Monday, October 10, 2016

9 Tips to Survive a Writing Dry Spell

by Missy Tippens




Have you ever had a dry spell in your writing? I’m not talking about writer’s block--like when you’re under a deadline, in the middle of a story, and hit a wall and can’t figure out what’s next. Because those are times you can usually back up and plow through, working out the problem to push ahead.

No, I’m talking about times where you just can’t seem to put any words on paper, or can’t think of a single unique idea, or can’t build up any excitement or even the energy to tackle a project. I’m talking about being in a wasteland, and you don't even have the urge or need to write anymore.

Maybe you’ve suffered a personal loss or rejection, or a rejection of your writing. Maybe you’re under more stress than usual (job change, move, death of a loved one, divorce or illness). Or maybe you can’t even pinpoint what has changed in your life. But suddenly, you’ve found yourself unable to write.

I’ve learned a little about this over the last few months. My husband was appointed to a new church, and we had six weeks to prepare, pack, and to buy a house (for the first time!). Then five days after the closing, we moved. A month after that, our son got married. These are wonderful blessings! But anyone who has moved, started a new job, or had a family wedding knows how stressful those life events can be. Added to that, I've had extended family members hit with serious health issues. Caring for them has taken so much of my time and energy that it's been almost impossible to write. But I believe God’s timing is perfect, and He will see me through this season.

He will see you through yours as well.



If you’re in your own writing dry spell, here are 9 ideas that I hope will help:

1.   Rest. Take care of yourself. Recharge. Take a break if needed (especially if you think burnout is your problem).

2.   Take baby steps. For some reason, once you’ve been away from writing for a while, it can be tough to jump back in. Rather than start back into an already-started novel, try beginning with a blog post, short journal entry, or responding to a creative writing prompt. Try your hand at flash fiction or devotionals. Something short that can give a sense of accomplishment. And try to recall why you started writing in the first place. Find some project that rekindles that early joy.

3.   Try a new genre. Or a new way of approaching a story (Pantsers, try plotting. Plotters, try jumping in without heavy planning). Try writing by hand or through dictation. Try any type of writing that gives you a glimmer of excitement.

4.   Try something else creative like painting or knitting or cooking—anything that inspires your creativity. This will help refill your creative well.

5.   Read—especially re-reading books on your keeper shelf. Nothing inspires me to write like reading a good book. Or try reading something totally different from your usual fare. You never know what may spark an idea!

6.   Attend a writers meeting or critique group. But it’s important that this be a group that is positive and uplifting. Don’t hang out with people you know are Debbie Downers! You need to be around writers who are optimistic and encouraging. Ask for help from your writer friends (that includes us here at Seekerville!) so they can cheer you on.

7.   Take an online writing class. They often include class assignments which can give you guidance and feedback. Working on weaknesses can also help build confidence.

8.   Pray, and ask God if you’re being sent in another direction. Maybe God is giving you this season for a reason. Maybe a rejection is God’s mercy at this time in your life, in your particular circumstances. Trust that God loves you and has a plan for you. Jeremiah 29:11.

My favorite Bible verse!

9.   Set a small, achievable writing goal and force yourself to accomplish it no matter how much you dread it. Treat it like you do cleaning the house or some other chore you don’t enjoy. Because if you’re like me, once you get involved in that chore, you find it’s not nearly as bad as you made it out to be in your head. :)


I hope you’ll share any tips you have for battling dry spells. Or if you’re in one now, please let us know so we can encourage you. One random commenter (U.S. only this time) will receive a Pocket Journal/Notebook with Jeremiah 29:11 on the front (and other inspirational snippets inside). Let's chat!



The Bachelor's Baby 

Jake West's troubled cousin leaves him with a most unusual parting gift—her newborn baby girl! And now the small-town contractor is forced to seek help from the very woman he resents—the new big-city pediatrician who practically stole his uncle's practice, Violet Crenshaw. Violet knows she shouldn't be consorting with the enemy. But she can't resist the adorable baby and her handsome new caretaker. Violet traded her chance at motherhood for her career years ago. But raising a family with Jake could be everything she's ever wanted.

Bio: Born and raised in Kentucky, Missy Tippens has lived in Georgia for the last 30+ years. She is a pastor's wife and mom of three who has worked as a microbiologist, teacher and stay-at-home mom. During that time, she also pursued writing. After more than ten years of working toward publication, Missy made her first sale of a novel in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, ACFW Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and a Romance Writers of America RITA®  Award. She feels very blessed to be working at home in her dream job! Visit Missy at www.missytippens.comhttps://twitter.com/MissyTippens and http://www.facebook.com/missy.tippens.readers .





158 comments :

  1. The coffee is on! Decaf for any late night visitors. I even have some apple fritters for anyone with a sweet tooth. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, I've been in dry spells before....not in writing but in life. Times where I feel like I have no energy or gumption to do the things I used to love to do. Just thinking about something I love doing (ie: baking a sweet treat), zaps me and I just have no interest in it. Sometimes even in my spiritual walk with God I've had dry times, times where I feel I'm walking in the middle of the desert. Times where I feel I'm not growing or nothing is happening. Times I feel like a dried up piece of wood and a gentle breeze will blow me away. Those times are scary for me! I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm NOT alone, God is right there besides me no matter how much the enemy tries to tell me otherwise. I cling even closer to the promises God has given me. What else can I do in those times? I also know there will be times in our walk where we have seasons. And I just let them come, I just keep trusting, keep clinging and learn to be still and know that God is God :-)

    It used to bother me in times past, but as I've matured in my walk I've learned to trust more and know God's character more. I know what scripture says to me in those dry times and it gives me comfort. I may never understand but I know even those times God has a plan for me, to better my character and make me more Christ-like. So I rest in it even when I question or start to have doubts. I remember what Christ did when Satan took him to the desert to test Him, he never argued but came back with what the truth of God's word said. So I've learned to do just that. And if I can't remember what it says, I look it up. It gets me deeper in His word and writes it deeper in my heart for those times that will come in life. And God is faithful to bring those to mind just when I need them!

