Friday, November 9, 2012

How To Produce and Not Go Down in Flames

Janet here. I'm excited to have Margaret Daley in Seekerville today. As you'll see from Margaret's post, no one is more qualified to talk about productivity. As a bonus, she's brought some hunky "heroes" with her AND she's giving away two of her latest releases. Here's Margaret!


As soon as I figure that out, I will be able to write a post about how to do it. What I am going to tell you is what I've been doing, but I'll tell you that doesn't mean it has been easy. In fact, it has been downright hard at times. I have managed not to go down in flames--yet. But I've been close. You can only juggle a full schedule for so long before it affects you. So as I talk about producing, keep that in mind.
For many years I taught full-time and wrote three books a year. When I retired four years ago I upped that amount. My writing became my full-time job. I began to write five books a year. Recently someone asked me how I did it. I have always wanted to have something to do. I'm not sure I know what to do with too much free time, but come January I will have more time on my hands when I step down from being on the ACFW board as its president. After four intense years I'm looking forward to having some time to read again for pleasure. I've missed that.

One of the main things you can do to produce consistently is setting priorities. You need to decide if you want to write books and how much. It needs to become a priority. You have to sit down in front of the computer (or whatever you use to write on) and write. Most of the time I write everyday. By doing that, it is easier to stay in the story. I set a word count for the week. If I get it done before the week is over, I can take a day off. That inspires me to work during the week, but you know how it can be. Some days the words just don't come. By doing a weekly word count instead of a daily one, I don't get upset as often if I don't make my word count. That helps keep my spirits up which is important.

So the key to producing one story after another is to write consistently and make it a priority. But how do I keep myself from going down in flames? Take a break when you need to. Try not to wait to the last minute to write a book. Give yourself enough time and spread it out over weeks--months. Try not to send yourself into a panic mode too many times. It will take its toll on you if you do it too often.

When you start to feel yourself burning out, step away for the time being. Do something different--totally different (like the above picture--too bad the male is a cutout--now the bottom one is a little better when I was at RomCon). Change up your routine. Forget your story for a while (sometimes harder to do than say). Know when to step back from writing (not the last two weeks before a book is due) and when you should write (near your deadline because it is important to make your deadline whether self-imposed or contract imposed). If you haven't sold a book and don't have a deadline, give yourself one. It's the same as setting a goal. When you do set that goal, pretend it is as serious as a deadline of a sold book. We need goals to keep us writing. We need the why we are doing something. And it is always good to establish a solid work routine. That will make it much easier when you do sell that first book.

There is one last tidbit to keep you producing your stories (okay maybe two). When you hit a brick wall and we all do from time to time, brainstorm with others what is bothering you about your book or what is blocking you. If nothing else, talk it out with yourself out loud if you can. Hearing it often helps me find a solution to what I need to do next. Or if that doesn't work, I go back and read what I've written so far. It often sparks the next direction I need to go. Another trick is to look at the main characters' back-story. Sometimes I need to add more to his past to mold a more in-depth character for my story. I often tell a writer if you feel you don't have enough plot for your story, look at your characters and dig deeper into who they are.


But the bottom line if you want to produce is sit down and write--every day if you can. I love seeing people reading and enjoying my books. I want my books to make a difference in people's lives. What are some things you do to keep yourself writing even when you don't want to?


Margaret is giving away a copy of Christmas Stalking and Shattered Silence. Leave a comment to be included in the drawing.
Christmas Stalking blurb:


Bodyguard Ellie St. James has one objective: protect her client…without letting her know. Pretending to be Rachel "Winnie" Winfield's assistant lets Ellie stay close, but there's an unexpected complication—Colt Winfield. Winnie's grandson wasn't in on the plans, and the suspicious marine biologist isn't easy to fool. When the truth comes out, so do more threats to Winnie's life. Trapped on a Colorado mountain, Ellie and Colt must trust each other to guard Winnie and find the stalker. Before this Christmas becomes their last.


