Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sneaky Ways to Write More Each Day

with guest Jill Kemerer.



The alarm goes off and another day begins. I’d love to tell you I immediately get excited about what I’m going to do, but the only thing I’m really thinking is COFFEE. My day will be packed with promotion, writing, plotting and family stuff. I always, always want more hours to get things done.

You’ve heard it before—I’ve heard it a million times—we’re all busy and we all have the same 24 hours in each day. But did you ever notice some writers seem to get more done in their hours? A lot more?

As much as I try not to, I can’t help but compare myself sometimes. I have several friends who write jaw-droppingly high word counts each day. I’d love to tell you they have fewer responsibilities, but I would be lying. They have just as many, if not more, responsibilities as the rest of us.

I don’t know how anyone else does it, but here are some of the sneaky ways I write more each day, and I mean, write more of what counts each day.

Prioritize. If I have two hours, I devote it to my most important project. I don’t spend an hour writing a blog post for next week or exploring the idea that popped into my head last night. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the pages add up when you prioritize.

Set weekly goals. Every Monday I get out my calendar and quickly review the next seven days. I estimate what days I’ll be able to write and how many words I’ll get down during each session. Then I add them up. If the number seems low or high, I readjust if the goal isn’t realistic.

Set daily goals. The word count estimates I just made? I write them on the calendar. If I estimated 750 words on Monday, I do whatever it takes to actually write 750 words on Monday!

Use a timer. How many words can you typically write in 30 minutes? An hour? Set the timer. It forces you to GET TO IT. Do this for several writing sessions and you’ll get an idea of how many words you average in a set time. You can plan your week better with this knowledge.

Add a paragraph here and there. I have a smart phone. Typing on the tiny keypad isn’t ideal, but it allows me to work on projects at odd times. I use Google Docs, but you can get Microsoft Word or any app that works for you. I don’t add to my novels this way, but when I’m waiting for an appointment or at one of my kids’ practices, I’ll add to my nonfiction work-in-progress, or start a short story for my newsletter, I’ve even written a guest post for a blog. A few weeks ago, I wrote three paragraphs of a short story while waiting for a pizza!

Keep blank paper or a cheap notebook handy. After my writing session, I write a few notes about what should happen next. If I’m not sure what needs to happen next, I jot down two or three possibilities. This gets me in the groove faster the next time I write. When I get into the groove faster, I write more words. Go figure!

Be aware of where you’re at in the story. If I’m writing a 55,000 word novel, my proposed midpoint needs to happen around 27,000 words in. If I’m at 25,000 words and the midpoint is still several scenes away, I find a way to get the characters there quicker. I do not want to write scenes that will need to be cut. Deleting words is just as painful, if not more, than writing them in the first place. 

It’s not the writing pace that counts; it’s the quantity of words I write. I used to write fast. I don’t anymore, but I write my novels in less time than when I wrote fast. How? I’m deliberate about each scene, and I spend more hours writing each day. When I take the time to verify the plot, characters and story arcs on track in the first draft, revisions don’t take as long. 

The sneaky ways I add to my word count aren’t all that sneaky, but they work.

Prioritizing, setting goals, using a timer, writing notes for the next session, and being aware of where you’re at in the story will help you finish your book faster. For smaller projects, I really do recommend something portable, like a notebook or an app. The Google Docs app has changed my life. I used to think about all the short pieces I wanted to write, but I never had time to pursue them. By giving myself permission to add a paragraph or two at a time, I’ve finished two short stories, and outlined a future book. Nice!

How do you get your word count in? I’d love to hear your tips! 

Leave a comment today for an an opportunity to win a copy of Unexpected Family. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.



UNEXPECTED FAMILY

His Surprise Daughter 

After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he's never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn't understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he's afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.





About Jill


Jill Kemerer writes contemporary romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules. Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&Ms, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website, jillkemerer.com.








Seekerville has an extra give away for one commenter. A little timer to help you get in your daily word count. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.


72 comments:

Loves To Read said...

I'm a reader, not a writer, but would love to be entered in the drawing for the book or timer!

Melissa Jagears said...

Just wanted to say HI! To one of the nicest ladies ever....gotta go write. Er, rather plot.

I email myself ideas as they come rather than in google docs or anything. As I mentioned yesterday, my email is my to do list, so I can do something with it when I get back to email time.

But this was the best article I've found on getting word count in and in volume, those little emails that I write on what to write next really, really help when I get to writing time. And if fits perfectly with one point of this article: How I Went From Writing 2,000 Words a Day to 10,000 Words a Day

kvwriter said...