    Your post is a great reminder to me Missy! I especially like #1 and #2: Rest and Take Baby Steps because sometimes that's all I have the energy for! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. OOOH. Apple fritters? That helps anyone out of a dry spell. :)

    Thanks Missy.
    Wow! Talk about some challenges/blessings! How fun but wow.
    Wow wow wow! (apparently I'm in a dry spell.)

    Some wonderful points here. I like the one about new directions and figuring out what God wants us to do next. You covered it for me. Can't really think of anything else right now. You really covered it well. Congrats on new things in your life! Exciting to see what God will be doing in your life next! Wow wow wow. ;)

    Thank you!
    Passing on the decaf though. I need to head to bed and even decaf can keep me up! But mmmm apple fritter. MMMM. Better just have 1/2 though. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm adding a P.S.

    I don't journal so no need to add my name :-) I know my comment didn't have a writer's perspective, but it triggered the thoughts I wrote. Like I said, great reminders to me...God is so good!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Trixi, I loved what you said. What a wonderful attitude to trust God's word, to trust that He'll be faithful even when we can't understand. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! This affects us in all areas of life, not just in writing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. KC, enjoy that half a fritter. And if you can resist the other half, you have more willpower than I do. LOL! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd kill for an apple fritter right now.

    Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Number 9 is to me the most misunderstood of these reasons.

    Our time is so not his time. His ways are not our ways.

    This strongly correlates to liminal space. Sometimes it is our job to wait on the threshold. And it's not an easy job.

    And often we feel we should be doing more, when in fact we are right where we are supposed to be.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Missy:

    I just love your bible quote and I like it even better in the KJV:

    "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

    I believe that this shows God is a plotter and that He also is a fan of the HEA. Now if only that expected end was guraranteed as in Romances!

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  10. As on a farm, there is much productive work still to be done even when the land is too dry for planting. See writing as actually more than actually writing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely reminders of how to push through those desert times, whether in writing or in devotions, or other aspects of life, Missy!

    Really valuable reminder that we are not alone in any of it--I think while it is always hard to face these times of challenge, it is even more so when we feel isolated. Being reminded that we are in community, that we are surrounded by those who love us, that God Himself is with us and loves us... all those help so much, just to keep moving and to take the baby steps.

    And so true, Tina--being faithful to remain where we are and trust? Can be so hard!

    And mmm... apple fritters!!!! Don't mind if I do! Thanks ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, this is a great list!
    I especially like #4. About a year ago I was really struggling to finish a book and I decided to try writing the way my friend writes: all the important scenes first, the fill in the reactions to the scenes and dribble in any backstory.

    I don't think the book went any faster, but it did get finished and it did sort of "jar" my brain out of the rut it was in. I haven't written a book like that since. (I like to go from A-Z, no wandering!) It was definitely interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  13. All very good tips. I find that walking and letting my mind drift can be most helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is such a great post Missy! I like #9 because many times in my everyday life I find myself putting things off until I can't anymore, then I find it isn't as bad as I thought it would be or at least easier than I thought.

    I'm in a rough season right now and during this time I'm gathering ideas to hopefully use once I am freed up tp write again.

    My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 as well. I love this verse! I love journals too so please toss my name in.

    Happy Birthday Seekerville!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Missy! I had no idea you worked as a microbiologist...how cool! This is a wonderful list. Numbers five and nine seem to work best for me when I'm struggling with a project. Jeremiah 29:11 such a comforting verse. I'm a journal junkie, so please throw my name in the hat. Thanks for a terrific post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm in for coffee!!!!

    Missy, I hate dry spells!!! I tend to jump into something totally off-the-wall different to jerk myself out of a dry spell... that helps me a lot, it lets my imagination run free again, and I can work my way out of the walls we "see" when writing for publishers. Sometimes that's all it takes is a different perspective.

    But having said that, life hands us a lot of curves and left turns... and it's hard to write through all of them. I always think: "If you were waitressing, could you take the day off? The week? The month?"

    And the answer would be no, of course not, we needed the money. So then I jump in because when I weigh it against that, it puts things back in perspective.

    Either way, the blessing of writing is that it's always there, opportunities abound, and you NEVER HAVE TO RETIRE!!!!

    That's my workaholic favorite part, MISSY!!!! (LAUGHING!!!!!!!)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Vince, God is the best plotter ever... He gave us free will! :) Now there's a game-changer, for you!

    But he also gave us the talent and blessing of pantsing, my friend... And I thank God for that every day.

    I suppose if mental plotting is plotting, I do SOME plotting....

    :)

    Missy, what kind of cake would you like? I'm in a baking mood! Which means I'm feeling better. YAY!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Missy,

    What great tips. I think praying is the best tip, and I lean on God when the words are coming and when I'm dried up.

    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post, MISSY! I have been in a "desert" season in my life for a while now. I keep pressing on one step and one day at a time.

    Have a MAGICAL Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  20. MISSY, your tips for writers to survive a dry spell are excellent. Sometimes our batteries are empty and need to be re-charged. I love the suggestions to rest, read great books and pray. God is in control and is working out things for our good, even when we don't feel it. But waiting on Him can be tough.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post, Missy! I love this tip: try to recall why you started writing in the first place. Sometimes you have to step back and remember why you're doing what you're doing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Missy, Those dry spells can be so annoying. All of your tips have worked for me. The best though were to attend a writer event and to set the small goal. The writer event got me all excited again. The small goal was doable and then I felt so good when I wrote more.

    Great tips. Thanks a bunch.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Missy,
    This is such a timely post, so much of what you've shared is applicable to life in general. With the changing of the seasons, I'm always reminded of the various seasons in my own life, taking inventory of where I am now and where I'm headed.

    You've had a busy year, but this season of change for you (now that things hopefully are settling down) could be an open door into a whole new set of ideas you've never thought of. I'm praying for you that it is.

    I have a love of looking at a verse and asking God what He is saying as I take it apart word by word. When it comes to Jer. 29:11, I don't usually get past,
    "For I KNOW...". Just let that sink in, He knows! I find such comfort and peace in realizing He knows what He has in mind for me, it just takes the internal struggle out of me and I can rest in that. Then I can go forward knowing His plan is what's important, not mine.

