Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Stepping up the game…

Good Monday morning! Wow, the weekend seemed way too short, but today is a new day. With a new day, starts a new game…

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, well, it’s promotion of our books. Look, you know as well as I do that the competition is steep. We have to make sure that our book outshines the thousands of other books in our genres. Some days it seems useless, but then the writer in me say, keep pushing.

For me, I’ve stepped up my game. How you might ask? Well, here’s how. I’ve stopped trying to be on every social media site out there. That’s just plain out exhausting and a waste of writing time trying to keep up with all of it. My main goal is to blog, keep my website interesting, and promote on a few social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Also, I’m making sure that all of my more than 30 books are on Allauthor.com. If you haven’t checked out this site, I suggest you do. You can put up to four of your books on there under the free membership and then set up automatic tweets. With as many books as I have, I went ahead and did the paid membership.

Don’t forget to build up your newsletter subscribers. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my newsletter and blog. Which if you can, keep posting several times a week. make it interesting and fun.

So, how will you step up your game?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Still holding on…

This morning it looks like fall outside, but by lunchtime it will feel like mid summer. The summer feeling is still holding on, even though fall is pushing hard, trying to slip in. By the end of the week, it’s looking like fall might win.

It’s the same with writing. We start out pushing our first story, then wait. How will it be received? Will it make it to a best sellers list or will it flop? Will I be able to push another story out?

I’ve spoken with authors that work on stories for years before they try to publish them, then others, like myself, push out several stories in one year. But how many of us make it to the next stage, full time writer. Surprisingly enough, not many make it to that status.

We push ourselves, and our work, sometimes to the point that we think it’s pointles, then that sliver of hope comes over the horizon, like the sliver of a moon that stays in the sky after dawn. Maybe it’s a contract with a publisher. Maybe it’s the bestseller list that you hit. Or maybe it’s a great review. Whatever it is, it helps you hold on.

For me it’s the pursuit of the story. My head is filled with them, sometimes to the brink of exploding. I have to get them out, and writing does it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to write full time. So I push forward, I strive for my goal.

My advice to all my fellow author is to push forward, keep your goal in your sites and don’t give up. All it takes is one book to send you to the top, so keep writing and posting. You never know, the one you finish today could be the one that catapults you to a top ranking author.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Friday…almost the weekend!

It’s Friday! Yes, I’m ready for the weekend. It’s been a busy week and I need a little down time to process. Also, I need to do some word count catch-up.

If you’re a writer, have you focused on your work as you should? Hard question? Well, yes it is. Especially if you’re not a full-time writer. If you have another job, it’s hard to stay on your word count, but you push forward. Yes, it’s hard to do, but if you focus on the goal, you’ll achieve the word count.

My suggestion to help with this focus. Start a calendar and figure out how fast you can achieve 1000 words. Maybe you do it in an hour, maybe less, maybe more. Then set aside that time every day or at least a couple of times a week. If you need to complete a 50,000-word manuscript, then you need 50 days of writing. Makeup the days you miss. This is what i do on the weekend, I make up the days I miss and try to get where I should be.

Set goals too. If you do this, you’ll come closer to achieving your word count. Try it and let me know how it works.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Writing Goals for the New Year

Goals… Do you set goals? Do you have a word count that you try to meet everyday? Do you try to put out a couple of books a year? Well for me I try to work everyday on my manuscripts. Sometimes life steps in and I get side stepped, but I plan to make up for lost time this weekend. 

For me goals are important. If you don’t have something to strive for then what’s the point. I have set goals on my book releases and also my accounting business. Life is going to be getting very busy in January. If you haven’t read my bio, I am an Accountant and that means tax time is right around the corner. What’s funny is the last two years when I would get the busiest in my office, the characters would get restless and I’d actually have higher word count outputs. Weird but true.

I had an accounting colleague ask me last year how on earth I wrote during tax season. Well it’s really easy when you need something to decompress with at night. I usually work really long hours from January through April, but when I do get to sit down and focus, I can just spit it out like a rushing river in a flood. Amazingly enough I actually have my daily schedule set up this year for writing to be intertwined with accounting work. That way I can decompress during the day too. 

I have several goals set for the new year. I want to get my 2nd books in the Lean On Him series, Alpine Romance Series, The Winner Series and The Women of Magnolia Hill Saga out and going as soon as possible. I laughed as I worked on my goals for 2014 and realized I had several series going along with some stand alones. Funny how writers can have several dramas going on at one time. 

So, what are your writing goals? What are your expectations for 2014? Do you have a plan?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What’s your goal?

