Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Saturday morning bliss…

Good morning! I thought Saturday would never get here. It’s been busy, but a productive week. One week ago I started a new chapter in this thing we call life. I was tired of being tired. For the last couple of months I’ve been struggling to make my word counts, but now, well I’m exceeding them and the brain fog is clearing out.

I’ve been working on my Christmas romance that should’ve been finished two weeks ago, but with the brain fog, I wasn’t up to my potential. Now, that’s all changed. I’m making up for the lost time and adding the words I’ve missed. I can’t wait for the release of this sweet romance. It will have you singing Jingle Bells and wanting to go out and deck the halls.

As for my health, I started using the Thrive system last week and I’m amazed at the results in just a week. My energy is coming back and my concentration is where it needs to be. Oh and all of you know how much I love my coffee, well, I’m down to one and a half cups a day, Amazing! With all this energy, I might finish next years Christmas book by Easter!

So, what do you guys have planned for today? Me, I’m getting my house in order, then helping get our Church ready for the Fall Festival that’s happening tomorrow. But I will be getting in my extra word count this afternoon.

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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Friday writing and other ramblings…

Good Friday morning! We’ve almost made it to the weekend. Only a little bit longer… You can do it, I know you can.

So, it’s Friday morning and I’m getting in my word count before I get ready for my day job. I’m working on the 2nd book of the Sky Ridge Series. Since I just sent the last of Breakwater Lane to my editor for the last edits, I’m geared up to work on Promises Forgotten.

As I work on Promises Forgotten, I have to remember that this one is historical, not in current time. LOL! And with that said, I have to remember that they can’t just flip the light switch on. Yes, I did that again. I let my character walk in the room and turn the lights on. So, how do I keep from doing this…

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Yes, that’s a sticky note (the ultimate author hack), on the side of my laptop to remind me what my characters don’t have. And yes, I’ve had to go back and delete a couple of times.

While I’m on the subject of reminding, don’t forget to go to this link for a chance to win a Kindle. It’s so easy and all you have to do is share, share, share! http://lovekissedbookbargains.com/category/giveaways/preorder-giveaway/

I know, I’m rambling, but it’s Friday! So, as I finish my second cup of coffee and work toward my word count for the morning, I send my hope that you have a fantastic Friday!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 


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Monday Morning…Not Ready Yet!

Good morning… Wow, 6:15 came early this morning. I had a busy weekend and that makes for a groggy Monday morning. But, I still plan on getting in at least 2000 words before I go to my day job.

I worked on three of my manuscripts yesterday, getting ahead on one that I’d been stumped on. Thankfully I rounded the corner and the story opened up in my mind. So, Highlander’s Son will be out soon. Of course, it is a novella to finish out the series, but for those that have been asking, yes, it’s coming before the end of May!

As for my other works in progress, they’re coming soon also. Lacey’s Choice is coming along great,  and Promises Forgotten is totally outlined and ready to get going. As for the others in process, I’ve put them on the back burner until these three are completed and in my editor’s hands.

So, what are you working on this morning?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Go by and sign up for my newsletter to get all the newest releases and news…  www.stephaniehurtauthor.commonday


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Write every day… Or not?

Good morning! The question is, do you write every day or not? In other words, do you at least put a couple of words into your manuscript every day?

If you follow my blog, you know I have a word count that I try to meet every day, but can I be honest? Some days life steps in and I don’t meet that word count. Eeeeek… Yes, it happens and totally stresses me out when it happens. So, what do I do?

My advice is to try to write a little something every day, if only just a paragraph. If you don’t keep up a regular writing schedule, it’s hard to get back in the groove when you do. If I have a day that there’s no way I’ll get any writing in, I try to at least do a blog post, whether it’s short or not. Also, when I do get to write the next day, I try to make up the lost word count from the day before.

And no, I don’t get to write every day during tax season. But I try to set my writing goals lower during this three month period, that way I’m not stressing over word counts too.

So, what is your daily writing ritual?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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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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Without Internet! What I learned

Good morning! It’s good to be back with the rest of the world. If you’ve noticed I was absent for several days, which is due to the fact that I had no internet since last Wednesday. It was very eye-opening, to say the least, and here’s what I learned in those six days without connection to the world.

