It Takes Time

One more week, one more step forward!

Did you meet your writing goals this week? Eileen did you write 5000 words? Jill did you get 10 pages done a day? Katie did you get your 4 scenes written? Everyone else, did you accomplish what you wanted?

Now for you weekend writers, if you want some accountability this weekend, leave your writing goals in the comment section. Then on Monday I'll ask you to report back on how you did! My weekend goal is the usual 1500 words on my WIP.

I had a difficult time this week writing 5oo words per day because I'm doing preliminary edits on my MS at the same time. I know everyone says write it all, then edit. But I'm realizing just how beneficial the re-reading and minor editing is.

I started writing my novel last September so none of the beginning chapters are fresh in my mind. Re-reading has helped me pick up on threads and symbolism I need to remember to weave through the ending. It's also helped me catch some of those dreaded repeats that slip in!

I just purchased Donald Maass's Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. Here are a few encouraging words from the introduction:
  • Don't be satisfied with merely being good enough to get published; don't measure your success in terms of an agent or seeing your name on a cover; instead, put together a novel of real depth, one that has something to say of lasting power.
  • If you churn out minimally acceptable fiction, you may get published but you will never become a brand name; you may not even survive your second, third, or fourth books.
  • The secret of success is dazzling readers--spinning them a story they will never forget.
  • Writing a breakout novel is a journey, an awakening, an education. Get the full benefit. You don't expect to get your B.A. after just one year of classes. On the journey we're aiming for a Ph.D.
  • Give yourself the space you need to achieve true mastery. It takes time.

What a fitting end to all of our discussions about waiting! I know we all want to become great writers, not just mediocre. And. . .that. . .takes. . .time. . .


  1. I just sent you an email! We live in SUCH a small world, Jody! I'm excited for you to check it. :)

    My four scenes are not all written. But I usually give myself until Sunday to accomplish them. I just have one more to write - so I'm pretty confident I'll get it done. So yea!

    I've read Donald Maas's book. I'm excited to sit through his workshop for the ACFW conference.

    Happy Friday!

  2. Hi Katie,
    Just sent an email back at you! Too cool!!

    So, I'll check back with you on Monday to see if you met your goal! You seem like a very self-disciplined person; you probably need to be with as much as you accomplish in a day!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Jody, I put my confession of lack of writing this week in my post. So, no, I think I only got 1/10 of what i had initially planned to write.

    I read that book eons ago. I remember enjoying it. I'll have to reread it again, now. Great advice and yes, very fitting for your week's topic!

  4. Some good thoughts--I want my book to mean something--not just to be written for the sake of writing it.
    I am moving along well and my goal is to get to 40000 words by Monday. I hope I make it!

  5. I want to push through one more chapter...and do a little more research. Not so specific, but I'll go easy on myself...I think my husband is planning on some travel plans for the fam.

    Have a great weekend!

    ~ Wendy

  6. Love Maass' book, though I'm not totally through it yet.

    Have a great weekend! Good luck, everyone, with goals.

  7. Hi Eileen,
    Sorry you didn't get your word count in for the week! I haven't gotten mine in yet either. But I'm still holding out for today, that maybe I can squeeze it in!

    I didn't particularly think Donald Maass's book the Breakout Novel was all that practical, but the Workbook looks like it more than makes up for the book! I'm looking forward to working through it with my WIP. The woman who does my editing suggested I use it as I revise. So, I'll let you know how that goes!

  8. Hi Terri,
    I'll check with you Monday to see how you did! You are making such great progess! Keep up the good work!

  9. Hi Wendy,
    It's good to set your goals realistically, isn't it? And to leave time for family!! It's hard for me, because I'm with the kids all week long and really need that time on weekends to dive into my writing on a deeper level. So, my husband "watches" the kids on Saturday. We sacrifice fun outings as a family or reserve them for Sundays.

    Hope you have a great weekend too!

  10. Hi Janna,
    I read through Maass's book earlier in the year and was inspired, but didn't know how to practically apply his principles. I just recently bought the Workbook, though, and it is SO pracitical. I'm excited to start using it as I revise my WIP.

  11. Hi, again, Jody. If I recall it was far more generic than the practical ones that really get into the nitty-gritty of writing concepts.

    I have the workbook, too, but never used it...yet.

    I hope you have success with your writing goal today. I have my oldest home with me, so I likely won't get too far.

  12. Hi Jody, I did pretty good on my goals this week, but didn't meet them completely. A migraine de-railed me on Monday, and yesterday I chose to meet with a few writer friends instead of write.

    I'm happy with my progress. I'm almost to the mid-point of the novel!

    By the way, you have to find the editing/writing method that words for YOU. If going back and reviewing your work every so often feels right, then do it. There is no one right way.

    Wishing you a productive writing weekend!

  13. Hi Jody, put me down for 2000 words this weekend. Hopefully, with some extra time today, I can meet that goal.

    Do Maas's book and workbook go hand in hand? Do you need to read the book first before getting the workbook?

  14. I'm setting a goal for today! I want 2,000 words. Eeep.

  15. I think, for once, I am not going to set a goal for this weekend. I am going give myself a break. I've been working hard this entire week. And, I have some other outside tasks planned this weekend that are important (and should be fun). So, if I get around to working on editing, that's fine and it not, that's fine too. Back to work on Monday! Have a wonderful weekend!