One if my biggest challenges is finding...or making...time to write. Thanks for the tips!

Mary Preston said...

I don't write, but I find that by using opportunities wisely I get more done.

Olivia said...

Thanks for the thoughtful blog. I will use the tip to make daily goals as one that will help my writing get back on track!

Cindy W. said...

I appreciate your post today Jill. Thank you.

I carry a small notebook in my purse and when an idea hits me I jot it down. I also have post-it notes with ideas to carry my story along or an idea for a new one.

I would love to be in the drawing for Jill's book or the timer. Thank you.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Annie Hemby said...

I love this post! Thank you for the tips!

I use my cell phone to write as well. I just open an email and email myself a few sentences or paragraphs. Then I cut and paste them into my document later. Every word, sentence, paragraph counts!

Happy Wednesday, Seekerville!

Bettie said...

Great post Jill. Thanks for your excellent advice...now I just need to apply it. Right now I'm distracted with a good read though... I'm half way through your latest book and enjoying it, so no need to enter me in the drawing.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome back, Jill. Love your cover. You've had two books out your first year as an LI author. Way to go. Were they both finished? Just how many books are in your stash ready to release? Mary Connealy had a ton. SMART WOMAN. Ruthy too!

Tina Radcliffe said...

CAN I RELATE? 330 am. Shower done-check. Cats fed-check. Coffee made-check. Lunch made-check.

Time to dry hair, dress and run out the door. EEEEKKK in twenty minutes!!!

Jill Kemerer said...

Good morning, Seekers!!

Loves to Read: Look at you, early worm! Thanks for popping over!

Melissa Jaegers: Aw!! Hi, Melissa!! I love that article (although I don't see myself ever getting to 10,000 words a day! haha!!). I'm so intrigued by your email system--I'm checking out yesterday's post--thanks!

Kvwriter: Ugh! I hear you!! It's hard. :)

Mary Preston: Exactly. Whatever we're doing, we can find ways to do a little more. :)

Olivia: I hope you get your writing back on track! I've gotten off track many times. Sometimes I just have to grab a wad of candy and open that file...

Cindy W: I keep a notebook in my purse, too! The post-it idea is great--snagging that one! Thanks!!

Annie Hemby: Genius! I love the idea of emailing yourself additional words!

Bettie: *waving hi* Thank you!! Don't be hard on yourself--I know you have a busy, busy schedule. You'll get back to writing! Thanks so much for the kind words about my book!

Tina: Thanks for having me! I love the cover, too, but I'm partial to fall! I have twelve finished books, but honestly, NONE of them are in the stash ready to release. Every LI has been a new concept and a freshly written book for me. I do plan on self-publishing three of my older books, but I'm not in a hurry. As for the other ones? They need too much work at this point! Have a great day and give your kitties a pet from me!

Jill Kemerer

Rhonda Starnes said...

Wonderful post, Jill! I'm not good at typing too much on my smartphone. I find that the small screen/keyboard slows me down. However, I do keep a notepad and pen with me so I can jot notes or write scenes to be typed later.

I loved what you said about being deliberate when you write so you end up with fewer edits. I've heard a lot of authors say to just get the words on the page because you can edit later. I have tried to do that, but it drives me crazy. I'm an edit as I go writer. It may take me longer to get my scene right, but I end up with a cleaner first draft which saves me time in the long run.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Hi Jill! Thanks for the great Facebook party last night...I'm exhausted, but it was great fun. Sorry I bailed out early, but reporting to the day job at 6:00 a.m., requires a little sleep.
I appreciate you sharing your tips. Managing our time is imperative, in order to keep our sanity. Since most of my writing is done during the weekend, I find that I must write first. I'm amazed how much I accomplish when I keep that browser closed.
Don't enter me in the drawing. I've got my copy already and I loved every page.

Connie Queen said...

Good morning Jill.

All your points makes perfect sense.

The one that makes the biggest difference w/me is to know what I want to write. If I know where I'm going and am excited about the scene, not only do I get more on paper, but it's much less painful!

Please toss my name in for the timer. I can't stand the ticking of the old fashioned timer so I normally use my kitchen stove. (Yes, I could just buy one but what fun would that be?)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Rhonda, I'm with you! I keep a notebook with me at ALL times for jotting down ideas and stealing bits of conversation.

Mary Hicks said...

Jill, thanks for a great post! I like hearing how other women plan and budget their time. We all have the same amount and creativity with our hours is always an interesting topic. :-)

I do a little of all the above suggestions . . . :-) I find that getting up at 4:30 am and doing my study / prayer time first, seems to give me more 'My time' throughout the day.

