Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Slow Writer's Guide to Speedbo

10 Tips for Those Who Write With the Speed of a Turtle Slogging Through Molasses. 

by S-l-o-w Writer Keli Gwyn.

Are you scratching your head after reading that title, wondering what a pokey writer like moi is doing talking about writing zippy fast? Well, turtle-writer me just spent the past month and a half producing 10,000 words per week so I could get my November Love Inspired Historical to my editor by the deadline.

Not to boast, but the tips below helped me turn Their Mistletoe Matchmakers in a week ahead of schedule! I spent the better part of each of the past 42 days with my nose to the screen, but I achieved my goal. I have a hunch you can produce more words than you think you can, too.




1. Clear your calendar.
If you want to crank out words for SpeedBo, you’ll need to carve out time to write. If you have appointments coming up, reschedule those you can. Don’t add any new ones until SpeedBo is over. Turn down invitations to go out with friends, or postpone the fun until you’ve reached your goal.

2. Ask for help.
If you’re married or have a family, let them know about your SpeedBo goals and how much they mean to you. Explain that you won’t have the time to do everything you normally do. Ask them to take over some of your chores. If you have small children, see if a trusted friend or relative would be willing to watch them on occasion. Perhaps a friend would be willing to prepare a meal. You won’t know if you don’t ask.

3. Enlist your cheerleaders.
Unless we tell others what we’re doing and why, they won’t know how much we’d appreciate their support. Take time to share your excitement, explain your goal and enlist your friends, family members and fellow writers as your encouragers along the way. Let them know that a quick email, text or IM with an uplifting message would be appreciated. Share your progress on social media and here in Seekerville so others can rejoice with you.


4. Lock up your internal editor.
My pesky internal editor sits on my shoulders shouting in my ear. She seems to think it’s her job to point out every repetition, missing comma, dangling preposition and… Well, you get the idea. I like to produce nice, shiny manuscripts. The trouble is that listening to my internal editor slows me down. It can also lead me to doubt myself. Her time will come once I’ve met my goal, but she’s not helpful when I’m drafting a story, so out she goes.

5. Dive into your story world.
Find ways to transport yourself from your current location to your fictional world. Since I write historicals, classical music takes me back in time. If listening to music would immerse you in your story world, create a playlist and go for it. Perhaps having a dedicated writing spot would do the trick—a corner of the couch or your corner coffee shop. Experiment with ways to whisk yourself into your story world. Feel free to share what works for you in the comments.

6. Give yourself permission to be a sloppy writer.
One of the things that slows me down is the desire to produce nice, clean manuscripts. However, my stories don’t start out that way. By telling ourselves that it’s OK to take note of needed changes or tweaks and move on, we can get those words down. At times, I’ll leave myself an ALL CAPS reminder right in the file. As Jodi Picoult and/or Nora Robert have said, “You can’t edit a blank page.”

7. Take breaks.
Sitting at the computer for hours on end isn’t good for us physically or mentally, and it can end up stifling our creativity as stiffness and weariness set in. Get away from the screen from time to time, and you’ll return refreshed. Taking a walk clears my head. So does a rousing game of Bananagrams with my husband. Choose what works for you and enjoy those much-needed breaks.

8. Steer clear of your procrastination pitfalls.

Be it social media, a sudden urge to scrub the tub or an errand you’re sure you need to run right then, we can all fall prey to procrastination. I tend to be most susceptible when I’m avoiding my story due to fears, doubts or a lack of direction. What gets me back on track is sitting down and writing something, even if I turn right around and delete it. What usually happens is that ideas and words start flowing again once the pump is primed.

9. Jump those hurdles.
Life happens: kids get sick, cars break down, story ideas elude us. How we choose to handle these inevitable interruptions or setbacks can make a difference. We can whine, worry or—even worse—give up, or we can deal with the situation as quickly as possible and get back to our writing. The choice is ours.

10. Let go of guilt.
Maybe you didn’t meet your daily word count, but look at how many words you did write. Perhaps you missed a day, but look at how many days you showed up in front of your screen. Rather than beating yourself up for missing the mark, give yourself a pat on the back for attempting something few others would.

Ten is such a nice round number. My Monk-like, semi-OC self loves it. However, because this final tip is so important, I’m going to s-t-r-e-t-c-h myself and give it to you, even though eleven is both an odd number and a prime. (How’s that for a non-math person?)



11. Celebrate your accomplishment.
You signed up for SpeedBo, you plunked yourself in front of your computer for days on end and you added lots of words to your story. Your dedication and determination deserve to be recognized. Dinner out works for me. What would a suitable celebration look like for you? 

Your Turn

I’m not an expert on how to write fast, by any means, so for those of you who are (Ruthy and Mary Connealy come to mind), I’d love to know how you do it. What tips can you share with those writers among us who are mere mortals?

If you’re a s-l-o-w writer like I am, what ways have you found to increase your productivity? Have there been times you’ve gotten on a roll and amazed yourself with the number of words you added to your stories? If so, how did that feel?

For those of you who aren’t novelists, I’m sure there have been times when you’ve stepped outside your comfort zones, done things you didn’t think were possible and amazed yourselves with your accomplishments. I’d love to hear about them.

Keli is generously giving away FIVE copies of her latest Love Inspired Historical release, Her Motherhood Wish. Let us know you want your name put in the purple hat! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition!

www.keligwyn.com


Her Motherhood Wish

Building a Family

En route to the Double T Orphanage to work on its expansion, carpenter Chip Evans and Caroline Hunt discover two orphaned children—and become their caregivers. But Chip’s determined not to let himself get too attached to the children who just lost their widowed father…or to the lovely woman helping him care for them. Especially since Callie and the little ones just don’t fit into his detailed plans for the future.

Callie can’t help but fall in love with the orphans, and despite her better judgment, she’s falling for Chip, too. Her dreams of being a wife and mother were not quite like this. But Callie believes a plan bigger than Chip’s brought them all together…and now she just has to help him see it, too.


Copyright © 2017 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited
® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
or its affiliated companies, used under license.



It's not too late to Speedbo. Rules & Giveaway information is here.

237 comments :

  1. Just like last nights post, many of these points can apply to us non-writers too! :-)

    Asking for help is a pitfall for me! No man (or woman) is an island. I need to remember there are people in my life looking for opportunity to help when they can with whatever they can do...in small or big ways.
    Enlist your cheerleaders; there are times when we need to know we have people on our side prodding us on (in nice ways, of course), celebrating our accomplishments right along with us. Those kind of people who always know just right when you need cheering up, a laugh or two, or like you said Keli...play a silly game of Bananagrams with! I don't even know what that game is exactly, but it sounds like fun anyway :-)
    Take breaks; life gets hectic sometimes. I need to learn that I can sit down, do nothing (or read) without feeling guilty for it. That's the opposite of being lazy! I can get into a frenzy of activity where I just wear myself out. It starts to affect my demeanor and attitude...no good! Even just a few minutes of down time would refresh and rejuvenate!
    Celebrate your accomplishments; again small or big ones, it doesn't matter! If I get 2 out of say 10 things done in the day, that's 2 less I have to do tomorrow :-) At least I've done something!

    Nice post Keli! Great to see you here on Seekerville. GO YOU ON (SLOW) SPEEDBO!!!!

    Slow and steady wins the race ;-)

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    1. Howdy, Trixi! What fun to see that you left the first comment on the post. Let's hear it for us West Coasters who are still up after the rest of the country has headed in for some shut eye.

      I'm glad you pointed out how many of these tips apply to to those who aren't writers. I have many non-writers on my cheerleading team, like you, who spur me one when I'm feeling weary.