Shattered Silence:

A serial killer is targeting illegal aliens in southern Texas. Texas Ranger Cody Jackson is paired with a local police officer, Liliana Rodriguez, to investigate the murders. 

While the case brings Cody and Liliana ever closer, the tension between Americans and Mexican Americans heightens. As Cody and Liliana race to discover who is behind the murders and bring peace to the area, what they uncover isn’t what they expected. Will Cody and Liliana’s faith and love be strong enough to survive the storm of violence?
Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of eighty-three books, has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at


Helen Gray said...

Okay, the "Daley" dose of coffee is set to brew. Line up.

I try to follow your guidelines, but on a MUCH smaller scale. No way can I produce 5 books a year!

Congratulations on your ability to be so prolific.


Jenny Blake said...

welcome Margaret. I have to say first I just finished Shattered Silence and loved it. I love how you show what bullying can do to a person.

I love the LIS books also. funny you talk about hitting a wall I did that last week (figuratively exhaustion hit in a major way and my body said stop and I listened and feel so much better for it).

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Oh, one of my favorite authors! Hellloooooo!

And I just remember to tell myself I can't sell anything that's NOT FINISHED. Writing is great and keeps me sane. But I could fiddle and go back to that first chapter FOREVER. It's never good enough...

But no finish, no chance of turning anything in to anyone who might want to actually, you know, publish it. :D

Mary Cline said...

Hi Margaret
Thank you for sharing some advice and encouragement so concisely.

How do they do it? is my constant question as I read about writers. So, posts like yours are very helpful.

Just write, I will get that through my head one of these days.

Christina said...

Welcome, Margaret. Great advice. Writing is right up there on my top top three priorities God, family, writing. Of course, that family section tends to expand into homeschooling the kiddo, helping hubs at the shop, being there for my parents . . . . ;) But I do try to do something writing-wise every day.

Virginia, get the next story finished already!

Cindy W. said...

Thank you for your post today Margaret. It is definitely food for thought.

I loved Shattered Silence and I just purchased Christmas Stalking, so please don't include me in the giveaway. I must admit I am a BIG Margaret Daley fan. Thank you for doing what you do Margaret.

Have a blessed day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Anonymous said...

ok how scary are these?! I've read some of your 'regular' LI books (and liked them) but me and scary stuff don't get along too well though I think I've gotten a little better than I used to be.


Mary Curry said...

Good morning, Margaret.
Thanks so much for offering your advice today. I remember a couple of years ago seeing a craft book at Barnes and Noble with the title Writers Write. I figure that says it all.

I have a question for you, if you don't mind. When you're arranging all those deadlines, are you writing more than one book at the same time or are you writing them sequentially by deadline? If so, about how long do you leave yourself for each book.

Thanks so much for visiting, and thanks Janet for hosting.

Also, may I say a public thanks for all your work these years on the board of ACFW and as President. You've been such a blessing to us.


Jackie said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for sharing with us today.

I try to write everyday. I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago, and my sweet hubby even gave me a little time to write each day then.

I like your idea of looking at weekly word counts instead of daily counts.

Have a great day!

Jackie L.

Debra E. Marvin said...

Coffee. Bless you Helen!

My first drafts are quite ugly (case in point NaNo WIP). It takes me months to clean it up and months to tweak. I love to write but it's darn hard work. I thought this first draft would be better than the last. so far. NOT!

So, not only do you have to write like it's a business...I think to produce five books a year, you also have to be a good writer to begin with, who then works hard to produce and polish. My hat off to you Margaret for doing all that and working. My gosh.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Margaret, I am happy to welcome one of my favorite authors to Seekerville. You are not only one of my favorites because you write terrific books, but because you have been so encouraging and helpful to me and other writers over the years.

Have a fun day and thanks for the great advice. Just write. Got it. smile

Tina Radcliffe said...

Margaret!!!! Welcome back.

Love the hunks!

Thank you for the most helpful tips to fuel that fire.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Here's an insider secret. When I wanted to sell to LI, I decided to read every single Margaret Daley book from the line to figure out what makes a Love Inspired a Love Inspired.

