Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to Pickup Your Writing Pace Whether You're a Tortoise or a Hare with Guest Rogenna Brewer

 If you’d like a refresher of Aseop’s fable The Tortoise and the Hare you can view it here:

 Let’s start with the morale of the story, which is slow and steady wins the race.  What kind of writer are you, a tortoise or a hare?  If you asked me a month ago, I would have said I’m a tortoise.  Five hundred words is a good day.  Often a long day. 

I’m at my computer from sun up until well past sun down. 
It’s hard being a slow writer in an indie world where fast writers are on fire.

I can’t begin to tell you how many fast draft courses I’ve taken or 2K to 10K books and blogs I’ve read, trying to become a faster writer.  However, all this self-analysis led me to the conclusion that I’m not a tortoise, but a hare—and a slow cooked hare at that. 

Because I’m easily distracted and work in spits and spurts.

I never would have guessed until I started keeping a log.   

Yup, you got it—consistency, not speed--is my issue.

Once I identified my real problem, I was able to get on track with a few quick fixes.  Like the sprinting turtle in the picture, I’ve come to realize it takes both consistency and speed to get ahead in this business.

Know what kind of race you’re running… 

Whether you work full time or write full time your writing career is a marathon.  One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to protect your writing time.  Whether that’s :30 minutes, :90 minutes, three hours or more, make a daily appointment to write and keep it.  Be consistent and in 21-30 days you will have formed the habit of writing daily. 

Improve your speed with timed sprints like #1K1HR on Twitter and Facebook.

 Better yet, improve your typing skills  I now start every morning with a typing test.  Sometimes transitioning into writing can be the hardest part.  The typing test is a signal to my brain that it’s time to go to work.  And I’m consistently hitting 60 words a minute when I thought I was a 40 wpm typist.  

When you really want to write, but don’t.  Or you don’t want to write, but need to in order to make word count.  One of the best tricks for overcoming hurdles is to use a kitchen timer.  Use it like superglue to keep your butt in the chair.  Set the timer for any increment and write until the buzzer sounds.  Don’t be surprised to find you want to keep writing. 

What are some of the obstacles that get in the way of your writing?

Make a list unique to your situation and find a way to work around them.

A writer’s brain needs exercise just like any other muscle…

If you’ve picked up some bad habits along the way, start out slow and steady with small, obtainable goals and then work to pick up speed.  You’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish.  

 After you’ve run your leg of the relay, you’ll want to hand your baby off to the right team—whether that’s a traditional publisher or someone you’ve contracted to help you self-publish, educate yourself.  Stay focused and surround yourself with positive people who’ll cheer you on as you cross that finish line.

Rogenna Brewer has one foot in traditional publishing and the other on the indie track.  It’s an uneven race at times, but she’s in this biz for the long haul.  She designs ebook covers, which can be found at  

Available now! One Night in Reno 

 Today Seekerville is giving away two copies of 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron (Oct 7, 2012)

Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.



Elizabeth said...

Wow. This really strikes a chord. Because as you say writing is like any sport, you have to be consistent. I think I sometimes wait for a day that I have hours to write. Which rarely happens.
Instead if I just wrote a little bit everyday is better than not writing at all. I am at this moment trying to finsh my manuscript in one week. (That's probably not possible but I like to do it before college starts.)

Terri said...

Yikes! Have you been spying in me? :) consistentcy is so important. I fight procrastination, but I'm determined to overcome. Thanks for a terrific post.

Cindy W. said...

Hi Rogenna. Thank you for the post today. I can always use motivation. I'm working on forming a consistent writing habit now. It's not always easy when you work full time and have family to tend to but then I see all these authors that do it over and over and I know there is hope. I just must be diligent as I suffer from deep roots of procrastination.

I would love to be entered into the drawing.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Good morning, Rogenna!

Consistency. I agree, that's key/clutch/needed.

I don't know how to advise folks to do it except to just do it. I was a good soccer coach, but prodding folks to write regularly is the old take the horse to water routine...

Making them drink is totally up to them.

I do believe in God-nudges. I believe if we tap into our heart and soul for God, he gives us the strength, courage and murmurs of encouragement we need.

I see that as a huge part of being able to write daily.

