Friday, June 10, 2011


I’ve been moving this past month (it seems as though I’ve spent my whole life moving—I’m weary.) Nonetheless, I’ve found some delightful treasures among it all, parts of my past that I hadn’t remembered. Among the dreariness and never-ending-ness of it all, I’m happy to unpack boxes that have been in storage for a year, and to also see my paintings on the wall—I didn’t paint all of them, but their presence there means I’m home.Among the things I’ve found is a five-page handout titled, 45 Days or Less to the Completion of Your Book.

Some of the information is good, however the premise that a novice writer can follow this outline and write a publish-worthy book, is flawed. There are things in a good novel that can’t be learned, or taught, in five pages.

My art teacher, James Farrah, said: “People come to one or two classes and they want to paint well, and it just doesn’t happen. It takes years of practice.”

There are some (in the writing world) who have had their years of practice before ever going to the computer with the intent of writing a book, people like Conrad Storad who is/was a degreed professor at ASU. I was so immersed in “mommy world” that it has taken me significantly longer.

Although I sometimes dream of being a recluse writer (Nim’s Island comes to mind. Ah yes, a tropical island with almost everything I need on it, with a computer and Internet service to send for other supplies), my eternal goal, however, is substantially different. I’m a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and many other things. So, although being a world famous published author is fairly high on my personal list, I still need to take care that I spend enough time with my husband and family.

I’m not sure how men do it. They spend 8 – 10 – 12 hours away from home five days a week for their work. If I spent that amount of time on my writing, the whole house would collapse.
The 45 DoLTCoYB gives me hope. It says to spend two hours a day, six days a week while following the three R’s of writing. I can do that.

The Three R’s:
Reserve time to write (it doesn’t have to be the same time each day. Just make getting it a priority)
Remove all distractions (this is the hardest one for me)
Relax (take deep breaths, close eyes, allow the muse full access to your right brain)


Donna K. Weaver said...

Ah, removing distractions. That's a hard one for me. I swear sometimes I'm ADD.

Betsy Love said...

Great post. It's hard sometimes to make myself sit down and write. I get so distracted reading all the amazing blogs out there. Okay, no back to work! :D

Rebecca Talley said...

If I could find 2 hours a day . . .

But, consistency in writing is important even if it's only a few minutes a day. Julie Bellon only writes 15 minutes a day and has published 6 books. So small snatchets of time can work.

And, I love that you included being a wife, mom, grandma because those are the things that matter most.

Valerie Ipson said...

Wonderful advice. I should be able to carve out two hours a day...especially once the kids go back to school. When do they go back now?

kbrebes said...

Nice post!

Canda said...

Good advice and insight. I'd add a couple more R words--read and revise a lot too.

Susan G. Haws said...

Great Post especially the advice at the end. Thanks.