Monday, July 1, 2013

Writing? Dieting? What are the Triggers that Jump Start You???

Ruthy here on a holiday week and lovin' every stinkin' minute of it!

We're not really talking diets, I leave that to Jennifer Hudson and Marie Osmond, Valerie Bertinelli, et al...

We're talking "Triggers".

Not that kind of Trigger....


(Arches brow, looks down...)

The kind that make a difference to us, the type of thing that manifests our individuality. The uniqueness in YOU.
A lot of us realize that to start a food diet successfully, it takes more than just cutting calories. Those of us who have failed at that ploy a GAZILLION times understand the truth therein.

So science has figured out that we need to FOOL our bodies into change. And it can be done, the trick is finding out (usually through trial and error) what works for you. Low carb? Juicing? Hyped-up aerobics? Counting points? Specifically designed meals delivered to your door?

Writing is very much the same, you have to identify who you are to figure out a way to get where you want to go.

Do not trust these two, they will lead you astray!!!! And laugh, doing it!

Here's a simple test to get started:
  • Are you a morning person?
  • Are you a night-owl?
  • Are you impulsive?
  • Do you need to do in depth assessments before tackling things?
  • Are you picky and need all your ducks in a row on a regular basis?
  • Can you push through a job and fix loose ends at the conclusion?
  • Are you sensitive to criticism?
  • Do you shrug off criticism and stay forward-focused
  • Are you uncertain?
  • Are you cocky?
  • Do you have lots of friends?
  • Are you a loner?
  • Does negativity bother you?
  • Are you impervious to other people's mood swings?
  • Are you self-motivated?
  • Do you need a deadline or a challenge to be motivated?
That basic check list is a starting point for self-examination. If you're waffling with your writing, if you're stopping and starting intermittently, if you're finding yourself constantly interrupted... or engineering your OWN interruptions, then this is a good way to FIX ALL THAT.

We're not going to talk nature vs. nurture because no matter what our inherent "nature" may be, we can "nurture" ourselves into a writing career. If you want it badly enough...

1.  Pick a time of day that works the best for your writing. If that time isn't available, go to the next best time.

At "1K1HR" on Facebook, we have people "clocking" in at all hours of the day and night. Some are up late naturally. Some are up early for the same reason. Some are feeding newborns and take an hour to write after baby's feeding. Some are awakened by storms or have an unexpected day off from work and they choose to spend part of that time WRITING. Personal choice weighs into this very individual preference/resource. (As you become more confident in yourself and your writing, you'll find the "time" issue isn't as important as it once was. You'll have attained the skill of picking up and moving forward without an absolute schedule for most authors)

2. Plotter or Pantser?

There is no write or wrong on this answer, creative flow varies from author to author and many great authors pre-plan at great length. Note that Pantsers may still do pre-book research, but they don't have to delve as deeply into the characters backgrounds, their preferences, their family history or town history. They may do this later, or on an as needed basis. If you are a Plotter, do a self-examination to make sure you're not delaying the onset of writing by spending too long on research. Avoidance is an author's arch-enemy. Recognizing which strategy works for you personally can save you a lot of time and discouragement.

3. Are you a perfectionist?

If so, you may take longer to write a book or books, but they may need less editing once done. This is not always the case, sometimes perfectionists get so caught up in their own quest for absolute rightness, they forget to let the story unfold. If you're not a perfectionist, are you writing your book well enough to COME BACK and fix the loose ends, or is it a hodge podge of errant left turns?

Some authors do a daily edit on what they've written the previous day... And that keeps them on track for what is to come.

4. Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?  TEST FOR HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE (Ruthy gags, just a little, just WRITING THAT PHRASE because as we all know, she's an insensitive clod and proud of it.)

Sensitive souls need to be more careful with critique groups and partners. Your inherent sensitivity may make you more susceptible to other's ideas, criticisms and opinions and that can stymie your natural talent. We non-sensitive types just make fun of critiquers when they disagree with us, then call it all good and go eat ice cream. We Really Don't Care.

5. Assess your self-confidence level.

This is different from your sensitivity levels. You can be sensitive and have strong self-esteem. Likewise, you can be a clod like me and have a roughed up self-esteem. While sensitivity may come from "nature", a trait you were born with, self-confidence and self-esteem are often developed by "nurture", experiences you've had throughout your life.  Dove's Real Beauty Sketch Video  Cocky authors may assume they are good enough to make the cut, but they don't necessarily have the work ethic... or the adaptability... to do so. Insecure authors may have the talent to write, but their internal scoldings warn them off.  It is critical to recognize why you stutter-step as you write. If time and money aren't TRUE issues...(we all perceive ourselves as "busy" but examining your wasted time over a 48 hour period might show you something else entirely) then you need to see what's tripping you up. And then modify accordingly.

6. To Join or Not Join an Author's Group

Some people are born to join. Others aren't. Some people are in love with the ROMANCE of writing, and they join organizations that validate their hopes and dreams. If your organization is draining your creativity by urging too much volunteerism, or if it is rife with critical members who don't recognize your dream, it's not only okay to quietly tiptoe away... it's probably crucial. But if you're really only there for the camaraderie, then it's perfectly okay to stay as long as you'd like. RWA statistics hint that only 20% of members become published. That means 80% do not. 80% of those people taking up chair space (or computer time) will not succeed. Am I being harsh?

No. Factual.

Learning how to put yourself into that twenty percent is very Winston Churchill:  "Nevah give up."

Or as Nora Roberts says, "If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”

7. Negative People: Avoid or Ignore?

Regardless of your sensitivity "profile", negativity can be your downfall. Negative perceptions, or other's perceptions because you hang around with negative people can undermine your success? Why? Because birds of a feather really do flock together.

 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

You are the company you keep professionally. And if you allow others to adversely affect your likability and workability quotient, then you are being short-sighted and short changing yourself.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain--and most do.”   Dale Carnegie

Avoiding negativity must be somewhat important, because every self-help guru writes books about it, books that make A LOT OF MONEY, telling us the common sense of hanging with positive people.

Link to People Making a Lot of Money Saying What I Just Said

You should send me chocolate for SAVING YOU ALL THAT MONEY!!!!  :)

8. Do You Need A Boss?

This is not a terrible thing. Some writers are self-starters. They can jump in, both feet, eye up the calendar and to them the challenge is getting things done and done and done...

But others need a DEADLINE APPROACHING to push themselves to write. There are multiple reasons for the difference.

Myself? Writing is my treat to myself, my reward for a great work week, the frosting on my cake and the cherry on my sundae.

Some writers see it as work, a job, a task that needs to be done. It's possible that mental image slows the second writer down... Their perception of the writing is more work-based and less fun-oriented.
Also, some folks simply need a boss. Without that accountability source, they don't self-discipline themselves to perform.