The other part is that I love it SO STINKIN' MUCH and I've waited forever to do it, so sitting and writing is my gift to myself at either end of the work day with day job.

I think seeing it that way helps me, too. As a gift, not a job. A pleasure, not a task.

But if that doesn't work for everyone, then Duct Tape applied by someone else to keep butt in chair, can be helpful!!!!


Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning, Seekerville! Welcome back,Rogenna!! I am checking for Nanny Cams right now. Someone's been peeking at my office! Your post is spot on.

Naomi Rawlings said...

I'm a tortoise, and one who doesn't get easily distracted. Once I sit down and start writing, I like to plunk along, not stopping for anything until I reach my goal. But my oh my, does a lot of plunking go into my stories! Maybe one day I'll be a faster writer, but for right now, I'm pretty content where I am.

Jackie said...

Consistent...this summer has been anything but consistent.

I love #1K1HR though. It's a great place to be accountable and the others there are so nice.

Thanks for sharing and I'd love to have my name in the drawing. Thanks!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Since Rogenna drinks Diet Dr Pepper, i've got an ice bucket filled with it and a fruit tray. Help yourself. Must stop by the Yankee Belle and see what they are cooking too!

lizzie starr said...

Consistency is a great defeater of procrastination. At least that's what I keep telling myself. Sigh. And perhaps procrastination is just a lack of being consistent.

too much thinking before I'm ready for it this morning. :)

Thanks for an inspiring (and needed) post.

ellenparkerwrites said...

Excellent advice.
Now the difficult part -- putting it into action.
I've had a distracting summer- but summer is over and writing awaits.

Yes, I want to be in the drawing.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I think that sometimes we just set too lofty a goal and then we become discouraged when we don't meet them.

If we can just set a small realistic goal and hit it everyday those pages just build up.

Sally said...

I read that 2K to 10K blog post a while back. I'd love to get the book since the blog post was so helpful.

I started using 1K1HR last year and had a couple days where I hit 6K. That's when I realized I could write faster but that I let myself get distracted. 1K1HR really helped me avoid that.

But now I'm in the editing stage and I'm falling back into distractions. I'm tempted to use 1K1HR for my editing too, even though it's not designed for that.

Jeanne T said...

Yes, consistency—that necessary ingredient in completing a book. :) When I know where my scene is going it comes out fast. When I'm not sure what needs to happen next, that's when I come to a screeching halt. I'm learning how to work through those stop times so I can keep moving forward.

I loved your post Rogenna. You spoke good truth!

Please do enter me in the drawing. :)

Janet Dean said...

Thanks for the excellent post, Rogenna, and your practical tips to up productivity! I'm intrigued with the idea of starting my writing day with a typing test. Will check out the link.

When I don't exercise I'm shocked how quickly my muscles disappear. A great reminder that without consistency my writer muscles will turn to flab just as quickly.


Connie Queen said...


Ah, consistently. I'm consistent. One week I write every day. The next nothing. Nada. Then repeat.

I'm working on it though.

I didn't do too bad on the typing test, especially since it's been forever since I took one. 54.

I read the blog 2 to 10K a few months ago. Please enter me into the contest. Would love to win.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Rogena and welcome to Seekerville. I hope you enjoy your day. And what a great post and reminder of how to get those pages finished. Great tips. Love the typing test idea. Its a great way to limber up those fingers.

Donna said...

The past month has ben crazy and I have not written anything! Then I beat myself up about it for a few days, which was also unproductive!

Thank you Rogenna for helping me get back on track!

Sherri Shackelford said...

Great advice! Thank you so much for the boost :)

Another great tool is the freedom software.

It shuts down the internet on the computer (for mac or pc users) for an amount of time you set. Best purchase I've ever made for $10. I'm about to start it up right now.

This is a drawing I definitely need to be entered in...

Karen Kirst said...

Hi Rogenna,
I'm like you, writing in fits and starts. I'm not wired to sit at the computer for hours on end. I wish! I would like to be a faster writer but since I also homeschool my three boys, time is limited. Thanks for the insights!

Cindy Regnier said...