Dora Hiers said...

Margaret, what a blessing you are to so many, not just with your writing, but also your service in ACFW. Thank you!

Dora Hiers
DoraHiers at msn dot com

Annie Rains said...

Wow. Thank you for the wonderful advice! I might have to re-read this post again tonight. It was very motivating.

Happy Friday!

Rose said...


All your tips hit home for me, especially setting goals. I'm a firm believer in setting goals and self imposed deadlines.

It was great to meet you at ACFW in September.

Jeanne T said...

Margaret, this is a wonderful post. I definitely need to read it again. I liked the idea of setting weekly, rather than daily, wordcount goals. I did that during NaNo last year, and I made my goal every week. Such helpful advice.

I'd love to know how many books you're working through at some point (rough draft, revision, edit, polish) at a time.

And, where do you get all your ideas?

I appreciate all your wisdom shared here! Thanks!

Audra Harders said...

Welcome Margaret, it's great to have you in Seekerville!

The amount of books you've written while working full time is mind boggling. Oh to have just a pinch of your focus and dedication dust.

Hitting the wall is something I experience more times than I care to admit, LOL! But patience and whole lot of talking to friends (real or imaginary) gets me over the hump.

You are legend, Margaret. Keep writing those books!

Marianne said...

As a reader, i am so glad you are a prolific writer! i have not read Shattered Silence, but it's on my wish list. And the LI series is always great, too. Thanks for sharing and here's a hug for you and prayers that you know your limits.


Jan Drexler said...

Good morning Margaret! Thanks for stopping by Seekerville.

Great insights into what keeps you producing books year after year. I like the way you give yourself permission to back away from the WIP when you need to.

Thank you, also, for your service to ACFW. I'm sure none of us know just how hard you've worked for us over the last few years!

Bridgett Henson said...

Margaret, I love your LI books. I can't imagine writing 5 books a year. It takes me about 3 months for a rough draft and then comes revisions and edits. So 2 is the magic number for me. So far.

I think I'll try your weekly word count and give myself the incentive of a day off. :)

Nancy Kimball said...

HI Margaret, thank you for this. In the throes of NaNo it is just what I needed. But I'm with Debra M. My first draft ugly work is hideous. It takes three to six months to get it all through the critique partners, do the revisions and polishing, etc. until I think it's ready to contest.

Can I inquire what your "after first draft" process is like, including timelines? Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Oooo, I want to try the weekly goals instead of daily. It makes sense.

I tend to have a "head" problem when I set goals and don't make them. One day of missing the mark and it's a downer. I feel like a loser. Not only in writing, but exercising and dieting. Early this year, I ran my first 1/2 marathon. But instead of my normal goals of pushing, pushing, pushing, I decided I was going to enjoy the process and not beat myself up if only went a couple of miles. I ran, okay walk and jog, 2-4 times a week and then took one long jog a week. It worked. Only about 30 or less on most days. Slowly I begin to get in shape and I didn't quit because of frustration.

You're an inspiration.
Connie Queen

Janet Dean said...

Hey, Helen, thanks for the Daley coffee. :-) Love your wit.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Jenny, glad to hear that you're feeling better after taking it easy. You remain in my prayers.

Hugs, Janet

Janet Dean said...

Good morning, Virginia! If you need help with that fiddling, let Ruthy know and she'll send a big ole butt kick your way. :-)


Janet Dean said...

Hi Mary C, writers write. Some faster than others. Now if only there was a productivity pill. LOL


Janet Dean said...

Christina, we share the same priorities as I'm sure most of us do. The trick is getting our families onboard with our writing, to see it as our calling, our work.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Cindy W. Add my name to the list of Margaret Daley fans.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Susanna, Some people love being scared. I'm guessing you're not crazy about roller coasters.


Mary Connealy said...

So RomCon, huh?
Way To Go Margaret!

Janet Dean said...

Wonderful questions, Mary Curry. Like you, I'm grateful for all Margaret has done for ACFW.


Janet Dean said...

