Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some people call me a speed-writer. Maybe I am. One reason that I'm able to write “fast” is because I have a lot of practice. I've been writing since 1994, and I write most days except Sunday. There are days I don't write, but most days I do. There are also days I write FAR longer than three hours. So, if I were to be conservative and say that I wrote 3 hours a day for 19 years (excluding Sundays) that's 17,841 hours of writing! What could you accomplish if you spent 17,000 HOURS of practice?

In life, there are many things we can focus on and learn to be “fast” at. I have friends who can read fast—they read 2-3 books a day. I have friends who can cook fast, clean fast, or paint artwork fast. There are times I'm envious of their skill, but I also tell myself that if I were to put my time, attention and focus into the same things I could be fast too.

Fast writing starts with DEDICATION. It's about setting your mind on something and working at it even if it doesn't seem like you're succeeding. When I first started writing I got LOTS of rejection letters. If I were to count them I'd have hundreds and hundred of rejections. But because I was dedicated to my writing I did it a lot, even when I didn't succeed. Eventually I started succeeding, and as I continued to practice my craft it got easier and the writing got faster.

Fast writing is centered on FAITH. The hardest part about writing is staring at the blank page. Fifteen minutes ago I stared at a blank page and wondered what I wanted to talk to all of you about, but I sent up a quick prayer and then I started to think about what I had to share about my job as a writer. Just thirty minutes ago I was chatting with my pastor on the phone and he mentioned, “You write so fast.” I put 2 + 2 together and this post emerged. My pastor's a great writer too, and I guarantee the more time he puts into it the faster he'll get. (Hear that Harry Li?)

The faith part is centered on the fact that even if the words aren't all figured out in your mind they will make sense on the page as you work through them. It's trusting that if God has given you something to say then He will help you to get it out. Sometimes your skill needs to catch up with your passion, but if it's a message that God wants you to share then it's worth practicing and honing your skills.

I can't tell you how many times I sit down to write an article or a novel and wonder what I even have to say. Faith is that God will show up as I move my fingers over the keyboards … and He always does. 

Also, you can't have fast writing without FOCUS. This one is hardest for me. There are ALWAYS emails to answer, laundry to be done, toys to be picked up, phone calls to return, and exercise to be done. Fast writing happens when the TV is off, the email is ignored, the laundry sits piled up, and my mind is on the task at hand. 

If you're waiting to get your schedule cleared off so you can write, I guarantee that it will never happen. If you're comparing your skill with someone who's written for at least 17,000 hours, then you'll never finish anything. Instead you must focus on the words on the page, and who you are, AT THAT MOMENT. The moment will pass whether you're working on your novel or folding laundry, and I guarantee you will become the writer you want to be if you take time to focus again, and again, and again.

Finally, fast writing happens when you FREE YOURSELF UP inside. If you are worried or stressed—or are still carrying around burdens from past sins—you're not going to be free to let your fingers fly. Freedom comes from forgiveness. Have you taken time to get right with God, to accept His forgiveness, and to forgive yourself? 

This last point may not seem to fit with the others, but I can speak from experience. I wrote for years and years without any success, but when I let God work on the inside it was amazing how everything changed on that outside. As I walk in freedom, the words come freely. As I write in freedom, I allow God to speak through me onto the page.

I never meant to end on this point. I simply thought this blog was going to talk about “sitting there and doing the hard work.” But sometimes the hardest work deals with our spiritual selves. I never would have been able to spend 17,000 hours on anything if I was still carrying around the pain, burdens and heartache of my past. 

Want to be fast? Be determined, have faith, make yourself focus, and be free with your soul, your life and your words!

Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of one, and wife to John. Somewhere around the hustle and bustle of family life, she manages to find the time to write fictional tales delighting and entertaining readers and non-fiction titles offering encouragement and hope. A bestselling author, Tricia has published thirty-three books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.comTheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites.

Return Friday for a chance to win a copy of Tricia's book "The Promise Box."

The Promise Box, Review

Tricia Goyer's story of Amish romance between an Englischer woman and and Amish man flows nicely from one element to another. Lydia returns upon the death of her mother whose gift of a box full of promises includes clues to Lydia's past and the oft-hidden feelings of her "mem" in regards to Lydia's adoption. 

As Gideon works to train a wild horse, he must also tame his growing feelings for Lydia, as well as deal with the mystery surrounding a traumatic episode when he was four that is steeped in mystery and laced with tragedy. 

A well paced story of love, loss, faith and hope. The romance is tightly woven into the story and, though the ending felt rushed, all loose threads are nicely tied together. A solid story for anyone who enjoys Amish romance.


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