That's not a bad thing IF YOU RECOGNIZE IT AND ACT ACCORDINGLY. For all of these scenarios, it's not the "being" one way or another that stifles creativity, it's not recognizing your "handicaps" or "triggers" and spinning your wheels with little effect.

“You can fix anything but a blank page.”  Nora Roberts

I'm in total agreement with that!  You can't sell something that doesn't exist. 

Hey, coffee's on.... I expect our DEBUT AUTHOR HELEN (YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!) has been by to set up the pot, but I'm here early and I'll gladly serve it up to you on this lovely opening to a holiday week... my holiday week will contain writing (no one pays me to clean), working (no one pays me to clean) and more writing (no one pays me to clean).

It will also include watching 1776 at some point because I need that reminder of how valiant and courageous and strong our forebears were... and to remember to thank God for their existence!


I promised books today, and ....

Never one to go back on my (our !!!) word....

Love Inspired Suspense author Deb Giusti, Love Inspired author Glynna Kaye and I all have September releases so we'd like to show you the covers NOW....


ALSO OFFICIALLY RELEASING AUGUST 20, 2013 (on her 47th birthday!!!) IS RUTHY'S 

"The Soldier's Sister"

Stop by and leave a comment... as often as you'd like, agree or disagree, or let's chat and find out just what kind of author you are...

We've got plenty of eats and the drinks are on the house!!! We'll draw three names from the cat dish and we'll each send you a copy of our upcoming releases once they're delivered to our respective homes!!!



  1. Yep, dropping by the set up the coffee pot.

    It's been a lazy weekend here in the Ozarks. Loved it.

    Biggest disappointment is that daughter and son-in-law had to cancel their trip to see us for the Fourth because she's scheduled to have oral surgery.

    I'm a plotter, write whatever time of day I get around to it, and pretty much a loner when it comes to writing.

    Right now I'm getting a rather slow start on a new project.


  2. No one pays me to clean, no one pays me to clean, no one pays me to clean

    This is now my slogan, I need to have one of those fancy peel and stick, pretty handwriting for your wall companies make that for me as I sit here ignoring the floor which desperately needs sweeped.

    Line edit=pay; sweep=no pay! Off to work on line edit!

  3. I LOVE Ruthy-posts!!
    About to head to bed, but did a quick-read of this post--will be back to re-read in the morning, as I drink a BIG cup of Helen's coffee.

    Missed Seekerville last week, but had a wonderful family vacation in the Smoky Mountains! Our cabin had NO internet--which turned out to be a blessing, LOL.

    I'm a pantser, but do a little plotting. I usually write in the afternoons and evenings, and my only writing partners are my CATS! (which is why the critiques I've won from Seekerville have been so helpful--my cats love everything I write as long as they get fed, LOL).

    Will be back in the morning--with goodies in tow. Good night! Sleepy hugs, Patti Jo ~ zzzzzzzzzz....

  4. Melissa! Well done. I like your thinking.

  5. No one pays me clean. By the way my house looks, it's evident I've got a good grasp on this concept.

    Ruthy, you covered so much.
    I've been writing long enough to know my pro and cons, and what I need to do about improving. But that doesn't mean I do it.

    >I'm confident.
    >I'm a more of a loner, although I do enjoy getting together over lunch to talk about writing.
    >I used to be sensitive to criticism and changed my writing. Ended w/destruction of my ms. Now I only change what make sense.
    >Thinking about writing is a treat. Putting it on paper is a job.
    >Problems or stress distracts me from writing.
    >My number one obstacle of becoming published is completing the ms.

  6. Ruthy! Love this post! I love looking at these different options and finding where i fit. As for me, I think I'm a pantser all the way. I've tried plotting and it's painful. Lol As for time of day...nap time and evening. Unlike Melissa who gets paid to write....;) lucky *teehee*...I have no excuse not to clean, so while I dust I'm usually still writing or editing in my head.
    Now, I would have brought goodies to the party but wasn't sure how everyone feels about gluten-free stuff. It's not nearly as delicious as gluten-full food, but what can a girl do.
    Anyway thanks again, you have given me some excellent food for thought. (No pun intended....;)

  7. Great post, Ruthy! I like to have some direction when I write, and I am mostly self-motivated but at times I find myself walking around in circles twiddling my thumbs.

    I am.currently plotting a contemporary, out of my box, while I wait for word on my historically, and Iam having fun with it.

    I would love to be entered for new releases. ;)

  8. I'm going to be in that 20%. I WILL!

  9. Oh, Ruthy, did you have to make me think? Great post. Pass the coffee and put my name in the cat bowl.

    I am a highly sensitive soul or thought I was until I realized Man O is scared of zombies and I am not. So now I just view critics and insensitive souls as zombies and I am fine. Not that I think you are a zombie, Ruthy.

    I write every day. I may not write fiction every day but I write. I need to have a reason to do so, even if it is just a writing prompt assignment or a blog post.

    The first thing I did last week when I got out of the hospital, after some real food and a nap was write my blog post after getting some help from friends on FB.

    Help. I think that may be another thing to examine. Are you willing to ask for help when you need it in the first place or do you let the helpful opinions of others sway you too much? Both can keep you from getting your fanny in the chair and writing.

    Peace, Julie

  10. Oh, what great responses already and it's 4:27 ET...



    Helen! You'll jump back into that new project once the "incidentals" are all done on the THREE BOOK CONTRACT!!!!!

    Sometimes we have to bob and weave with the current books before we feel secure enough to move on. Coffee is delicious and I'M SO HAPPY DRINKING IT!!! NO ANTS TODAY!!!!

    FYI: Caramel creamer left open on the counter makes a very effective ant trap.

    Don't ask. Just assume how I know this.

  11. Melissa

    YES. This needs to be a slogan/mantra of writers everywhere, LOL!

    Glad you're on board. That's my girl!

    Patti Jo! I'm so glad you had a great vacation! That rocks. We'll see you in the morning (4:29 does not qualify, btw) and peach crisp would be lovely!!!

  12. Connie, first, what a great family picture. I love it!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥

    Your list tells me that you've come along the path, maturing and seeing yourself, what works for you, what doesn't, as a writer... and that's marvelous. You've identified your trigger points and your weaknesses.

    So my first thing for you would be to say make finishing a priority. This is the #1 opportunity killer in writing. They say only 2% of authors actually finish the book. By just doing that, you've raised your chances at publication!!!

    I use my little reward systems, making myself wait for a bite of chocolate or a trip to Abbott's ice cream until I've gotten X-Y-Z accomplished. I won't let myself watch Major Crimes (I waited a year for this summer!!!!) until my writing is done for that week and then I watch it on the DVR. In the winter I did that with NCIS and Castle.

