Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Forget the Fear--and Focus on the FUN!

“FUN?” you say with a gasp of disbelief. “Are you kidding, Glynna? Focus on the fun with barely a week remaining in Speedbo and I’m nowhere near my goal?”
Yes, FUN.
Granted, meeting writing goals--contracted or not--can at times be mega stressful as the deadline looms. Invariably, when I’m making solid headway, have my eye on the prize and am quietly confident that I’ve scheduled sufficient time to complete a manuscript or reach another goal, things can go wrong.
For instance, last year a severe respiratory virus knocked me out of a week of writing and my day job--super de-energizing me for the next six weeks. On top of that, day job deadlines popped up faster than that old Whac-A-Mole arcade game, so long hours there were added to the mix. All this was during tax preparation season, too. Oh, and then here came the edits and AAs from the previous completed manuscript which also gobbled my limited writing time. No, it was NOT FUN!
What’s happened to YOU this month that wasn’t expected when you set those lofty Speedbo goals at the end of February? Sick family members? Unexpected guests? Day job disasters? Have you been watching the days fly by with a miserably measly word count accumulation, wondering why you ever thought you could join in on Speedbo?
But even without unexpected intrusions into your limited time to write, when the words don’t flow as you’d expected you may find a looming deadline can be overwhelming. We can sometimes find ourselves tied in knots. Discouraged. Panicked. Paralyzed. Writing no longer holds enjoyment. It’s a chore. A burden. A TOO serious business which causes us to lose our enthusiasm as The End seems as far away as a distant corner of the galaxy.
And compounding it? Yep, that BIG NO-NO--comparing yourself to others reporting in on their mega word counts or other writing goals met, which makes you feel even worse.

It’s at those times that I have to step back and take a DEEP BREATH. The whole of a story can be intimidating, so I prayerfully must remind myself to draw my eyes away from the deep dark hole of a word count gap remaining and FOCUS ON THE FUN.

No, I don’t write romantic comedy so I’m not talking about incorporating that kind of “fun” into my story. For me, focusing on the fun is more about reining in the paralyzing panic to remind myself of a few basics, then zeroing in on the things I love most about writing.
- Why do I write stories in the first place?
- Why did I want to write THIS story in particular?

After I’ve given those questions prayerful thought and reestablished my foundation, then I turn toward the scene at hand--maybe one where I gradually wandered off in the wrong direction or the words came to a screeching halt--or where the “life” unexpectedly snatched me away from the keyboard for a too-long period of time despite my best efforts.
Reminding myself that a book is written ONE WORD AT A TIME in building blocks called scenes, I ask myself a few more questions.
- What is the Goal, Motivation and Conflict (GMC) in THIS scene? Is it clear? Strong? Does it parallel the overall story GMC and move the story forward? If not, how can I fix it?
- What is it about the hero and heroine that originally drew me to them? Why did they as individuals and as a couple “capture” me? How can I build on that in THIS scene?
- What do I want a reader to take away from the overall story? What do I want them to feel? How can I enhance that in THIS scene?

And then--although I know every minute counts as the deadline looms--I give myself permission to set a timer and pause to “play” with the scene. To focus on what I love most about storytelling. I allow myself to indulge in the things I find most FUN about writing--word choice, sentence structure for added impact, dialogue and internal POV to evoke emotion, and the dynamics of the hero/heroine relationship.
Invariably, once I’ve taken my eyes off the word count “gap” and permitted myself to focus on the FUN aspects of storytelling, it’s as if a log jam has broken and I can move steadily forward again. And yes, I might have to use this strategy a number of times as I journey through the middle of the book!

Has deadline paralysis ever gripped its fingers around your throat? Is that where you are right now? With a week remaining in Speedbo, share with us what your challenges are and what YOU find most FUN about writing that by indulging in it for a bit might help you find your way back to the heart of your story--and give you that needed boost of energy and focus to push forward to your goal.
If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my May 2016 release, “Claiming the Single Mom’s Heart,” mention it in the comments section, then check the Weekend Edition to see if you’re a winner!
GLYNNA KAYE treasures memories of growing up in small Midwestern towns--and vacations spent with the Texan side of the family. She traces her love of storytelling to the times a houseful of great-aunts and great-uncles gathered with her grandma to share candid, heartwarming, poignant and often humorous tales of their youth and young adulthood. Her Love Inspired books--Pine Country Cowboy and High Country Holiday won first and second place, respectively, in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards.
“Claiming the Single Mom’s Heart,” her tenth Love Inspired book (and the second in the Hearts of Hunter Ridge series), releases in May 2016 and is available for pre-order now!
Their Unexpected Love. Sunshine Carston is looking for more than beautiful scenery when she moves with her daughter to Hunter Ridge, Arizona. She’s looking for answers. According to family legend, her ancestors were cheated out of their land by the Hunter family. But when she meets Grady Hunter, Sunshine’s mission is endangered—how can she investigate the Hunters when she’s falling in love with one? When Grady’s mother becomes ill, Grady steps in to help her run against Sunshine for town council. But what will Grady say when he finds out about Sunshine’s investigation? To rise above the past and forge a future together, they’ll need a love stronger than any feud...