      Bananagrams is a fun, fast-paced word game. Players use single-letter tiles to form words in a crossword puzzle format. Gwynly and I have such fun trying to best each other. We're so evenly matched, that we often end up in a tie.

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  2. Wanted to let ya know, in case you didn't see it announced on Facebook, that I'm giving away five copies of Her Motherhood Wish to five lucky winners.

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  3. OMG I AM LOSING MY MIND. MUST ADD THIS. DUHHHHH!!! Keli, please slap me now.

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    1. Tina, you are awesomeness personified. I do love the purple hat, though. I have one.

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  4. Good news. I can't mess up anything else tonight. Hurrah.

    Thank you so much for your generous giveaway and for being here amidst my brain farts!

    Turtles of the world...UNITE!!!

    Once I wrote 25K in two days.

    I just had this giant block in the middle of the story. Finally I pushed through.

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    1. "Turtles of the world" :-D Love it. Slow and steady still wins the race, right?

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    2. Adding my name to the list of "turtle writers." That's why I always set my personal deadlines well in advance of my editor's.

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    3. Tina, Lara and Myra, it's comforting to know I'm not the only turtle writer out there. What we lack in speed, we make up for in perseverance, right?

      Tina, I'm so impressed by your 25K in two days. That isn't slow. That's zippy fast. I'm curious how you felt afterward. I once had to rewrite 25K in eight days, and it about killed me. I was living on 3-4 hours of sleep a night. Talk about a nightmare.

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  5. I don't think I can do any further damage tonight so will leave an apology plate of molasses cookies and say, SEE YOU TOMORROW! XX

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    1. Thanks for the cookies, Tina, and thanks for all you do. You rock!

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  6. I'm not very good at stepping out of my comfort zone. It's only in the past few years that I learned how to drive. Scary stuff.

    Add my name to the purple hat thank you.

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    1. Mary, leaving one's comfort zone can be tough. I admire you for choosing to drive. I only get behind the wheel because that's the only way to get from here to there. Driving is SCARY, at least for me.

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  7. I'm slow to Keli, but my problem is the internal editor that keeps going back and holds me from moving forward. I must let it go.

    I would love to be in the purple hat. Thank you.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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    1. Cindy, I'm right there with you. Maybe people like us need to say, "I'm going make myself get 1/3 of my daily words before I'm even allowed to go back and look at what I've written." (Not sure I can actually do that.) :-D

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    2. Not sure I can do it either, Lara. But I can dream.

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    3. Lara, my Internal Editor and I wage battles all the time. I'll put her out of my office and close the door, but she slips under it somehow and hops right back up on my shoulder. Sometimes I just give in and let her stay.

      I learned from my friend Sarah Sundin that (I'm paraphrasing) there are basically two kinds of writers. Those who get the words down slowly and carefully and end up with relatively clean drafts, and those who splash words on the page and go back afterward to do a major clean-up. My last two slowly written stories were so clean when I sent them to my editor that I bypassed the revision stage and went straight to line edits. I took that to be my reward for not having a life for seven weeks straight.

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    4. Um, that comment was for you, too, Cindy. It's still early-ish in California, and I don't do caffeine, so it takes my brain a while to get going in the morning. (For instance, I couldn't figure out how to spell caffeine and had to Google it.)

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  8. I've been waiting all week for this!!!!! KELI!!!!!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!

    Okay, I'm laughing at your take on me and Mary, because we are plodding turtles. But we plod between 1 and 2K/day every day. I do mine early in the morning (it's 4:36 right now) and then no matter what happens, my writing is done.... if I was a night owl, I'd do it before I let myself watch any TV at night...

    I make it come first, after my morning prayers.

    I'm still working 25 hours/week, so the writing has to fit in around that. 1K first thing in the morning, 1K after the kids get on the school bus... and then I have the day to work on whatever. I keep it simple for a simple gal!!!

    I love your tips, they are perfect. And I cannot wait to read that book. Your writing shines in every one you produce!

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    1. Like the routine explanation/logic Ruthy - While I was a complete night owl in college, I've been testing the waters with flipping it to an early morning routine. So far so good. I'll keep ya'll posted on my thoughts of the switch at month's end. ;)

      *running toward the smell of coffee*

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    2. 2K a day does NOT qualify for being a slow writer, Miss Ruthy. Slow is when you barely make 500-1K in a 4-hour writing stint and count yourself blessed.

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    3. Ruthy, I love you, but I'm with Myra. Anyone who can get up at o'dark thirty and write 1,000 amazing words before this night owl is even in bed sometimes doesn't exactly qualify as a turtle writer in my book. Dedicated and a wee bit intimidating, yes, but turtle writer? Naw. If I get 250-300 words written in an hour that my Internal Editor lets me keep, I consider myself lucky.

      Meg, I wish you well on flipping from night owl to owning the morning hours. I tried that a while back, since I married a morning person, and it worked OK. Trouble is, when deadlines strike, I end up writing into the wee hours anyhow, although I still get up early. My last four stories were written in a sleep-deprived state. Never knew those early days as a mother could be useful training for the time when I finally embraced my dream of being a writer when our daughter was older.

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  9. COFFEE HAS ARRIVED!!!! HELP YOURSELF, THE BARISTA WENT ON STRIKE!!!!

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    1. Thanks for the coffee delivery, Ruthy. I never developed a taste for the stuff, but I'm glad it's there for those of you who do. For tea drinkers like me, I'll add an assortment of tea bags and a big pot of hot water, plus honey, sugar and other sweeteners.

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    2. Keli, FINALLY! A fellow tea drinker. I'm waiting for the "tea" shirt, and all I get are coffee ones. I've never had a cup of coffee, nor the desire to try it. Great post!

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    3. Marcia, glad to know I'm not the only person who has no desire to learn to like coffee. I do like how it smells when it's brewing, though. But drinking it? Nope. Not gonna happen.

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  10. Great tips, Keli! Asking for help has always been a difficult thing for me to do. When I want to speed up my word count, I break out my AlphaSmart Neo. Thanks, Debby!

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    1. Hm, that's a new gadget for me! I just looked it up on Amazon. How does it work? Is it separate from the computer like my audio recorder?

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    2. It's terrific, if you're someone like me who's easily distracted. Once you're finished writing, you plug the USB cable into you computer, open up your WIP and press send. I love it because it keeps me off of the internet and you can take it anywhere. I purchased through EBAY. It was the best $28 I've ever spent.

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    3. Jill, am I right that's is great for writing but not easy to edit on? I already have a VERY rough draft written.

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    4. The Alpha Smart doesn't let you see what you have already written so you are forced to keep going forward. You can see a few lines but that's it.

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    5. Jill, I'm glad you've found a tool that works for you. I've heard good things about the Alpha Smart. I've never thought about using one. I'm too used to having Google at my beck and call. Yes, I check for anachronisms, double check facts, etc. as I go. I'm afraid if I don't, I'll miss those things in edits. Shh! Don't tell anyone, but now you see why I'm a slow writer.

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    6. Connie, you can edit once you transfer it to your WIP on your computer. For whatever reason, I always write fastest while using it.
      Keli, There's nothing wrong with slow and steady. :)

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    7. Jill... I love my Alphasmart! Something about not being able to see the whole page helps me tell my internal editor to take a nap. I bring it out on my lunch hour sometimes.

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    8. Stopping by late to add my praise for my AlphaSmart! At times, it's the only way I can get words written. I now know when I'm getting close to filling a file, even without knowing the word count. I scroll through the text and sense that I'm close.

      For those who don't know, one AlphaSmart file downloads to about 25 pages of text on a WORD document. I break my books down by the number of AlphaSmart files I need to write to make my total word count. Mine is so old...but it's a work horse and keeps plugging along.