    Those are my three WEAKNESS shows, and I love 'em!!!

    I love that you recognize that some critiques (or critiquers) can be soul-suckers, they just schlurp the life right out of your book because it doesn't sound like theirs. How silly of them!

    We mature as we go... but we also age, so it's good to keep a fire lit beneath our writing chairs, LOL!

  13. Tina....

    I love Nora too. I love that succinct, straight on manner. And I love her take on muses... that we need to hold of our work and get it done because it's our job.

    Note that I did not use the quote exactly!!! :)

  14. AMBER!!!! Ice cream is gluten free, right?

    We are always up for ice cream.

    And chocolate.

    Honestly, you plot like I do. In my head. I'm constantly entertaining ideas of how things should go mentally, and then when I sit down, the scene is there... and I just put the words on paper.

    That mental rehearsal worked for me in learning to drive a stick shift years ago... in learning how to tap and move the cups for the "Cup Song"... SUCCESS!!!! and in writing.

    And that gift has passed down to at least one daughter and son... they both visualize the next scene (or in grad school, the next paper), pre-plan and pre-plot mentally and then write it.

    You know what I've found out about "gifts" like that? You don't realize how special it is, because for YOU, it's normal... and it seems normal. But others would love to have that innate ability!!!

    How many little ones do you have? I love me some babies!!!!

  15. Christina!!! I love that you're doing a contemp while waiting...

    That's a brain cleaner. It's what wipes the slate clean and leaves it open for whatever comes next, revisions, contract, new contemp!!!!

    I do that all the time to keep my brain motivated.

    Brains get LAZY if we don't work them. I think your thumb-twiddling is Tina's assertion that all writers are ADD, diagnosed or not.

    I think there's an odd degree of truth in that, but it's a wonderful affliction when your attention is constantly drawn to HEROES!!!! :)

    How bad can that be???

  16. Nancy Kimball, I have no doubts.

    Nora said something else one time... I'll mess it up, but it was that "Published authors aren't necessarily the most talented authors. They're the ones who would not quit."

    I saw in my family that brains (and in some cases brilliance) alone gets us NOWHERE.... But a decent brain and an strong work ethic opens all kinds of doors.


    "The darkest hour is just before the dawn."

    But this time of year the birds sing us through that hour, so it's not so bad!!!

  17. Julie, that blog post was hysterical!!!

    You worried about finding your voice. Let me tell you, if you don't have humor in your stories, that's just a dog gone shame because you're funny!

    Your help question: I think that could be logged under the sensitivity issue... or the self-confidence umbrella.

    And you're right, seeking help makes some people feel stupid. Which is silly, but human emotions are often silly because they're inspired by so many variables.

    (Dr. Ruth is IN!!!)

    And that fear of negative reaction holds folks back, for certain, but we know that writers need to be thick-skinned. Once someone buys our story it ceases to be OUR STORY... It is now their story and they can and should expect cooperative tweakage.

    Great word!!! So if we're too sensitive or fearful as aspiring authors, we could get eaten alive by the reality of revisions and re-writes.

    Great thought, Julie...

  18. I have to say many of the things you mentioned I can fully understand.
    I know I have self esteem and confidence issues and many come from issues from my youth. Its taken 30 years to overcome some of the negative comments but finally I have more confidence (although do not ask me to do public speaking).
    As for dieting I don't like the word. I have had a healthy lifestyle change. It started after I ended in hospital as I needed more iron, then mums passing and I found I was walking and then loved doing it and figured If I am going to walk an hour in the morning I want to see results so changed eating habit.
    When I was reading about negative people etc I was reminded about the story of the turkey and the eagle which I copied and am adding. The question often is do you want to soar like an eagle or stay with the turkeys.

    I once heard a story of an egg that was found on a turkey farm. It hatched and the baby bird was adopted by a family of turkeys. One day the young bird noticed there were birds that were flying very high in the sky. He asked "Why don't we ever do that?" To which he was told, "We are turkeys, we weren't made for flying at such great heights. Our wings won't carry us that high" Later on a majestic bird landed on the turkey farm and spotted the young bird. He asked him what he was doing living on a turkey farm. The young bird replied, "Because I am a turkey" The majestic bird told him "You are not a turkey, you are an eagle" The young bird was astonished. "You mean I can fly like you do?" "Yes indeed " replied the majestic eagle. The turkeys gathered around as the young bird considered this new understanding of who he was. The young bird unfolded his wings and began to flap. As he began to take flight, the turkeys asked him, "What are you doing? Where are you going?" The young bird answered, "I'd rather soar with the eagles than flap around on the ground with you turkeys!"

  19. Hey Melissa I have people pay me to clean!

  20. Thanks for sharing today, Ruthy.

    I've discovered I can either be early morning or late night writer. Not both. And middle of the day is not my best time if I was up late the night before.

    Have a great week, and I'll see some of you at 1K1HR.

  21. A great post for the start of the week, Ruthy! Quotes, advice, even some kick-in-the-pants kind of stuff! I get that on a regular basis--IN PERSON--so count your blessings this is only virtual, Seekervillagers :)

    Before I was published, the toughest thing was to stay motivated. No one was waiting for my latest project, so it didn't matter if I worked on it consistently or let it go for a few days, right? Wrong. That's a bad habit to get into, so I decided to break it.

    While thinking about what was holding me back, I discovered that I'm a self-starter, but I need deadlines. I tried tracking word count progress on my computer, but it was too easy to ignore them. So I started keeping tally on the calendar that hangs on the fridge. I still do that, because I end up there frequently enough that my progress, or lack of it, is right in my face, day by day. It allows me to adjust for a slower pace or celebrate a particularly productive writing day. Great motivation!

  22. Will somebody open up a window!!!!!!!


    Thank you Ruthy for the 1776 reminder. This is the time of year to watch one of the great musicals (that is mostly accrue historically)! Good stuff!

    What is a trigger for me?

    The passage of time, I think. I do relate to what Mia said, when you are unpubbed there is no one to set up deadlines for you. I tried to see RWA as a deadline, but it hasn't worked out that way.

    I do like accountability groups like the 1k but I've been editing so much, I haven't had a chance to join yet. I will use the calendar on the frig trick to keep me going.

    Thanks for the great post and 1776 boost, Ruthy!

  23. First off:


    You've got me thinking, Ruthy. I'm definitely a morning person and the a.m. is my optimum writing time. I'm not a plotter but for some odd reason working in my garden triggers plotting in my mind. I plan to start out each morning with a stint in the garden followed by my laptop and me communing with nature in the backyard while Simba does squirrel patrol.