It's Never Too Late to Speedbo!


Mary Connealy said...

Speedbo update.
WIP DONE! Due April 1
Galley 1/3 done, due March 25
novella revisions NOT done, due March 27
New Novella NOT begun, due May 1

I'm feeling good about this. The Galley is done tomorrow, I hope. The novella revisions the next day. I had only faintly hoped to begin the novella this month and now I'm hoping to be seven days into it!!!!!

There. Update finished.

Mary Connealy said...

And yes, being done is FUN.

Mary Connealy said...

Comparison is the thief of joy. Teddy Roosevelt.


Tina Radcliffe said...

You are right, Glynna. You can't let Speedbo fear become another editor on our shoulder.

I have gotten far more done so far than I would have without Speedbo!!

Lyndee H said...

So this is fun? All righty then...

Hi Glynna...I'm having fun. I'm at about half my word count - 10,000 words, but I still have time to get to 20,000 AND I spent two weeks in Australia, too! What a crazy month. Will do my own Speedbo next month. But isn't that what Speedbo is about? Setting goals and developing regular writing habits? Love Speedbo! It helps set the tone for the writing year. Thank you, Seekerville!

Mary Preston said...

As a reader I do know that if the writer enjoys the writing I will enjoy the reading. It shines through.

I'd love a copy of “Claiming the Single Mom’s Heart” thank you.

Cindy W. said...

Hi Glynna, Great post and I loved the pictures and sayings you included. I'm still in a season where I'm not writing but I am waiting on the Lord. For now He has me in a waiting pattern and I'm fine with that as His will for me is far better than anything I could dream up for myself.

I would love to be in the drawing for your book Claiming the Single Mom's Heart.

Everyone have a blessed productive Speedbo day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Jackie said...

Hi Glynna,

Thanks for reminding us to have fun. Sometimes I've noticed when I relax, the ideas flow better.

I love your book cover and it sounds like a great story. I'd love to have my name in the drawing.

Thanks for sharing today!

Jill Weatherholt said...

Wonderful post, Glynna. I've always loved the Roosevelt quote. I think it's even more true today with social media.
Fortunately, I write for fun and the joy it provides...not for the income.
Congratulations on your May release, I'd love to be entered in the drawing.

Glynna Kaye said...

YAY, MARY, on that WIP finished ahead of the deadline! You're moving right along!

Glynna Kaye said...

TINA -- Sounds as if this is going to be a productive month for you!

ohiohomeschool said...

Thank you. In anything it is easy to forget to have fun. Thanks for reminder.
I would love to be in the drawing for your new book.

Becky B.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, LYNDEE! WOW! You've packed a lot into this month -- two weeks "down under" AND your speedo word count is clipping right along! Were you solely sightseeing in Australia or there for book research? Due to unanticipated day job demands, I'll be doing MY Speedbo in April, too-AND May--to meet my book deadline.

Glynna Kaye said...

MARY P -- did you happen to see Lyndee H wandering around down there for two weeks this month? :) Yes, readers definitely reap the rewards when writers put themselves into the story telling.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, CINDY W! So you like my furry friends? (Some were borrowed)

I've been in those waiting patterns, too, at different points in my writing life. Once, due to extreme illness, I didn't write much for years. Instead, I read a lot, including writing craft books and took on-line writing classes. Spent considerable time praying about my writing and asking God in what direction He wanted it to go. Sometimes we just need times to "be still and know that I am God."

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JACKIE! I'm glad you like the cover! I love mountain country Arizona and they captured my hero and heroine taking time out to enjoy it, too!

Sometimes we just need to REMIND ourselves to relax and ENJOY what we're doing, to find corners where we can stretch our creativity and breath new life into whatever we need to do, discover a pocket of "fun" whether it's in our writing, day job, kid care, household chores, meal prep...whatever.

I can always remember Joyce Meyer relating that she'd once given her youngest son a chore--sweeping off the patio, I believe it was--and the next thing she knew, he was out there DANCING WITH THE BROOM! I think we need more dancing-with-the-broom moments in all aspects of our lives! And especially in our writing if we intend to do it long-term.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, JILL! I'm glad you're enjoying writing for the fun of it!

And I think Roosevelt's comment is what Seekerville and Speedboo are all about. We're here to challenge and stretch each other, not to compete and beat ourselves up when we don't "match up." We're all in different situations and phases of our lives, God has varied purposes for our writing, etc. We can rejoice in each other's accomplishments and--if someone happens to accomplish something WE have long dreamed of--we can take joy in the fact that God may answer our prayers in that area, too, in HIS time.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, BECKY B! I've tossed your name in the kitty dish with the others! I'm glad the focus-on-the-fun reminder hit the spot!

Janet Dean said...