A goal is something that we strive to get to. Maybe it’s a financial goal where you want to pay off a bill. Maybe it’s a raise on your job. As a writer most of us want to write full time. Is that your goal? Do you know how to achieve it?

As for me that would be nice, but I still work full time in my accounting office. Some writers go into writing expecting instant gratification. Well, I’m sorry to tell you it doesn’t work that way most of the time. Now don’t get me wrong, some authors have actually made it pretty big in a short time, but it’s not always the case. Some writers I’ve talked to said it was years before they made enough to even think about quitting their full time job.

One thing I’ve noticed with my writing is that patience is a virtue. Well it may be a virtue but sometimes it’s frustrating waiting on that sale to come through. One big author that I’ve always looked up to and read everything she published messaged me one day. Which for me that was a success in it’s self. She told me to keep up the good work and not to worry about sales that they would come. Her advice was to get out several books and make sure my name was out there. She said it took over two years for her to really see a big up flow of sales. This totally took me by surprise. In my mind I figured she was living the good life, but as she stated, she’s doing well now but it wasn’t always that case. I left the conversation feeling lots better.

I’ve turned out 11 books and have several in the works. As I studied my sales over the last year and a half, I see a trend. And you know, she was right. The more books I have published the more they sale. It’s strange how it works, but I guess a reader picks up a book by an author and if they like the authors style they pick up more of their books. It also helps to have several series going so that the reader is in wanting of the rest of the story.

Don’t forget that as in any business you have to keep up with expenses and royalties. Some authors don’t think about this until it’s too late. Every website expense, writing program, notebook, computer, advertising expense and postage to send books out are expenses to keep up with. Make sure you start a business plan as soon as possible so that this part of your writing life is not swamped with needless stress.

Enjoy your writing and the sales will come. Write what’s in your heart and make it the best you can. Give it the tender loving care it deserves by editing, editing and editing some more. Make the cover a dreamy concoction of what the story means to you. As a writer usually you have in your mind how you want it to look. Then tell everyone about it. Do a social media blitz and show the passion you have for the story. It will be contagious and soon people will catch the passion.

Don’t get discouraged. You’re a writer. It’s an awesome thing and you now have the ability to touch the lives of many, many people. 

As always, good writing and may God Bless You…


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Writing Emotion

How do you write emotion? To someone that doesn’t write you may think this is easy. Well, it’s not easy to put emotion on paper. In life we feel so many emotions. We feel happy, excited, angry, grief, depressed and the list goes on. But how do you put it on paper? How do you get the reader to feel the emotion themselves?

I’ve read books that made me laugh, cry and even get angry. But how do you relate that feeling in your own writing? It’s all in the way you describe it and put all you have in it. Make sure you put every detail in so that it brings the reader into the situation. If you leave out some of the details it could make the reader become detached.

The words you use to make the description more vivid is key. Go for the gusto, use a Thesaurus if you have to, but make every word count. When making someone cry over a sad part, tell how the tears streamed silently, or their lip trembled as they held back the sobs. Don’t just say they looked sad. To bring about the emotion, you need to describe the facial expressions, the feelings they have and how it’s affecting those around them.

I had a fan tell me that one of my books made her cry from sadness at one point and then from deep happiness by the end. In her review she put to have a box of tissues close by when reading it. I smiled broadly and realized that I’d done my job. 

So, don’t forget to fill in the descriptions and if you laugh as you write or cry, you’ve probably achieved your goal.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Memories…What do you do with them?

It’s Friday and the weekend is almost upon us. Are you planning a big writing weekend? Me, I’m planning a working weekend which hopefully includes some writing as it’s supposed to be a rainy weekend here.

Now to the post at hand. We all have memories, but what do we do with them. Some dwell on them and let them take over their lives. Not healthy. Some give them wings and let them   fly away. Sometimes that’s a good thing when they’re memories that need to be forgotten. But most keep the good memories held in a special place to visit from time to time.

I use memories in my writing a lot. Sometimes life is the best inspiration for a writer. It can give your story depth and realism. The best way to keep a good memory alive is to immortalize it in fiction. Sometimes a bad memory can be rationalized in fiction too. If that bad memory haunts you at night, put it in fiction and leave it there for the rest of the world to see.

As for me I’ve incorporated many memories, good and bad, into my writing. Some of the most emotional parts of my books are pulled from memories. Putting them into my writing has helped in lots of ways to cope with those memories and to learn to put them into perspective.

We all have times of haunted dreams and secret smiles, but we also have the chance to put them where they need to be, in the past. Move forward and make new memories. Living in the past is normally not a healthy thing. Living in the past hinders moving forward and reaching goals. Put them in fiction and move ahead…

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