    My biggest obstacle is definitely confidence. I'm a mouse. :-)

    So excited about all those Love Inspired books coming out! Can't wait to read them!!!

  24. I would prefer to talk about Trigger honestly.
    Roy Rogers and Dale Evans optional.

  25. What a great post, Ruthy!

    For years it felt like the common wisdom urged us to find our weakness, and work on that.

    I like this approach much better--find your strength and exploit it!

  26. HAPPY CANADA DAY to all our Canadian friends. We will be celebrating soon ourselves. Don't you love holidays? They are as fun as RUTHY posts. :)

    Thanks for the "kick in the pants" RUTHSTER. And by the way I just LOVE that you think writing is your REWARD for the day. That is so you. And so right.

  27. MARY, I'm with you. I wanted more of Trigger the horse.

  28. RUTHY, what a good way to start the week. I like the acknowledgement that all writers are not created the same. Which is kind of the point of being a writer. You have your story to tell, I have mine.
    Discipline is not a problem for me. I've been a professional NONfiction writer most of my adult life, so it's become a habit. I actually twitch if I don't have something to write. Also, I love the fiction writing, even the hard parts -- it is truly my gift to myself. I do something with my fiction every day, it's just not always at the same time because of my work and family issues.
    I spend about two hours a day in the car, driving to my journalism assignments. It's good time for praying or plotting. (I usually have the 2002 Saturn and the radio doesn't work, so I'm all set thanks.) I work out a lot of stuff in my head so when I sit down to write it's formulated, though my characters can still surprise me. Look at Eddie Petersen at the end of "Town." Oh, wait, you can't, it's not published.
    I'm a plotter by necessity and personality. My writing time is limited and if I plot, I can sit down and write what I've been thinking about. But I think I may try pantsing this year. You have to really know your characters. I think I can do it in a sequel that uses characters from the first book, because I already have a feel for who they are. But if I do NaNo or Speedbo this year, I'll definitely plot.
    We are all different and that is good! Let's just be us.
    Kathy Bailey

  29. Oh, yes, enter me in the drawing.

  30. Wow, Ruthy! Love this post! You covered every possibility for what can trip us up with getting words on the page. We need to know ourselves. Not a given. You've provided a great way to start our self-examination and identify what works best.

    I've discovered my ducks need to be in a row before I can dig into my story. Not good. Not you but me. When I do that--get in the devotions, the exercise, the phone calls, the chores, and ah, email, the real world falls away and I can zero in on my story.


  31. Ruthy, I'm working on my 7th and 8th novels right now, and I still don't know what kind of author I am! I used to think I couldn't write at night, that I was a morning writer. But lately, the only time I get motivated to write is late at night. Go figure!

    And I'm somewhere in between a plotter and a pantster. But I do get discouraged by negative things that happen, like losing my contract and getting (sometimes scathing) rejections, and that keeps me from writing, I'm sorry to say. But not for too long. After a day or two, I'm usually over it. Usually. I wish I was an insensitive clod like you, Ruthy. It would make life so much better!!! LOL!!! You know I love you. ;-)

  32. RUTHY! LOVED this post. Okay, I'll stop writing in all caps. For now.

    You gave such great things to consider. Once I have my story, I can write pretty fast. But I'm discovering I probably (don't laugh) spend too much time trying to make sure I have all my little duckies in a row with my characters and my plot.

    I've been pondering my "about to write" story for a few months now. I am starting it this week. I really am. You can hold me accountable on that. And, I don't have everything plotted out this time, so I'm trying not to bite my nails. God has told me I need to trust Him to give me the story. So this I will do.

    My house also attests to the fact that I don't get paid to clean (Jenny if you want to come clean, I'll give you a place to stay while here!). But, I have two littles who get to help with this when attitudes go down the tubes.

    Off and running to swim lessons, so I'll check back in later.

  33. A fantastic post, Ruth. One of the most enjoyable I've read in a long time. Thank you!

    Happy Fourth of July!

    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
    Harbourlight Books, 2012

  34. Wow, I feel like I've been to the shrink today! So, Ms. Ruthy-Shrink, thank you for this amazing post!

    In some ways I'm a perfectionist and if I'm not careful, I'll have a lot of those errant left turns.

    WHAT AM I SAYING??? "Careful" is what sends me on those left turns in the first place. I need to let loose and let 'er fly!

    This is seriously some really good stuff. :)

  35. "Would someone shut that man up?"


    :) Love, love, LOVE "1776"! Need to pull it out and watch it. (We used to watch it on tv a long time ago--and taped it off there--then when we got the DVD and saw the unedited version... *eyes wide open* Still love it though. :)

    You touched things deep inside of me, Ruthy, things I'd rather not acknowledge, to be honest... I'm very sensitive to criticism (comes from growing up the daughter of a highly-critical father) and have a tough time with even the most gentle of constructive criticism. I have a very poor self-image and am quite low in self-confidence. Negativity of any kind bothers me, yet I am a pessimistic person by nature. I also don't like having a boss because I can get more done without one hovering over me (learned that very well when I worked in a school library for 6 years; I got sooooo much work done when the librarian wasn't around!).

    I am definitely a loner and would have a tough time at a conference or a writers' group (although would love to join one--yeah, I'm one mixed-up person!).

    The only real reason I returned to writing this year is because of Speedbo; I knew that if I didn't start writing on March 1st, I might not do it at all and that was driving me nuts. Non-self-imposed deadline of sorts--start March 1st, end March 31st. I met my goal and a few days later finished the rewrite of a 24-year-old novel. Not bad for someone who hadn't tackled a major project in YEARS. And now that ms has a requested synopsis from an LI editor and has also been entered in the Cat5 contest (my first-ever contest). And I have all sorts of people rooting for me (family, church family, Seekervillagers, 1K1HR folks) and I've made a ton of new friends on FB. Yeah, my world is most definitely changing!

    I don't get paid to clean or write or do the secretary and library jobs at church. Or be secretary/proofreader for my hubby, LOL. The only one that doesn't get done is cleaning; I detect a pattern amongst us here. ;-)

    BTW, more Trigger-the-horse and less M&Ms, please. Am giving up sugar and ice cream and all that. Again.

    Sorry to ramble on. I may not talk much in person, but get me at the keys and this is what happens...

    Please throw my name into the cat dish for new books! Always! ;-) (Am currently reading Mary Connealy's "Swept Away", my most recent Seekerville win, and am loving it!)

    Blessings and hugs,

  36. Great post, Ruthy. You can read us writers like a book.

    A trigger? I need a fire lit under me. I used to write 20 pages a day after a full time job, sometimes with overtime, running errands, housework, cooking. Now I'm retired, time is no issue.