GLYNNA, your post is so encouraging and practical. Thanks for the tips for getting back to the fun of writing when our confidence ebbs. My word count isn't where I'd planned, but I applaud Mary's success and all those who have met their goals. There's still time! Go Speedbo-ers!!


Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, JANET! Yes, there's STILL time to make headway on our Speedbo goals--a full week! And if we're floundering at this point, maybe stepping back for an hour or two to rediscover the FUN of writing would be time well spent!

kaybee said...

The only thing keeping me from my writing is me. I had a huge bout of depression yesterday and cried all day for no reason. I was depressed and discouraged about not only the writing, but everything else in my so-called life. Think it might have been diabetes-related because I DO NOT cry over nothing, I don't even cry over something. Didn't cry at either of my parents' funerals. Think I was emotionally or physically down, or both. But I have some free time today, unexpectedly, so I will probably be able to write.
I'm having trouble, predictably, with the internal editor. Maybe pantsing wasn't the way to go for me. Also ran into a lack-of-research block, which I can probably address today.
I shouldn't complain, God is good, and if He wants me to do this He will give me the wherewithal.
Kathy Bailey

Yvonne Weers said...

Since we're having fun here today, I'd like to share my favorite quote. It sums up my Speedbo month perfectly, as I'm behind on my WIP.

"Time flies like an arrow, but fruitflies like bananas." -Groucho Marx

Mary, your progress leaves me dizzy and breathless. Or maybe that's from the fruitflies hanging around my WIP.

To all my fruity writer friends in the Seekerverse: Go bananas and have fun!

Yvonne Weers said...

Since we're having fun here today, I'd like to share my favorite quote. It sums up my Speedbo month perfectly, as I'm behind on my WIP.

"Time flies like an arrow, but fruitflies like bananas." -Groucho Marx

Mary, your progress leaves me dizzy and breathless. Or maybe that's from the fruitflies hanging around my WIP.

To all my fruity writer friends in the Seekerverse: Go bananas and have fun!

Connie Queen said...

My Speedbo got off to a good start.

Then life happened all on one day. Had an emergency surgery and also found out I didn't progress in the contest I had entered.

Ok. Not what?

I dropped my Speedbo story I had planned on working and got out my other story that needing finishing. I should have it finished and polished by the end of the month.

I can be happy with that...
Life is good.

Deanna Stevens said...

I find time to have fun in reading the wonderful comments on Seekerville :) I'm not a writer but I certainly enjoy reading.. Congratulations on your new release, I'd love to be entered in the drawing.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, KATHY B! I'm so sorry that yesterday was such a hard one. Don't beat yourself up. Our emotions can go up and down from day to day, and when you have something physical like diabetes thrown into the mix, that can play a huge role in how we feel. I know when I'm tired, that's when my emotions are especially vulnerable. So today be EXTRA NICE to yourself. Get some rest if you can. If you do decide you feel like writing, focus on the fun of it not racing toward a goal. Don't pressure yourself. Enjoy writing for writing's sake.

And if you've found that it looks like seat-of-the-pantsing isn't for you, that's a good thing right? That you learned that about yourself? We all seem to be geared one way or another--or a mix of pantsing and plotting (I call myself a PLANster.) I know it was a breakthrough moment for me when I finally discovered I could get further along in a manuscript and have more fun if I did some basic pre-planning, a high level kind, that kept me pointed in the right direction. So look at that discovery as a step forward.

And most of all, do NOT compare yourself to others--that's a temptation for ALL of us. But as Teddy R said, that's a thief of joy. I'm praying today will be a better day!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, YVONNE! Good old Groucho M!! :) Going bananas in our writing once in a while sounds like a good plan!

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, great post. I'm not nearly as far as I thought I'd be at this point. So this post encouraged me! The last few days I've shaken off the disappointment and have made some progress! Of course the looming end of the month has also helped spur me on. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Connie Q. I love how you've made the best with the time you have after being blindsided by surgery.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, CONNIE! Emergency surgery sure & a contest let-down sure weren't in your plan for Speedbo month. It sounds, though, as if you're on target for the month due to exercising your flexibility muscles!

Missy Tippens said...

BTW, I loved the quotes you shared!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, DEANNA! Reading writerly comments from a reader's point of view is probably rather eye opening, isn't it? All the behind the scenes dreams, disappointments and labor that goes into a manuscript? All the skills that have to be learned and applied? I've dropped your name in the kitty dish, too!

Jackie Smith said...

Congrats on your new release; I'd love to be in the drawing for “Claiming the Single Mom’s Heart”. The cover is perfect!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MISSY! I'm not where I hoped to be this month, either. But sometimes things are out of our control. So I'm looking forward to finishing up the month in a stronger place and to be significantly more productive in the weeks ahead!

Myra Johnson said...

So, so important to remember why we chose this crazy profession and reclaim the fun of writing! Thank you, Glynna!

Yes, comparing our progress with others who seem to be doing so much better can be disheartening. We can only do our personal best in whatever circumstances we're dealing with. As you said, a book gets written one word at a time.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MYRA! It IS a crazy profession, isn't it? I totally agree with your "we need to remember why we CHOSE..."