    Such a wonderful start to a brisk October morning while I'm enjoying my first cup of coffee. Don't even get me started about how much I love a good apple fritter. Tina already refuses to live anywhere near me because I'm a bad influence. (I don't enjoy just virtual fritters, I eat the real ones, too, lol)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Tina, that's a great point. I love that picture of waiting on a threshold. Thanks for reminding me of that!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Vince, I love your recommendation to see writing as more than just the actual writing. I can let stories form in my mind. I can take what I've experienced and infuse that into my characters. Thanks for mentioning that!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Fedora, you're right about being in community. I don't know what I would've done without good friends (and that includes my writer friends in addition to local friends) through the last few months. They've been a huge support. All of you here on the blog are always a great encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Good morning, MISSY! Wonderful suggestions for writers AND non-writers. As you stated, you're not talking about "writer's block" here that you just "pull up your big girl panties" and push through. You're talking about something much deeper.

    Thank you for sharing this as I'm sure many can relate to a long stretch of life's circumstances sucking them dry and flat-lining creativity that nothing seems to revive--nor do you have much desire at all to jumpstart it. The passion is gone.

    But I know from experience that God is good and if writing is what He wants us to do and we're open to His leading, the time will come when we're again able to engage creatively.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Mary Jane/Virginia, I love that you tried something new! I have seriously toyed with the idea of trying to write a story like Hallee Bridgeman does. She posted on her method here last year. I'm glad to hear trying something different worked for you for that book. Maybe I should do my next story that way, too. I'm about ready to try anything! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Mary Preston, yes! Exercise is a great idea. And you get all the physical benefits as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Missy,
    Thanks for all of the great tips! I've used some of those at various times. I have a small plaque that says "The best place to start a book is on your knees." That's also true for the middle of the book, or when your publisher tells you that all the names in the book, including yours, have to be changed because of possible legal action. But it's also true for every situation we face, not just writing. Spiritual dry spells can be challenging, often it seems like even prayer will not break through the dry spell. But the Word says, "pray without ceasing." Those prayers will begin to bring forth "rain" to water our spirits, our life. And we will leave that spiritual dry place better than we were when we entered it.

    Thank you, Missy!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Cindy W, I'm so bad about putting off things (right now, the one I dread most is unpacking boxes when I really don't have room for the contents!).

    I'm sorry you're in a rough season. But I love that you're collecting story ideas right now.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Tracey Hagwood,
    You said, "For I KNOW...". Just let that sink in, He knows!" What a blessing that statement was to me this morning. Many times, what our heads may know, our hearts may need to be reminded. So, thank you for the reminder!

    Blessings,

    ReplyDelete
  33. Yes, Jill, that was my job before children. So it's been ages since I worked in the field. It's changed dramatically since then!

    I'm glad to see someone else has to make herself jump in even while dreading a chore. :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Bless you, Missy! You've had so much piled on your plate, one might think the Lord set out a PLATTER of issues for you to face all at once. What a load of good and not so good stuff has been dumped on you, kiddo. You've remained smiling through the whole lot of it!!

    I, too, have been in that dry zone for the last 18 months. No words, no story, no nothing. I refer to it as my well running dry and then having a dump of kitty litter to make certain every last creative juice has gone dry. Your 9 points are so spot on, I nodded as I read each.

    Recognize you're overwhelmed and don't fight it. It's time to rest. There's nothing more damaging to the writer's psyche than fearing the dreaded writer's block and trying to power through the dark. Rest and trust God to care for you.

    I'm a confirmed pantser; I've now tried plotting and I love it.
    I've read books and rediscovered the joy of story!
    I joined a nature sketching club. I laugh because I can't even draw a circle! Yet, that creative release without the use of a computer is very soothing and regenerative.
    I meet with supportive Christians in our writer's group who have supported me through this desert.

    My biggest step?? I let go of my life dream of being a writer and gave control of my life back to God. What a relief! He's been faithful and joy is moving back into my life...along with story ideas!!!

    Every single suggestion you made, Missy, is a good step through the crisis. God bless you, dear friend. Your Bible verse says it all. BTW, it's my favorite, too :)

    Isn't this fall weather gorgeous? Well, it is in Colorado :) I spent the weekend peeling and slicing apples and have baked up a huge batch of apple strudel. Some have nuts, some have raisins. Grab a slice and pour a cup of coffee.

    Here's to a happy Monday during Seekerville birthday month!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audra, bless you for sharing your experience with us. I'm so glad your writers group has been there for you. And drawing! How fun!!! Thanks for your support. We'll have stories flowing again in no time. :)

      Delete
  35. Trixie, I love your wisdom and perspective. A deeper walk with God. There's no great balm.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Missy! Great post! I loved all your suggestions...I think I really identify with the first one. Between my job, three kids, hubby in a demanding position, and my writing, not to mention other obligations, I tend to work until I'm worn down. I need to remember to take the time to recharge my batteries. IF I give myself that time to be refreshed, then usually by the time I'm ready to write again, I have a new idea brewing.

    I have also found that I needed to learn the art of saying "No". Because I found that I always felt bad about turning people down, but my family and my writing suffered. Just because someone asks, doesn't mean I am the one person who can complete the task.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dana, I love the advice to say no sometimes! That can be a very liberating word, even if it's difficult to say at first. I've learned it comes easier as you use it. :)

      Delete
  37. Ruthy, I'm glad trying something different has worked for you. I haven't really tried that one yet but have been considering it.

    And you're right about working even when it seems impossible--just like we would in any other job. I understand that in my head and agree. It's just been tough this time! :) I know writers who've managed to push through and write even while being a caregiver. I think I can get my balance and do that eventually, too. Especially if I have you cheering me on! (that's stating it nicely). LOL

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ruthy, if you're in a baking mood, I'll have some zucchini bread. I've had a craving since yesterday!