Let’s start with, I grew up in the age before the internet; so I’m aware of what it’s like not to have it, but when you run a business in today’s world, it’s detrimental to have it. I never realized until this past six days how many of my programs need the internet to run efficiently. Of course, I could do some things, but the bulk of the program wouldn’t work due to no connection to the main server, wow!

As a writer, it was a quiet time with no conversations with fans or fellow writers. Also, I finished a book and was set to release it, but guess what can’t do that without internet. And as a writer, I need to promote, promote, promote, that also can’t be done without the internet. I felt like I was out in a remote field somewhere without food or water, in regards to my writing. But as luck would have it, I was able to meet my daily word counts and expand on them without the interruption of social media, that was a plus!

In a whole, I felt disconnected with the world and I can say I’m happy to be back with the living. It’s not just the social media aspect, which is important when you are an author and also run a website/publishing company, but it’s the fact that in today’s world, the internet holds an important role in most everything we do.

With that said, it’s wonderful to be back with all of you wonderful people. Now, on with my life which is already in progress.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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No use crying over missed words…

Good Monday morning! I do hope everyone here in America had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And also my wonderful friends across the pond, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. As for me, well, I had a great one. But, with a holiday that’s busy, I missed my word count over the time off.

Word counts are important to a writer, right? The longer I write the more I realize that word counts can be pushed around a little. Yes, I know I’ve written about word counts being important and technically they are, but here’s my new philosophy.

Ok, I have deadlines, just as most writers do. I know what I need to get in every day, but when things happen, say life, for instance, stressing over a day or two of missed writing, well, it can make for a miserable time. So, I’ve devised a strategy. I have a writing journal where I keep up with my word count and where I need to be every day. Then I adjust as needed. Which of course means that I might need to double up on my word count for a couple of days.

If my book needs to be 30,000 words, then I’ll set my deadline to give me 35 days of writing. I try to write 2000 words a day usually, which means that I type 1000 words for two books a day. This way if I’m lagging behind a little, then I can add to one or more days to make up the lost time writing.

You may think that five extra days isn’t enough, but if you keep a journal and keep up with the words needed to get to the end and the daily count, then you’ll see that you actually could end up with days left, which is wonderful, you can start another book 😉

Now, back to the writing, as I said, I’m a couple of days behind… A little hint, I gave myself extra days for the holidays, so…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Just a little reminder, fall in love with Laird Ewan before the 2nd book comes out in just days from now! myBook.to/HighlandersHeart

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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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How many words?

Good Wednesday morning! It’s looking to be a warm one here in Georgia. Thank goodness I’m working inside.

As for my writing, one of the things I struggle with is how long should my manuscript be. When I set up my writing schedule, it was important to know what count I was shooting for. As I looked at the work in question and worked on the outline, my mind went to many questions and I’ll share them with you now.

  1. Can my plot sustain itself into a 50k+ book or only a 25K novella?
  2. Will my story hold together and is it long book worthy? (Some books are best left short and sweet)
  3. Do I have enough of the book in my head to make the book work?

I know the questions sound similar, but they’re totally different. My plot has to be strong enough to sustain a book. If not, all I have is a couple of pages of short story.  Then you have the story that goes into expanding the plot, is it strong enough to make a big book or a novella. I’ve had manuscripts before that I started out wanting a 50K+ book to come out of it, but soon I figured out that if I went past say 25K it would lose some of its strength. And who wants to read fluffy filler that is only used to expand the word count.

The biggie, and of course, if you’ve read my blogs long enough, then you’ve seen me talk about this before, is the story in my head strong? Most of my books come to me start, middle and finish style. If I can’t see the end of the book, most of the time I won’t schedule it until I do. If I can see the end, then I pretty much know the story has some merit, for one reason, then I know where it’s head and what it will take to get it there.

So, when you sit down to start a manuscript, do you have an idea on word count or is it a fly by the pants sort of thing? Since I’ve started scheduling my books and my writing time, I have to keep the status quo, but I was one of the pantser’s for several years.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…