Typing test? I'm still working on typing without looking at the keys. In high school my typing instructor was partially deaf and couldn't hear if we started too early on the timed tests. Didn't help me much in later life.
Thank you Rogenna, Great motivating post.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Cindy Regnier! New profile pix. LOVE IT!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

OH. MY. GOSH. SHERRI!!! That sounds like a MUST HAVE tool. Thank you for mentioning it!

Myra Johnson said...

Fun post, Rogenna, and great productivity tips--thanks for being our guest today!

Wow, SHERRI, software that shuts down the Internet??? Yikes! That would make me a nervous wreck! I confess an addiction to watching the little Apple Mail stamp at the bottom of my Mac screen to see when new emails arrive. I mean, after all, it could be from my agent announcing a really big book deal, right???

Speaking of productivity, I need to get back into my routine. Still catching up with writing-related busy work after coming back from Africa. Hopefully things will be more normal by next week.

Carol Moncado said...

Great post!!!!!

I definitely have hare tendencies ;). When I put my mind to it, I can fast draft with the best of them. I can ALMOST keep up with Mary Connealy.

But when I'm not in that mode... yeah... it takes forever.

Rough draft during NaNo/SpeedBo? Not a problem. 70K+ [messy] words in a month. The rest of the year? Notsomuch. And I put off editing etc as long as I possibly can. You know. Until three weeks before conference... ;)

Tina said:
I think that sometimes we just set too lofty a goal and then we become discouraged when we don't meet them.

For me the key is finding the right balance between lofty and TOO lofty. If I set a low goal, I might hit it [say 50K]. But if I set a goal I know is lofty but not out of reach [like 75K], I might not reach it, but I'll end up with more than I would have otherwise [70K]. Finding that balance is the problem...

Which reminds me... I have work to do ;).

Carol Moncado said...

Oh - anyone who wants to join us...

#1K1HR Facebook Group

[Am considering changing the official name to something like #1K1HR Page since Facebook now does hashtags...]

Rogenna Brewer said...

Tina, thanks for bringing that diet Dr. Pepper. Looks like I'm going to need it :)

What a great group. I always love stopping by here and would like to offer a copy of One Night in Reno to everyone who stops by or at least gets as far as this comment.

FREEE ALERT!!! ONE NIGHT IN RENO COUPON CODE to be used at for the format of your choice: KR57N

This is a limited time offer. The coupon does expire. So please get your download ASAP.


Julie Lessman said...


But that's what it's all about for we writers, so THANK YOU for the kick in the butt!

And I may just have to try Sherri's tool, too, to shut down the Internet on my Mac. I actually saved a link I saw a while back about a similar service called "Write The Damn Thing," and eventually planned on trying it out. No time like the present, I guess, but Sherri's suggestion sounds WAY better!! :)

But ... here's the link for non-Mac folks who can't use Sherri's Mac Freedom software:

By the way, Rogena ... your covers are AWESOME!!


Mary Connealy said...

Well, I did the typing test twice.
First one I was interrupted before the minute was up and I already had FIFTEEN MISTAKES
Good grief.
I know I depend on spell check a lot but wow. On the other hand, I'm super fast.
Second time I was slower but only had five mistakes. It came out to 59 words per minute.
So that's fairly reasonable.
And I was writing about Syberian Tigers or something so who can be expected to spell that, huh?
What was this blog post about again?

Rogenna Brewer said...

Elizabeth, I'm in the exact same boat, trying to finish a manuscript in a week. Had I been more consistent I wouldn't have to be paddling so fast now.

If "crunch time" has worked in the past, it's not uncommon to fall back on it.

This is an eye opening article on the psychology behind procrastination put out for college students by UNC.

Mary Connealy said...

Oh, yeah, the tortoise and the hare.

Honest, people say I'm a fast writer but I don't see myself that way. I think I'm classic "Slow and Steady Wins the Race."
Me and my ... 1000 words a day five days a week.

Maybe some would say that's fast and steady but not really. Mostly it's just STEADY.

So I'm the fastest tortoise you'll ever meet, maybe. But still, a tortoise.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Terri, for you I have the Top Ten Tips from Psychology Today on how to beat procrastination.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Cindy, Hi. For you I have how to get words on the page.

Rogenna Brewer said...


I bet you could show Brian Keene a thing or two on how to get 80,000 words in a weekend...

Rogenna Brewer said...

Naomi, your name and process sound like music to my ears. I wish we could all be that content.