Jeanne T said...

You are so good at writing the practical posts for writing, Jill. I love your suggestions. I am in revisions (still), so I'm not adding to a story. But your suggestions are spot on. They make a lot of sense, and I'm looking forward to incorporating them when I begin working on a new story.

I like to get up early for writing too. I'm working to get to bed earlier so I can do this. That's the hard part for me. :) I find when I do have early morning time for writing, my mind focuses well on my story, probably because there are fewer distractions. :)

Please do put me in the drawing!

CatMom said...

Thanks for these tips, Jill! Even though I've applied some of them, I need "motivational reminders" often, LOL. ;) And I'm with you on the COFFEE. :)

TINA gets up at 3:30?? MARY HICKS gets up at 4:30?? Oh my....since many nights I'm up until 1:00 reading, that wouldn't allow for much sleep....which means maybe I need to head to bed earlier?!

Congratulations on your newest release, Jill - - love that cover!

Blessings, Patti Jo

Jill Kemerer said...

Rhonda: Oh, those tiny phone keypads are testy, aren't they?? My sentences are riddled with typos, but for me, using it is worth it! Yeah, I found that being more deliberate and slowing down really helped my writing. I don't think it's everyone's process, but it works for me!

Jill Weatherholt: Thank you so much for joining the FB party last night! We had a blast! I hope you can rest later! Great tip about keeping the browser closed. So true! Happy writing this weekend (and thanks for the sweet words about my book)!!

Connie Queen: Same here! When I know what I'm writing next, the session is so much easier. Smart!!

Tina R: Exactly! I love how you phrased that "stealing bits of conversation." I'm so nosy! And a shameless eavesdropper...

Mary Hicks: I love hearing how other writers work, too. Bible study and prayer time are my top priorities, too. Without them I feel frazzled and off. Great point!!

Jill Kemerer

Jill Kemerer said...

Jeanne T: Sometimes I have to force myself to bed at an early hour. I'm a night owl at heart. It's really hard for me to turn in! But, I think we all know that zombie feeling on too little sleep. :) Enjoy revising!!

CatMom (PattiJo): I know!! 3:30? 4:30? Yikes!! I want to go back to bed just reading that! These ladies are amazing! I think you're using your evening hours wisely--I routinely stay up too late to read one more chapter!

Jill Kemerer

LeAnne Bristow said...

Hi Jill! Loved, loved, loved your post. I confess, I've really been slacking on my word count lately. Why is it that my word count has gone down since I was given a deadline???? I find myself getting distracted so easily (but never by Seekerville, lol). I love your tips. I've found that having some one hold me accountable has been a tremendous help. One of the online writing groups I belong to has a procrastinators groups and the moderator is excellent about lighting a fire under our hiney and reporting our word count each week. With 2 jobs and a new grandbaby I'm really having to prioritize my time now. I can't wait to try using my phone for notes. I hadn't thought of that. :)
And your book looks amazing, so please, add me to the drawing.

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Dear Jill,
Thank you for your insights! I edited my blog at a Boy Scout meeting last night and sometimes get inspired in interesting places so I keep notes on my phone as well, just to get me started. I love your tips and appreciate you sharing your "gems" with us all. I'm a morning writer, too. I love creating something when it's uninterrupted by finding kids' shoes and the to-do's in life. Thanks to all the Seekers, too, for sharing their thoughts here. Love it!

Kav said...

Great insights here. I'm definitely someone who peters out as the day progresses so I have to get my writing started extra early. I'm pretty much mental mush by three in the afternoon. :-)

Loved that article Melissa shared. Great contribution to the topic. All in all, a lot of great inspiration this morning.

Sally Shupe said...

Jill, it is so great to see you here. What a great facebook party last night! Love the cover of your book and it sounds like a great book! I have trouble finding time to sit down and write to add to my word count, but I carry around a notebook to jot down ideas or scene ideas. You never know where you might find a couple of minutes and an idea snag you: standing in line, waiting for your order, stuck in traffic, waiting for your appointment, etc. Could you go into a little more detail with this point: "Be aware of where you’re at in the story. If I’m writing a 55,000 word novel, my proposed midpoint needs to happen around 27,000 words in. If I’m at 25,000 words and the midpoint is still several scenes away, I find a way to get the characters there quicker. I do not want to write scenes that will need to be cut. Deleting words is just as painful, if not more, than writing them in the first place." Do you have other word count tips that you use to track where you are in the story to keep you in line and focused with what is happening in your story? Thanks!