Jackie, your d/h is a hero in my book. Congrats on your faithfulness to your writing.


Janet Dean said...

I agree, Debra! Margaret proves that writing multiple books a year hones craft faster.


Janet Dean said...

Good morning, Sandra. Thanks for reminding us how much Margaret has done to help other writers besides her role in ACFW.


CatMom said...

Hey sweet Margaret! SO happy to see you here in Seekerville today, and loved your post. I really needed to read your advice today and will print this out and keep by my computer--Thanks! ~ One quick "personal" question: Do you still have a flamingo collection? To this day I think of you whenever I see a pink flamingo*smile*. Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo Moore

Janet Dean said...

Tina, you've given Margaret the ultimate compliment! Read the line, but focus on those writers who do it often. They understand what readers of the line want.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Dora. I'm guessing Margaret will be blushing when she stops in by all the lovely compliments to her story telling and to the person she is.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Annie! Love Fridays, too. Have a great weekend!


Margaret Daley said...

LOL, Helen. I don't like coffee but I do like a Daley tea so toasting you from the comfort of my home.

Jenny, I'm so glad you enjoyed Shattered Silence. The subject was near and dear to my heart.

Virginia, your advice is right on. The book has to be FINISHED to sell it.

Mary, I hope you keep writing.

Christina, it sounds like you are on the right track. Writing a little everyday. That will mount up.

Cindy, waving hi to you.

Susanna, it depends on what you consider scary. It is suspenseful but not scary like a horror movie.

Mary C., I can't write more than one book at a time. I would get my characters mixed up. I try to delve deeply into my main characters' heads and that is hard if I'm writing more than one book. I'm afraid of what the product would be at the end--the character would probably have a multiple personality.

Janet Dean said...

Rose, as you so well know, self imposed deadlines are terrific practice for their reality.


Pam Hillman said...

From the comments here, it appears Margaret gave us some advice about writing and not getting burned out.


Must go back and uh...lookd for words on her post...

Luv ya, lady, and welcome to Seekerville!

Janet Dean said...

Jeanne T, will be fun to hear Margaret's answer but I suspect she's a sponge, soaking up story ideas that bloom in her fertile mind.


Margaret Daley said...

Jackie, my husband is used to giving me time to write on vacation. What can I say--it's hard not to write.

Debra, thank you. It's good to see you here.

Sandra, I love talking to you!

Tina, what a compliment. Thank you.

Dora, I love ACFW and enjoyed working for the organization.

Annie, thanks for stopping by.

Rose, I couldn't do it without setting goals. It was nice seeing you at ACFW conference.

Jeanne, only one book at a time. At the end my next book will start intruding into my mind. Where do my ideas come from? I'm not sure. They are just there. Ultimately I think they are from God. I do love to brainstorm, too.

Janet Dean said...

Audra, talking to others, real or imaginary, helps me find my way, too. Talking is something I'm good at. :-)Though maybe not a lot I say moves the plot of my life, as my characters' dialogue must.


Janet Dean said...

Marianne, praying for an author is such a precious gift.


Janet Dean said...

Jan, I loved the suggestion to back away from a manuscript when you need to, but suspect Margaret doesn't stay away long.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Bridgett, two books is impressive. Great job!


Janet Dean said...

Great question, Nancy. I'm impressed you can write a rough draft. I keep revising as I go.


Margaret Daley said...

Audra, it's nice seeing you here.

Marianne, thank you. I hope you get a chance to read Shattered Silence.

Jan, thanks.

Bridgett, thanks. I'm glad you enjoy the LI books. Each writer has to find what works for her.

Nancy, about 2/3 to 3/4 the way I'm through with a book, I go back through it and make changes then finish the first draft. Usually after that it's a week or two of intense reading and editing.

Connie, I'm so like you. That's why I went to the weekly goal.

Janet, thanks for having me.

Mary, waving to you. RomCon was fun. I met some wonderful readers and writers.

Patti, yes I still. While I write, I'm surrounded by all my flamingoes.

