Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Finding time to write…

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Good morning! Do you struggle to find time to write? I know that I do. Some days are harder than others. Especially during tax season. But, it’s important to find that time.

But how? Sometimes we have to just become more organized with our time. If you do better writing in the morning, but you have to be at work at 9, just get up a little earlier. You could even make sure that everything for your morning routine is ready the night before. Go ahead and set your clothes out. That gives you an extra few minutes the next morning.

If you want to reach a certain word count when you sit down to write, then time yourself. If you can write 1000 words in thirty minutes and you want to get in at least 1500 words everyday, then you need to set aside forty five minutes to write. Now that you have an idea of the time you need, then schedule your morning to make time to write.

One thing that helps me is having an outline. I try to get in one chapter a day or more if time allows. Since I use Scrivener, when I finish a chapter, I stamp the section of the outline as done. This gives me a feeling of accomplishment. And I don’t know about you, but when I get to write in the mornings it just makes my day go much better.

So, get yourself a schedule and make it happen…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Safe comes out on May 12th, so preorder now to have it ready for you to dive into on Wednesday!


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Deadlines or Procrastination!

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Deadlines… A writers nemesis, but necessary. As an Accountant I have many deadlines to meet, and as a writer, I also have them. They surround me and some days I feel overwhelmed. But I love what I do on both fronts, so I push toward the next deadline with zeal.

But, procrastination also plays a part. As I’m procrastinating now by writing this blog. Sometimes I work best with a looming deadline. Then other times, a chill runs up my spine as the anxiety fills me.

As writers, we set release dates for our work, then work toward them. It’s like a means to an end. If we don’t set a deadline, then where will our work go? I do a schedule every year that sets deadlines for the draft, the editing, and the release. This is setup by evaluating the work itself. Is it to be a full length novel or a short novella? I calculate the words per day, but I manage to add some empty days that allow for procrastination, but still have me meeting my deadline.

What about you? How do you handle deadlines?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!


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Making time work for you…

Good Tuesday morning! Time… It just keeps marching on and sometimes it marches all over your good intentions. Yep, been there! But, I’ve started doing a couple of things that work for me. SO, here goes:

  1. As I said in Saturday’s post, schedule your advertising ahead of time. That gives you a good slot of time to write. Without having to do your ads every day, then you can focus on other things, like writing…
  2. Set a time to write every day. For me, I try to write every morning before I get dressed and head to the office. That’s my time to write. Sometimes I even set a timer to make sure I get every second of writing time without having to glance at the clock.
  3. Don’t go down the social media rabbit hole. I’ve gone down that hole so many times and lost precious writing time. Go ahead and write before you go on social media, then you don’t have that temptation.
  4. And don’t forget the time gem – the weekend! When I schedule my daily word count, I always put in double on Saturday and Sunday.
  5. Now, my most important way to make time work for me is to do a schedule. I know what I need to get done everyday. If I meet my word goal for the day early, then I can either get in extra words or I can do a little promotional posting. But a schedule helps you keep up with your upcoming releases and you’ll never miss a deadline again…

Don’t forget that the way to meet your deadline is to focus on your writing time. Make sure that you have figured out how much you need to do each day to meet your goal. Make the time work for you…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Setting up ads for week…

It’s finally Saturday. How do you spend your Saturday? Me, I take a little longer cuddling my coffee, then I check my social media. My house gets cleaned and laundry done, not saying it’s put up, just done. Then I get to work on my weekly ads.

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How do I schedule for a week? I’ll let you in on a little secret, I have a post spreadsheet. On my spreadsheet I have the books that I will post on for the upcoming week and where. I input the information for ads that are coming out and also, my blog posts are mostly done ahead of time.

Why do I schedule all of this ahead of time? I want more time to write. But how do I do it? Well, I use Hootsuite, Twitter Scheduler, Facebook Scheduler and other programs. No, I do not pay for the subscriptions, I do as many on each of them that I can.

A little hint, do not overload your social media with books. Post stuff about yourself, your life, inspirational pictures, pets, and so on. Let your fans know who you are. I try to alternate book posts to every four hours or more. That way I’m not too overpowering.

So, what are you doing today? Are you kicking back, enjoying a good movie? Live life… Laugh a lot… and Love…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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What’s coming up…

It’s Friday! With the tax deadline coming up quickly, I’m excited that it’s Friday because I need a break. But, I’ll be writing this weekend as I have deadlines there too!

Do you plan your year of writing? I do. I’ve already got my writing for 2021 planned out and the covers are in process. Of course, as writers know, something new could be added during the year, it’s just the way our minds work.

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Here’s the remainder of 2020 schedule:

To be released October 17: Timeless Love-Marina’s Story (4th book in The Journal Series) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DFGK8JB/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i12

To be released November 7: Bay Street (Wishful Harbor 5th book in the Wishful Harbor Series) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DF89LB8/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i23

To be released December 4: Wine, Wedding & The Cowboy (Book 3 of the Tangled Vines Series) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DF9JC3V/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i15

To be released January 29: Double Take at Mistletoe Ranch (Book 3 of the Mistletoe Ranch Series) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DFBY6PR/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4

As you can see, I’m finishing up 4 series in the above releases. I’m sad to see those series end, but I’m excited for the new series that I’ll be starting for 2021. And it will be a little different from my usual. I will give you a little info now. There will be 5 books in the series and they will be somewhat suspenseful. But I’ll fill you in on more about that soon.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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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