It IS a choice. We could say NO to those whispering character voices and bubbling plot ideas that pop up in our brains. The stories that tug at our hearts. The rhythm of words and the turn of a phrase that call to us to write them down. We've CHOSEN to pursue this creative endeavor. And recognizing that, in a sense, can help us deal with the ups and downs this journey is taking us on.

Glynna Kaye said...

I need to step out for a bit, but feel free to continue sharing your unexpected Speedbo setbacks and how you intend to overcome them--maybe with a little bit of FUN!?

Laurie Wood said...

This post came on the perfect day! I've been feeling overwhelmed the past two days with a story that needed a sub-plot removed. I'd forgotten all about the fun of dreaming it up in the first place. We do need to let go and let God - when we write as well as in our every day lives. Thanks so much for the reminder!

Sharee Stover said...

It was easy to set a 31,000 word count goal for March in February...but 8 days before March ends, I'm freaking out a bit. The good news is I have been writing a bunch the past couple of days. the bad news is that I have to rewrite major portions of a story. gulp. But I'm plugging away. 20,846 words written in March thus far :)

Happy dancing for your finished WIP Mary!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Exactly, Laurie. It's hard work for sure, but we do need to remember how fortunate we are to be doing what we love. And we do LOVE our job.

Sandy Smith said...

Great post, Glynna. I am meeting my word count of 1000K each day. I have not had any unexpected time crunches. There have been a few days where I worked both my jobs, leaving little time for writing, but I have managed. Am on spring break now, which makes March a perfect month for Speedbo for me. Some days my writing isn't amounting to much. I don't have my basic outline completely down. The middle is very vague. I know where my characters are starting and where they are going, but not exactly the timeline for getting them there. But as I'm writing scenes anyway, I am starting to figure out some of these details. So my writing isn't completely wasted.

Please enter me in the drawing.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Oh, my gosh. 20K, Sharee, stop slapping your self and start popping the champagne. That is a fabulous word count!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, you too, Sandy. Way to go. Vague is perfect for a first draft. Congratulations.

Jessica Ferguson said...

Hi Glynna, I like the Einstein quote. I found it in Paul Michaels and gave it to a very brilliant and creative friend for Christmas. :) My speedbo story was easy enough to finish but I'm having a hard time getting into the revision. All I want to do is "have fun" and READ. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Kathy Bailey I'm so sorry you had a bad day. Do NOT forget....depression LIES.
God bless you.

Mary Connealy said...

Sharee really? Over 20k? That's FANTASTIC!
I didn't know, last Saturday, I was in the presence of a workaholic!!! LOL
You go girl!

Keli Gwyn said...

Hi, Glynna! I'm another for whom this post came at the perfect time. I'm racing toward the deadline on my first contracted novella. I went to bed knowing a scene I'd banged out yesterday wasn't working. This morning, I'm going to return to that scene with your post in mind, give myself permission to engage in some word play and have FUN! Thanks for the encouragement.

Mary Connealy said...

SANDY! Wow, good for you!
Nebraska Girls Rule!!!!!!!!!

Missy Tippens said...

Sharee, you've done an amazing job!

Jess, maybe allow yourself a short break to celebrate and read. Then dive in. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Laurie Wood, it was a good reminder for me to have fun as well.

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Thank you so much for this, GLYNNA! I've been struggling on word count, and since I haven't earned a single cent writing fiction yet, I'm finding it hard to justify juggling/putting off some things to focus on writing. I feel like a fraud at times to be honest.

But I got to thinking about it after I'd read your post this morning and I realized that even if I were wealthy and didn't need to work at all I would still want to write. I have to write. But having said that, though I've been blessed to earn money writing non-fiction, I know if I make even $1 on fiction, I will relax just a smidgen. I will feel legit. In the meantime, I'm taking deep breaths this morning and prayerfully continuing on, thankful that God has allowed me this opportunity, no matter what happens.

I'm also thankful for inspiration, wherever it might strike. In church Sunday morning I saw a big, tough cowboy with a squirming toddler in his arms - and a little baggie of Cheerios hanging out of the pocket of his western vest. Just like that, I had a new scene for my WiP :-)

Happy writing, everyone!

Wilani Wahl said...

This has not been a successful Speedbo for me, but I am okay with that, I didn't plan to be sick. Yet, I am thrilled that I have continued to write what I am able to and have ideas forming in my head. I know that when I feel better I will get right back to keeping on. I am signed up for Camp Nanorimo for April so as soon as I am stronger I will surge forward.

By the way a liquid diet for a week is not fun.

I am thrilled to see others getting the job done this month.

Please put my name in the drawing for your book.

Jana Vanderslice said...

"Write what you'd love to read!" That's good news! Because I only have my brain to judge from at the moment.

Speedbo Update- I sent off ch 4-5 yesterday!! I need to fill in holes in ch6 today. I still need to Push Hard for the next 2wks!!!