Pam, I'm so thrilled to see you success. It has been great working with you with ACFW.

Janet Dean said...

Connie, I'm impressed how you figured out what would work for you. We're all different. Congrats on sticking with your fitness plan and enjoying the process.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Patti Jo! I didn't know Margaret collected flamingos. They're gorgeous, fascinating creatures. Standing on one leg and tucking their head under their wing makes me think they're introverts or bigtime nappers.


Mary Connealy said...

For me and writing never has it been more true that slow and steady wins the race.
I can push hard to meet a deadline if I have to but it's far preferable to keep that slow, steady word count.

Mary "The Tortoise" Connealy

Mary Connealy said...

btw Margaret I noticed all your posed pictures of the 'wonderful writers and readers'.

and their tattoos.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Margaret! Great tips! And love the hunky heroes! Ah-hem ... I write more when I have accountability partners checking up on me every day. If I know I have to report how many words I wrote that day, I am much more likely to force myself to focus! I also like to listen to certain kinds of music when I'm writing a first draft. For some reason, when the music starts, my mind says, Okay, I'm supposed to be writing now!

Thanks for the tips, Margaret! And the eye candy is very inspirational too. ;-)

Deborah Dunson said...

I would love to read your books; I'm just starting to develop an interest in Christian Suspense and Mystery.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Margaret Daley's work ethic has been my model from day one.


I copy her. She never falters (outwardly)she teaches, she mentors, she worked full time, she wrote avidly, producing great books that readers and writers love, love, love....

And she's about the nicest person on the planet. When other authors brushed newbies off like pesky flies, Margaret ALWAYS put a hand out.

Truly, this woman is a Christian in so much more than name that I cannot begin to sing her praises enough. She sets the tone for a strong, moral, beautiful business and her common sense attitudes make me laugh.

Margaret is a gem among the gilded, an unsung hero far too often, and a true person of God. I feel honored every chance I get to talk to her because she is that special.

And she forgave us for GETTING LOST in Tulsa and being late to her book signing.

But we made it there and I treasure my copies of every one of her books.

Raising my coffee mug in salute: To Margaret Daley.... One of the very best.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina, you made a great point... I did too. And I grabbed a few other authors for LI and decided who did I sound like????

And who was different?

Margaret's books spoke to me. (Clever little battery tucked inside, very robot friendly!!!) Okay, kidding, no robot!!!

I read Margaret... Lenora... (You know I'll leave out someone who will hate me)... Anna Schmidt....Marta Perry... oh and others, Linda Goodnight... Irene Hannon... A delightful bunch of authors that inspired me!

Read the line you're targeting. And read the authors that "speak" to you.... Then work on submitting to that editor.

You don't have to sound like those authors, but the "Awwwww...." factor should be along their lines.

Mary Connealy said...

Do you ever have a moment when you finally figure out how to do something that you've struggled with (I'm talking computers here, but I suppose it applies to lots of stuff).
And then, once you know how to do it, you realize it's incredibly simple AND obvious.
And then you want to tell others how you did it because it's like finding gold, you can barely resist screaming Eureka!
But then you tell others and they all look at you like you're a backward four year old and say, "Uh, yeah, everyone knows how to do that."
And then you wish you'd just kept your mouth shut?

Well, that just happened.
But I'm not admitting what I learned.
Cuz it's obvious.
Still, fun moment.

Myra Johnson said...

YAY!!! So glad to see my Oklahoma friend Margaret here!!! Miss you!!!!

And I love that title--Christmas Stalking--so clever!

Yep, Margaret and Ruthy. Cut from the same "productivity" cloth. Mary, too. I consider myself fairly disciplined, but you gals take it to a new level! Five books a year, Margaret? Utterly amazing!

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, Mary! Ruthy taught me a computer trick yesterday--and for a Mac, no less, when I know she's a PC user. Until you actually need to know how to do something, it's easy not to even bother trying to figure it out.

Anonymous said...

Myra, I didn't catch the pun in the title until now. Cute.


pol said...

