Tips From a Writer’s Conference; Can they be applied to your life, too?

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This past weekend, I went to a mini-conference for writers. There were 6 sessions, of which I could choose three. I chose:

  • Stress and Time Management for Writers
  • Facebook Launch Parties
  • Self-editing your Manuscript

Today, I’m only going to talk about the first one because that is the one I needed the most. I mostly went to the Facebook one for some tips for my upcoming party and the editing one was helpful, but the tips in that one, I’ll share on a later date.

Stress and Time Management. Who doesn’t need that, right? Or maybe you are the one person in the world who has everything together with no stress and no problems getting everything done in your day. If you are, send me an email. I’d love to know how you do it.

Ben Wolf was the speaker who shared his thoughts on stress and time management for writers. He was clear, concise, informative, and funny. Without further ado, here are his tips. As he did for the conference, I will also apply it to writing, but you can probably apply it to whatever it is you do.

The Unstress Progression

Ben started with what he called “The Unstress Progression.” In order to get to a place of productivity, there is a progression you need to go through.

  • Stressed
  • Equilibrium
  • Productive
  • Ultra-Productive
  • Accomplished
  • Relaxed

From there, we go to the…

10 steps to superior stress and time management

One quick note first: You do not always need to do each of these steps. Do what is right for you and your stress levels.

#1. Freak Out (Stressed > Equilibrium)

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Yes, you read that right. One way to help de-stress is let out a scream, do something physical, take a deep breath (or more), or whatever works best for you to let off some steam.

#2. Take a Breath (Stressed > Equilibrium)

This one is easy. Take a deep breath and let it out.

#3. Pray (Stressed > Equilibrium)

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Yes, he really did say this. It was really refreshing to hear. God can help you calm down, stop stressing, and straighten you out.

#4. Prioritize (Equilibrium > Productive)

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Get all of your ducks in a row. Make your list of things that need done and prioritize them.

#5. Medicate (Equilibrium > Productive)

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Before you click out of this blog post, just read for a minute. This doesn’t mean get the alcohol or drugs. This means to grab your snack, water, chocolate, or whatever you like to get your energy from.

#6. Get Comfy (Equilibrium > Productive)

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  • Pick a spot (or more) where you are comfortable doing your writing.
  • Do what works for you.
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Make scheduled writing time, let your family know that time, and enforce the time.

#7. Jump into it (Equilibrium > Productive)

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Go do some writing!!!!

#8. Turn Stress into Fuel (Productive > Ultra-Productive)

There are two ways to do this depending on your personality:

  1. Let a little bit of the stress in to motivate you do do your writing and get it done.
  2. Block all the stress out so it doesn’t distract you from what you need to do.

Everyone can then follow these two tips:

  • Use the last 5-10 minutes to quickly outline what happens next in the story
  • Make a weekly or monthly word count goal. Daily goals are okay, but if you ever miss a day, it can cause more stress whereas a weekly or monthly word count goal would lessen that.

#9. Finish Strong (Ultra-Productive > Accomplished)

  • Briefly plan out what to write next.
  • If you are close to a big number, finish that (i.e. you’ve written 4,997 words, so write 3 more to reach 5,000).

#10. Make a Break for it (Accomplished > Relaxed)

Take and schedule a time to relax.

Other Tips

  • Optional Step 0: Delegate. If someone else can do it, let them do it.
  • When all else fails, cut something out.

My Favorite Tip: Do the writing first before anything else gets done. If you have something you have to do, do the writing first because you know you will get that other stuff done.

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Happy Writing!

Faith is the Victory

No, I’m not talking about myself with that title. It’s the title of the book that is releasing on September 26th!

To celebrate the release, I’m doing something a little different. First, the blog tour is shorter (September 26-28) and then on September 30th a friend and I are doing a Facebook party together. Her book, Befriending the Beast is releasing that day and we thought it would be fun to a party together.

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So why this blog post? Two reasons. Continue reading

August updates, an announcement, and new goals

August ended up being a busier month than I expected. But it was a good month and I got a lot done.

Updates

In August, I orchestrated a couple of blog tours for some clients which was fun and I was thankful for their business. I also finished as much of the rough draft of Savior, Like a Shepherd as I decided to. I wasn’t sure how to write the end, so I left that for the typing up phase which I have been working on the last week. I am now about 3/4ths of the way through that process with the goal of finishing by Saturday so I can send the manuscript to my beta-readers.

I also published my third novella of the summer (and personal favorite), Blessed Assurance. If you haven’t had a chance to see anything about it yet, scroll down to yesterdays post and meet the main character, Adelaide Brown.

Besides some real life things, I think that’s about it for what happened in August. So now I can share with you the exciting news I found out on Wednesday night! Continue reading

Introducing Adelaide Brown

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Who doesn’t like a good mystery? I’m sure there are a few, but most people do like mysteries. What about a mystery within a mystery. Faith Blum’s new novella is just that. First there’s the mystery of who tried to dupe five mail order brides. Then Adelaide finds out someone is claiming she’s a runaway bride. What happens to her? Find out in Blessed Assurance.

About the Book

Blessed Assurance_FrontBlessed assurance, Jesus is mine
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

 Adelaide lost her parents a year before and now a rich man in town is making unwanted advances toward her. Desperate, she writes to two men and quickly accepts the one from Cheyenne, Wyoming. On the final leg of her journey, in a stagecoach with four other mail order brides, her suspicions are confirmed. Will she ever find a man she can truly trust?

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Continue reading

Beta-readers needed!

SLAS Mock-up for NaNo

This cover is a mock-up I made. The real cover will likely not looking anything like this.

Good morning!

I’m excited to say that, Lord willing, I will have my next novel ready for beta-readers by September 6th. If you have read Blessed Assurance, you will have been introduced to the main character of this book, Titus Hine. For those who haven’t read the novella, Titus is a twelve year old orphan who has to take care of his eight and five year old brother and sister. The main problem? No one in town wants anything to do with them since they were born to a prostitute. Continue reading

Befriending the Beast

My friend, Amanda Tero, has written a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I haven’t read it yet, but will be soon. It sounds amazing and the cover looks great, too!

Befriending the Beast

About the Book

Belle has returned unannounced to the castle to restore her relationship with the king, her father. Her hopes are dashed with the devastating message: “The king refuses to see you.” Convinced that God has led her home, she is unwilling to return to Lord and Lady Kiralyn. Continue reading

Updates

It’s been a while since I updated you all on what I’ve been doing lately. I’m not even sure when the last time was, so bear with me if you already know a lot of this. I think I’ll do a monthly update.

3D novellas1.jpgJanuary

In January, I published my first novella collection, A Mighty Fortress was promoted on BookBub, and I saw hope that I just might be able to make it work to write full-time. Continue reading