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  11. Good morning, Keli! Thanks for these tips. I plan to limit social media. And I love your suggestion to dive into my story. And I'll take my dog for more walks.

    Thanks for a great list of tips.

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    1. Jackie, I'm glad you found the tips helpful. Limiting social media can be tough, even for an introvert like me. Taking walks is a great way to recharge. Since I don't own a smart phone (by choice--I have a stupid one), it gets me away from the internet, too.

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  12. Thanks for the helpful post, Keli!

    That pesky internal editor gets me every time! Even though I spent a couple of hours trying to write yesterday, I fell horribly short of my 1,000 word daily SpeedBo goal. I'm going to console myself with the facts that 1) I did indeed make the time to write and 2) it was day one. I can still make up ground.

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    1. I'm rooting for you! The internal editor is strong in me too.

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    2. This actually sounds like Yoda.

      The internal editor is strong in that one. Hmmmm?

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    3. HA! Mine is so strong that she has her very own identity and Twitter account!

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    4. Rhonda, as one who has a rather clingy Internal Editor, I can relate. Just remember Tip #10: Let go of guilt. You got more words written than you would have if you hadn't joined SpeedBo, and every word counts. Good going! Picture me waving purple pompons. (That's the old spelling, btw. I write historicals. Can you tell?)

      Lara, I'm with Tina. Love the Yoda take on your line.

      Myra, love that! And love that I'm no alone in having a very strong IE.

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    5. Love the Yoda reference!

      Myra, I'm with Keli. I love that your IE has her own personality!

      Thanks for making me feel better, ladies!

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    6. Myra, aka the Grammar Queen, I feel compelled to tell you that I meant to say not alone instead of no alone. That's what I get for typing too fast.

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  13. Keli, Thanks for the tips. If I had someone I could ask for help to watch my sweet 13-month-old girl, I would… But still, I press on…even though 75% of my day is filled with board books shoved in my face (please read, mommy!) and with children's songs (I've heard so often I could sing them in my sleep) constantly playing the the background. Nap time is key…and then the internal editor kicks in. I think I've discovered that editing is the golden part of the process for me. I need to get the words down, but if there's no flow to what I've written, no nugget of good writing, and it's all just a basic idea that's maybe not even taking the scene in the direction I want, then I feel like I'm just fulfilling an obligation without actually accomplishing anything. (This is how I justify my editing. Maybe I shouldn't be trying to Speedbo a revision/rewrite.) That's the negative side of things. But…I do have a few thoughts/tips (next post).

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    1. Lara, I can't imagine being able to mother a thirteen-month-old daughter and write. The fact that you get any words down is an accomplishment. I didn't embark my dream of being a writer until our daughter was a sophomore in high school. I invested those early years in doing mom duty, and I have no regrets. There are seasons in life, and not all of them lend themselves to getting lots of words on the page.

      Drafting is difficult for me. I much prefer editing.

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    2. So true about the seasons. Which is why I'm usually just happy when I make some progress during the day. Now with Speedbo I'm really trying to push myself. I did get my word count yesterday. Every day is a new day :-) ... And I'm with you on the editing.

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    3. Lara, I wish you well on reaching those goals--or coming close. Remember to grant yourself grace when needed. Your daughter will grow up faster than you can possible believe. (Spoken by a mother with a grown daughter who wished she'd spent more time playing when said daughter was young and less time dealing with the to-do list.)

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  14. Advice for those with strong internal editors:

    I've noticed that the time my internal editor kicks in the most (the point at which my internal editor is at her worst) is when I'm trying to begin a scene or transition between scenes. The reason, I think, is because I'm thinking things like, “Set the stage. They need to know it's night now. They need to know where my character is.” And, of course, I want to make those details vivid with 5 senses, etc. So, perhaps starting in the middle of a scene, right where the real action or dialogue (or whatever) starts, would help those whose wheels get stuck spinning in the mud at the beginning.

    Another piece of advice is to work on writing away from the computer. At the computer, it's fairly easy to go back and change little details of what I've written. But if I voice to text into my iPhone Notes program, then it's a lot harder to edit. It's also somewhat harder to get the flow of a scene, but even just letting a string of dialogue run straight from the imagination without that editor can be useful.

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    1. The away from the computer is great. Now I do utilize this for short stories. Which is why I can pound out so many. I do it on paper and fast. Of course they are only 800 words lol.

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    2. I totally get this, Lara--starting a new scene and wanting to get the opening just right before proceeding. Gets me every time. :-/

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    3. Great tips, Lara. Like you and Myra, those questions are burning in my brain each time I begin a scene. If only there was an off switch. No. I need a toggle switch that enables me to go from editing mindset to creative mindset.

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  15. KELI, I'm always happy to see you here, anywhere! It's been a joy to watch your career unfold and soar. Thank you for your generous giveaway and for your terrific tips to get those words on the page.

    I struggle to rid myself of my internal editor. But I've discovered I have to revise enough early on to get that magic going or I'll be stymied. I have to know my story people, to understand who they are, to see them. The way I do that is to revise enough that they become real and I'm excited to tell their story. I can't seem to figure them out before I write so a lot of pre-planning doesn't work. But once I care about them, I can push ahead, write faster. Though I still can't turn off the snippy internal editor completely.

    Janet

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    1. Oh, yes. THE GRAMMAR QUEEN.

      I am soooo sorry.

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    2. Janet, I think that's how I work. If I don't feel the magic it often feels like a waste of time.

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    3. Janet, it sounds like you and I have a lot in common. I've tried plotting entire stories ahead of time. I've also written stories (in the early days when I knew next to nothing about craft) with no planning at all. Neither of those methods worked for me. I use a hybrid method these days and refer to myself as a planster.

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    4. KELI, I love the name planster. That's me! But no matter how much I plan that doesn't give me the flesh and blood characters. Revising does that, but once they come alive the planning helps making writing their story easier. Sort of. :-)

      Janet

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    5. LARA, I so agree. Only another writer would get what I mean by magic!

      Janet

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    6. TINA and MYRA, I've brought a box of turtles for those of us who must revise.

      Janet

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  16. Turtles are one of my favorite chocolates. Reaching our goal may be slow but the victory is mighty sweet.

    Janet

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  17. I can relate to getting in that spot of not working on the story because the plot lacks direction or it's completely stuck in the mud (my plot, not my characters. Although, maybe a bit of mud would help get them unstuck some of the time!)

    This year I decided on two goals to write out up front. Yesterday, I spent my free time building a rubric of sorts to help me easily identify my non-fiction end goal. I then went to my favorite Christian bookstore to celebrate. :)

    This morning in my free time, I'm looking at my fiction idea, determined to figure out what my plot is going to be before writing *grin*. I have an ending and a beginning - it's all that other stuff I'm still dreaming up! :)

    Current tip that comes to mind: Remember that family is happy for you to get typing...they don't feel like you're slighting them or neglecting them in the least. I think this is sometimes hard to recognize or maybe it is a subconscious procrastination tool. =)

    p.s. If my name comes up for a writing critique - please, give it to another seeker! I'm not ready for that yet. ;)

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    1. Meg, you're not alone in your struggles. Writing stories involves so much more than I envisioned in the days I just dreamed of doing it. It's no wonder we get stymied, waylaid or even discouraged at times. Sounds like you have some great self-talk going to help you break free, though.