Mary Connealy said...

Rogenna, If I read all these links it'll officially qualify as procrastination....which....of course...won't stop me...

Mary Connealy said...

But...but...but SHERRI...what if there is a really important email I need to get???? What if I miss something really IMPORTANT!!!???

(Okay, I'm an addict. I need a twelve step program)

Rogenna Brewer said...


Keep up the 1hr1k! When life gets crazy sprints work :)

Rogenna Brewer said...


I think you need Jerry Seinfeld's Productivity Secret :)

Rogenna Brewer said...


I'd start with a kitchen time to get back on track.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Okay, All. Must grab a diet Dr. Pepper and get back to writing for a bit. I'll stop by again later.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh my gosh. Where did you find that 40,000 words in a Weekend post???

Anita Mae Draper said...

Thanks for the post, Rogenna.

I like to blame life for disrupting my writing schedule and making me doubt my writing so that I'm forever rewriting, but I think you're right about the rejections. My present WIP is targeted at a publisher who has rejected several of my other works and the phrase, "It's not good enough" keeps rebounding through my head. Can't get much writing done when you keep trashing what you've written.

Debby Giusti said...

I love my kitchen timer. It always gets me back on track. Thirty minutes at a time.

Of course, I work longer, but the first thirty minutes are the hardest. Once I'm settled, I continue to write.

Great info today! Thank you!

Your One Night In Reno looks great. Heading to download. :)

Myra Johnson said...

Couldn't resist the typing test! It took a couple of tries to get my act together (accidentally had caps lock on so every word counted as an error!) but finally did 87 wpm with 100% accuracy--and that was being extra-careful! I usually type LOTS faster.

Tina Radcliffe said...

87????? Seriously, Myra????

Myra Johnson said...

I was a star typing student in high school and business college. Went to State in shorthand, too. And never used it again.

Connie Queen said... sound like me. Unproductive followed by wasting more time beating yourself up over being unproductive...

I'm getting better than I used to be, but it's still a struggle.

Connie Queen said...

Oh Myra.

I knew there would be someone on here who could type like a cheetah on steroids.

You're awesome! (no sarcasm intended.)

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, Connie--just did the tiger story at 94 wpm but with 4 errors for an adjusted speed of 90 wpm!

Oh my. I need to quit playing and get to work!!!

Carol Moncado said...

Yeah - I got 73-2=71 on the tiger story...

I got 86 on Dorothy...

Tina Radcliffe said...

What do you mean, never used it again??? You're a writer! You use it every day. 94???!!!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Tina knows me, too well. I was setting such lofty goals I had to start from scratch in reevaluating what I was capable of in an hour or a day...

The typing test was the first step.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Sally, I started this year coming off a break from writing, which unfortunately happened during the busy season at my then day job. And then I went right into editing mode on an old manuscript so I was used to moving ahead only 100-200 new words a day.

But was really surprised when I switched to writing mode and was still only getting 100 words a day. That's when I found 2K-10K and it worked to double my output.

My max ever was right around 40 pages (last deadline) and just under 10K, but so long ago and after a 20 hour day. But I'm convinced quicker output is a learnable skill.

Jan Drexler said...

I sure needed to read this today!

I've just discovered recently that my peak writing time seems to be mid-morning to mid-afternoon. If I try to write early, things keep popping into my brain, like "did you start the laundry?" "Is the ground beef in the fridge spoiled yet, or can we use it for supper?" "Who needs to be to school at 9, and has he taken a shower yet?"

You know, random things.

That discovery has led me to that steady application of fingers to the keyboard I had been missing! And my word count is reflecting it.

Thanks, Rogenna!

Audra Harders said...

Rogenna, glad to have you in Seekerville!! I've got to laugh at this post only because it's one of my biggest obstacles.

I'm with you, Ro. Consistency. Or definite lack of. I can steam through word for a couple of day and be so darn proud of myself, then it's like I walk out of the writing room turning the lights off behind me and forget I need to stay in the room and work until the book is finished.

Talk about psyching myself out!!

July and August are always HORRIBLE months for me a work. Now that the biggest brunt of overtime is over, I'm back to scheduling writing time from 7 to 9 each evening.

Yep, gotta get back into the routine...

