Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday Review—Write Every Day

by Lynn H. Blackburn

So how much writing did you get done this summer?

Every time someone asks me this, I have to fight an intense desire to slink away in shame. Instead, I mumble something about being busy with the kids and vacation because I hate to tell them the truth.

How much did I write this summer? Not much.

Now I know some of you are going to try to tell me that it’s okay. I have young children. I’m not going to get much writing done during the summer. But the truth is, I wasn’t getting much writing done before summer started.

I’ve been stuck for a while.

So when a Writer’s Digest email popped up in my inbox with the words WRITE EVERY DAY: How to Write Faster and More in the title, it took my fingers less than a minute (thanks to the wonders of one-click ordering) to download that title to my Kindle app.
At $2.99, I figured I didn’t have much to lose. Even if I got one decent tip, it would be worth it.

It was.

From the first page, I liked author Cathy Yardley’s style. Her writing is very conversational and she makes snide remarks in all the right places. When I’m struggling to find the desire to crack open my laptop, I don’t need someone singing me the joys of the writing life. A little bit of snark was just what was needed. (Someone tell me they know what I mean here!)

Her tips are not necessarily anything I haven’t heard before, but they were presented in the most practical way I’ve seen yet.

She claims this book will help you do three things:
  • Identify what’s getting in the way of your writing.
  • Pin down solutions to those things.
  • Give you an action plan to get the writing done.

The book did exactly what she claimed, at least for this writer. Not too shabby for a $2.99 e-book. 

I appreciated the way she takes all the things I’ve ever heard and tried that haven’t worked (just do it, carry around a notebook, write in 5-minute blocks), and explained why they work fine for some people but not others.

I also appreciated how she takes ideas that do work for me (finding the right spot, having a decent block of time, taking care of my inner artist which sounds hokey but really does make a difference) and explained how to make them work better.

Reading this book won’t solve your writing issues, but if you do the exercises and think through the issues, you just might find yourself writing faster and writing more.

Maybe even writing every day.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Word Weavers, Greenville. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.


  1. Thank you, Lynn! I was in a funk this summer too, and it's carrying into September. Sounds like the perfect jumpstart to the fall.

  2. Other than blog writing, I got no writing done on my new book. However, I did manage to do a lot of reading/research - which was a great joy after the intense year I had leading up to summer. YOU are in great company, Lynn! Namely, moi.

  3. I know that feeling of hating the words "just do it!"

    Sometimes I don't want to just do it. Think I'll wander over and get this book. Great post.

    1. I know what you mean - sometimes I don't want to either!! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I too was way down on my word count this summer. I can't blame it on kids because I am an empty nester. I can however blame some of it on health and um, oh man, laziness. Thanks for everyone admitting to their not-so-productive summer of writing. It helps to know others are going through the same thing.

    1. I'm right there with you on the laziness factor. That's one of the things I liked about this helped me see which of my "excuses" were legitimate and which weren't.

  5. Thanks for the encouragement, Lynn! Looks like a lot of us are in the same boat!
    Sweet blessings...and prayer for embracing those writing moments!

    1. I really thought I was the only one!! And you've hit a point she doesn't ...praying for those moments and the energy to embrace them is huge! Thank you!!

  6. I've been TERRIBLE this summer. It's been so busy, but I KNOW I can find 30 minutes a day. Why is it so hard to crack open the laptop??? I think I've banned it this summer. I've barely even been on social media! I needed to hear this. NO EXCUSES. I have a book to finish!

    1. I think breaks are fine and summer's a great time to take them...but when I knew I did have 30 minutes but still wasn't choosing to open my laptop, that's when I knew I had to do something!! Can't wait to read your book! Will I see you next week??

  7. Thanks for this post! Knowing that I'm not alone in this lack of writing thing gives me just the boost I need.

  8. Thanks for this post! Its good to know that I'm not alone. Your post is the boost I needed.

  9. It's been great for me to see all these replies and know I'm not alone, too!!! I'm glad this encouraged you!