I had a Eureka! moment this week. Actually, I’ve had a few of those in the past couple of weeks. Some have been mundane (like, Eureka! If I fill and run the dishwasher before I go to bed at night I’m less stressed the next morning.) Most have been writing related. And after seven years of consistent wrestling with my writing, it’s about time!

You see, six years ago this November, I actually finished a novel. Well, almost a novel. 50,000 words, to be exact. Until then, I’d never finished much of anything—only a few of the creative writing assignments for school, because, after all, they received a grade! Then began the arduous task of editing, of adding and subtracting to make the novel what it should be. Then I began and finished another one. Then another one. Each one I approached with a little more knowledge and a little different method to my madness. But each one fell short of the mark in some aspect.

What do to? I’ve spent the first eight months of this year asking myself and the Lord this question. My understanding of craft has grown greatly, but I still wasn’t able to grasp how best to accomplish my goals of getting the stories in my head down on the page. So I’ve grappled in fits and starts. And then I hit Eureka euphoria.

You see, I’ve been listening to and reading about how other authors budget their time and approach this monumental task of telling a story with compelling characters and a page turning plot over the course of 80,000 or 90,000 words. And slowly, slowly, I’ve been meshing them all into the plan that works for me. Finally, I think, I’ve hit upon the plan that fits my lifestyle and my temperament, that combines planned and organic elements.

What is this revelation that is revolutionizing and energizing my writing? Well, like any good author, I’ll leave you hanging until next time . . .

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