Hello Margaret, just had to stop and say Hi when I saw you would be posting today, love your work. Even in the life of a reader we too have to stop sometimes and do other things if we find ourselves caught up in one thing like reading too long-computer playing for hours - etc. the idea is to have a balanced life to be happier.
My thoughts anyway.
Have a great weekend all
Paula O(

Terri said...

Margaret - I'll join you in that "Daley" tea. I get overwhelmed when I think of writing or revising an entire book. I have to break it down into smaller pieces. To me that makes the task doable.

Love your books so please enter me in the drawing!

Terri from OKC

Elaine Clampitt said...

Margaret - you truly are an inspiration in so many ways. I appreciate your service to ACFW over the years. To hear how many books you've written with everything else in your life makes me realize that I have NO excuses!

I would love to win one of your latest books.

emcwrites at gmail dot com


Nancy Kimball said...

Janet, thank you. I've tried both ways and found in overall project time it's better to get the whole first draft down. And now that I do a few things before that really, really help me (I won't list them all here unless someone really wants to know, LOL)I actually shave weeks off and headaches overall but man, does writing that first draft in "first draft ugly" as I call it really pain me. Then I remember Stephen King says in the first draft you're telling yourself the story. in the second draft, you're telling other people the story. (Though I translate that to SHOW hehe).

Margaret, thank you. That certainly explains your prolificacy.

So for the multi-pubbed here, have I lived under an incorrect assumption that you always have critique partners no matter how many books you write? Is that a personal decision after X number of books, etc.?

Lyndee said...

Wow, Margaret. Eighty-three books and forty years of marriage. That says a lot! I've read several of your books and found them to be very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

I also try to write every day, but the word goal for the week is my big plum. It's especially fun to pass the goal - sends me dancing like a whirlybird.

Anonymous said...

Hi Margaret.....good to see you here! I've read several of your books and really loved them! Thanks for the chance to read these in the giveaway.
Jackie S


Kav said...

I've read and LOVED both Shattered Silence and Christmas Stalking so don't enter me in the draw! I'm a Daley fan through and through! :-)

Loved these pointers -- amazed at the idea of completing 5 books a year and keeping your sanity. Wow!

One question though -- and maybe it's not answerable. Just wondering what a realistic weekly word count goal would be? Anyone willing to offer a rough guesstimate?

Janet Dean said...

Mary, I never think of you as a tortoise, but you make a wonderful point. Consistent daily words on the page get the job done.


Janet Dean said...

Mary and Melanie, the line is long to get your photo taken with the hunky heroes Margaret brought. No cutting!


Cara Lynn James said...

Margaret, I'm in awe of your productivity!

What keeps me working when I don't want to? That's easy. A deadline.

Now it's time for me to get back to work.

Janet Dean said...

Hi Deborah, no better place to get your suspense/mystery fix than reading Margaret's books.


Janet Dean said...

Ruthy, great advice to writers! And wonderful deserving praise for Margaret. Her work ethic has most definitely rubbed off on you.


Janet Dean said...

Thanks for sharing, Mary. It's always a great day when you learn something.


Janet Dean said...

Myra, I'm with you. Five books a year blows me away!!!


Janet Dean said...

Paula, I remember a pastor talking about having a balanced life. He talked about our lives as a whole pie and we needed to look at the slices we devoted to different things and see if some wedges were taking too much of our time and energy and some too little. I've never forgotten that. Lately I've realized I need to do more exercise.


Janet Dean said...

Terri, excellent advice to break down a big job into smaller managable steps. And to reward ourselves with each completed task.


Janet Dean said...

Good afternoon, Elaine. No excuses? I suspect most writers are creative enough to come up with some. :-)


Janet Dean said...

Nancy, I'm sure what you're doing is wisest. Sounds like you do a lot of planning that helps keep you on track.

I'd think that critique partners of multipublished authors would struggle to keep up and still write their own books.


Janet Dean said...

Sounds like a great exercise strategy too, Lyndee!


Jamie Adams said...