    I used to laugh when someone said turn that internal editor off. hahahahahahahahahaha. What internal editor? I write 20 pages a day.

    Technology has done me in. I just sat down to write a scene set in White's Gentlemen's Club in London. So the first thing I do is goggle to see what gentlemen do in that club (that I could write about). An hour later, I have two lines written. So both research and the internal editor have me it their grasp.

    I probably have too much freedom. I probably need a boss.

    Think I'll put these notes on my refrigerator. (1) 1000 words a day - God is watching. (2) I can sell as many books as Nora Roberts.

    Please put me in for the drawing. I'm greedy for books.

  37. Trigger! I love that horse! I'm going to go chat with Mary about him. :-) And probably Roy and Dale, too. Have I mentioned I have pictures of all three on my bedroom wall.?.

    As to writing triggers...
    So far, I am not a morning writer. I get too distracted by chores. In that way, I have to have my ducks in a row before I can write. Otherwise, the clutter distracts me.
    My most productive times have been late evening and working into the quiet of the night. Maybe because it's dark and I'm not tempted to be outside.

    Happy Canada Day, Kav.

    Happy Independence week! Looks like we're gonna have beautiful weather around here for it.

  38. Good morning!
    I can be the designated Ice Cream girl, if you want...with some chocolate on the side. K, make that lots of chocolate. ;)
    Ruthy, you made me feel quite special about "plotting while dusting" , thank you for that! And how awesome that your kids have inherited your gift for that!! Love it!
    As for me I have two adorable girls ages 4 and 18 mos.
    Charlotte( my four year old) is always asking what my characters are doing now. I think that's so cute.
    PS....I must agree with what others have said, Trigger almost stole the show, if I do say so myself.
    Happy July 1, everybody!

  39. Jenny!!! I love the Eagle vs. Turkey story, lol!!! It's awesome.

    And Jen, you're absolutely right, these same things apply to so many aspects of life, of healthy living and taking control by knowing yourself.

    Your examples from this past year are stellar. You are living proof that learning about yourself... and feeling like you have choices... is a huge advantage to our self-esteem. So Proud Of You!!!

  40. Jackie! One of my 1K1HR buds!!!

    I have disrupted the entire group by dropping by and working AT NIGHT.


    I blame the Yankees. They are not giving me much reason to be on the edge of my seat this year, LOL! So working is more fun than baseball!!!

  41. Oh, Mia's idea is great... That's like a person 1K1HR, to keep a visual tally.

    And Mia, you touched on a really good point, that you can shrug off your writing before you're contracted, but once you are, they actually expect you to honor those contracts.


    Now if you're like me, the challenge is get 'er done early and leave room for family.

    For some the pressure of a looming deadline works. That always scares me, though, because then what do I do with my ginormous family if there's an emergency???

    So feeling like I'm ahead is my style.

  42. Piper, I love 1776 SO MUCH!!!!

    The fridge trick would work as well for me as a group... half the time I forget to sign in... Or out, LOL! But I like annoying folks so stopping in there is fun. That self-discipline to write daily is the best gift/habit you can give yourself

    And it's stinkin' free, so what could be better than that?

  43. Happy Canada Day :)

    I'm not one of those 4 a.m. morning people (not mentioning any names...) but getting started at 6:30 or so works well for me. My brain is total mush in the evenings, making it a better time to do Pinterest and set up Hootsuite.

    The plotter/pantser thing is harder as I seem to land right in the middle. It's taken me almost a dozen manuscripts to figure out a system that (mostly) works for me.

    I'm not quite as much a perfectionist as would be useful, I tend to be too sensitive and have poor self-confidence. All those things God is working on in me.

    I love to be part of a group, but tend to hang back. (see above). I avoid negative people and a boss is useful, but I did write 11 novels before acquiring a contract that told me when to be done, so self-starting (and finishing)?? That I can do.

    Would love to win a Seeker book.

  44. Kav!!!! Mice are us!!!

    Emily Dickinson was a mouse. Laura Ingalls Wilder was a mouse.

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

    I plot in the garden, too. I love plants, they don't talk back. They have scant opinion, making me right that much more often.


  45. With you on the "ducks in a row," JANET! That's why I give my mornings to chores and busy work so my brain is free to create all afternoon long (mostly)!

    Wise post, RUTHY! Loved all the writerly quotes. Especially Nora's--so true, you can't fix a blank page.

    Of course, "No one pays me to clean" is also a very handy mantra!

  46. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Ruthy!

    I've been stewing about not having time to write, and then when I get time, I don't use it well....

    All because the messy house is getting on my nerves! Grrrr!

    deep breath

    But I'll take a page from your book - one hour of writing will be my reward for 15 minutes of cleaning. I can do anything for 15 minutes, right? And then I get to write!

    (I'll let you know if that trigger works.)

  47. Hi Ruth:

    I just loved this line you wrote:

    “You can't sell something that doesn't exist.”

    Actually, you can, but you shouldn’t. ☺

    Now as far as writing goes, instead of being psychoanalyzed, writers need to be suitably apprised.

    To put it in the vernacular the problem for most aspiring writers is:

    D’air gatta wanna
    no a matcha
    d’air willa ta do’a.

    In other words, their understanding of the undertaking is universally underestimated.

    Writing to publication should be explain like this from the very beginning:

    Here is a football field. One half of the field is piled fifty feet high with sand. The other half is empty. Now your job is to take a shovel and move all the sand to the other side of the field. That’s it. Get started.

    I can hear you now,

    “But that would take ten years!”

    Maybe, ten years, if you’re lucky. It’s like one of those warranties: “ten years or twenty novels written which ever comes first.”

    “Who in heavens could put off gratification for that long?”

    “Mary, Ruth, Helen, should I go on?”

    “But, but, but, but…that’s insane…I could get three Ph.D’s in that time!”

    “I know. You just gatta wanna…really, really badda. Oh, and did I mention: you can’t give up?”

    BTW: Those 80% RWA members who warm chairs, they help pay the rent for the professional students. They say: “what gets rewarded gets done” -- so those 80% are winners, too. They want to feel like genuine writers and being in the RWA gives them that feeling without having to wait ten years or more.

    Moral Premise: Pick up a shovel and start shoveling and never give up. Plot or pantser: it's your choice only pile it high.


  48. Dr. Ruthy, where can I pick you up at? You're coming home with me. *grin*

    Don't hate me, but I went to that sensitivity test and pretty much every answer was me. *hides face in shame*

    Thank you for a fabulous post! I know I need this because I have such trouble consistently writing.

  49. SANDRA!!!! I love that you know me so well!

    I love the line in Pollyanna that talks about all the "glad" verses in the Bible.

