to the weekend, but why if we just do more work and don’t get in a little fun time? It made me think…

On Saturday morning, I spend the morning cleaning my house but wouldn’t it be nice if I incorporated the cleaning into my weekday mornings so that on Saturday morning I could, let’s say, write…  So, with that in mind, I made a list of my cleaning duties and have separated them by the weekdays. With it separated it actually makes for less time each day. Then I can spend my Saturday mornings doing something fun. Oh, and don’t forget to spend some time with your family, it’s important for our mental health.

So, what about you? How can you make your weekends more fun and relaxing? Writing perhaps?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Let the light in…

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Good Tuesday morning! Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a beautiful morning!

After a short stint of writer’s block, the words are flowing in. As I told you in a previous post, the outlining part of Scrivener has helped. I’m keeping my focus and know where the story is going. Actually, the process is making it flow faster than ever. Not to mention, I’m not straying off on little detours that will derail the story.

I feel like the light has been let in and everything is clear. It’s a great feeling and I can’t wait to share this story with everyone. So, have you let the light shine in on your story yet. Tell me about your breakthroughs in writing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…