Great tips Margaret! Thanks for sharing with us. I write every day, the hard part is the busyness of life keeps me from getting in more than half an hour at a time. I've been working on the last page of a requested rewrite (squeee) for two days now. grrrr

I'm afraid my frustration is going to show up in my HEA ;)

Janet Dean said...

Hi Jackie S! Thanks for your interest in winning one of Margaret's books.


Janet Dean said...

Hi Kav. Word count numbers vary by authors. To fulfill my contract for a 70-75,000 word book, I divide my word count by the time I have to determine how many words I need per day, per week. I add time to revise so I take that time out of the equation. Hope this helps.


Jamie Adams said...

Mary, my 16 year old son gives me the 'everyone knows how to do that' look all the time. I know it well. ;)

Janet Dean said...

Well said, Cara. No author wants to miss a deadline.


Janet Dean said...

Jamie, congratulations on the requested revisions!!!


Margaret Daley said...

Jamie, I've been there. Sometimes the writing just doesn't come easy.

Cara, deadlines are great motivators.

Kav, word count will vary depending on when the deadline is. But usually I try for 10-14,000 words a week. I'm glad you enjoyed both of the books.

Jackie, good to see you here, too.

Lyndee, I know that feeling. I love surpassing my word count for the week.

Nancy, sometimes I've had critique partners and sometimes I haven't.

Elaine, thanks.

Terri, lifting my tea cup to you. I have to read it at least all the way through editing for continuity purposes.

So true, Paula. Wise words--keeping a balance in your life.

Margaret Daley said...

In case you all haven't figured it out, I paid Ruthy to say all those things about me. You blew me away, friend.

Myra, I still miss not seeing you in Tulsa.

Deborah, you have a world of great suspense and mystery writers to discover.

Melanie, I hope you get your word count done for the day.

Mary, LOL!! And I've always felt slow and steady is the best way to go. In the tale the tortoise did win the race.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Him Janet and Margaret!

Margaret, please tell me you sneaked out the door with one of those guys or at least with the cardboard one! LOLOLOL :-P

Vince said...

Hi Margaret:

I can understand writing five books a year for a very accomplished and fast writer. But what I can’t see is also having a lot of revisions to make on each book. That does not compute.

Do your submissions come back with very little editing required? Does your editor make editing changes on her own to save you time?

Also, how many of your books are part of a series with the same cast of characters and same locations? Writing a three-book series or using the same location, like Dry Creek with over twenty books, would seem to be a logical way to up production. I’m not sure you’ve done much of this, however.

It would also help to have a large backlog of great book ideas you want to write someday. It would save a lot of time if you could just pull a book idea off the shelf and get started on writing it right away.


P.S. Please enter me for Kindle version of your Christmas book, “Christmas Stalking” or was that “Hung by the Fireplace”?

MARY: The obvious is often the hardest to ‘see’. That’s the whole idea behind ‘hiding in plain sight’. Also the hardest thing to learn is something you think you already know but actually don’t. : )

KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

Wise words, Margaret. Thank you so much!

DebH said...

thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom with Seekervillians, Margaret. I really appreciate it. My problem is writing isn't my priority right now and I know it. I have other priorities right now that must come before writing. It is frustrating because I'm learning so much, and I do so want to write. Guess I need more consultation time with the Master Author...

would love to be in the running for a book of yours.

thank you so much for your generousity to the writing community.

karenk said...

enjoyed this posting...thanks for the chance to read margaret's novel, too ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Such good advice, Margaret! Thanks for sharing! I've been starting to write over my lunch hour, just to get another couple hundred words in. That's been helping me write AND work a full-time job!

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Such good advice, Margaret! Thanks for sharing! I've been starting to write over my lunch hour, just to get another couple hundred words in. That's been helping me write AND work a full-time job!

Nancy C said...

Eighty-three books? Thud!

Such good advice about talking about what's bothering you in your writing. A few weeks ago a writer friend and I were talking about her WIP when I suddenly realized what was bothering me about where I was in my WIP. So sometimes everyone benefits :-)

Shattered Silence sounds good! Putting it on my 'to read' list now.