Cindy Regnier said...

This is going to sound crazy but I'm going to risk it. I have a cat named Jake (actually my son's cat. Said son went off to college and left Jake to me). Jake loves to sit on my lap. He is not small. When Jake is on my lap, he renders typing impossible. I am too soft-hearted to move him. Lamentable character trait, that soft-heartedness. When Jake finally decides to move (maybe to go sit with my husband) I am suddenly free to write. Brush off the cat hair and go for it! Catless equals writing. So, my advice to anyone who wants to squeeze in more words - get a cat. (You can have Jake as long as you give him back when my son comes home)
Thanks Jill. I can't wait to read Unexpected Family. It sounds wonderful!

Janet Dean said...

Jill, welcome to Seekerville! Thanks for these fabulous, practical tips to write more. Sneaky at it's best! I hadn't thought of using my smart phone to write a blog post or maybe outline a novel.

Love your cover! Reminds me of the fun pumpkin patch times we've had with our grandkids.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Jill, a secret baby is a terrific hook. I'm intrigued that the ex-wife shows up at the hero's door with the child. As a reader, I'm wondering why now, after four years of silence. With that cover and blurb, the book should fly off the shelves!

Love that you named the setting Lake Endwell. :-) So do plan to set a series there?

Janet

Janet Dean said...

The Alpha Smart is a great tool to get words written when I'm a passenger in the car or expect a long wait.

Janet

Julie Lessman said...

JILL!!! Oh my goodness, soooooooooo fun to see you here, my friend, and SUPER CONGRATS on your second novel -- it looks wonderful!!

And, oh boy, you're talking my language with this post today, especially the following point:

"Keep blank paper or a cheap notebook handy ... this gets me in the groove faster the next time I write."

I always keep a pad and pen on my treadmill, in my purse, in my car, and pretty much everywhere I am in case a thought strikes. I ashamed to say I actually plotted up to four scenes in my head at a funeral once (someone I barely knew), so I had to scribble fast on that one. And I've been known to drive down a windy road at night one-handed while scribbling notes in a notebook in the dark on the console of my car.

These impromptu sessions almost always center around dialogue and are often so complete when I read them later, that I just drop them into the scene.

With my first two books, I was a diehard seat-of-the-pants writer with no almost no pre-thought to the plot and definitely no outline. But by the third book in my series, I realized I was looking at a family of 14 people with birthdays, anniversaries, births, etc. so I started plotting a bit more and discovered that an extensive chapter-by-chapter outline not only provided me with dialogue and copy I could just pick up and plop into my story, but provided a handy road map for where I was going, ensuring a far more solid and believable plot in which I could also sow in threads of future plots for additional sequels.

I like your suggestion of a timer because I have no earthly idea how many words I write a minute, but I know it's pretty slow. Unless I'm primed and pumped and far into the plot (uh... or writing a reallllly hot love scene!), at which point, I can write as many as 20 pages a day, although that's certainly not the norm.

Great post!

Hugs,
Julie

Melanie Pike said...

Wow! Just copied and pasted your post into Word so I can print it out and read and re-read it. (It's something I always say I'm going to do--copy and paste and print out--but almost never do. Time to change that procrastination habit!)

When I did Speedbo two years ago, I was dedicated to writing, and I even managed to get in a 6K word day at the very end. Of course, it helped that I had the day to myself (our son and his family live with us, so there are a ton of interruptions that can't be helped...much).

Thank you for this post, Jill! Hoping that I can apply it soon. :) (Now someone just needs to write a post about avoiding distractions--for me it's mainly genealogy...) And I'd love to have my name tossed into the hat for the book or timer!

Melissa, thanks for sharing the article about getting word count in. Since it came up in Pinterest, I will pin it and add it to my "Writing--Motivation" board. :)

Blessings!
Melanie

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good morning JILL and welcome to Seekerville. What a terrific post. I am so in agreement with all your "sneaky" tricks. I find it really helps to have them up your sleeve. I'm with LEANNE on having accountability. I find that helps me the most. If I have a critique partner and have to have something to give her by next week, it makes me do all the other things you mentioned. Otherwise, it is too tempting to put off those things and go play pickleball with hubby. Or do some other fun activity with him. sigh

I like the idea others have mentioned of using the cell phone. I get ideas while driving and the phone would be a good way to record them while driving. Or one of those little recording lists gizmos. They work too.

Thanks again for your post today. Have a fun day.

Oh and I brought some snickerdoodles to share with that coffee. I don't know if they are as tasty as RUTHY'S since she bakes more than I do, but they are yummy.