  16. To spin a story a reader can't forget... Wow, I would totally love to do that. Thanks for the tips! I'm still shooting for 1000 words a day, though I missed yesterday.
    Thanks for being so perky Jody.
    :-) It's an encouragement.

  17. i have almost finished my climax! i know that was my goal last week...but then the Lord gave me a fresh idea on it and i went with it! had to re-write a portion. but still, i've gotten about 4500 words in this week, which i'm proud of! so my goals for this weekend are to actually focus more on my seekerville post. it's almost done...but i want to edit it a bit and then send it to katie for a crit. :)

  18. Great post, Jody. I'll have to get Maass's book. I think you've mentioned him before or someone has and I added his book to my wish list. Trying to absorb the current books I have on writing first.

    I'll commit myself for this weekend to write at least a 1000 words. I writing a whole new chapter 1 for "Floating on the Surface" and it's been percolating in my head for the past 3 or 4 days.

  19. Hi again Eileen,
    Have a great weekend with your family (and reading!).

  20. Hi Jill,
    Sorry about your migrane! I suffer from them too from time to time and they slow me down too! See, one more way we're alike!

    If you're happy with your progress, then you must be doing something right! Keep up the good work!

  21. Hi Sherrinda,
    OK! Got you down for 2000!! You're nearing the end, so I'll pray that you get a burst of energy to keep plowing forward!

    And, I don't think you would need to read the book before tackling the Workbook. The workbook has an introduction for each chapter that explains a new concept, then gives you exercises to work on with your novel. It looks very practical and helpful. The book, on the other hand was inspiring but NOT practical.

  22. Hi Jennifer,
    Hope you meet your 2000 today! Let us know if you do!!

  23. Hi Jessica,
    Got you down for 1000 a day! Looks like you're making great progress (I can tell from your sidebar on your blog!)

  24. Jeannie,
    4500 this week is great progress, especially considering all of the other things your doing!! I hope you're able to polish up that Seekerville Post this weekend! When are you scheduled for your post for them?! Looking forwad to it!

  25. Hi Robin,
    I originally read The Breakout Novel book from the library. I thought it was okay. Not practical, but inspiring. But the workbook looks great! I just bought it and am planning to use it as I revise my WIP.

    Got you down for 1000 words for the weekend! Happy Writing!

  26. Hi Cindy,
    I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend! You deserve it after working so hard lately! When I finish my book I'm going to take some time off too!

  27. Ok so my goal tomorrow is 5,000 words. I think I've done enough research for now to pound out the next several chapters. Plus I need to research agents/editors for the ACFW conference registration. YIKES - scary. I have a date with my couch and flannel pants, tea and laptop tomorrow. Hopefully it rains so my dh doesn't change his mind about staying home and decide to go rock climbing, becuase I can never turn down rock climbing - too much fun.


  28. Hi Jamie,
    Sounds like you have a great plan for the weekend! I'll pray for rain for you!!

    I think the research of the agents will be fun! I did the exact same thing last summer! It's nerve-wracking to think of actually meeting them and presenting your work! I'll have to do the same thing, soon!

  29. My weekend goal is to catch up on crits and work on my query letter. Also, I need to get the herbs and flowers I purchased last week into the ground. That 2nd one isn't a writing goal, but it's still important;)

  30. Hi Kate,
    Sounds like some great weekend goals, especially the part about planting flowers. Since I live in central Michigan I can't do much with flowers for another month or so! So, I'm jealous! Have a great weekend!

  31. Time, time, time! Aargh, sometimes I wonder we may not all have enough time to grow. But thank you for the delightful post and the book recommendation. I'll have to look for it at B&N this weekend.

    As for a writing goal, I don't have one for this weekend, and I won't until June 11th. That's when I'm free for the summer, free from loads of studying and homework.

    Best of luck to everyone! Thanks, Jody!

  32. Hi Weronika,
    Sounds like you'll have plenty of other things to keep you busy this weekend! Hopefully you can make good progress on your novel over the summer! Have a great weekend!

  33. How hard is it to stick to writing goals? That's where I always seem to mess up ...

  34. Hi KLo,
    It is SO hard! I think I'm going to blog about that very thing next week! So come back. And thanks for stopping by!

  35. Okay, I like this guy! He believes in the journey, and you know I'm all about that! That sounds like an amazing book I need to check out. Tara Maya wrote about it in her post as well. Thank you for sharing!

    No writing goals for me this weekend. Still on break. :)

  36. Hi Lady Glamis,
    I thought you'd like it! Thanks again for all of your sharing this week! You gave me a lot to think about! Enjoy your break!

  37. Thanks for the inspiring tips!

  38. Hi Rachelle,
    Thanks for stopping by! I popped over to your blog and left a message for you there!

  39. The Maass book & wb are fab, but will cause you much extra (but necessary) work. I've got some Wednesday Writings posted from his book too.

  40. Hi Angie,
    It does look like a TON of work. But I guess if we want to take our writing to the next level, then we'll have to sweat it out, right?


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