    I'm so glad you're feeling better!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Jackie, what a great reminder to pray and rely on God during ALL times--productive or dry spells.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Vince, God must be a plotter, but He has patience for us pantsers, too, LOL! I love the KJV version. Very lyrical. Very writer-ish.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Caryl, I'm sorry about your dry season. But taking one step at a time is great advice. We shouldn't look too far ahead and fret, but rather do something right now that moves us one tiny step toward our goal.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Cathy Ann, thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Janet, you're right that waiting on Him can be tough! I'm generally a pretty patient person. But I don't wait well when it comes to my writing. And I don't wait well when I can't see where God is taking me. I need to trust more!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Good Morning, Missy!

    What a great post. A topic most writers don't want to discuss. I think all of your suggestions are spot on.

    I'd also add going 'off line' for a while to recharge. Not ignoring your emails, after all, that is the way we communicate with loved ones and business associates, but skip scrolling through Twitter and Facebook and go out and do something you really enjoy like visiting a museum, browsing an antique store or hiking around a beautiful park.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rose I agree! I call it "living real life." :)

      Delete
  45. TRIXI, what a great response to a post, almost a sermon, and so needed.
    TRACY H., I never deconstructed Jer. 29:11 before but you are right, the "FOR I KNOW" is fundamental.
    I'm in a dry spell right now re actual writing. I'm editing and rewriting like a madwoman, processing contest judge responses and adding them to my manuscripts, working with a new crit partner, and rewriting two earlier stories, one of which just finaled in a contest, so I have to have it spruced up in case anyone wants to see a full. But I'm not working on anything new, and I'm a little concerned.
    My day job is writing, and that's a double-edged sword. Sometimes it "feeds" the fiction or I can fold the fiction in, while other times I am so burned out I can't sit at a computer.
    My go-to is to get away. I drive north into the New Hampshire or Vermont mountains, I drive south to Boston and the incredible stimulation of a city.
    I know there will be another story, I have characters forming and a plot. But I've got to wait this out. In the meantime, a lot of stuff is being edited and reworked, so there's that.
    I missed the memo about this being birthday month, I didn't even know you were open today, this is such a blessing!
    KB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. KB although you feel like you're spinning your wheels, it sounds as if you're accomplishing a lot! Keep at it and I'm sure you'll have something new before long.

      I love the idea of getting away and driving to enjoy the city or scenery.

      Delete
  46. SO ANYWAY...I have a vague plot and characters for a Revolutionary War novel, and the research is at my fingertips, I'm one hour from Lexington and Concord. I'm going to finish up all this editing and start my research and plotting by the first of the year. And maybe be writing by the middle of the year, but I don't want to rush this one. Lexington and Concord is too important. So yeah, there is some "real" writing on the horizon, just not yet.
    MISSY, thank you for an inspiring post. Burnout isn't great, but at least we have something to be burned out from.
    KB

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks for your tips. I am so grateful I went to bed vertigo free and woke up vertigo free. Hope this lasts. I a wanting to write again. But first I have some housework that was impossible to do while I had the vertigo. I'm going out to lunch with my friends which is all good towards getting ready to get back into my writing.

    I'm praying for you. What a rough last few months you have had.

    ReplyDelete
  48. AUDRA, I am also baking with apples today! Apple cobbler made with Splenda, as my husband and I have just gotten back from a weekend away where we as diabetics ate not wisely but too well, if you know what I mean. There is nothing like the smell of something apple baking while the leaves fall outside and hubby tries to get the woodstove going.
    Kathy Bailey

    ReplyDelete
  49. Wow, Missy! You HAVE had a busy season. What wonderful tips and advice you shared this morning. Thank you! Your mindset inspired me.

    The last year has been pretty busy over our way, too. Last year was our daughter's senior year so we had all the busyness that goes with that. Over the summer, my dad fell, broke four ribs and spent time in the ICU and rehab, and my sis and I tag-teamed our efforts in caring for him and our mother. (Basically, most of the summer.) During that time, too, hubs and I prepped baby bird to fly the nest and she flew away to college. (That, in itself, is a bittersweet life stage.) THEN, of course, there was ACFW prep and conference. Whew! I'm still a wee bit exhausted from the last several months.

    Dry spells and interruptions are so difficult, but I've always believed God allows seasons for a purpose in preparation for something bigger and better. We may not always like the season, but without them we can't fully appreciate the blessings that follow.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Great post, Missy. It works for Amy dry season!i
    I don't journal either, so no need to it my name in for that!
    And my reviews are done on line.
    It's Thanksgiving Day here in Canada, so Happy Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi Missy! I love Jer. 29:11 :) It's also my sister's favorite verse. Please add my name to the hat.

    Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Such a meaningful and timely post, Missy, filled with great advice and inspiration! If there's a writer out there who hasn't yet faced a dry spell, know that it isn't a question of IF, but WHEN. Whether it's the result of a devastating rejection or a health issue or family problems or work stress, a dry spell can make us wonder if we'll ever get back the joy of writing again.

    But knowing "this too shall pass" and trusting in God's timing and eternal plans for us, plus working through this handy "9 Step" recovery program, we don't have to give up hope! Thanks, Missy!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Missy, great advice! We've all been there... or at least I assume others have. If not, they are blessed beyond measure. I just came through my own valley the past few months... deadline, son's wedding, ACFW conference, business trip, not one, but TWO sinus infections/allergy flareups, ALL within 6 weeks. And that's just the top half-dozen events that demanded my time. All of it was important and all GOOD THINGS... okay, except for the 2 weeks of crude. I could have done without that. It was crazy, but I persevered and everything got done on time.

    But here's the thing... all of my comments, pleas, prayer requests, and thoughts of

    "If I can just make it until after the wedding..."

    "If I can just make it until October..."

    "If I can just meet my deadline..."

    etc., etc. etc.

    Now it's October, and I'm saying...

    "If I can just..."

    :)

    The truth is LIFE is always going to throw curve balls at us. We're always going to have a job, sick kids, aging parents, financial woes, tax prep, deadlines, moving, job changes, college/adult kids who need us, Christmas presents to buy (so soon???), GRANDBABIES to babysit (CAN I GET AN AMEN??? My little doll is sleeping beside me as I type.), etc. etc. etc.