Missy Tippens said...

Jill, it's great to have you here!! What a great post. You really spoke to me about some things I can work on to be more efficient. I, too, have found that spending the time to think about my character/plot arc before starting scenes can help wasted writing.

I'm going to check out the Google Doc app! Thanks for that suggestion.

Missy Tippens said...

Wow, Mary Hicks! You and Tina and Ruthy are up before the roosters. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Jeanne, I'm the same way. I have a goal of getting up earlier, but if I can't manage to get to bed early, then I can't drag myself up in the morning. There's just too much I'm wanting to do at night! Like catch up on shows recorded on DVR. :)

Myra Johnson said...

Just excellent stuff here, Jill! Thanks so much for being our guest today! I am definitely going to have to reread your tips and think about ways I could incorporate some of them. I'm really bad about losing ideas because I didn't take the time to jot them down when I had the chance.

On the subject of where you are in the story, I do have a tool that really helps. Writing in Scrivener, I set my target word count, and then I can watch the little bar change from red to green as I near my goal. So I have a pretty good idea of when I'm approaching the midpoint as well as the ending for when I need to set up my black moment and resolution.

I also love Scrivener for tracking my daily writing progress! With my target end date entered, it tells me exactly how many words I need to write each day to get there.

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Cindy R!! I'm the same way when the grand dogs comes to stay for a few days. It's hard to type, and I can hardly tell him no! (Yes, I'm going to spoil human grandkids, I'm sure.) :)

Jill Kemerer said...

LeAnne Bristow: I can tell you why your word count went down now that you have a deadline--because it's SO intimidating!! Aaah! I struggle, too, so it's doubly important for me to set the daily goal. If I don't, I end up in a tub of ice cream and a marathon Facebook session. That's not good!! You have a ton on your plate, but you can do this!!

Elizabeth Van Tassel: You said, "I love creating something when it's uninterrupted by finding kids' shoes and the to-do's in life." I can soooo relate! It's difficult to stay in a writing groove when everyone around us is doing their best to drag us out!

Kav: You're wise to know your best time, then you can plan around it! So smart!

Sally Shupe: Thanks for coming to the FB party last night! It was so fun! Yes, I'd love to expand on my know-where-you're-at-in-the-story. I'm a plotter, and my books share a three-story act plot structure. Basically, my books have five main points: 1. The Hook (inciting incident that changes the character's life) appears right away. 2. Turning Point 1 (the main character decides to move forward based on the hook) this happens around the 25% mark. 3. Mid-point (false high or low halfway through the story). 4. Black Moment and Turning Point 2 (the characters fail/can't be together, then they figure out how to move forward) begins around 75% mark and 5. Finale (the happily-ever-after). If you're writing a 100,000 or 50,000 word novel, you can estimate where the turning points will be based on this method.

Cindy Regnier: Oh, kitties are the best!! I have a mini-dachshund who attempts to take over my lap, too!!

Janet Dean: Thank you!! I've heard great things about the Alpha Smart! And I appreciate your nice words about my book!!

Julie Lessman: Thank you so much!! And--you--write faster in the hot scenes?? Shocker!! Haha!! Love your thoughts about the outline. So true!!

Melanie Pike: Wow, thanks, Melanie!! I'm glad it helps! Pick one or two things to try--you never know what will work!

Sandra Leesmith: Thank you!! Accountability is key. You have a fabulous critique partner--keep a hold of her! Oh, I record things in my cell phone when I'm walking, too. I get weird looks, but it's great to just tell myself when I get an insight!

Jill Kemerer

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh Cindy R that's how I am w my cat!! Too kindhearted to shove her away. I wear her out with bubbles. She chases them!

Davalyn Spencer said...

Jill - "Be aware of where you are in the story" is one of my keys that I find oh, so helpful. Thanks for sharing these great suggestions!

Vince said...

Hi Jill:

I haven't read a 'hidden child' book in years. I'm not sure if any Seeker has ever even written a 'hidden child' story. In the past I've read many 'hidden child' books, as a man they are much more relevant to me*, but I've never read one where the mother was an ex-wife. (I outlined a 'hidden child' romance once where only the child knew he was his parents' real child and if his parents ever found this out both of their lives would be in danger because of the actions they would then take. It had to do with the 'witness protection' program and the child's genius IQ.)