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  18. Keli, I always appreciate tips on the internal editor and "permission to be sloppy." You are correct, writing this way can lead to doubt. I'm not a pantser, so there's that too.
    You're also right that we need to give ourselves a break. I'm a "Seven Habits" girl and Stephen Covey called it "Sharpening the Saw."
    Social media sucks a lot of my time. But I gave it up for Lent. All except this site. No Facebook or LinkedIn. For six weeks.
    I am making progress on my Speedbo goal, which is to finish the LI contemporary Christmas romance I began in January. I can't write a book in a month (yet), but I'm pretty sure I can write one in three months. So far I am on time and on budget (there is no budget, it's just a saying. :)) I Press On, as it says in Philippians.
    I would love to win a copy of your book.

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    1. YES. Seven Habits and Eat that Frog!

      Wow, gave up social media. Rock on, Kathy Bailey!

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    2. Kathy, kudos on your progress. I like that you've allowed yourself to figure out a pace that works for you. Even if I could write a book in a month, doing so would about kill me. I admire your decision to give up social media and wish you well with that.

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  19. One thing I do is plot or brainstorm in the car. I spend a LOT of time in the car, up to four hours a day, don't ask. I'm always working through scenes or planning the next one. Trouble is you can't write and drive. Sigh.
    KB

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    1. Kathy, I'm glad you've found a way to make all that driving time work out. I wonder if a digital recorder would be a helpful tool for you.

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  20. I'm a turtle, as well, and I think it's mostly because of fear. While I'd like to think it's just me working things out in my head before putting them on paper, I suspect it's more because once it's on paper, it's out there and available for critique -- either by myself or someone else. I'm doing Speedbo this year as a kick in the pants to just get the words out there--sloppiness and all. Thanks for the great post!

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    1. I'm handing you a Taser Glynis. Tase that internal editor! Good for you for signing up for Speedbo. That first step is the hardest.

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    2. Glynis, I can relate to your fears. I do battle with the Doubt Dragon daily. He's a fierce adversary, but we can tame him to a certain degree. An asbestos muzzle is a start. Kudos to you for giving yourself permission to write sloppy. There's time to edit later, right?

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  21. Keli, I'm a turtle writer.
    A couple of years ago my Speedbo goals was to write 1k/day, everyday. About halfway through I hit that point where nothing coming to mind to write. Nothing.
    I put a laptop-holder-thingy on my treadmill and did what you suggest and just wrote. It worked. I may've had to trash a scene, but that writing helped me get through.
    My advice, invest in a laptop holder. (If it doesn't help you write, you can always use it hold a good book and just read.)

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    1. I can write 1K a day. But then it's garbage and it takes me longer to untangle the mess than anything else. Sigh.

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    2. Connie, I'm glad writing and walking works for you. I write some of the time at my standing desk, and it does help. Maybe the motion gets the mental gears moving, eh?

      As a side note, I can walk our local (paved, flat, nicely striped) hiking trail and read at the same time. I get strange looks, but I tell myself those people are just jealous of my unique skill.

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    3. I'd never be able to that Keli! My head would wind up w/way too many bumps and bruises.

      Delete
    4. Connie, I wouldn't attempt reading while walking on a city street with vehicle traffic. I wasn't sure how it would work on our hiking trail, but I can see the path with my peripheral vision. I've yet to fall or even to stumble.

      Delete
    5. Lego I can walk and read too! Did it a lot through college.had some friends stand in my path to see if I'd run into them. Never did. Hah!

      Delete
    6. Lego was auto correct for Keli. Sorry about that. *eye roll*

      Delete
    7. Deb, nice to see I'm not the only one here who possesses the ability to walk and read at that same time. That's one of my rare multi-tasking successes.

      Auto-correct and my name don't get along. No worries.

      Delete
  22. I'm a slow writer, too, Keli. But then sometimes I surprise myself which tells me I CAN write fast. I think the two biggest hurdles are 1) Internal editor and wanting a clean shiny manuscript and 2) Distractions. I have 3 kids who are great but they're kids. They're loud and messy and needy and it's tough to get the total peace and quiet I need to write smoothly and quickly.

    One thing that made a big difference was the book 2K to 10K by Rachel Aaron. (It's .99) Before I put my fingers to my keyboard I jot down what my scene is about. Just an overview with GMC for my POV character. It takes me about 5-10 minutes but in turn, I write so much faster. Whenever I don't do this, I linger over every other word and I'm slow as molasses. When I do this, I end up with an interesting scene that's taken me half the time to write. Now, I'm not at 10K a day, by any means, but I think the more I practice this, the higher my word count will be!

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, Josee. Once I have the scene like a movie in my head or written down I can write it. You should take James Patterson's Master Class. He has an interesting method of outlining. I am going to try it on my next book.

      Delete
    2. I was thinking about it. Do you know how in-depth his outlines are? Because as a pantser, I don't want super detailed outlines.

      I do that too, I have the scene in my head just like a movie, down to what they're wearing and everything. The scene almost writes itself.

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    3. Josee, I'm so impressed by moms of young children like you who can write. I'm an Empty Nester, and I can create my own distractions, if I'm not careful.

      Like you and Tina, I have to know where a scene is going before I can write it. If I can't visualize it, I can't describe it. My husband knows this and listens to me plot it verbally. He's done this for years, and he deserves a HUGE reward for it.

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    4. I love that picture of you working through your plotting verbally with your husband. Whenever I do that, my husband gets this glassy-eyed look. But today he made soup and took the kids to skate (we're on our winter break) so I could have quiet time to write.

      Delete
    5. Josee, supportive husbands come in all different varieties. I'm partial to a guy who listens and cooks. Mine does both. See why I'm so crazy about him?

      Delete
  23. Enjoyed your post Kelli. Yesterday even with the spinning vertigo world I managed to get in 639 words. I tried hard in spite of the difficulties. My goal is 20K so I hopefully can achieve that, But I would really love to double, triple, or quadruple my goal so I sort of have two different goals. It all depends on how my physical problems cooperate. Next week I have eye surgery which in the long run will help. God is good and I am thankful the spinning has stopped even if still have a headache and earache. Sure hope the specialist can find a solution, but in the mean time I am persevering ahead. The Lord is good.

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    1. You are the poster child for perseverance, Wilani. XXX

      Delete
    2. Wilani, I'm sorry you're dealing with so much healthwise. I'm glad the spinning has let up a bit and hope the eye surgery makes a world of difference. I had LASIK surgery years ago, and it was amazing to come up out of the chair seeing nearly 20/20 after my 20/900.

      Kudos on the words you've added to your manuscript. Every one of them gets you closer to your goal, right?

      Delete
  24. YAY!! Another KELI KEEPER POST!! :) Loved your tips, Keli (and I am seriously saving this post to re-read and remind myself of excellent ways to increase my writing productivity).
    Sometimes I will take a break from my writing and work on my needlepoint. It is amazing how my thoughts can travel freely as I stitch along on a tapestry--often a helpful writing-related idea pops into my head as I'm stitching.
    I know lots of writers enjoy writing to music, but I rarely do as it tends to distract me. *sigh* What does help me (although I have NO idea why, LOL) is lighting a scented candle before I write. Something about the fragrance seems to inspire me. :) Sadly, the Yankee Candle company has discontinued my VERY favorite scent (Sparkling Pine) but my sweet kiddos have managed to locate a few for me on ebay. ;)
    Thanks so much for sharing with us today, and as you know I have your wonderful book already and am LOVING it. Of course I have loved ALL of your books and am a true Keli Gwyn Fan!! :)
    Hugs (and a peach cobbler for you),
    Patti Jo

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    Replies
    1. I love your methodology. It says to your mind "Prepare to Write!" Excellent.

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    2. Patti Jo, I love you. You've supported, encouraged and pampered me for years.

      Listening to music while writing isn't for everyone. I like that you've found a special way to transport yourself to your writing world. Scents can do that. Sorry the candle fragrance you like best has been discontinued, though. I wonder if other companies, such as Bath & Body Works, would have a similar one.