    Honestly, when someone tells me they're bored and don't have anything to do, I do a double take. I've never been bored, at least not since I started adulting. One of these days I want to try being bored... but until then,here are more tips on how to manage it all...

    Be proactive, not reactive. Prepare, don't procrastinate. If I'm pointing one finger toward everybody else, I've got three pointed right back at MYSELF. As hard as it might be, power through your writing FIRST. If you've got 10 months to write your novel, don't fall into the trap of thinking, I have plenty of time. Frontload. Write it now. You'll be glad you did.

    And I want to stress your tip #5 & #8. They might seem like minor suggestions, but they are the most important tips on your list. When life piles up, take 15 minutes (or more) at the beginning of your day for prayer, devotion, and/or scripture reading. It's so easy to skip this because we don't think we have time. The truth is, we don't have time not to. Again, I'm talking to myself as much as to anyone else. When I spend time with the Lord, the rest of my day expands exponentially. I can't explain it, it just does.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Loving all these comments!

    Edwina said: I have a small plaque that says "The best place to start a book is on your knees."

    Amen! :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Audra:

    I agree the king James translation is, as you wrote: "Very lyrical. Very writer-ish."

    I heard a quote in a philosophy of religion class which I've always remembered:

    "I don't know if the Bible was divinely inspired or not but the King James translation definetly was."

    I believe that retranslating the Bible to make it more like today's speech is like rewriting Shakespeare to make it easier to understand.

    "To be or not to be. That is the question."

    Becomes:

    "Should I kill myself or not?"

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  56. Also, reading the comments has made me realize once again that we're all different and different activities rejuvenate us all. For some of us, it's baking. For others, it's taking an art class. For others, it's just relaxing and stepping away from everything.

    Maybe that's a bit of the introvert/extrovert coming out.

    So there are many paths to finding our own "happy place" to pull us out of the dry spell.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Sally, I saw a great article in the recent RWR (RWA's newsletter) that mentioned finding the joy in writing again. That's what inspired me to mention that. It's so true!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Sandra, I think that's a great combination to get someone writing again. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Tracey, I just LOVE what you said: ""For I KNOW...". Just let that sink in, He knows!" Love this! Thank you for pointing that out. It really does help sometimes to break down a familiar Scripture.

    Also, this is where I admit my apple fritters are not virtual! LOL Bought them yesterday at the grocery store. :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Glynna, thank you. I love how you stated this: "But I know from experience that God is good and if writing is what He wants us to do and we're open to His leading, the time will come when we're again able to engage creatively."

    That's a big encouragement to me today.

    ReplyDelete
  61. MISSY, I need to trust more, too. In fact I'm continually working on letting go of my will and trusting him with everything. That's harder to do when you're depleted. I'm not surprised by your lack of energy. You've had so many changes--mostly good--but still changes take a toil. Add in all your additional responsibilities and the emotional upheaval of having loved ones ill and it's no wonder your tank is empty.

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  62. What an encouraging post, Missy! My mother always encouraged me to journal but I never stuck with it or enjoyed it. My perfectionism got in the way.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Missy this reminded me of an author friend who once told me, "I need a deadline."
    It's so easy to put off things that are our own ideas, our own inspirations. Much easier to have a publisher hand you money and say, "I need this by the first of November."

    You said we should write different to refresh...devotionals or plot when we usually plan. Within that, try and set a deadline for yourself and see if it helps.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi Ruth:

    I agree with your comment: "God is the best plotter ever... He gave us free will! :) Now there's a game-changer, for you!"

    But I would not be too free in the comparison to free will as 'free will' is a leading explanation for all the evil in the world.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  65. Missy, this is a great post with wonderful suggestions. I was in a dry spell for a long time. Joining Seekerville was one way for me to move out of it. I knew that if I became part of another group of writers that I would be encouraged and want to move forward in my writing. I have loved "meeting" everyone here.

    ReplyDelete
  66. It is so difficult to trust that I'm where I should be when it isn't where I want to be.

    Your post is so supportive and positive, Missy. Number 4 -- Try something else creative like painting or knitting or cooking—anything that inspires your creativity. This will help refill your creative well -- works for me every time.

    Are things 'settling down' a little bit now for you?

    Nancy C

    ReplyDelete
  67. When people tell me 'I've got a book in me' but they never ever ever WRITE IT.
    Or when they say, "I don't know how you do it."

    I usually say, "You probably like people too much. You probably don't like sitting alone for hours on end makin' stuff up."

    You're normal. This is NOT a bad thing. Consider yourself lucky.

    But I'm stuck with this writer temperament so I might as well write--because there is NO ESCAPE.

    ReplyDelete
  68. One thing I'll add is, so so so so many writers really can't quit.
    You might be burned out or too busy. You might be discouraged and declare yourself DONE.

    And then before you know it, another story idea pops into your head, or a BETTER black moment for that book that burned you out so badly.

    And like any other OCD/Crack Addict.....you're right back at it!!!!

    For most writers it's not just WHAT WE DO....it's far more WHO WE ARE.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I like the 'rest' tip.

    I could take my laptop to bed.

    ReplyDelete
  70. MARY, that is so true! I've hit some pretty barren dry spells and have been ready to call it quits more than once. But real writers just can't quit, at least not for long. Something always draws us back. We can't help ourselves!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Such a great post, Missy! Starting back small is important. Also getting enough rest!!! Oh my! Fatigue is a Debbie Downer. BTW, glad you spelled Debbie with an "ie!" :) I never want to be considered negative! :)

    ReplyDelete
  72. MISSY, thanks for the encouragement this morning. These were ALL excellent suggestions to find our way out of the desert. I'd only add that guilt and depression will make us wander around for forty years like the Israelites unless we give ourselves permission to rest and seek the Lord during this dry season. It happens to every writer, but I especially like your idea of setting small writing goals. It's like getting back on a horse after it's thrown you, right MARY C.?

    ReplyDelete
  73. Great tips, Missy!

    I especially like the one about avoiding Debbie Downers. There's nothing like someone else's negativity to suck my creative juices dry.