My sneaky way to write more is "ABW-ABT" -- always be writing - always be thinking. You can write or think anywhere in your mind. You can carry an index card with clichés on it and be thinking of new ways to say these clichés. I'm just sick of guys lifting hair back behind a heroine's ears. I never did that! Write some new physical proxies! Write sparkles! Find something other than lips turning up at the corner! It's time for stomachs to stop flip-flopping! Please. : )

That's what I do, however, I think Hemingway had two really great ideas:

1) always end your story for the day when things are going great -- that way it will be easy to begin the next day.

2) write standing up so the blood flows and you don't get too comfortable. Papa had his typewriter set on a bedroom chest that came up to his chest. This also reminded him that he was at work.

I still love your author photo. It's one of the three or four best I'll see all year. I still wish I had taken it.

Vince

P.S. Please place me in the drawing for your book but I'll buy it anyway if I don't win it.

*When I was first married my wife would see me reading a 'hidden child' romance and ask me if 'one of those hidden children' was going to show up on our doorstep one of these days? (If it was a 'hidden child' how would I ever know? :))

Mz.ZeyZey said...

Love this post! I had to do several things to get the words in when I wrote to a deadline for the first time. I wish I had your list back then, it would have helped a lot!

What I did...used time I would have been vegging out in front of the TV to write instead. Wrote in a park or the break room on my lunch break. Woke up earlier to have more time before work (the morning is when I do my best writing). Doing my Saturday writing early and using evening plans as a reward for getting the words in. The most effective thing for me is 1k1hr in the mornings. I use the hashtag 1k1hr to record my attempts to write one thousand words in an hour on my story. It's so motivating to see everyone else's results, to know they are writing with you, and it holds me accountable for that time. I also always have a notebook handy and have a tablet and so I don't have to miss ideas.

Wonderful post, Jill. I would love to be entered in the drawing.

Elaine Manders said...

Thank you for all these great tips, Jill. If I'd been writing during all the time I've wasted I'd have another hundred manuscripts written. I'm like you in that I write more carefully now than in the past, and I think it's made me a better writer, if not faster. Your bookcover has me thinking of fall. I don't read a lot of contemporary, but this looks like one I'd enjoy.

Debby Giusti said...

So glad you could be with us today, Jill! Love your advise!

I use my timer...almost all the time. That ticking sound helps to keep me focused on my writing and getting words on the page...or at least, in the file of my AlphaSmart!

Google Docs sounds like an idea I need to pursue. Thanks!

BTW, I'm a Buckeye! O-H! I-O! Go Bucks!

Meghan Carver said...

Jill, your cover is GORGEOUS!!! Yippee, fall is here! :-)

I also email notes and sections to myself, then cut and paste into my document. Another thing I've discovered recently is the Notes app on my iPad. I have a bluetooth keyboard, and early this summer, I wrote 1,000 word sections while sitting at the back of the sanctuary while my children were in VBS. Definitely looking into Google Docs. Thank you!

Courtney Ballinger said...

Great cover, Jill!

Oh, finding time for writing...I admire ANYONE who can write while working full-time because I know how difficult it is. Goodness, I have to work at it.

Thanks for the tips. I can always use some on this topic. :)

And a timer--I've never thought of using one!

Jan Drexler said...

Great post, Jill, with wonderful tips.

I carry paper and pen with me at all times, but the most useful tip you mentioned is to prioritize. When I'm religious about setting my priorities and WRITE during my scheduled writing time, I get so much more done.

Today I have no writing time scheduled. I met yesterday's deadline, so today is a day off (aka, house cleaning day).

Thanks for organizing the great Facebook party last night, too! It was tons of fun :)

Jeanne T said...

MISSY--I end up going through email "just one more time" before bed. Then, because I'm tired, I click on links and end up spending way more time than I shoud. :( Working on that, though.

I use a timer when I am writing my first draft. I love the challenge of seeing how many words I can write in an hour.I'm still trying to find my groove in doing revisions in a timely manner. Sigh.

Deanne Patterson said...

I am a reader not a writer but I make myself chore lists to do for the day . I do my ordinary chores then if I need to say clean he bathroom or fridge it makes it more concrete and less easy to ignore when it's in writing . I think writing like life chores requires great organizational skills. I make lists for the kids for chores as well with small rewards along the way as motivational tools. I am so drawn to this cover. The pumpkins and children are adorable. I hope to read it soon. Love the LI books. Have a wonderful day Seekerville family !
Deanne Patterson
Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

DebH said...

wow.
I'm seeing an overarching theme in Seekerville this week: how to maximize writing time. This is yet another awesome, helpful post that I can appreciate again and again. I'm getting more insight into how some people can pack two days worth of activities into one. Everything sounds so DOable. Now, I must just do it. *sigh*

thanks for sharing your tips with Seekerville. Your book sound REALLY interesting. Would love to be in the draw for it (and the timer).

