Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Friday writing…..

Good morning everyone! It’s Friday and I’m feeling ready for the weekend.  I know, I’ve been out of pocket for a little bit, but I’m back in the saddle. With several projects on the horizon, I’ve been focusing on those.

Speaking of juggling projects, as a writer, I’m constantly striving to better myself and my writing by taking courses, reading everything I can about it and checking out other author’s style of writing. It’s just the way I roll. So, in several articles lately, I’ve read that the first thing I need to do is write, then write some more. Everything stated that hitting a word count every day was important, so that’s what I’ve been working on. The only thing is since I run a busy accounting office, that leaves little time to blog or promote on social media like I need to.

I’ve always talked about my writing planner. It keeps me on track. But, for the last couple of years, I’ve pushed myself too hard and inflicted high daily word counts on my brain. Well, in one of the articles, it said to get real with yourself. It has actually helped me. I grabbed a new planner at the store and rewrote out my plan of attack. I’ve lowered my daily word count and it’s amazing the amount of work I’m able to do. This is my first week with the new counts, but I’m already seeing a huge difference. Even though my word count is lower, I can write more if I have time, but I’m not pushed into doing too much and putting myself in a bind.

So, are you pushing too hard? Try the lower word count requirement and see if you’re not more productive without the added pressure. It’s helped me.

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

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Daily Word Count – Real or Wishful?

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Good morning! As I sit here, typing my blog, making my Hootsuite schedule and surfing the social media world, I have to remember that I have a daily word count… Yeah, I’m supposed to meet it before I do all the above. Hope my assistant skips reading this post!!!

Anyhow… When I sat down and prepared my writing calendar for 2017, I decided to be realistic. In years past, I’ve given myself too high of a word count, then crashed and burned when I couldn’t keep up. This year, I took into account days that I’d be editing, redrafting and also had something on the calendar for that day. I also reined in my word count to make it more attainable, also lower than what I’m capable of.

As my assistant and I were working on this, I’d say a word count and she’d raise an eyebrow, then I’d lower until the eyebrow relaxed. What’s sad is that my writing calendar has room for me to post my daily progress, yikes that’s scary. SO far in 2017, I’m officially behind on my word count, which means I’ve got to up my game to catch up.

So, if you’re asking, how do I set my word count to be realistic, not wishful thinking, well, let me enlighten you. Over a couple of days, sit down and time yourself while you write. Also keep up with the number of words. If you have a day job, take into account the time you have available to write, which you need to try every day to make a little available time. Then, figure up what you can do.

For me, I write when my hubby goes to work and my son to school. I have two hours until I have to be in the office, so I try to write for at least an hour. During which time I’m boiling my morning egg, and eating said egg… yes, while I’m writing. Then I have time to shower and run across the driveway to open my accounting office. I also try to get in at least an hour in the evening. Of course, the weekends are my catch up time. I spend a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday filling in for the lost words from the busy week.

So, how do you schedule your word count? Is it realistic or wishful thinking?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Go by and check out my website which has been revamped for the new year! www.stephaniehurtauthor.com and if you want to keep up with me and get cool stuff, sign up for my street team…

 


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Writing on a schedule…LOL!

Good Tuesday morning!

I’ve been working on my 2017 writing project schedule and it’s so exciting thinking about the future works that will come from this crazy writer’s head. One of the problems with setting this up is as I think about the new works, my mind wants to write them, now!

But, I’m trying to be a disciplined writer… yeah, that just doesn’t work for me. Now, let’s just get this one thing straight, I do schedule the books release dates and make sure that I have enough time between now and the release date to write said book, edit and to revisions.

The funny thing about this writer’s brain is that stories are constantly coming into my head, so what do I do when that happens so that I don’t lose it. I have a handy dandy notebook that says in my writer bag. Writer bag? Yes, my writer bag. Tomorrow’s post will be all about my writer bag. It’s quite nifty even if I do say so myself.

But, back to scheduling, whew, I get so distracted. As for scheduling, as a writer, I do need some discipline or I’d never finish a single piece of work. It is fascinating to me when I sit down to work on my schedule for the next year. Of course, I always have works that spill over into the new year, but then I need to fill up the rest of the year. Right now I have works scheduled into 2018, which is amazing.