    Continuing to keep you in my prayers during this HUGE transition time!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Missy, I appreciate this post more than you know. I've been in a slump for quite a while and just need to get back to "normal." Thanks for your encouraging tips.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Thanks Missy for sharing your stressful events! Tip number 2 is the one that spoke to me today ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  76. There is nothing worse than not being able to do what you love. I like how you mentioned setting a small goal and then setting another. Very good advice!
    Becky

    ReplyDelete
  77. Waving to Dana who mentioned learning how to say "No!"

    I've long said that women often don't guard their time. We do for others, often we do too much and end up with no energy or time to do what's important for us. Learning to say no is huge! We need to set priorities and guard our time so we can accomplish that which we need to do, ie write!

    Love this blog post, Missy, and the comments. We've all been there, although you've been hit hard recently. Thanks for 9 great tips on surviving a dry spell!

    ReplyDelete

  78. Thank you Missy for this wonderful post. It really resonated with me for several reasons. Years ago when my mother passed away I was an aspiring author. After her death I stopped writing altogether. I was too devastated to continue writing and it took me many many years to get back on track. In April I lost my brother to a very aggressive cancer that hit us all out of the blue. Losing my best friend was...and still is...devastating. Although it has been a hard battle, I didn't stop writing this time. For me, the key was to allow myself to grieve and not to push myself too hard. And pray. And lean on God for guidance. Bottom line, we have to be good to ourselves as writers. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Yep. Every woman needs to add the word "no" to her vocabulary. :)

    ReplyDelete
  80. Belle, I'm so sorry about your sweet Mama and your brother. Losing loved ones is always so hard. You're right about being good to ourselves. We're in this for the long haul and need to guard our emotional and physical health.

    Just sitting at a computer for hours on end can be a challenge. Taking breaks, adding exercise and giving our minds time to relax and unwind are healthy habits we need to incorporate into our daily lives.

    ReplyDelete
  81. This post could not have come at a better time. Three weeks ago my husband had back-to-back strokes that left him paralyzed on his left side. Right in the middle of a slew of deadlines. It seems even when I get a "good night's sleep" I'm still mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted. I've learned so much, seeing the world through a disabled person's eyes. But my well is dry and for the moment I will be the primary breadwinner, so prayers are appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Missy, wonderful suggestions. That is one of my favorite Bible verses. I quote it to myself often. Lots of other good suggestions here. Saying no is a tough one for someone like me who likes to be involved and included. I tend to over commit and then get exhausted. I'm with Ruth on take perspective, could I take time off if I were in a different job? Sometimes the answer is yes (if I'm sick I wouldn't go to work and get others sick-I'd stay home and get better) but usually no-if I have a migraine or am in pain-need to work through it. But the beauty of writing allows the author to determine the hours worked and the schedule. Taking a break sometimes is the healthy and right decision.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Missy, thank you for that wonderful post!! Although not a writer, I found some tips in your post which could be applied to any circumstance involving surviving a "dry spell". Hope your life has become more of your "normal" by now - congrats on the joyful blessings of your "dry spell"!!

    ReplyDelete
  84. Wilani, I'm so glad you feel better! I hope this continues. :)

    ReplyDelete
  85. Cynthia, you've had a lot going on! And empty nest adds to the upheaval (it did for us, anyway). I love what you said! Wish I'd had you write this for my post because you said it better: "Dry spells and interruptions are so difficult, but I've always believed God allows seasons for a purpose in preparation for something bigger and better. We may not always like the season, but without them we can't fully appreciate the blessings that follow."

    Amen to that.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Barbara let's not get HORSES involved.
    After all who really NEEDS to ride a horse.

    Not me.

    ReplyDelete
  87. bonton I so agree that this is a great post for anything, any situation where you need encouragement.

    Not just authors have these seasons of not being inspired and motivated.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Marianne, Happy Thanksgiving!! I pray it's a blessed holiday for all of you in Canada!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Myra, I like how you called this the 9 step recovery. :) I should've name my title that.

    You're right that it's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when" a dry spell will come.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Pam, such great words of wisdom. I watched you through the August and September and wondered how on earth you'd ever do it. But you did! As Alison said last week, we're stronger than we think we are.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Missy, Your mention of apple fritters tempted me. I had one as a treat last week and I loved it. Drool!! Now on to business--I think I qualify for that dry writing spell. The whole month of September I was traveling here and there. Although I brought my iPad along with good intentions, I always found some reason to avoid it. My batteries are recharged and I've already started something for Guideposts. I also have a novel to revise calling for my attention. Thanks for all your tips to ease back in. I find I get a writing fever after a conference or writer's meeting. Most importantly is for me to make writing appointments on my weekly calendar and block out the time. Then I will be sure to get in that chair and write. Bless you for sharing your encouraging words to us all at Seekerville.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hi Missy:

    I have a technique for when one becomes creatively 'dry':

    Go on a 'what if' brainstorming session. As fast as possible, without any internal editing, type out, one after the other, two pages of 'what if' scenario sentences.

    Examples:

    What if the hero loses his job?
    What if the heroine wins a $50,000 lottery prize? Will it change the power structure? How much would?
    What if the hero is accused of stealing company money?
    What if an old girlfriend shows up with a child? Is it his or not? Does it make any difference?

    After a few dozen of these 'what ifs' the danger is that you will like the potentials of one of them so much you'll want to start a new story!

    Hint: Kept a file of these 'what if' sheets to look at in the future. Many will stimulate new scenarios for your next efforts.

    This technique works very well for many copywriters who face daily newspaper deadlines.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
  93. Thanks, Janet. I'm learning when I need to rest and recharge. It's an ongoing process.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Happy Birthday to everyone at Seekerville on day ten. Twenty-one more days of celebrating to go.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Beth Erin, I'm a perfectionist too. And that sometimes stops me dead in my tracks. I've had to learn through the years to write in short spurts even while I prefer larger chunks of time. I need to remind myself of that now.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Mary, yes! There's nothing like a deadline to light a fire under me. :)

    I'm laughing like crazy at your comment about being normal vs the writer temperament. :)

    ReplyDelete
  97. Myra and Mary, I agree. The characters have been calling out to me already. :)

    ReplyDelete
  98. Debby, I DID spell the name the other way on purpose. haha I almost put a disclaimer in parentheses, too. :)

    So my apologies to all positive Debbies out there! :)

    ReplyDelete
  99. Barbara, thank you for mentioning guilt and depression. We do need to take care of ourselves so we get back on the horse quicker!