    I'm totally on board with the GLAD verses!

    Hey, Happy Canada Day is right...

    "Oh, Canada!!! Our home and native land! True patriot love, in all thy sons command!"

    Every time I hear that I'm swept away to Green Gables and Avonlea.


    What a beautiful and glorious country. Glad we share a continent!

  50. Jessica, LOL!!!

    I couldn't possibly hate you because we insensitive types are too involved with ourselves to take time hating!!!


    You know, there's nothing wrong with being sensitive. Or being a hard-... well..

    Fill in the blank.

    The trick is recognizing yourself/ourselves and working accordingly. If you're sensitive, you might thing twice before trying to write in a noisy environment or dealing with 4 screechy toddlers or telling strangers about your dream...

    Because if they shoot you down, or smirk or if the toddlers' noise makes you insane, or if you can't think in a restaurant environment, then you make other choices so you don't waste time.

    I love that you're sensitive.

    Gives me one more person to make fun of.


  51. Connealy, I love the whole trio. Trigger... Roy... Dale...

    And the Lone Ranger and TONTO????

    Johnny Depp as TONTO!!!!

    How stinkin' funny will that be?

    Sorry... Mary took me off task.

    Bad, Connealy. Shame on you!

  52. Sherri, isn't that so much better????

    We'll always have inherent weaknesses from nature or nurture, who really cares????

    But grabbing those positives and making them stronger just by recognizing who we are: Hey, that makes so much sense to me!

  53. Kathy Bailey, preach it, Sistah!

    I love what you said, and that thought of you plotting in the car... I do that too and the only accident I've had is when three deer jumped on my car.

    I totally blame the deer!!!

    I think most pansters do a mental pre-plot or character examination of some sort, but this past weekend I moved into a new book...

    And I knew this hero had a traumatic past, but as he went through his grandmother's old, broken down house, I started to "see" the past he needed. So for me when I start writing, the thoughts I've been toying with become persons, places and things... and the trauma came alive in my head.

    If I try to "plan" that part in my head, it comes across stale.

    But walking up those stairs with him. Seeing those closed doors...

    Brought it all to mind for him AND me.

  54. Who knew Nora was so Yoda like?

    But you, Ruthy need your own tv show! The Seekers could be your guests. You could make them cry, just like Oprah and Barbra Walters!
    Episodes on gardening, writing, cooking, children and dogs! It would be great!

    I think I am in good shape as far as sensitivity. The other stuff I needed to hear!
    I will be incorporating some of your ideas.

    Can't wait for September! Great covers!

  55. Janet, LOL! Your structure is so delightfully normal... and I can see how well it works for you and so many others.

    There's a part of me that likes that image, but life handed me other tasks and then I had to figure out a way to piece-meal things together.

    Recognizing that I had the choice to do that or not do that was a big step forward for me.

  56. Melanie, we insensitive clods have it made!!!


    You know, I have to tell you, you're thinking that taking a day or two (or sometimes three) to get over disappointments is bad.

    I think you've become marvelously stoic, Mel. You know first-hand it's a tough biz, and you've weathered the waves. Honey, there's nothing like learning to "tack" with the current wind to toughen our hides. And to help us realize that God's in control and this too shall pass...

    I think God invented Tough Love.

  57. I'm laughing out loud for real, Jeanne!!!!

    Jeanne and I have talked about too much planning... sometimes you just have to hold your breath and jump in the shallow end.

    Why the shallow end?

    Because life is precious and if you drown I've got that on my conscience with a whole boatload of other stuff. (Yes, I'm insensitive, but I have a conscience. And Catholic Mother Guilt...Oh, you do not want to go messing with CMG!!! Unless you're a Jewish mother, they edge us out slightly!)

    Jeanne, I had a friend tell me yesterday that she's finally laid a life-long problem at the foot of the cross. I think we all tend to not do that with our work, we traipse along. I'm so excited that you're FINALLY STARTING!!! Saints be praised, woman, let's roll!!!


  59. MARY ANN!!! So nice to see you!

    And thank you, I'm so glad you liked it. And so glad you're here!

  60. Pam!

    I think you're right, you've got a perfectionist's thread. But then you look at great perfectionist authors...

    Harper Lee took years and many re-writes to produce To Kill a Mockingbird...

    Margaret Mitchell's masterpiece "Gone With the Wind" was her only novel and took years to write.

    If there was only one right way to do things, the book shelves would be EMPTY.

    But it's good to recognize that perfectionist side, Pam... because it can be so detrimental to getting words on a page. That goes right back to Nora's quote: "You can fix anything but an empty page."

  61. Melanie, you are so totally not alone anymore!

    Isn't that the blessing of all of us working together?

    We don't have to be on the same timeline. Or the same page. We just look out for one another and cheer the Grand Chawhee in for victory!!! (All Dogs Go to Heaven)

    I love how your life has changed. Much like Jenny, you've taken steps forward that can never be undone and for good or bad, you're on a new road. A path less traveled.

    I love seeing the difference!!! You just made my day.

  62. Elaine as Susan Boyle wanting to be Elaine Page

    I believe it, I SEE it, I believe.

    Honestly, Elaine? I see people getting WAY MORE DONE when they have an outside job than when they leave it...

    And the reason is they have a looser structure and think they have more time. If you have more time, you can push things off...

    In my case, I made writing the reward system for the full time job. If I do a good job during the day, I can take time to write... I can take time to create... Because that makes me SO STINKIN' HAPPY, and I had to convice myself that it was okay to do that long before anyone offered to pay me.

    I think that's tricky for us mentally. To get beyond the "Is It Worth It?" or the "I'm Destined to Fail"...


    Sure, she's had some rough go's getting used to fame, but that's true for so many of us.

    When she said she wanted to be as famous as Elaine Page, the room CROAKED, LAUGHING AT HER.

    Quietly of course. Making faces. Disbelieving. But then who woulda believed an itinerant carpenter-turned-teacher would save mankind???


    If I were you I'd be out the door getting myself a job because you work better under pressure.

    And it gives you STORY FODDER while you're getting paid, LOL!

  63. Good heavens! When I saw the word "trigger" in the title I thought Mary C was shooting people again! Phew!

    I've been writing a long, long time -- do not ask -- so have figured out many things that do and don't work for me. However, what does work when I write non-fiction doesn't necessarily work when I write fiction ... such as the time of day I write. Weird, huh?

    I also discovered a major time-waster for my fiction writing: trying other techniques. You know, the ones you wonder if maybe you should try to see if you accomplish more. Guess what. Tried a bunch and I'm most productive and happiest and most creative writing exactly the way I was when I started. You described it here: "Some authors do a daily edit on what they've written the previous day... And that keeps them on track for what is to come."