      Delete
  25. WILANI WAHL, praying for you, sweet lady. SO sorry about all your vertigo problems, and am praying your upcoming eye surgery goes well. Hugs, Patti Jo

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  26. Great Keli! Wow - if Wilani can do this with her set of difficulties, I guess i have no excuses. Off to Speedbo and see if I can, as you suggest, get rid of the guilt!

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    Replies
    1. Wishing you well on your writing, Cindy!

      And, yes. Wilani is such an inspiration, isn't she?

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  27. Keli such great advice.
    Thanks for being on. YOu're a great addition to Seekerville every time you visit.

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  28. Keli, what a great post! I tend to avoid my story when I'm stuck or dealing with fear, too. Those are the times I catch myself organizing my digital photos (which truly DO need organizing!) or doing other things instead of writing. I loved your suggestion to just write SOMETHING. Good words!

    I can write really fast. But I can only do this after I've plotted the big points of my story and I know my characters. Before I write each scene, I visualize it with the five senses and think through the 5 W's. This helps me tons.

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    Replies
    1. Who, What, When, Where and Why? Okay, I haven't had coffee yet. Mea Culpa.

      Delete
    2. Jeanne, I can so relate to the challenges you face. My digital photos have been hollering at me to organize them. Of course, their voice is competing with my Internal Editor, the Doubt Dragon and--when they can get a word in edgewise--my characters. My head is a very noisy place. Egads! It's no wonder we writers can struggle to get words out, is it?

      Tina, I read The 5 W's, and was stopped, too. And I was a journalism major in college. Can you say brain fade?

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    3. Tina, you just made me GUFFAW OUT LOUD (GOL). ;) Drink your coffee, friend.

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    4. Keli, my head is a very noisy place too. Sigh. My characters have been speaking to me in my early mornings, which is usually before the doubt-dragon and fear-monger are awake. ;)

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    5. Jeanne, I'm glad you've found a way to best the Doubt Dragon and Fear Monger. They do seem to be more active late at night when I'm worn out and emotionally weary.

      Delete
  29. I think about my WIP throughout the day. When it's time for me to sit down, my brain is ready and already has ideas and a scene or two ready. Then my fingers do the rest. :)

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    1. Toni, what are you working on right now? I love your method.

      Delete
    2. Toni, I love how you let your mind wander a bit and come up with ideas before your writing sessions. Sounds like that method works well for you.

      Delete
  30. A perfect post for Speedbo17 Day 2--thanks, Keli!

    My best tip for staying consistently productive is to stick to a writing schedule. Mine is typically 1-6 p.m. every weekday. I take a lot of short breaks during those hours, but that time is strictly dedicated to the work-in-progress.

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    1. I didn't know that was your schedule. Interesting.

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    2. Myra, I admire your dedication--and the fact that you remember to take breaks.

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    3. There is no "remembering" about it! It's called creative procrastination!

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    4. Love it, Myra! Creative procrastination is a phrase I must add to my vocabulary.

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  31. Keli, thanks for encouraging us slow writers. The one I have the biggest problem with is locking up the internal editor. I was able to get over 600 words last night after church, but I found myself jumping over to the Internet to find out what a ln entrance on a 1913 factory looked like, or the details of a lock and doorknob.

    My internal editor is an escape artist.
    But I do have cleaner drafts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amber, I console myself with that too. My copy is very, very clean. HA!!

      Delete
    2. "My internal editor is an escape artist."

      I love that!

      I send mine to Aruba every March.

      Delete
    3. I'm laughing as I just spent fifteen minutes on Google Maps of the Boston Harbor and street intersections. I wonder if this is something I'll outgrow as I mature as a writer? I tell myself, leave it be, highlight it and go back to it later but the perfectionist in me wins out.

      Delete
    4. Amber, I totally get the need to look up that doorknob. How can we describe something we can't picture?

      I love, love, love your description of your Internal Editor as an escape artist. So is mine. I lock her up or out, and back in she comes.

      Delete
    5. Tina, clean copy is the reward for slow writing, right?

      Jan, I guess I haven't been sending my Internal editor far enough away. Siberia sounds good.

      Josee, I'd like to think I'll outgrow the need to fact check along the way, but I just finished my eleventh manuscript, and I'm still doing it. I live in fear of including some historic detail that the story hinges on and finding out later that I got it wrong and have to do oodles of rewriting. For instance, the Pony Express had a hard time getting mail over the Rockies in the winter of 1860-61, so the mail took closer to two weeks than one. Having my heroine in California get a letter from her father that changes everything for her when none could make it in the time I'd originally allowed would have created problems that required major rewriting.

      Delete
  32. Keli, believe it or not, it's inspiring to hear a published author say she's a turtle writer too! I suffer from perfectionism and it can be paralyzing. I know exactly what you mean about wanting a "shiny draft" on the first go round. Your tips are so true,and I think giving ourselves permission to just bash things out on the computer and get it out of our heads is the best way to overcome perfectionism. Thanks for this timely post at the beginning of Speedbo! and please put my name in the purple hat because I have all your books and need this one too. :)

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    Replies
    1. Laurie, I can so relate to the pitfalls of perfectionism, including how it can paralyze us. It helps me to remember that even when one of my stories ends up in print, it could still contain mistakes. I found three typos/missing words in Her Motherhood Wish, which I shared in one of my recent blog posts. As I mentioned in that post on my blog, nine people had read the story, and those little oopsies made it past all of us. It also helps me to remember that readers will grant us a bit of grace.

      Delete
  33. Great suggestions! Another on for me is taking advantage of all the little moments. If I want to make my goals I can't wait until I have an hour or more to sit down and write. Fifteen minutes might only be worth 200 words, but that's 200 words closer to my goal. Diving into my story, like you mentioned, is vital for making the most of "moments". I listen too my mood music and plot my next scene, so when I sit down, the words are already there. :)

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    1. Angela, your tip is one I need to take to heart. I tend to think of those little moments as not worth much in terms of adding words, but those moments do lead to words, which add up over time.

      Delete
  34. Hi Keli!

    Great tips for slow writers!

    Like others have mentioned, it helps for me to review the scene in my mind before I start writing.

    That, and staying off social media.

    The one thing I'm trying to do better for Speedbo this time is to carve out a dedicated writing time in my day. I have the perfect setup - alone at home all day, no distractions, no appointments, nothing to take me off-track. But also, no one around to keep me accountable.

    That's why I love the #1K1Hr group on Facebook - virtual accountability, but still accountability!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, you're wise to find ways to be accountable. Like you, I'm often home alone, just me and my deadlines. Well, the cats are here, but they mostly just sleep during the day. If only I could train them to check on me and my progress--or lack of it.

      Delete
  35. At times like this, when you're trying toget wordcounts, do you wish Gwynly was unretired?

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    Replies
    1. That's an interesting question, Walt, and one I've been pondering a lot lately. I do feel guilty when I spend hours and hours at the computer while Carl is off having fun walking our local hiking trail or enjoying the abundance of snow we have in the Sierras this year--alone. I'd prefer to spend more time with him and less time with my nose glued to the screen.

      Delete
  36. Hi, lady who loves purple. I'm so pleased for all you've accomplished and I know you give God the glory. Please add my name to the purple hat. I'll continue to slog along as a turtle, dreaming of the day I can clear my calendar. I've tried morning pages but I'm so not a morning person...what came out was gibberish. I do know my peak time is 10 am to 2 pm...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LoRee, thanks for your kind words. They mean a great deal to me.

      I think finding out what time is our most productive is half the battle. When I work against my clock, I'm not nearly as effective as when I go with my nature rhythms. If that means I'm still up when Ruthy is just starting her day, so be it.