    ReplyDelete
  100. Jan D., thank you!

    Jan C., I'm glad you found it helpful. I hope you're back to your normal pace soon.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Stephanie, I hope the tip helps you!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Becky, it is helpful to do small things to get started again. For some reason when I think of that, I picture Fred Flintstone running in place to get his car going! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  103. Debby, I'm glad you mentioned setting priorities!

    ReplyDelete
  104. Belle, I remember you losing your brother. I'm so very sorry. I appreciate you sharing what has helped you. I think that's great advice to keep going but be good to yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Deb K, I've been praying for your husband. I'll be sure to pray for you and your deadlines as well. Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Terri, it truly is nice to have some flexibility with our schedule. That allows me to take care of my family right now.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Bonnie, thank you! We love our new house and new church. And we're thrilled with our new daughter-in-law! The wedding was gorgeous. I actually have a photo up on my Facebook profile page. :)

    ReplyDelete
  108. Sandy Smith, we're so glad you joined us here!

    ReplyDelete
  109. It seems I'm always entering dry spells. I think mine can be blamed on simply burning myself out. Especially during school months in which I am mentally exhausted just from school alone.

    I'll write fine for a month or two, but then suddenly for a week I cannot write at all. It's not that I don't think about my stories, or have new ideas, it's just that when I sit down at the computer I've suddenly got nothing. My mind is blank. I can't even piece two sentences together. I literally feel like my brain has turned to mush in my head. That's when I know that it's time to take a break from my writing. Generally reading a good book works to get me inspired again. Another thing that works for me is to just kick-back, turn my brain off and watch a movie.

    I've gotten pretty used to my dry spells now and I actually use them as an opportunity to brainstorm coming up story scenes. After a week or so it's gone and I'm back to writing like normal.

    However, when I finished writing my second book, which was really hard to do, I entered into a dry spell that lasted for months! Finally I had to follow step nine (and even though I never fulfilled the schedule, the need to get started pulled me out of the dry spell).

    Thank you for the advice, I will have to try them again next time I enter a dry spell!

    ReplyDelete
  110. Missy, Apple Fritters! Yummy!

    Thanks for the post. This is a great post, and I loved reading the first half of the comments.

    My advice goes to something a lot of writers have said, but that I've only recently learned is accurate (for many writers, not all). I have discovered there's a huge difference between the writing part and editing. With writing, what helps me is to just start thinking about the characters and letting the scenes play out in my mind. Half the time most of it doesn't get on paper because I'm just free-associating to figure out the words and tempo, so that when I sit down and write, I can get excited about the story even if I'm going through a rough patch with rejections or something on the business side of writing. in other words, sitting down and writing is what gets me through the rough patches. I have started to approach editing differently so there's not as much creative juices flowing, but I still get excited because it's when I start brainstorming other books.

    Thank you for your advice, especially to just remember God's timing is perfect. That's one thing I struggle with, and reminders of that are always most welcome and appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Wonderful advice, Missy!

    I especially loved tips #4 and #8. When I hit a "Writing Dry Spell," I knit or do some other type of craft project (usually something that doesn't require a whole lot of thinking). And I always pray for God's guidance.

    ReplyDelete
  112. This is the best I have felt in two months!

    On the days when I don't have the vertigo, I set a goal of how many words or how long I want to write each morning. I find it helps to get at least 500 words written, Then I begin the day with other things and since I don't have a job, I often go back and write more words or do editing etc. Now next month I will try setting at least the minimum goal that nano says I should write in order to finish it in a month. I will see if I can beat that goal each day. It makes a fun challenge. Last year's book was amazing I wrote it in 17 days. I am still editing and polishing it but I was amazed that I could do something in such a quick time. Now Lord willing I am going to try it again and pray that I will be physically well so it will be possible.

    I am starting a course on line for prep for writing a novel in a month. I can't wait to see what I can learn.

    One thing I did decide on while I was not able to write. I did come up with my title for the blog I want to create and possibly it will be my brand. All of this was scary to me even a month ago.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Nancy C, I'd love to know which creative endeavor works for you. I like to read recipes and cook (and sometimes share on the Yankee-Belle Cafe.

    Things are settling little by little. Thanks for asking.

    ReplyDelete
  114. My answers may be all out of order! I was using my phone today and comments may not have gone through. Now I'm back on my computer. I hope I didn't miss anyone!

    ReplyDelete
  115. Suzanne, it sounds like you've done a great job jumping back in! Travel can make writing difficult. I agree, though, that conferences inspire me!

    ReplyDelete
  116. Vince, thank you for sharing your brainstorming process! I love to ask "what if" questions. That really does get the creativity flowing.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Nicky, thanks for sharing about what you do in your dry spells. I should have mentioned watching movies! I love to do that for inspiration. I love the analyze the stories.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Tanya, that's wonderful that writing is what helps pull you out of dry spells. Sometimes that helps me as well--just to get words on paper, even if they're terrible. Before I know it, I'm zipping along thinking, why did I ever think this was difficult? :)

    ReplyDelete
  119. Rhonda, a few years ago when I was working on my book that involved a yarn shop (Georgia Sweethearts), I re-learned to knit. I really enjoyed doing that for relaxation while "watching" TV. Of course, I was so bad at knitting that I had to watch my hands and the yarn, so I was listening to the TV. :)

    ReplyDelete
  120. Wilani, you're amazing! I hope you have as much success for NaNoWriMo this year!

    ReplyDelete
  121. Hey, MISSY -- boy, did this resonate with me, my friend. I haven't had what you had going on this last year, but the year I was blessed enough to get a three-book deal, my son got married out of town, then we had an out-of-town reception for 150 in our house for which Keith was on deadline to finish the basement, and my daughter graduated from high school -- all good stuff. But writing-wise, I was on empty.