Thank You, Glynna Kaye for reminding us to Enjoy This! :)

*please put me in the drawing!

Myra Johnson said...

LAURA, I doubt there's a writer alive who hasn't secretly felt like a fraud at least once. And I completely understand the mindset that says earning money for our writing makes us legitimate.

But I have to be honest--even with several published books out there (which means somebody besides ME thought my stories were worth paying for), I still struggle with believing it's all real, that I'm not a fraud and that each book that's published isn't a fluke.

These are the times we have to work extra-hard to silence the negative self-talk and just keep writing and believing!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

This is such good advice.

I love the fun of writing. I refuse to fear anything. So if someone tells me "no", "Not Interested", I search elsewhere.

Gosh, after years of being rejected, it honestly means nothing to me now. I shrug it off and keep on moving. Maybe it's because the option of self-publishing has opened so widely, but in any case, I've taken the fear element and kicked it to the curb. GONE! GOODBYE!!! SEE YA'!!!!

And I've had such a delightful three weeks of Speedbo, that I've now moved to edits and feel good about it!

I love SPEEDBO!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina, I agree. Even if we don't meet our goals completely, getting 20K done in what would have been a 10K month is ginormous!!!!

Every time we push ourselves to go a little farther, a little faster, to write more, it's a wonderful thing.

Go us!

Marianne Barkman said...

Glynna, I'd have to say that of the Seekerville books I've read, it appears to me the authors are all writing what they would love to read, and are loving to write, because those books are fabulous. Thanks.
I'd love to be entered for your newest novel, by the way.

Cara Lynn James said...

I force myself to work under pressure when I have to get something done. It's usually not fun, but it's productive! The only thing I really worry about is getting sick and not being able to write. So, for me, procrastination is very bad.

Barbara Scott said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Glynna!! And AMEN, Myra!!

I think writing is the only profession where people feel like frauds, even when they've published. I think it's because everybody thinks they're a writer, and since I'm an editor, too, with 40 years of experience, I run into a lot of people who think they're born editors because they're "pretty good at English." Sigh.

We need to remind ourselves that our writing journeys began when we read our first book. At some point, we started writing our thoughts on paper, and with each word we wrote we got better. And we still haven't arrived, so we might as well enjoy the journey!!!!

SPEEDBO UPDATE: Passed the halfway point on a novella yesterday with over 10,000 words. Yay! Still have 9 days to finish 20,000 words!!! I'll share my challenges this month after I have a completed manuscript. :)

Jan Drexler said...

Great post, Glynna!

I'm right on track with my Speedbo goals - I'll hit 18,000 today, so only 7K more to go. It helps that I have a June 1st deadline. I don't have a choice about whether to hit my goal or not. I signed that contract and I have to do it.

That doesn't mean I won't have fun in the process!

One thing I did to make the writing (and hopefully the reading) more fun was to add an unusual POV character for a few of the scenes. He gives a completely different perspective to the story and really stretches my creativity.

And isn't that what having fun is all about???

Jeanne T said...

Great post, Glynna! This month has not been what I thought it would be writing-wise. Between taking a fair amount of time every day to do exercises after my ACL surgery last month, having sick kids a couple days, spring break and overcoming my own inaccurate thoughts, I have not accomplished what I'd hoped with Speedbo. But I work toward my goals each day I can. :)

I discovered that doing a timed writing prompt is FUN. We did it at our local ACFW chapter meeting earlier this month, and we were challenged to do it for the YA genre. I LOVED it. Now, I don't know if I could write a whole book that way, but just writing as fast as I could for the allotted time, using the props we were given? That was a blast to me.

Okay, maybe I'm just this side of crazy. :)

Thanks for your encouragement, Glynna.

kaybee said...

Thank you, GLYNNA and MARY CONNEALY. I whined to the Seekers, got off-line for a while, walked around my problems (figuratively) and decided they weren't anything I hadn't faced before. SO pleased that I have a place I can come to and express those kinds of feelings. There WILL be a Christmas novella.
My crit partner also made some suggestions on the novel we're working on together, and I felt daunted at what needed to be done. Looked at it today and decided it is do-able. I guess I just got overwhelmed.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Wow Glynna I sure did need to read this post since I have been focusing on too much other kind of fun. chuckle

Time to remember the fun of writing. Yep. This post was meant for me. Thank you girlfriend.

Valri said...

GLYNNA - since I love your books so much, you must have FUN writing them!!! Great post! I can always tell when a writer is having fun writing the books because it shows through their writing! A reader can tell those things!

I would LOVE, LOVE your new book so please put my name in the drawing please!

Myra Johnson said...

Wow, BARBARA & JAN, great going on the Speedbo goals! I've been averaging about 1300 words a day, which is pretty good for me. I've also only had the second half of the month to really focus on my wip (first half was the edits on my next Flowers of Eden novel due back on 3/15).

JEANNE, those timed writing prompts can really get your creativity flowing!

