A Writer’s Recipe

Can’t tell you how many times I have friends or clients say to me, “I just can’t seem to get this darned book written.”

While I don’t believe that there is any one way to write a book, or any one way to organize one’s time to do it, I do believe that we don’t do ourselves any good by stressing about it. Instead, maybe we need to stay tuned into our creativity and JUST WRITE.

That book will never get written if your butt isn’t in the chair and you aren’t writing/typing/keying/dictating. That’s just the cold hard fact of the matter.

Some people write the first thing in the morning. But my “first thing” is to do my Bible reading, prayers and meditation. Then chores, a shower and on with the day. My writing time can be ten minutes here and there during the day, as taught to me by mentors like Christine Bush and April Kihlstrom, or at night between 9 and 1130 as my body and mind dictate. Find your time, and write when you can. Just do some EVERY day.

Some folks do word count, some do page count, some do chapter count. Doesn’t matter, just make it realistic and do it. I find for me that page count is good, but I know a lot of people who like word count better. Hold yourself accountable, but don’t set goals that guarantee you will fail. 750 words a day is 3 double-spaced pages. Try starting there – adjust as needed.

There isn’t a single thing on God’s green earth that is good for you in excess. Not religion, sex, food, alcohol or work. Write some, play some, clean some, cook some, eat some, read some, spend time with others, some. Obsessions will destroy you, so replace them with balance. Even a workaholic like me has learned that laughter and hugs and sit ups with that silly orange ball have added a lot of quality to my life.

A new martini, a new author, a new restaurant, a new radio station, a new store! Learn a new word, try writing in a new POV! Write a poem, write a review, write a letter to the editor.

I thank God for this day and His wisdom and grace. For my love of words and books. I’m thankful that my arthritis is in my neck and hip and not in my hands. I’m thankful for Poe and Hemmingway, Parker, and Grafton and a hundred other authors. Write a thank you card, stop in at another author’s book signing, visit a blog and leave an encouraging post! Thankful people are happy people.

DO NOT underestimate the value of getting enough good sleep. Our weight, mental clarity and creativity, energy, personality and overall happiness are dictated by the quality and quantity of our sleep. As we get older this is even more important – so be sure to plan your 6-8 hours and get them!!

Be well and keep reading and writing! NQ


About NL Quatrano

Award-winning author, speaker, editor and ghost writer, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014.
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6 Responses to A Writer’s Recipe

  1. Matt Walker says:

    I love encouraging articles about writing. Thank you for your post. I love to write, but for some reason I absorb myself in it for awhile then it slips away from me for a long time. I’m not writing a book and most of what I write (with the exception of my latest political pieces) come from memories that reveal a portion of my heart and with it a lesson or example of a good character in people. Usually the topic or story comes to me just before I fall asleep and it’s clear as day that I need to write and when I do the passion leads creates a fluid like flowing of words that from my fingertips to my keyboard. It’s almost like I can’t type it quick enough and I type 85 words per minute. I am at a moment where I am back at it and it lead me to your post tonight. Thank you for encouraging your readers who love to write!

    • NL Quatrano says:

      Writing isn’t the same for everyone, just like clothes or passions are not the same for us all! Glad that you stopped by and I hope you’ll be a regular visitor!! I’m open to questions and comments, any time! Wishing you nothing but happiness and energy from your words! Take good care of yourself.

  2. Suzanne Baginskie says:

    Nancy. Today’s column is so inspiring. I teach a Creative Writing Course to the over 50 years old crowd at the college. I tell them to incorporate writing into their life, just like they do brushing their teeth, dressing and exercising. Do it everyday and it will become a easier to do and/or a habit.

  3. Ann Lipovsky says:

    in NYC, I’m raring to go!

  4. Ann Lipovsky says:

    sorry, some of my message disappeared, so here it is again. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement; they are just what I needed to hear. Now that our youngest is finally married (wedding yesterday in NYC), I’m raring to get back into writing once again!

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