Valri said...

I'm a reader too, not a writer but I love, love the cover! I'm SOOOOO ready for fall this year and this cover makes me want it more! Add a cute child and I'm hooked already! Your advice in the post helps even readers as we all want more time in our day!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Jill. These are great tips. I do the daily goal but if I can sneak in a few more of these pointers maybe I can up my productivity.

It's been a couple of crazy weeks and a bit more productivity would be a GOOD THING!!!!!!!!

Jill Kemerer said...

Missy: I'm always trying to be more efficient! I think it's because I love having downtime, and I enjoy it so much when I know I've earned it. :)

Myra: Thanks so much for having me! I've heard amazing things about Scrivener. To see your word count goals like that must be motivating! And I hear you on losing ideas. I was up way to late last night and I'm trying to sleep when the greatest line came to me! I knew I'd lose it if I didn't write it down, so I padded to the office and scribbled it quick!!

Davalyn: I've written many books, yet I still get surprised how quickly I reach the midpoint! You'd think I would have this figured out by now. :)

Vince: Hi Vince!! ABW-ABT--love it!! You have the heart of a writer, and that might be my new motto. I struggle to freshen up cliche's in my writing. Many times, I just end up cutting a phrase. Hey, I'll be honest, I get lazy--my first drafts are full of smiling, shrugging, lips flipping, you name it! Thanks for all your tips and for your kind words!

Mz. ZeyZey: Wow, I should take tips from you! There are times in my life when I'm ready to hunker down and do whatever it takes to increase my productivity. Then I'll have a breather and watch those TV shows I missed. Seems like there are cycles to life. Thanks for the great ideas!

Elaine Manders: I shudder to think of all I could accomplish if I didn't waste time! Haha!! Thank you!

Debby Giusti: A buckeye fan?? I love you anyway, Debby!! Haha!! I have to agree, a ticking timer is a good motivator!

Jill Kemerer

Jill Kemerer said...

Meghan Carver: Thank you! I love pumpkins and fall, too! Writing during VBS--exactly!! I would do the same thing! I have the Notes app, too. Thanks for the tip!

Courtney Ballinger: I'm with you--it's shocking how productive some people are. They don't have more time, I think they might have less! And yet they get things done. Wow!

Jan Drexler: Oh, yes! Prioritizing makes a huge impact. And I like that you mentioned having today off. I treasure my free time, and I enjoy it because I earn it. When we meet our goals, it's good to relax! BTW: the party was a blast and I appreciate you being part of it!

Jeanne T: I do that too. Then I get mad at myself. UGH!

Deanne Patterson: You're doing a great job with your kids! They'll have a head start on accomplishing their goals because it's already part of their lives! Thanks for the nice words about my cover--I love it too!

DebH: Thank you! Yes, fitting a little more in each day is doable. When I'm trying to make a change, I write down everything I accomplish as I get it done. That way I can look back at the end of the day and realize, "hey, I did way more than I realized!" It's a good feeling. :)

Valri: I know!! Fall is here (even though it's super hot out!) yay!! We really do all want more time. :)

Mary Connealy: Aren't you the most productive writer on earth already?? I'm always amazed at what you do!

Jill Kemerer

Chill N said...

"It’s not the writing pace that counts; it’s the quantity of words I write. I used to write fast. I don’t anymore, but I write my novels in less time than when I wrote fast."

So great to read this, Jill! The blaze-through, just-get-the-words-down first draft doesn't work for me. Despite much advice to the contrary, I re-read and edit what I wrote the day before. Then I'm in the groove to write with more focus and deliberation. I do edits of the completed WIP but not nearly as many -- and with a lot less frustration.

That said, whatever writing approach works ... works :-)

Thanks for all the tips. Best wishes for Unexpected Family. That's such a warm, inviting book cover.

Nancy C

Jill Kemerer said...

Chill N (Nancy C): It took me a long time to accept that my way worked for me and to stop comparing my output to other writers!! I also refuse to turn off my internal editor, within reason. :) Thank you!

Jill Kemerer

Tina Radcliffe said...

12 books! Good for you. Revising will go much easier now that you have a few more editorial critiques under your belt!!

Cara Lynn James said...

I have to admit I get discouraged when I compare my daily word count to other writer's. I don't have more to do than anyone else, but I do have a lower energy level. So that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

quietspirit said...

Jill; I like your list. When I get back to the writing,(I am currently unplugged from my blog.) I will try to implement the items into my work.