KB, glad you're feeling ready to tackle those writing challenges! I do know how easy it is to get overwhelmed sometimes.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hey Kaybee So glad you are feeling better. I find a walk helps a lot too. And yes, be firm with positive comments. There will be a Christmas novella.

Hmmm, I need to follow this same advice. chuckle.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hey Jeanne T Aren't we all a little bit crazy??? Hmmm. But that is what makes this so much fun. smile

DebH said...

Hi Glynna
This is why I love Seekerville so much. Encouragement and reminders of why we write at just the proper time! My Speedbo month has been derailed by family illnesses, but I've learned so much from all the Speedbo posts this month, I cannot think of the month as a failure. I have had some little progress, just not meeting the goals I set. I do so love the reminder to have fun and I really like the Einstein quote.

would love to be in the draw for Claiming the Single Mom's Heart.

It is so cool to see the progress of others, btw. It means awesome books for me to read are just around the proverbial corner.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Congrats Jan On being on target with your goals. I'm not jealous. I'm not jealous. I'm not jealous. chuckle.

Way to go.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yay!!!! Barbara Way to go.

Barbara Scott said...

YAY SEEKER VILLAGERS!! I love this place. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Great advice, Glynna. Love your pics and your message!

You mentioned setting a timer! One of the favorite things in my writer's toolbox. That ticking timer helps me move forward, even when I'm running out of time!!!

Hoping to submit a proposal today that's taken me way too long...but I'm having fun! And still smiling!

Hugs to all!

Glynna Kaye said...

I'm back for a bit!! :)

LAURIE - I'm glad the post hit the spot right when you were feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and step back for a bit to get things into perspective. I think "focusing on the fun" aspects of writing for even a short time can help get us clear our heads so we can once again enjoy what we're doing.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, SHAREE! WOW! Almost 21K of your 31K goal met already! That's great! And as a writing workshop instructor beat into her students heads years ago, "I WRITE ONLY TO REWRITE." It doesn't have to be perfect the first go-round. Just get it on the page, then you can revise and layer and polish!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, SANDY S! 1000K a day is fabulous--especially when you have to work it in around another job or two! I'm glad your spring break hit just right--that an extra special treat! Sagging middles in a story seem to be a challenge for most writers--but when you finish, you can go back in and shore it up.

Sometimes when I get out there, floundering in the middle, I have to just stop and ask myself "WHAT is this scene ABOUT? Where can I throw in some more conflict? What happens at the end of this scene that will make the reader want to turn the page?" The middle of the book is a good time to throw complications in there and make it harder for your hero or heroine.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JESSICA! That's fabulous that your Speedbo story was "easy enough to finish"! Now that you're faced with revising, you'll have to figure out a way to have fun with that, too! (To me, revising is the MOST fun, but it isn't for everyone) Maybe ask yourself some questions as you go through the scenes--where can I beef up the conflict? Add body language? Give the reader insights into the character through internal dialogue? Kind of make it a game for yourself.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, there, KELI!! I hope having a little fun with that novella today does the trick and turns it around for you! Sometimes when we get stuck, a "change of scenery" so to speak is just the ticket out of the dead end we've written ourselves into!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, LAURA! I totally understand that "fraud" feeling. It even creeps up on me now, even with 10 books out!

I have a friend who didn't feel "like a REAL writer" until he finished a 200,000 word book!! But then he came to the realization that regardless of whether he sold it or not, "I've always been a writer. Writer's write--and that's what I do."

I LOVE the 'scene' that inspired you in church! When we're open to God's prompting, you just never know when inspiration will strike!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, WILANI! I can totally understand why this might not be a "good" month for Speedbo-ing for you. You got hit with a lot of stuff--but you sure have kept on trucking, so you can be as proud of that as of any mega word count at month's end!

No, a liquid diet for a week does NOT sound fun! Hang in there!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, JANA! 4-5 chapters -- that's wonderful! Sometimes "hole filing" in a scene or chapter can really turn the scene/chapter around, make it solid enough to really move the story forward. You're making great progress!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, RUTHY! I already know you ALWAYS focus on the FUN of writing! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, MARIANNE! On behalf of the Seekers, thank you! I think all of us DO love to write. We dreamed of writing for publication for ever so long--and although it can at times be hard work, we're thrilled to be given the opportunity to write for a real readership and not just a handful of family members! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

CARA--yes, when those book deadlines loom, we have to "carry on" whether or not it feels "fun" at the moment, don't we?! I think that's why it's helpful if we on occasion pause to "focus on the fun" -- even for a short while, just to refresh ourselves creatively. And since you say you tend toward procrastination, you may want to set a TIMER! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, BARBARA! Congrats on that novella halfway point! You're making wonderful headway--in spite of those challenges you mentioned.

You're probably right about writing being the only profession where people feel like frauds. (I'd like to believe none of my doctor's feel like that!)

Julie Lessman said...

"Discouraged. Panicked. Paralyzed. Writing no longer holds enjoyment. It’s a chore. A burden."