      Delete
  37. I love the don't edit part of this article...that is so hard! I usually write...wait a few hours or days...then go back and edit the piece. I love the idea of just writing...writing without the pressure of editing, because I can always correct things later. At least, I will have pages and pages of writing to correct at the end of this month. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting those words down and resisting the urge to edit is key, isn't it?

      Delete
  38. Hi Keli! Thanks so much for this post. I always feel like I am the world's slowest writer, so it is nice hearing from a fellow turtle. My internal editor is the worst, so Speedbo is great for me because I do have to turn it off.

    Wish I had time to scroll through and read everyone's comments as I'm sure they are all interesting. But I leave in about a half hour to sub for the afternoon.

    Please toss my name in the purple hat for your book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy, those Internal Editors of ours can be so pesky, can't they? I'm glad you've found ways to turn yours off that work. Feel free to share them with us.

      I hope you enjoy the time with the students.

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  39. Gotta go get my hair cut. I'll be back soon and will respond to the rest of your wonderful comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Back again, and I no longer look shaggy. =)

      Delete
  40. Great advice! I'm a slow writer, as well. Every time Linda Ford puts out a book, I'm like, "Linda! Slow down. You're making us all look bad." And Erica Vetsch. Don't get me started. Talent AND speed. Seriously?! Save something for the rest of us ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherri, I have a page on my website that lists all the Love Inspired Historicals by author. It seems I'm always adding books by Linda Ford. I'm sure I'll be adding oodles by Erica, too. How they can produce so many good books so fast is beyond me. I wish I knew their secrets.

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  41. I'm a slow writer to, Keli, as my good days are 2k of solid writing, editing as I go. The most I've been able to push out was 8K one day during a BIAWeekend. But ugh, editing the mess was disheartening. Blech.

    My problem is that my higher creativeness doesn't spur into action unless I'm under a deadline. For whatever reason, that's when the best ideas filter in to get my characters out of boring situations and jazz up my stories. But then I run out of time to look at it with new eyes, or even to send it to beta readers. I've tried giving myself pseudo deadlines to get me going earlier, and I get the job done, but without pizzazz. A set time every day doesn't work for me either because it takes me too long to get back into the sensory perceptions of the history.

    Don't put me in the giveaway as I got your book 2 days ago. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anita, you just hit on a great point. Deadlines can work well for turtle writers. They force us to silence our Internal Editors, ignore the pull of our perfectionism and just get the words written.

      Delete
  42. I love tips on how to write fast! Good post!Last year I went to the Killer Nashville conference especially to hear author Robert Randisi speak. He writes super-fast but he's from the old school, like the pulp writing days. Randisi says he has a “natural speed” and if he slows down he can’t get anything done. He doesn’t call it a talent that he can write fast. He says he has an ability. He can write 10 pages in one hour. What really blew my mind, he writes two series at a time. He writes his detective series in the mornings (10 pages) and his western series at night (10 pages). Fascinating man, but I know what you're thinking so I'll share that he also says his detective and his cowboy are basically the same guy, and that when he's a called a hack, he sees it as a compliment. :) I'm reporting in with 1405 words today and still writing.

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    1. OMGOSH. ON THE FLOOR. TEN PAGES IN AN HOUR.

      KEEP IT UP, JESSICA!!!

      Delete
    2. Jessica, I can't imagine writing ten pages in an hour. Well, I could, but they would contain some of the worst writing imaginable. And the plot? Forget that. I'd be all over the place.

      Congrats on those words you've already added to your story today! Good going!

      Delete
  43. Good morning Seekers!! Happy 2nd Speedbo day...go you authors!!!

    TINA, I just popped over her this morning to read comments and noticed the giveaway that was added. I wanted to let you know there's no need to put my name in the purple hat as I've already read & reviewed this for Keli. Thanks!

    Happy writing everyone:-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi again, Trixi! Thanks for being such a devoted fan of me and my stories. You are a gem.

      Delete
  44. Hi Keli,
    Congratulations on your latest book! I love your tips. I wouldn't say I'm a slow writer because when I actually write, I write fast. It's the focusing on writing that's my big problem. I'm the queen of procrastination and distraction. I decided on February 28 to join Speedbo, mostly to keep myself on task. I'm also not allowing myself to go on the Internet until noon. (I usually roll over, grab my smartphone and check my e-mail from bed. Ugh. Not this month!)

    And since I have a full and a partial due at the end of the month, I didn't give myself word goals, but rather time ranges of "focused work" because this month includes revision. It's amazing what I can accomplish when I tune out the world -- hard to do. I'm using this month to retrain my brain.

    I love Ruthy's goal of 1K first thing in the morning and then 1K when kids get on bus. There's a great sense of accomplishment by getting what needs to be done first thing in the morning. (Hence my goal of overcoming procrastination.)

    Again, thanks for the tips, Keli. Here's to productive month. (And changing my bad habits!)

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    Replies
    1. Alison, it's great to hear from a fast writer. Sounds like some of the same issues plague you. What is it about procrastination and distraction that make them so irresistible?

      I applaud you for setting that goal of not getting online until noon and using that time to join the SpeedBo party instead. I wish you well as you form the new habit and meet your writing goals and deadlines.

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  45. Hi, Keli! Your eleven ideas for a s-l-o-w writer like me are very appreciated. I'm getting better at turning off that internal editor, but still need to learn to get past the guilt....either from not getting enough words down or from not getting all the other life duties done.

    To get past the fear of my inadequacies, taped to my computer is this thought picked up in Seekerville. "The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you did not write."

    My tip for writing faster is skip around a scene which is causing a stumbling block and write the scene which is vivid in your imagination. Writing out of order has worked for me. I come back to the problem section with fresher ideas.

    And you are right....we can write more words than we think would be possible! Thank you for your suggestions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherida, thanks for sharing the puzzle piece writing tip. I'm a diehard chronological writer, but I've heard that skipping around can be freeing for those writers willing to give it a go.

      I love that quote, "The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you did not write."

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  46. KELI!!! Do you have ANY idea how many people you have blessed with this post, me included???

    WELCOME BACK TO SEEKERVILLE, DARLIN' ... YOU ARE A DEFINITE FAVE!!

    I laughed out loud when I read:

    The Slow Writer's Guide to Speedbo
    10 Tips for Those Who Write With the Speed of a Turtle Slogging Through Molasses.

    Because we (read: I) needed this post! I am definitely not a Ruthy or Mary (although I do cling tenaciously to the 147,000 words I wrote in approximately two months working part-time on A Passion Redeemed).

    Things that have helped me write faster are things you've already mentioned -- turning off the internal editor, allow yourself to be sloppy, etc.

    I also find that writing early in the morning is really good for me, which I learned from Ruthy. I can't do it all the time, but if I am behind, I will get up early and write to catch up. So I think it's important to find your golden time where you seem to write the most and the fastest.

    Fun AND important post, my friend -- thank you!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    Replies
    1. Julie, I've tried writing early. I can do it when I'm on deadline, and it works. Of course, I'm also writing well into the night at those times. I don't sleep much or well when I'm cranking out a story.

      Can I just say how impressed I am by those 147K words you wrote in just two months? Wow!

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    2. LOL ... me, too!! Hasn't happened since, but then I was pretty crazy about the hero in this one, so that's definite motivation ... ;)

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    3. Hunky heroes do help, don't they? =)

      Delete
  47. Great post, Keli. I'm definitely a turtle when it comes to everything these days. For me, it's a physical challenge to sit at the computer for long stretches of time. My Speedbo goal was four twenty minute sessions but I only managed two of them yesterday. So now I'm trying 10 minute snippets hopefully eight times a day but only have three done so far. It's frustrating to be so limited but what helps is my happy little chart that lets me tick off each 10 min segment. Makes me feel like I'm making some progress. Thinking of getting some gold stars so I can really motivate myself. LOL

    No need to enter me in the draw -- I've read Her Motherhood Wish and loved it. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Kav, I think you deserve lots of gold stars for your bravery, your perseverance and your progress in the face of challenges. If ten minutes is what you can handle, then ten minutes is a great goal for you. The words you get down during those writing segments will add up over time.