    A wonderful lunchtime read, Ruthy. Thought-provoking. I have to put those ponderings aside for a while, though. Gotta finish a synopsis. I wish I could say "I get to finish a synopsis, oh boy oh boy," but 'gotta' fits the situation :-)

    I discover something new about myself and writing every day thanks to Seekerville.

    Nancy C

  64. Clari Dees!!! You and Janet could room together and be so happy!!!!

    And you're young, it's so nice to see you have such a good handle on this at such an age. I'm so proud of you!

    Ducks in a row... I love seeing Mama ducks and all those sweet babies!!! Great imagery this time of year!

  65. Amber, there are several of us gluten-free peeps here. You're in good company. ;)

  66. Great post, Ruthy! I had to learn some of this trail and error. Wish you'd told me this ten years ago! :)

    Yes, I'm a highly sensitive person. But I now have a pretty tough skin.

  67. Amber, there are several of us gluten free peeps here so you're in good company. ;)

  68. I'm okay with Amber being the ice cream fairy... and the gluten free is no biggie here. We're kind of like the Island of Misfit Toys when it comes to food!!!

    Although HERE we get to eat anything because virtual food has none of the sin-value of typical American fare!

    Ice Cream... I love you, AMBER!!!

  69. The Tippenmeister made a great point!!!!

    I rarely compliment her, so this is a BANNER DAY!!!

    Missy is sensitive. I mock her incessantly. But she's also gotten tough because if you're going to survive a subjective biz, you have to toughen up.

    So even sensitive types can be RITA FINALISTS!!!!!


  70. Ruthy, great always do a super job.

    Thanks for including my LIS cover!!!

    Just said goodbye to son, dil and little four-year-old grandson! They've been with us for a number of days and are now en route to their new home and son's new military assignment at Fort Bragg!

    The house is so quiet...and lonely. Hate goodbyes, especially when little ones are involved. The good thing is they're only seven hours away, which is so do-able! Still, my grandma heart is feeling sad. Sniff, sniff!!!

  71. Trigger trivia?

    He was stuffed and in the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, CA. Alas, the museum burned and Trigger is no more.

    We lived at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert, and Victorville was the closest town with a shopping area, about an hour-plus drive from post. Roy had passed away by the time we moved to Irwin, but Dale still lived on their ranch in nearby Apple Valley. I got to meet her when she spoke at one of our Ladies of the Chapel luncheons. Truly a charming woman.

  72. I always think I need lots of time to write, but if I set a timer for 30 minutes, I'm amazed how much I can do in that short time. The ticking clock helps to spur me on.

  73. Happy Canada Day to our northern neighbors!

  74. Tina, I love my September cover!!!! It was so much fun writing that story... A FARM STORY, AND I LOVE RUSTIC, RURAL AMERICAN AND FARMS!!!!...

    And I used my granddaughter as the model for Dorrie and Sonya, the identical twins... and a friend from church as the heroine. I can't wait to get my books and take Rachel the book with her on the cover! And it looks like her. Both likenesses are good, so how much fun is that?


  75. Hey, what do our Canadian neighbors DO on Canada Day?

    Tell us, peeps. Is it like our 4th of July?

  76. Great post, Ruthy! I LOVE seeing those September covers already! I had so much fun writing "A Canyon Springs Courtship" (the 5th book set in the mountain country of Arizona) and now Canyon Springs book #6 is in my editor's hands for 2014. (Haven't heard a release month yet, though.) And NOW I'm starting (on a NINETY DEGREE day!) a Canyon Springs CHRISTMAS story! Ho Ho Ho! :)

    I'm between a pantster and a plotter -- a PLANster. And I'm a morning person, although I can write all day when I get the rare opportunity to do so.

  77. Taking time out from writing on my day off (this is what Canadian writers do on Canada Day!LOL) to say hi.

    Having a small barbeque with just the family and possibly my mother. Some really party animals have big bashes with fireworks or go to watch firework displays. We used to when the kids were young. Not so much now. I am not a party type. Rather be in my cave writing!

    Happy Canada Day - how ever you celebrate it!

    GREAT COVERS, btw!! How exciting!

    TTY tomorrow.

  78. I am also thinking about what a great country this is. (Probably because I'm doing Westerns.) We did something no other country had ever done and we are STILL free! Caroline, my heroine in "Trail," has a moment where she remembers the Revolutionary War veteran who lived on her street -- it's that fresh for them.
    Lori Borgman, who writes a mostly humor column, got serious this weekend and wrote about the Declaration of Independence. It was in my Sunday paper. It was an impressive piece, check it out if you've got time.
    I also feel humbled and awed by the American Revolution whenever I visit Lexington and Concord. I do that about once a year, since I live nearby in New Hampshire. It is a sobering experience to stand on those battlefields and realize what a group of untrained merchants and farmers accomplished, simply because they wanted to be free.
    I also love our National Anthem, even though it is not sing-able for non-singers. "The flag was still there" gives me chills.
    Kathy Bailey

  79. LOL, RUTHY. :) Yep I'm all ready to jump in the shallow end. I don't wanna drown either. Haven't gotten to do one thing writing-wise today. One kiddo had an unscheduled CT scan this afternoon. So, now they're home, and getting ready to go to karate and I'll work on my blog post for manana.

    THEN, I'll be nestling in to my story. :) Loved your words!

    AND, I'll have to find 1776. This ignorant girl has never even heard of it. (hangs her very red cheeks and walks away). :)

  80. Wow, I can't think of a sweeter deal than the new books from Ruthy, Glynna, and Debby!! Please put my name in the cat dish. Thanks!!


  81. Cat dish me for any Seeker books.

    As for the post - very, very helpful. I'm still figuring when is a good writing time. After work seems best, except for toddler needing attention or when work was such a brain drain on creativity, there's none left for "storytime". *sigh*

    This is good for me to use for self assessment.

  82. What a wonderful "kick in the pants" post Ruthy! Thank you...I needed it.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

    proud mommy of a new bouncing baby black male miniature poodle puppy!

  83. VINCE!!!! I felt like I was suddenly back in Scotland and Robert Burns was giving me a recitation! Ye ken?

    O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
    I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!
    And clos'd for aye, the sparkling glance
    That dwalt on me sae kindly!

    And mouldering now in silent dust,
    That heart that lo'ed me dearly!
    But still within my bosom's core
    Shall live my Highland Mary.

    Ruthy now, instead of the baird! I love your analogy, it's plain spoken and accurate. And I'm not knocking that 80%... silly you if you thought so, but for those striving to be in the 20% column... it's good to see, as you showed, that you can nevah, nevah give up.