Nancy C

Pepper said...

Whoa...why didn't I get here sooner for pictures like THAT, Margaret! :-)
Just sitting down after a day of work and what a great place to visit :-)
Thanks for the wonderful advice. I find that my writing community have been a fabulous resource to get the through a lot of my stalling-moments in writing.
I'm still not sure what has be rattled the most.
The hunks or the fact that you've written 83 books :-)

Natalie Monk said...

Hi Margaret!
The thing that helps me most is setting a writing time and a timer...and a deadline. Even if it's 20 mins, 15 mins. And do it every day. I've been slack in this lately, but remembering how much it's helped in the past makes me want to try it again!
Thank you for the wonderful advice on "keeping on keeping on!"

Margaret Daley said...

Pepper, the hunks and they were so nice. Brainstorming is a great way to get unstalled (the spell check says it's not a word but I'm using it anyway).

Natalie, that a great way to keep on track.

Nancy, I totally agree brainstorming gets my juices flowing for my story to.

Stephanie, when you have a family and work, you have to do what you can. I used to write when my baby was napping although at the time I could use a nap, too.

Deb, there are times in any writer's life when other priorities

Karen, nice seeing you here.

You're welcome, KC.

Vince, nice to see you here. Yes, I have revisions on my stories. So far ideas haven't been a problem for me. I do write 3-6 book series. I've started a new one for LI called Caring Canines. I at least will have three in that series, maybe more.

Renee, the cardboard one wouldn't fit in my suitcase.

Susan Hollaway said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

C.E. Hart said...

Great advice. Making writing a priority and 'making' (as opposed to 'finding') time is key.
Loved this post, and the book descriptions sound interesting. :)

nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

Margaret Daley said...

Thanks, C.E. and Susan.

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Wonderful words of wisdom, Margaret! Now that I write, I no longer watch TV or movies, and they have now become my rewards :)

Mary Preston said...

A fabulous post to read through.

83 + books is so impressive.

I loved the photographs thank you.


Ginger said...

Thank you for this post. It is so inspiring, and timely.

I'm doing Nano this year for the first time. What it's taught me is that I was wasting a lot of time. The story I'm writing seems to want to be written and it's flowing from me almost faster than I can type it.

If only the edits were so easy. That's where I get bogged down the most. I don't mind them, but my first run-through sends me running the other direction a lot of times.

Ginger (dot) solomon (at) gmail (dot) com

Diane Kenyon said...

Nice pics! And nice advice, too. ;-)

Linda Cacaci said...

Wonderful advice, Margaret. That is exactly what I want to do, produce more. I want to write a book in less time.
Linda Cacaci

Anonymous said...

Just had to comment, b/c Margaret took time out to encourage me at a conference once. I haven't forgotten, Margaret. Loved reading about your heroes, and I must report that I've finally done what I thought I could never do.

I've mostly written nonfiction and women's fiction, but the last few weeks, have produced a little romance. Amazing...we never know what'll happen! Thanks again for being my cheering squad during a down time.

Gail Kittleson

Anonymous said...

Just had to comment, b/c Margaret took time out to encourage me at a conference once. I haven't forgotten, Margaret. Loved reading about your heroes, and I must report that I've finally done what I thought I could never do.

I've mostly written nonfiction and women's fiction, but the last few weeks, have produced a little romance. Amazing...we never know what'll happen! Thanks again for being my cheering squad during a down time.

Gail Kittleson

Edwina said...

I admire your tenacity! Congratulations on your success and many thanks for your excellent leadership of ACFW,

Jennifer Slattery said...

Margaret, you are an amazing woman! God certainly has His hand on you! I appreciate all you've done for ACFW and all you do to help aspiring authors.May God richly bless the work of your hands!

shelia hall said...

Love your books Mrs. Daley! Love to win one!

Veronica Sternberg said...

Both books sound amazing! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

Missy Tippens said...

Margaret, thanks for your great post! I'm sorry I didn't make it by on Friday!