      Delete
  48. What would increase my productivity? Right now would be electricity! It went out yesterday about noon when the wind and storms went through. And it was not snow, unfortunately. We could put our food outside if that was the case. Nope, just a little bit of rain and a whole lot of wind. They first said power would be restored at noon today. Well, it is 1:30 here and I got another alert stating they were aware of the problem and working on getting it resolved. Restoration time? Wasn't given one this time. I've written some notes down, some things about the characters, but to actually sit down and write to count words, hasn't happened yet. And my husband is home from work after gall bladder surgery and is not happy the power is out and he can't sit and watch tv lol. Sitting around gives me time to think about what I want to say, but I can't wait to get those words on paper, or screen. It's supposed to be cold and snowy tomorrow, so hopefully power comes on quickly. One thing from this post that stuck out to me: I can just write. I don't have to read, or even like what I wrote, just write. You can't edit what's not written. Here's hoping I can read what I hand wrote once the power comes back on lol.

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    1. Sally, I'm sorry you're dealing with a power outage. It seems like so much comes to a standstill when we lose electricity. Plus, when it's cold outside, we're soon dealing with cold inside. Brr. I hope you and your husband have your power restored soon and that he can get back to recovering in comfort and style and you can get back to writing on screen.

      Delete
  49. Keli, welcome back! First let me say that's a gorgeous cover!

    I loved when you said this in the post: "What gets me back on track is sitting down and writing something, even if I turn right around and delete it."

    Thanks for that great advice! I've never thought to try that. And I do get stalled often. So I'll try that next time!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Missy! I think the Love Inspired art department outdid themselves on the cover of Her Motherhood Wish. I squealed with glee when I opened the file and saw it for the first time.

      I'm glad you found the tips helpful.

      Delete
  50. Love this post KELI. So much good, common sense. I think the bit about sharing your goals and avoiding things like social media are where I need to focus. I sometimes feel selfish telling my friends and family, "Sorry, no. I need some writing time." but you're right that it is helpful.

    When I first started writing, I was a total pantser. Honestly, looking back I don't know how that first book came to be. Because I went into it with nothing more than the first seen and the final attack. It took me forever. Now, I plot out at least a line or two about each scene.

    And this week, I started reading "2,000 to 10,000" by Rachel Aaron, a prize from Seekerville, and it's amazing. I started using the first method the day I received it. All I do is take 5 minutes at the beginning to write out in shorthand one paragraph what will happen in the scene. I have written 2k a day in the past 3 days and I didn't feel like I was floundering. I highly recommend the book.

    KELI... I would love to have my name in for this book. Although I have a copy, my MIL is a huge fan and would be tickled to get a signed book.

    And where do we post our Speedbo totals? I think I ask this every year, but I never remember.

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    1. Dana, you're the second person to mention Rachel Aaron's book. Sounds like one well worth checking out.

      Tina would have the answer to your SpeedBo word count question. She knows everything. OK, maybe not everything, but she knows a lot.

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    2. Dana, I clicked on the Speedbo tab above and saw this: "Sharing your goal is only for accountability. Seekerville will not be sharing your goal with anyone. Check in happens on the blog only. In the comments."

      Hope that helps.

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    3. Thanks for the tip, Dana! Just downloaded "2,000 to 10,000" to my Kindle. Any tips I can glean for writing faster without compromising my inborn penchant for "pantsering" will be worth the 99 cents this book costs!

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  51. Keli,
    I'm also a turtle...but I sometimes push to get pages written. My AlphaSmart is my best friend for first drafts. It lets me write without editing! Such a plus for a perfectionist!

    Thanks for being with us today! Thanks especially for providing eleven great tips!

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    Replies
    1. Debby, you're not the only fan of the AlphaSmart. Jill Weatherholt and Dana R. Lynn were signing its praises earlier in the comment trail. Sounds like a helpful tool.

      Delete
  52. Keli,
    My favorite Aesop Fable is The Tortoise and the Hare. So your post resonates for me.

    Pitfall #1: trying to write a perfect version of the story in my head.

    Your latest looks great. Please include my name in that purple hat.

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    Replies
    1. Laura, I can so relate. The stories in my head are so much better than the ones that end up on the page.

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  53. I have same question as Dana. Where do we check in?

    Experimenting w accounting for my work,
    Laura

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    1. Laura, I clicked on the Speedbo tab above and saw this: "Sharing your goal is only for accountability. Seekerville will not be sharing your goal with anyone. Check in happens on the blog only. In the comments."

      Hope that helps.

      Delete
  54. HI Keli,
    I'm also a turtle, partly due to my desire for perfection as a counter to dyslexia. I overcome this with a timer set to an hour. By playing 'beat the clock,' I find I can get more words on a page. Thanks for your thoughtful post!

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    1. Lyndee, your game of beat the clock sounds like a good way to battle the perfectionism. Thanks for sharing the tip.

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  55. Keli, I think 4 and 6 are in cahoots with each other. How can I write sloppy when my internal editor is sitting on my shoulder?
    I wanted so much to write for Speedbo yesterday and post a word count, but, unfortunately, I became a victim of the HP/iTunes scam. Yes, I fell for it. Nothing is too good for my beloved computer. They didn't get much from me, but enough to cause me heartache/embarrassment/feeling stupid/and any other dumb name I could call myself. Fortunately, my Heavenly Father was watching out for me, wrapped his loving arms around me and took away my fears and paranoia. What a friend! The good news is I'm now spyware, malware, and anything else ware free! Hopefully, I can get back on track, and win one of the incentives. Certainly all these words I've typed counts, right? lol
    Thanks for the good tips.
    Blessings,
    Marcia

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    1. p.s. I'm a tea-drinking turtle, too! We rock!

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    2. Marcia, I'm so sorry you were dealing with computer issues. I'm glad you were able to get them resolved. I wish you well as your work on your words today. May they be plentiful and fun to write.

      Tips 4 & 6 can work together if we remind our Internal Editors that they get to have even more fun than usual when we reach our goals and are able to turn them loose on our speedily written words.

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    3. Oops! I forgot to say enter me for your book giveaway. Please.

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  56. Hi Keli
    I love your tips. I don't know if I'm a slow writer or not because I haven't been writing. I'm using SPEEDBO to get back into the writing saddle and re-develop the habit. I didn't reach my word goal yesterday, but I DID write (hooray for me). I think my biggest problem is permission to write sloppy and save the fixin' for later. I'm hoping to turn into the turtle who keeps on plodding to finish.

    Please put my name in the purple hat for your book. I love the blurb.

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    1. Deb, kudos on getting back to writing. Speedbo can offer great incentive. The support is wonderful.

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  57. Hi Keli, I'm a S-L-O-W writer too. I'm at peace with being a slow writer. It's my personal style, and my season of life is such that S-L-O-W works for me :-) To keep me on track, I set small goals for myself. This helps me see that even though I am writing slowly, I'm making steady progress towards the finish line. Please enter me in the drawing for one of your books.

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    1. Preslaysa, I like that you're OK with being a slow writer. That acceptance can help take away any guilt that could come from making comparisons and help free your creativity.