Audra Harders said...

AND, Rogenna designs great book covers.

She's creating one for me right now and working with her is wonderful.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Jeanne, I have that same problem and it sounds counter intuitive, but those are the times when I find stepping away from the computer works the best.

My best "ideas" come when I'm folding laundry, walking, showering or even after sleeping on it.

Audra Harders said...

MYRA! 90 wpm? OMG, my fingers would get all tangled up!!!

Rogenna Brewer said...

I agree, Janet. I use the mapmywalk app and love that they send me a weekly recap.

Timesheets, logs or even the Seinfeld method are a good way to reward and remind us to be consistent.

I have a yearly planner that I like to sticker.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Yeah, Connie! You just proved you're an above average typist. That was my first step to no excuses. Like you I'd go full bore one day or one week and then cycle through burn out the next.

But the fastest I've ever written was two hours a day 8-10 pages every day, first thing in the morning...

Those pages really added up. And it was so much less stressful I would end my writing sessions laughing out loud because I was done with work for the day and could do whatever I wanted.

I keep promising myself that after this deadline I'm going to get back to that happy place :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Sandra;

Always a great day :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

My pleasure, Donna. No whipping posts allowed :)

Forgive yourself, set your timer for :30 and write. I promise you'll feel better.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Thanks, Sherri for that heads up. What did we ever do before social media, right :?

Myra Johnson said...

Tina, I meant I've never really used the shorthand since those days. No job I ever had required it.

Rogenna Brewer said...

You're welcome, Karen. Young children are a special challenge.

I remember sending my two oldest off to school and thinking, finally time to write. And there stood my youngest in the door to my "closet," which I used as an office.

Needless to say I didn't get any writing done THAT day.

I don't believe in putting writing before family. But I do believe in carving out time for yourself. Back then it was writing from Leno to Conan and then off to bed.

Rogenna Brewer said...

If you promise not to use it for procrastination, Cindy, there are some fun skill building games at that link as well :?

Rogenna Brewer said...

Okay, time for me to get back to writing. See you in a bit. Don't forget to the grab your FREE copy of One Night in Reno--it's a sweet romance with a Navy SEAL hero, a down on her luck single mom and a cute little boy and puppy. I just recently changed up the cover.

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Thanks for the kick in the pants, Rogenna! This post is something I needed, as my output has been, ah, shall we say rather low lately?

I need to look at it like running, which, BTW, I hate doing. I'm more of a speed walker. My thoughts on running are that I only do it if someone is chasing me. Much like the hare ran the race only when he felt he was being chased by the tortoise. So, perhaps I should pretend I'm being chased so that I write more? ;)

Have a great day!

Clari Dees said...

Thank you for making me think about this in a different light, Rogenna. I am a fairly quick typist--typing test yielded 80wpm with 5 errors for an adjusted speed of 75wpm--but I am consistently inconsistent with my times to sit down and actually write. I've actually done better this week than I have all summer. Maybe because it finally got really hot outside and I'm inside more often. But I need to be more disciplined about writing a little bit each day instead of trying to get it all done on my days off work.

I'm also going to save that typing test site and see if using that gets my brain moving on words a little quicker when I first sit down.

Oh, and Thank you for the free download! :0) I already snagged my copy. :-)

Rogenna Brewer said...

My pleasure, Myra.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Good point, Carol. There is that fine line between a goal that's too high and a goal that pushes us to do more.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Thank you, Julie. I love making covers. I just have to be carefully that I don't use the excuse of making covers as a procrastination tool :)

Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Mary;

I'm hearing you're a fast writer so maybe you don't need the tips and tricks like some of us .

Rogenna Brewer said...

That's my point, Mary--it's no so much about being fast or slow--consistency wins every time.

Last week I learned Hemingway produced about 500 words a day, but he wrote daily.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Go, Earnest! I knew I liked him.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Tina--The Brian Keene post. I found most of those links while looking for a miracle that would allow me to produce my entire manuscript in one weekend :)

Jeanne T said...

ROGENNA, I agree, stepping away does good for my spirit. And the story. :) I haven't tried that typing test yet, but I think I'm heading over for a quick break. I'm still catching my breath after reading of MYRA's 90 wpm! WOW!