    And I don't know about any other writers, but when I can't write, I'm blue, which only makes it worse. And a few things I do when I'm blue are as Mary Preston pointed out -- exercise. I get on the treadmill and listen to worship music, which really lifts both my endorphins and my spirits. Then, I know this is going to sound a little silly, but I fix myself up. Makeup, fix my hair, wear something I feel good in, because that helps stomp down that failure feeling that takes over when I writer can't write.

    Excellent post, Missy, and one that can only be written by someone who knows through experience.

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  122. Loved this, MISSY! Numbers 4, 5 and 8 have definitely helped me. Thank you for the words of wisdom and encouragement.

    TRIXI, loved your comment.

    VINCE, I really like the idea of the "What if" brain-storming.

    So many thought-provoking comments - thank you all.

    Praying for you and your husband, DEB.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Deb K, I've been praying for you and your sweet husband. So hard. Sending hugs and love!

    ReplyDelete
  124. Rhonda, do you wear Converses when you knit? Just asking...

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  125. Julie, I'm trying to imagine how one has 150 at one's house.

    In getting out of a writer's funk, I sometimes turn to stories I've plotted and yet to write. Since I have the scenes written, I at least have a starting point, even if I haven't thought about them in a while.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Julie, I can't imagine how you managed that year your son got married! I think exercising is fantastic, especially with uplifting music. Now if I can just make myself get out there and walk!

    ReplyDelete
  127. Laura, thanks for stopping by!

    Walt, it can be kind of fun to go back to stories like that. Sometimes I totally forget what they're about. :)

    ReplyDelete
  128. MISSY!! Excellent post and tips - - thank you sooo much.
    And sorry I'm super late getting here today - - had NO INTERNET allll day...I was not a happy camper, LOL. (Of course when we go without something we're used to, then we appreciate it even more when we have it!) :)

    Must tell you something - - do you remember the wonderful tote bag and sachet I won from you a while back? Well, I've LOVED using that tote bag, and that sachet STILL smells amazing!! It's propped against some books on a shelf in my living room, and each time I enter the room I can smell that wonderful fragrance, and I think.... MISSY! :)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patti Jo, I'm so glad you're enjoying it!!

      Delete
  129. Wow, Julie is feeling down she exercises and does a glamour make-over. That is so so so so much wiser then me eating Snickers Bars.

    You can probably go ahead and carve that in stone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, that made me snort a big laugh. :)

      Delete
  130. I'm in one of those dry spells right now due to some health issues. To me it's made even worse because I don't have a desire to READ, which is one of the things that usually breaks my dry spells. But I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass.

    I love Jeremiah 29:11. It's such an encouragement to know that God has got this. He knew what was coming. And He knows what's coming next. I just have to do no. 1, and rest and recharge, and rely on Him during this lull.

    Thanks for the reminders and encouragement, Missy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ginger, I'm sorry to reply so late! And I'm sorry you're going through this. I pray you're able to at least find joy in reading soon. And that you're feeling better.

      Delete
  131. Happy 9th Birthday Seekerville!
    What if?? that's an easy one for me :)
    Enjoyed the blog today!

    ReplyDelete
  132. I love #2, take baby steps. I feel like I'm in a creative dry spell with drawing, painting, crafting- it used to be such a big part of my life and identity. I'm intimidated to get back into it, fearing that my attempts will be no good. Starting small- with daily sketches- is not so scary and I think will help that spark come back to life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heidi, I've felt that with my writing before. I hope the baby steps help!

      Delete
  133. Ok what's this spell and magic junk??? Yuck!

    Sorry, it threw me for a loop when I read it

    ReplyDelete
  134. Thanks, Missy for this powerful post. I thought I was the only one struck with this malady! Great tips to follow. You are a blessing and I love the bible verse. Copying it and putting it on the bulletin board that faces my desk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marcia, I'm so glad you could relate! I hope the post helps.

      Delete
  135. You have no idea how good this was for me to read. I've been going through a dry spell myself these last couple of weeks which is unusual for me since I hardly even get writer's block. But now I can see that it's probably been stress and too much to do. Thank goodness this week is lighter. Maybe God can use that to pull me out of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boo, I hope this week has been productive! I'm glad the post was helpful.

      Delete
  136. Missed - Such great ideas -
    My 'always works' plan is to go for a long car ride. For some reason, getting away from the familiar, the distractions gives me new perspectives and ideas. Works for me. If I am the driver, I put on inspirational music and get lots of ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherri, I love that idea! I actually do plotting while I drive. Maybe not the safest thing, though. :)

      Delete
  137. Thank you, Missy!

    I guess I'm in a super long dry spell. I wrote 3 novels in 3 years but all in NaNoWriMo events... and none of them were publish worthy and I was tired of giving up my Novembers so it's been years since I've written. But I'm not sure that's God's calling for me anymore (and if it is, not all in November anymore). I love writing and I love the Lord but maybe nonfiction is more my writing style. However I love reading Christian romance and love reading the Seekerville articles about writing it still so who knows?

    Please enter me in the drawing for a Pocket Journal/Notebook with Jeremiah 29:11 on the front (and other inspirational snippets inside).

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phyllis, I'll pray that you find your direction. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  138. WALT SAID: "Julie, I'm trying to imagine how one has 150 at one's house."

    LOL ... NOT easily, I can tell you that, Walt. My husband worked SO hard finishing the basement and building a deck that spanned the whole back of our house (which accommodated 150 surprisingly easily, but then we prayed for good weather, too! ;)), that he lost 20 lbs. over three two time. It happened so fast, I was worried he was sick!!

    MARY SAID: "Wow, Julie is feeling down she exercises and does a glamour make-over. That is so so so so much wiser then me eating Snickers Bars. You can probably go ahead and carve that in stone."

    LOL ... AGREED!! ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie




    ReplyDelete
  139. Ooooh apple fitters! Thank you for the encouraging advice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel, thanks for stopping by and reading!

      Delete
  140. Missy,

    Thank you so much for your prayer for direction! I could sure use it :) May God bless you!

    ReplyDelete