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  58. Hi Keli! I appreciate your tips and I'm so glad you too have the annoying internal editor. Man mine's annoying. I can get good word count in if I can get into the groove but my word count is more sporadic. I'm clearing my calendar though and off to another word sprint! Please toss me in for the drawing :)

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    1. Sharee, those Internal Editors can be real pests, can't they? If only I was as persistent as my IE is.

      I wish you well on your writing sprint.

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  59. Hi Keli:

    Wow! Love your cover art. Just looking at it is to feel the love. My first reaction on seeing it was to think "Madonna". For about one second I thought I was looking at one of the famous "Madonna" paintings! (The emotions hit before the visuals registered.) That cover will sell a lot of books! Maybe you could reward yourself with a poster size, framed, copy of that cover for your den -- 'Keep your eyes on the Prize'!

    I spent a career in advertising where we had several deadlines a day as well as weekly and monthly deadlines and, of course, radio, direct mail, tv, and newspaper ads don't coordinate their deadlines. We all had deadline PTSD! We developed many ways to crush deadlines!

    I really like your numbers 4 & 5. As for dealing with my internal editor I do something that I just found out that James Patterson does as well. Since my internal editor goes crazy if ignored, I just type in caps her problem with the text, (FI for fix it, CF for check facts, S for style and so on). This way she's happy because she never gives up and you know what the Bible says,("But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil" Matthew 5:39) and she won't be ignored. I think she's afraid that she might miss the corrections she wants made today at some later date. James Patterson does this same thing and he writes up to a book a month!

    As for "Dive into your story world", we did that in a big way by playing Christmas music when we were writing Christmas ads some months before December. Sometimes we put up decorations.

    Also along these lines for my fiction I like to play music from the time period if possible. I also buy newspapers from that time period -- check Ebay -- I got some late 1700 newspapers for $10 each. They are not too expensive but you can't be picky about which newspaper or the exact date.

    I also put coins from the time period near the computer so I can see and feel them. Roman coins in bad condition are quite cheap so I can pretty much get coins that were in use during the same years as my story. Holding a coin your characters could have had in their pockets is a great way to really connect with your characters. (You never know when one of your characters is going to need change for a denarius to use the bathroom. Pay toilets? You bet.)

    It is also helpful to read a newspaper that your characters could have read.

    Holding coins from the time period also helps when you are reading a biography or history of those times.

    Please put me in the drawing for "Her Motherhood Wish" but I'm going to buy it if I don't win it anyway. : )

    Vince

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    1. Seriously, Vince, I agree. Her cover is a show stopper. Absolutely the best cover I've seen in a long time.

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    2. Vince, thanks for your kind words about the cover of Her Motherhood Wish. When I opened the file and saw that cover for the first time, I did some serious squealing. The Love Inspired art department took the ideas I sent them via my Art Fact Sheet and went above and beyond anything I could have imagined. This is my favorite cover yet, but please don't tell my other books I said that.

      I like the ALL CAPS notes in the file. I've used that method myself, albeit not as often as I probably should. I tend to give my Internal Editor far too much leeway. At times I feel like she's the one running the show.

      I smiled when I read about your ad department playing Christmas carols when preparing copy months in advance of the holiday. I did that, too, when I was writing my November 2017 LIH, Their Mistletoe Matchmakers.

      I don't have coins from the time period my story takes place, although I wish I did. They'd be worth some serious cash. California was using gold coins at the time. I do have access to our local newspaper, the oldest continuous one in the state. Our local library has the issues on microfilm going back to the 1850s. Good thing I'm well versed in operating a microfilm reader. I don't even have to ask the reference librarian for a lesson. I just pull out that skill I gained back in high school.

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  60. Yes, please put my name in the "purple hat". ;)

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  61. Keli,

    Love your books!! Great tips!

    #9-Jump Those Hurdles--is hardest for me since we took over our beautiful antique mall. Love the shop, but dealing with all the "other stuff" constantly tears me away from writing! I take steps to give myself more time...and lo and behold, my girl Friday leaves on vacation, my big guy (employee, not husband) gets sick (not for just a day or two) and I'm left with only one employee. I keep thinking she's gonna give out, but she told me she has these great Himalayan bath salts that energize her ( I NEED these!)--anyway feels like I'm not quite clearing those hurdles! They're trying to slay me!! LOL

    Since my Word for this year is FORWARD--I'll just keep pressin' on!!

    Nice to see you here again! Can't wait to read your new book and hope you'll have a book signing somewhere near me!!

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    1. Hi, Kate! Great to see you here.

      I'm sorry your antique mall is proving to be such a time sapper. I've heard entrepreneurs have very little free time. I hope some of the issues resolve themselves shortly. Kudos to you for moving forward in spite of the challenges.

      I don't plan a signing up your way. Sadly, B&N doesn't carry the LIHs, and Walmart hasn't been interested in hosting any signings for me.

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  62. I needed this. I'm writing really slow. I'm thinking of going to the library tomorrow and not hooking up to WIFI.

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    1. Janet, writing at the library without accessing wifi sounds like a great plan. I hope your time there proves to be fun as well as productive.

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  63. I'm such a slow writer. It takes me FOREVER to get a book written (whereas my sister can pop out a book every four months or so).

    Probably one of the biggest thing that I get caught on is trying to write my other stories. I'm not a patient person and whenever I get an idea for a story (which is quite often) I want to write that book right then, not waiting to even finish the books I am in the process of writing.

    Yup, that's right my form of procrastination is to write other books. Doesn't seem that bad, huh? But let me tell you that constantly flitting from one story to the other is exhausting and counter productive. I never get any of those books written anyway. Most of the time I end up completely changing the story and having to rewrite everything. Back when I first started writing seriously, I was eleven, it started really bad and lasted for years until I was fourteen and I finally knuckled down and started writing my first book.

    Which is why for Speedbo I am focusing on just the one story. I will not even allow myself to think about any other story (well maybe just for a second when something reminds me of a certain story... NO, focus).

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    1. Nicki, if you read today's comment trail, you'll see that you're not alone. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only turtle writer around. I think that's because we slow writers aren't online boasting about our amazing word counts. I certainly don't want to shout to the world that I just managed to eke out 300 words in an hour when the zippy fast writers are talking about their 5,000 and 10,000-word days. I know I shouldn't let comparisons trip me up, but it's hard not to notice all those posts.

      I admire you for your dedication to work on one story and get it done before giving yourself permission to move on to another story. I understand the pull. I can get mighty tired of the story I'm working on, and the temptation to give it up can be strong. In my case, I have deadlines that keep me on track. Accountability, such as you get with Speedbo, can be a real help. I look forward to hearing you announce that you reached The End.

      Oh! A thought. When those story ideas pop into your head, try typing yourself a short note with the high points. That way your bright, shiny new idea isn't lost. Perhaps that would help.

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  64. Well, Keli, as usual, you brought down the house. Nary a crumb left and the coffee pot is empty. What a day. Thank you so much. I'm bringing in reinforcements for the evening stragglers. Thank you so much for being with us today.

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    1. Thanks so much for inviting me, Tina. I love spending time in Seekerville. It's a wonderful place filled with wonderful people.

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  65. Keli, thank you so much for this! I'm too good at Number 7, and need to work on all the others. I've been gone all day and I'm just starting in on my 1,000 words - so glad I stopped here first. Thanks again!

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    1. Laura, taking breaks is important. We just have to remember that a break comes after we get our words started, not before. I'm embarrassed to admit how many times I've convinced myself that I need to recharge before I can create. Yes, I'm a longtime member of Procrastinators Anonymous.

      I wish you well as you work on your words tonight. May they flow from your fingertips like Hershey's syrup on a young child's ice cream sundae.

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  66. BLESSINGS and PRAYERS for those who have entered SPEEDBO! WRITE ON!!!!

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