CINDY—Love your new profile pic!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yes, Mary Connealy, is the one who writes a novella during a potty break!!!

Jeanne T said...

Okay, I tried three of the tests and ranged between 72-84 words. This could be seriously addicting. :) Just sayin'.

Rogenna, I forgot to say thank you for the free download. Going to do that now. You are so thoughtful! And now, I'm off to write!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Well, you're all having so much fun I think I'll join you.

I used to have a typing speed of 60+ in high school, including all the errors, of which there's been many. I've always gone for speed over accuracy.

So I've just done the Rogenna's test and... I scored 60 with 1 error = 59 wpm.

I guess I haven't changed much because I must've pressed the backspace about a dozen or more times. Ha!

Myra, I'm humbled. :)

Rogenna Brewer said...


I absolutely know all about trashing 10,000 words at a time. Try to stop yourself from hitting the delete key until you finish a first draft.

It's hard, very hard... I tend to edit as I write which is bad, very bad. At least make yourself hold off for a day. If you don't like what you've written write what you should have written instead, but keep going.

I just went through a phase of self doubt last night as a matter of fact. I read through about a dozen rejected proposals that I hadn't looked at in years. Some were so old the I don't even write with the same software program anymore.

Not only were they NOT bad. A couple pieces blew me away by how good they were. And I could have kicked myself for not finishing them years ago.

For what it's worth--as someone who's been published for 13 years, has sold only 9 books and has amassed 36 rejected partials (which will see the light of day as I intend to take control and self publish them all).

Protect the work. Don't share anything before its time. And finish Everything.

After you're done, set that first draft aside and write the next book and then go back and read that first manuscript with an objective eye.

Had I done that I wouldn't be sitting on so many unfinished manuscripts. If you can conquer self-doubt you'll rule the world. If you can't work around it :)

I have the words: Practice Finishing...

It comes from Robert Heinlein's Rules of Business:
1) You must write.
2) You must finish what you write.
3) You must not rewrite unless to editorial demand
4) You must mail your work to someone who can buy it.
5) You must keep the work in the mail until someone buys it.

4&5 can be ammended for the indie writer to read, publish instead of mail and keep it for sale.

3 Is just a warning against overwriting. It doesn't mean you shouldn't polish. But the perfecting can come after the writing.

2 the article was about all writing being practice and that's where I came up with practice finishing.

So please think twice before you hit delete again.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Debby--I love my kitchen time, too :) And stickers. My calendars are full of stickers.

Rogenna Brewer said...

LOL--I'm loving all these typing test scores.

Mary Connealy said...

Tina, sweetie, why does my writing and the RESTROOM always come up in conversation with you???
Why can't we say I write a novella during LUNCH?
Why can't we say I write a novella while I get a pedicure?

True I'm using my hands during lunch.
And true I don't get pedicures.
But still...........

So personal, Tina.

Work on this.......

Mary Connealy said...

ps I don't write a novella that quickly, so it is all MOOT

Rogenna Brewer said...

Jan, she really stresses writing during your peak in 2K-10K. I'm now more of an evening writer.

I get very "hungry" when I sit down the the keyboard in the morning, even right after breakfast.

I think that comes from years of writing after work, but I've been driving myself to get back in the morning habit just because there's real danger for me in putting the writing off.

But sticking to a late morning schedule and keeping it sounds perfect!!!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Thank you, Audra. We came up with a pretty awesome cover, don't you think :) You and Tina and both been great to work with as well.

Rogenna Brewer said...

LOL-Stephanie. We all need a kick in the pants sometime.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Fine, Connealy!

Mary Connealy writes novellas while she's getting her mani-pedi and brow wax and mud barh!

Tina Radcliffe said...


Rogenna Brewer said...

Clari; You're welcome for the book. Hope you enjoy it :)

As someone who has logged 12, 16, 20 hour days on deadlines because of her inconsistency, a little bit every day is not only easier, but makes those occasional longer days easier as well.

I should mention there's a point of diminishing return. For me hours 2-3 are peak, but at 4 hours my productivity per hour starts to decline.

But occasionally marathon writing sessions can be very productive -- like the Brian Keene link I mentioned earlier or Lilliana Hart in the Naked Truth About Self Publishing. She was inspired to write 70K in 5 days. And her story is very inspiring.