So, if you haven’t tried working out a schedule, I suggest you sit down and pull out a calendar or planner. All you need to do is make a list of your current work in progress, then a list of upcoming works. Figure out the word count that you desire, divide it by the word count that you want to complete on a daily basis. Now you’re ready to write them in your calendar and schedule it out. Believe me, the time and effort it takes will be well worth it. But remember, don’t over schedule yourself, which I have a tendency to do. Make a workable schedule and enjoy the moment you finish each work of art.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com for all of my news and new releases coming up…


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Stories filling my head…Yikes!

Good Wednesday morning! It’s halfway to the weekend, so relax a little. You’ve got this.

As a writer, sometimes the stories fill my head and I can’t get them out fast enough. Some days it’s hard to focus on one story without the other stories trying to edge their way in. That’s my problem at the moment. I have so many stories running through my head that sometimes I think my head might explode.

The picture I have of my brain is a little hamster running on her wheel. Yep, that’s my brain for sure. So, how do I prioritize12551866924_826fc1afef this craziness filling my head, I outline. I have so many stories pushing for first place in line, but only one or two can hold that spot at a time. To help with the breaking in line syndrome, I sit down and outline the fussiest, pushiest stories. At least that puts them at ease, for a time, but soon they are pushy again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a problem exactly. As a writer, this is a good problem to have, you just have to learn how to keep your stories in line, which is the hard part.

So, how do you wrangle the stories running rampant through your brain?

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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Coffee, I need more coffee…

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It’s too early to be Monday! I know, it’s a holiday and my son is out of school, so why am I up this early. Well, my internal clock refuses to sleep past seven. So, I’m up and writing already. Of course I do have to go to the office in a couple of hours. It’s tax season, so I have to work.

I’m already on my second cup of coffee. The first cup was just a primer of sorts. It’s dreary and cold outside. So my body is in denial about being awake, which makes it hard to get going.

To make things more interesting, as I opened my calendar of release dates, need to be at the editor dates, and all my writing deadlines, I panicked. Being the  smart girl I am, and use that term loosely, I looked at this weeks writing agenda, then panicked. Of course, since I’m not completely awake, I looked at next week, not this week. Let’s just say I broke out in a cold sweat thinking I had to turn in Lily to my editor.

Then, finally, I realized that today is the 15th, not the 22nd. To say I was relieved is putting it lightly. I almost shouted, because adding over 8000 words to my already crazy word count this week would be brutal, to say the least.

So, how’s your Monday so far? I know several of you are already deep into this day, so has it been a typical Monday or extraordinary one?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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It’s almost Christmas!

Good Monday morning folks were you ready for Monday yet! Me neither! As you know, I love my coffee, but this morning it’s not good at all. Since I was half asleep when I put the coffee together last night, it’s highly likely I put one too many scoops in the filter. Oh well, I’m still gulping it down with a cringe. I’ll probably be running on high octane in about an hour.

Can you believe that Christmas is almost here? It’s in a couple of days, are you ready? I have a couple of gift cards to purchase, then I’ll be ready to go.

I’m pleased to announce that I did what I promised myself I’d do, I finished the Five Oaks Series before Christmas. All 6 books came out this year! Whew, I’m exhausted, but happy with the results. The Christmas book actually rounded the whole series out, with little bits of everyone’s life joined into one book.

Since the series is complete, I’ve been taking a couple of days to take a breath and go over my schedule for 2016. Can’t wait to reveal some of the books in the works, but my assistant would have a coronary if I tell everything 😉

Speaking of my assistant, she’s home from college for Christmas, so she’s busy creating wonderful covers for upcoming projects and yes, I’ve promised to keep them secret, but it’s so hard. She even talked me into this really cool calendar/journal. It stays beside me all the time. All my publish dates, finish dates, proofing dates, etc. are in there!

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I just love it! The things inside of this fancy cover are top secret, well for a little while, but I’ll sneak some stuff out when I can.

So, are you finished shopping? Have you finished what you wanted to this year? If not, hop to it, the end of 2015 is almost here.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…