    What does concern me from time to time is that newbies don't know who to listen to... what to think. And that can be a long and meandering dead end if they run into the wrong sort.

    Know what I mean? This is my protective mother side coming out.

    (My children would laugh and say they saw precious little of that, but that's because I hid it behind my pushy nature!!!) :)


    Oh mylanta, Atlanta, did I know this????? Maybe I did, like way back in my brain, but I love that you got to meet her.


    I hate saying goodbye to grandbabies... I always conjure up worst case scenario and then God has to smack me upside the head and order me not to borrow trouble.


    Deb, I love your cover... the ambulance heading to the ER.... And it's very nice of you NOT TO TELL the world that I kinda sorta messed this up....

    I love Deb's gentle nature, she DID NOT kill me.

    Because she knows there are more important things to worry about and pray over.

    Like 19 families and their extendeds whose lives will never be the same...

    God bless all the folks in Arizona affected by grievous loss and out-of-control fires.

    Praying for all.

  85. OOOPS!!!! Where did this day go?? Sorry I didn't get to check back in this morning, Ruthy....BUT here's your PEACH CRISP!!

    Loved this post, AND reading all the comments--it's always interesting (and FUN) to see what works for others.

    I've found that even on those days when I don't really "feel creative" if I MAKE myself sit down at my computer, open up my story, and dive in, before I know it I'm lost in my story and enjoying the writing (unless I'm at a point where the story is stuck--then I have to get up and do something completely different for awhile--BESIDES cleaning litter boxes, LOL).

    Thanks, Ruthy---I really do always enjoy and learn from your posts.
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  86. RUTHY!!! I'm late, but I'm loving it ... your blog, that is, not me being late!!

    What a fun, FUN post, my friend, and VERY inspirational and motivational, something I find I need since I have written NOTHING in five days due to Little Girl being a house guest. :)

    But honestly, had I known Patti Jo was gonna dish up peach crisp ... uh, I might have ditched the grandbaby for a few minutes or so ... ;)


  87. LOL Make fun all you want. I'm not THAT sensitive. *grin*

  88. My wife and kids went away for a week to visit my wife's parents and I actually got less writing done. I did get some concentrated bursts, but fell away from writing every day.

    I think I need family around me.

  89. Me? Pans tear, definitely. Coffee in one hand ( thanks for that, Helen) iPad on my lap and tap tap tap as I tap out my 200 word reviews in minutes! And I'll getbrightnon that wall one pays me to clean!

  90. Sue, the writing cave has its allure!!!

    I meant to do a family party this year.

    Key word was "meant", right????


  91. Jeanne!!! 1776 is like the Princess Bride of historicals...

    Now there are other great historical movies, but this one has no blood...

    although you feel the blood.

    It has no shooting...

    Although you feel the loss.

    It is rife with singing, music, and humor and I only wish I had a chance to see it in theater. What a fun thing to see a live performance. Maybe it will "come back" someday.

    Or a local group will do it. I bet you'd love it!

    "Vote yes!"


    "Vote yes!"


    "Vote for independency!!!!!!"

  92. Jackie Smith you're in, chickie!!!! And I can't wait to get my hands on these two new Seeker books, either!!!

  93. Deb H..... to me the self-assessment was huge. And when I started waking up two hours before the alarm a decade ago I could have done two things:

    Figured I was GETTING OLD!!! Pshaw.

    Or that the Holy Spirit was nudging me, saying, "You want writing time? Here it is, daughter. Right before you. Reach out and touch the hem of the garment..."

    I chose the latter because it suited my purpose and if the Holy Spirit had a fan club, I'd have my hand in the air to be president... because he's always there.

    I know when Mia was struggling for time (working, kids, writing, oh, and husband... they are pesky time-consumers, aren't they?????) she decided to try the early morning and that's whens he started to keep track of what she was doing each day. An hour early to work (no distractions, office wasn't open yet) and five books later she's doing the same thing. That 1k or so/day.

    I like easy formulas!!! :)

  94. Patti Jo that's the perfect example of Nora's "You can fix anything but a blank page..."

    Even if you don't know what you're going to write, sitting down, opening the story file and re-reading the last few pages is a great jump-start!!!

  95. Walt, you and Elaine do better with structure. That's normal. Dude, I'm like that too, hence the hanging on to day job.

    I'm better when I have less time because I'm so careful to use it well.

    But I also push myself to work ahead of deadline so if I'm needed somewhere (and this happens regularly in a big family) I'm good to go with no major worries except about family.

    Structure and needing structure to produce are two good things to know about yourself. It's not just having family around. It's having a schedule that needs to be met.

  96. Marianne, we need to form a non-cleaning club!!!

    Seriously, that slogan/mantra, whatever...

    IT ROCKS!!!

  97. Julie Lessman!!! You soak up those baby times all you can!

    I must admit I'm rarely in a dearth for small children access, but when they're not underfoot 24/7/360... I'm estimating that there are FIVE DAYS/YEAR when there are not small children underfoot... they're enchanting little creatures, aren't they????


    Dorrie has the purple ribbons... Sonya has pink.

    Just so youse know!!!

  98. Even for a non-writer like myself I can take a lot away from this post.

    Feel free to add my name to the cat dish thank you.

  99. WONDERFUL post, Ruthie!

    According to the survey, I am a highly sensitive person (no surprise here, LOL.) And I'm afraid I am one of the people who needs a boss. It's one of the things I hate about myself. :-P Thanks again and happy writing!

  100. Thanks so much for the giveaway! All of these books sound great! I love Trigger--I got teary-eyed when I saw him. I am definitely a morning person; I don't trust anything I say or do after 10pm! Please, please, please put me in the cat's dish for the drawing!! I have been looking forward to Falling For the Lawman. Ruthie, I love your books! Thank you, thank you!
    tscmshupe[at] pemtel [dot] net

  101. Great post, Ruthy! There's something about summer time that always gets my juices going--for writing, dieting or whatever else in my life needs fixing. For many, it's that whole New Year's resolution period. But not me. Give me the long days of summer and I can accomplish wonders.

    Once again, I'm working hard to clear my plate so I can focus on writing (forget that the days are already beginning to wane; it's early July and summer's just beginning!) But I'm also working on fixing the diet, and triggers is something that speaks to me right now. So I get this. This post is for me.

    Thanks, Ruthy!

  102. Ruthy,
    As always, an excellent, informative post!
    Can one be a plotter and panster at the same time?? Would that person be known as a plotanster or a plotster? (No wonder I'm borderline psychotic!) I'm one or both- not sure which. I will develop an outline and fly off from there!
    Please put my name in the catbowl! Would love to read all these books!