Mary Connealy said...

A mud bath is the opposite of a bath. It's like aging to be younger. Or your hair growing shorter.
Washing in mud.

Why am I not surprised it's expensive.
I wonder what perfume that smells bad costs?

Mary Connealy said...

Yesterday I was just writing a scene that was so fun and I ran out of time and had to quit and was ready to shut down and I couldn't remember where I'd started. So on a whim, because I hadn't deleted the document I'd emailed to myself the day before, I opened it and sure enough I'd added a thousand words. It usually doesn't come that easy.
But it was a fun scene.
I wish my book would all write itself like that. But usually it's hard work.


Rogenna Brewer said...

I think with all the typing tests we just proved none of us can use the slow excuse anymore.

Mary, did you finish a novella while reading this?

Walt Mussell said...

These days, I've been adding about 2000 words per week to my writing totals. I know that I can't write every day (as much as I want to). However, when I sit down, I try to write at least 500 words a shot, as I want to make those few moments worth it.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Every little bit counts, Walt.

Chill N said...

Rogenna, the cover on One Night in Reno is wonderful. My eyes immediately went to the little boy and then down to the title. Nicely done!

It seems I say this all the time at Seekerville, but your post was unbelievably timely for me. It caused me to sit back and reevaluate how I view my 'process.' I've tried being a hare but I'm my most productive when I'm a persistent tortoise. Thanks for helping me recognize that fact.

Nancy C

Helen Gray said...

Myra, I did 86 with no errors. Like you, I used to be the top typist of the class, usually typing in the 100 range. But I'm the tortoise when writing, mulling over the scenes as I creep along.

This is the first timed writing I've done in years. It was kind of fun.

Been out and around today and just getting around to reading the posts.

Here's a fresh pot of brew, just in case anyone needs it.


Rogenna Brewer said...

Hi Helen,

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Rogenna Brewer said...

Thanks to all the Seekers for having me here today! It's been a real pleasure.

Missy Tippens said...

Rogenna, what a fantastic post! I had never thought about the fact I may not be a slow as I thought. I, too, need to work on consistency (and staying off the Internet!). :)

Thanks for sharing the link on the typing test. I hadn't tested myself, probably for years (maybe since high school). I hit 64 minutes the first time. 72 the second. So I think doing the test as a warm-up would work really well for me. Thanks for the suggestion!

BTW, I LOVE Tina's book cover!

Missy Tippens said...

LOL!! Not 64 minutes but WORDS/min.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Thank you, Rogenna. You were a terrific guest and you type fast.

Courtney Faith said...

A good topic for me--I tend to write slowly, mostly because I can't sit still for that long and I'm easily distracted. I've gotten off track with writing some every day this past week, but I'm hoping to return to that.
Please enter me:)

DebH said...

wow. just getting to this really, really late. wondering about that typing test - but i'm betting i'm somewhere in the 40-50 wpm range.

this post is awesome. i need to save a copy to re-read so i can become a productive, CONSISTENT tortoise. i'm definitely not a hare. i also need to pick out and guard a writing time.

very inspirational post. i'd love to know how you got started doing book covers. as a graphic artist, this interests me greatly and i'm sort of getting an itch to try my hand at doing it as a side, extra income opportunity because of the economy of late.

Ruth Ann Dell said...

Thank you for the great tips, Rogenna.

Focus booster is a great aid to writing in timed periods. Check it out at

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ruth Ann!! How are you? Thanks for the link too!

PatriciaW said...

Consistency is definitely the issue for me. For when I do sit down, I'm a pretty fast typist and the words just seem to flow like water. If only I could sit down on a regular basis...

I'm trying to find that time that I'm awake enough to be productive and I believe I can protect. No point in planning to write when I'm sure there will be more than a few interruptions/distractions--like right after work, right after dinner, Saturday mornings, etc. When I nail down that short window, I might still get interrupted, but I think more often than not, things should work out fine.

Thanks for this post, Rogenna. Gets my wheels turning once again.

Sara Ella said...

Thanks for this, Rogenna. This spoke volumes to me today. My kids and homeschooling (and messes) are my biggest obstacles. Everytime I sit at my computer, my one year old screams, haha. She is doing it right now, actually. Any advice?