Jill Kemerer said...

Tina: Thanks!! I agree--it will be easier. :)

Cara Lynn James: I get discouraged, too, but I pray through it. Our best has to be good enough!

QuietSpirit (Cecelia): Thanks! It's good to have a blog break sometimes! :)

Jill Kemerer

Cate Nolan said...

Hi Jill,

Sorry to be so late stopping by. Busy back to school time.

I read your post early this morning and I was thinking about it during the day. I think for me, the having paper available to jot down notes is key. I do a lot of thinking when I'm walking to and from the subway and work and having the chance to "talk" it through with myself has me ready to write when I sit down. I have been known to dictate ideas into the speaker on my iPod when I'm walking.

I find that if I have something down, it's not quite as terrifying to face that screen.

Tina Radcliffe said...

ha! Mary Curry. I talk to my iPhone and send myself text messages of ideas and plot points.

Tanya Agler said...

Jill, Thanks for ideas on increasing productivity. I go to Panera or Starbucks because sometimes knowing there are people around me makes me more productive. When I'm in the car line to pick up my kids, I either think about my WIP or write if I'm in the middle of a scene and there's more than five minutes. Exercise is also a great way for me to think about my next scene.

I wish I could be productive first thing in the morning. I'm a mid-morning to afternoon person though.

I've loved reading all the ideas for the past couple of days in the comments.

Jill Kemerer said...

Cate Nolan: No apologies! The back to school season is crazy! Yep. Notebook or iPod are necessary. I love working through a plot issue vocally, and I also love jotting down notes when I'm away from my desk. You're right--it's not as scary!!

Tanya Agler: Interesting point! Being around others helps get you motivated. Nice! Yes, the car line can be productive. I keep a beat-up notebook in my car for those waiting times. So smart! I'm not a morning person either. I like to ease into my day!

Jill Kemerer

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Loved your tips Jill! I am realizing more and more the need to prioritize. I am in the process of knocking down my time wasters. I have to admit a minor addiction to Facebook games. I have given them up for the month. When I feel tempted to play, I type away.

Also we have two cars. I have been getting up early Mondays and Wednesdays to take my son to college. In the past, I would sleep in on the days I don't take my son to school. I am now getting up and writing instead. Sticking to this early morning has given me an extra hour and a half on those days.

Preslaysa Williams said...

Great post, Jill. I love how you said that you write books faster because you've already plotted out the book and you know what needs to happen when. A great tip! (And I could use a timer...so enter me in the drawing, please :-) )

Sarah Claucherty said...

Debby, I was ALMOST a Buckeye! That stinkin' out of state tuition stalled that idea, but I'm glad I went the Boilermaker route because it landed me in a great writing program :)

Jill, loved your tips on prioritizing and snatching those little moments. Must confess I did a double take, because that part sounded exactly like my day today!

Your book cover is gorgeous! I'd take that little girl home with me... :)

Edwina Cowgill said...

Jill,

Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing.

Please put my name in for the drawing.

Kristina Knight said...

great tips, Jill, thanks for sharing!

Jill Kemerer said...

Kelly Blackwell: Good for you! You "found" 4.5 hours to write each week! That's a huge deal! I have a few games on my phone, but I don't let myself play them until night. They are off limits during my writing hours!

Preslaysa: Hi!! Not everyone is a plotter, so I never recommend trying to change your process, but plotting is in my blood. It helps keep me on track!

Sarah Claucherty: That out of state tuition is outrageous!! We're in state and it's pricey! I hope your day isn't too crazy--have a good one!!

Edwina Cowgill: Thank you!!

Kristina Knight: Thanks so much, Kristi!!

Jill Kemerer

ohiohomeschool said...

Thank you for the article! Great job.
I would love to win your new book.
Becky B

Sandy Smith said...

Jill, I'm sorry I didn't get to this post yesterday. I was going along with what appeared to be a day off, when I got a late sub job teaching first grade, then went straight to my book store job after school. First grade is really out of my element, so it was a challenging day! :) I try to use whatever free moments I have in my sub day to work on my writing, but it is hard. Yesterday I was so frazzled by those first graders that I only wanted to do something mindless, like play games on my Ipod! I am still trying to work on making use of any extra time I can. I really liked your suggestions.

I hope it isn't too late to be entered in the drawing.

Jill Kemerer said...

Ohiohomeschool (Becky B): You're welcome!! Thanks!

Sandy Smith: Oh, I understand! You need a break with some iPod games! I love chilling out in the evening with Candy Crush. You earned it!!

Jill Kemerer