OH. MY. GOSH!! THIS is where I am today, my friend, so talk about a timely post!! I just finished ranting to poor Keith because I've had many of those things you mention above steal my joy of writing, so THANK YOU for the reminder!!

YOU SAID: "And then--although I know every minute counts as the deadline looms--I give myself permission to set a timer and pause to “play” with the scene. To focus on what I love most about storytelling. I allow myself to indulge in the things I find most FUN about writing--word choice, sentence structure for added impact, dialogue and internal POV to evoke emotion, and the dynamics of the hero/heroine relationship."

LOL ... I do this, too, Glynna, but MY problem is when I do allow myself the luxury of having FUN with my writing, I end up with a WHOLE lot more words than a 20,000-word contracted novella needs, putting me in panic mode when I'm at 20,000 words and have five more scenes to write!!!!

Deep breath. Deep breath. Deep breath.

ESPECIALLY when I have to leave for doc appt., then do my taxes, color my hair, and pack before leaving for a ten-day trip early Friday morning.

EPIPHANY: For a CDQ verbosity queen like myself, writing is fun, yes, but WAY more so when I indie pub!! ;)


Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, JAN! Only 7K more to reach your goal--fabulous! Yeah, those deadlines will keep you moving, won't they!? Yep, stretching your creativity is definitely something that can add to the fun!

Sherida Stewart said...

OH, Glynna! You must be looking right into my panicked heart! I've had so many unplanned slow downs this week that I'm just about we're having a blizzard today. Your tips to pause and calmly think of the GMC, the relationships of H/h, and the spiritual message I hope to convey through this story, will help me get unstuck! Thank you!

I have found "fun" by taking a break to do more research into the time and place I'm writing about. I usually come away with another thought to add to my story.

Please enter my name in the drawing for your upcoming book. Sounds FUN! :) Thank you!

Janet Dean said...

YVONNE, the Groucho Marx quote put a huge smile on my face and fit Glynna's post perfectly. Thanks for sharing!


Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JEANNE! It sounds as if you've had MORE than your fair share of challenges this month, but working as you can each day adds up. 200 words a day for 365 days results in a 70K+ book!

You may have hit on a great FUN process to resort to when you get bogged down in a story--a timed write-a-thon. Not much room for that inner editor to squeeze in and choke things down. How long did you set the timer for at ACFW?

Janet Dean said...

Kathy B, hope you feel better today. Maybe you just needed to get the tears out you've been holding in.


Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, again, KATHY B! I'm glad things are looking better now. Sometimes when too many things pile on us physically and mentally, it weighs us down emotionally. Hang in there! You can do this!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, there, SANDRA! We'll forgive you for having TOO MUCH fun, Pickle Ball Queen! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, VALRI! I DO have fun writing them -- although I admit that sometimes in the middle of them I feel a little desperate! :) I love "meeting" the characters in my books and following them on their journey. I've dropped your name into the kitty dish. Thanks for stopping by!

Debby Giusti said...

KB, I'm sending uplifting hugs and lots of love. Some days are harder than others. Sorry you were teary yesterday. It happens. Hope today is much, much better.

Would a cookie help? Or chocolate?

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, DebH! It sound as if you're maintaining a great attitude despite the setbacks during this Speedbo month -- focusing on the GOOD things! Your name has joined the others in the kitty dish, too!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, DEBBY! Yeah, I LOVE that timer, too (in fact one of the upcoming Friday Archive posts will visit on creative ways to use one!). Glad you're still smiling as you hit "send" on that next proposal! I know you put a lot of work into it, so I'll be praying for a great reception on it from your editor!

Glynna Kaye said...

JULIE -- WOW, you are one busy lady! But I can see how "having fun" might way overrun an intended novella-length book! So, yes, DEEP BREATH. And cut, cut, cut! Hang in there. I have utter confidence in you!

Janet Dean said...

Know it's not easy to be sick or to have surgery anytime but its a real bummer when it impedes SpeedBo writing goals. For those of you who've faced those things (BARBARA, KATHY B, CONNIE, WILANI) I'm impressed that you've still managed to write or at the least show up in Seekerville to cheer the rest of us on. We appreciate you!


Glynna Kaye said...

YIKES! A blizzard, SHERIDA? I hadn't heard that in the news. Sounds like a good time to "focus on the fun" with your writing and see if you can get yourself UNfrozen. STAY WARM!

Glynna Kaye said...

I've got to duck out again! See you in a bit!

Angela K Couch said...

I loves your post, Glynna! I have to work hard at not comparing myself to others so I love that Teddy Roosevelt quote. They are all excellent thoughts, though. I must admit too caught up in the "fun" of my story end of last week. Instead of working on my revisions and everything else I had planned, I spent the day just reading my rough draft, cringing, of course, at some of the prose, but so in love with my characters and their story. I love writing what I love. It is fun! :)

CatMom said...

LOVED this post, Glynna - - thank you! (Definitely going into my Keeper File since it can apply to any time and not just Speedbo!). :)
I'm happy to say that after a bit of a slow start, my Speedbo story took off this past week and I've been making really good progress. But every now and then those pesky "negative voices" creep in that make me question my writing. So I take a quick break, pray, and then remind myself (as you mentioned) WHY I love this particular story. (Okay, I'll confess that sometimes those quick breaks turn into long ones when I try to get other things accomplished *sigh*). But I do better when I don't wait too long to jump back into my story, and IGNORE those negative voices.
Thank you again for sharing today - - you're an author I really admire. Cannot imagine having a day job AND writing the wonderful stories you write.
No need to put me in the drawing because I will be purchasing your May book. :)
Hugs from beautiful Georgia, Patti Jo

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Thank you, MYRA, BARBARA and GLYNNA! Glad to know I'm not the only one with those thoughts. Seekers and Villagers are so encouraging - so very glad to have found this wonderful place!

BARBARA, congratulations on passing the halfway point on your novella!

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, Glynna, and I apologize for whining, especially to somebody who works full time and STILL manages to get it all done!!

I'm much better now after the doc appt., because I think just getting away helped, not to mention prayer and repentance all the way there and back. As Keith always says, I am a "spoiled brat" who doesn't like any blips in my day. So I've repented and jumped right back into the story, confident that God has a big scissors! ;)


P.S. In case I've never told you, I SOOO admire you, my friend!!! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, ANGELA! I think Teddy's quote is a really good reminder for all of us.

I'm glad you enjoyed reading through your draft and love your characters and story. That's always such a delight and makes the writing & revising so much easier and so much more FUN!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, PATTI JO! I'm glad to hear you're getting into the Speedbo groove now! Isn't it so much fun when you're "in the zone" and things just flow?

It's real easy sometimes to let that inner critic get the best of us. Which is why I've learned that (if at all possible) to do my redlining in the morning when I'm rested and alert. When I read through my draft at the end of a long, tiring day, everything seems worse than it really is and I can't seem to think of "fixes" for flaws I've found. If you're a night person, it's probably the opposite, so the trick is to find a time when you feel most fresh!

Chill N said...

The moment I saw Kermit, I knew this was my kind of post :-)

"Comparison is the thief of joy" is a marvelous quote.

Yep, I've had setbacks I could do nothing about ... but I'm keeping on keeping on. One word at a time. One scene at a time. Your post is super encouragement, Glynna. Thank you!

Nancy C

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi again, JULIE! Don't apologize. I sure didn't think you were whining, just sharing! I think it's when the "blips" come at you in multiples--as is in your situation right now--that it's the hardest. One blip we might handle with flair, but one right after another after another is a real challenge. Maybe that's why God so often does allow "multiples" -- we think we can handle one or two on our own, but finally realize we need to turn to Him when we're being hammered!

Glynna Kaye said...

NANCY -- I'm glad the post was helpful and that you're still keeping on in spite of setbacks. Sometimes it just takes putting one foot in front of the other to keep heading in the right direction.

Glynna Kaye said...

It's really been fun today reading through what everyone has shared.

You all have no idea just how PROUD the Seekers are of all of you -- for the support and encouragement the "readers only" provide for our Village and for the determination and hard work the writers put forth to pursue a dream God's put in your heart.

You are such a blessing to us!

Walt Mussell said...

I'm by looking at any word counts, but finishing my in-process novella will make my SpeedBo a success.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, WALT! Here's hoping you finish up that novella you've been working on!

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Love this post! I'm all about fun. My son even prays to have fun when we're starting the day and I love that perspective. It helps so much in tense times to smile and bring in laughter. I'm bogging about it today, too!

Especially love your thoughts about not comparing ourselves to others and keeping a great perspective. Can you tell I liked it? Said "love" three times! Yahoo.

Mary Lawson said...

Even though I have written I know I am not near where I need to be. As you say life interferes . Plan to work today.

Would love a copy of your book Claiming the Single Mom's Heart.i

Lara (Storm) Hitchcock said...

Thanks for the post. It really does make a difference to focus on the enjoyment of the process rather than on how far we have left to go. I exceeded my Speedbo word count, but the story has a ways to go, so it will still be important for me to focus on the fun.

The Bible says to magnify the Lord, but it's so easy to magnify our problems or our (or our STORY'S) deficiencies. And Kathy B, I have so been where you were yesterday so many times since I've started writing. I know from experience that I usually feel better in a day or two, but that doesn't always make those days any easier.

I really appreciate this community, so thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply and encourage. Hoping to be an encouragement to all of you as well!

Glynna, your story "Claiming the single mom's heart" sounds interesting. I'm a little late in posting, but if it's still possible, please put my name in the draw. Thanks!

Megan Brummer said...

What a perfectly-timed post! It's been a busy, stressful week and I've been discouraged whenever I look at my word-count chart and see the four zero-word days I had this week. But your two questions - why do I write and why this story - re-energized me and have me up and excited to dive in again! Thank you!!