This line is from Toy Story 2 and has nothing to do with my blog but since I usually include a fair bit of humor and my post is not funny today, I couldn't resist. So, if you need a laugh, reread the title. If you want to know what keeps me in the game then read on.


I have this quote hanging over my computer. It came whizzing through the email from one of my WARA friends, Sharon North, a long time ago and it’s still one of my favorites. To me, it means that the success of my career rests on my shoulders and mine alone. Now, I know that luck plays a big role in this business, landing on the right editor’s desk on the right day, yadda, yadda. But guess what? I’m the one who has to complete the manuscript. I’m the one who has to polish the manuscript. I’m the one who has to submit the manuscript. I’m the one who has to write another book while waiting on the previous book to either be bought or rejected. I’m the one who has to keep on because if I don’t, then who will?


All writers need short and long term goals. Short term goals are what you want to accomplish in a day or a week. Long term goals help you set up a plan for an entire year. Buy a cheap calendar and hang it where ever you spend your writing time. (Separate calendar than the one you use for family stuff) Figure out how many pages/words you'll need for the particular line you are targeting. Now divide that by 365. If you’re writing a short category then that means all you have to write is 137 words a day. That’s it. Just a half a page and you’ll have a completed novel in a year. A 100,000 word manuscript requires you to write 274 words a day or just over one page. That’s it. Keep track on your calendar what needs to be done and what you actually did. By committing to write a page a day will there be any doubt that you’re a serious writer?


Writer’s block. This is something you must not allow to happen or use as an excuse to not write. The trick is to write something. Anything. Just get words on the paper. They may not be the most stellar sentences you’ve ever written, but remember the old saying? You can't fix a blank page but you can fix garbage. We all live busy lives and have a million things going on. Each and every one of us can come up with a wide variety of reasons why we can’t or won’t finish a manuscript this year. WE MAKE TIME FOR WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO US. So, before you lose control and all confidence in your ability or if you're just stuck for an idea, take a walk. Take a bath. Read a book. Watch a movie. Play a game or two on the computer. Call someone. Call your critique partners. Call your writing group. Romance writers are more than generous with their time, so if you’ve written yourself into a corner or the words just aren’t there for the taking then all you have to do is ask for help. The longer you are away from writing the harder it is to find your way back. I know this for a fact.

Do you have a favorite quote that motivates you to write?


Rox Delaney said...

The longer you are away from writing the harder it is to find your way back. I know this for a fact.


A great kickbutt post, Reese! Everyone take heed. No more excuses. Butt In Chair, Hands on Keyboard. BIC-HOK.

I need to take my own advice (and yours) and get busy today. I should be writing chapter 4, but I found a glitch in the first 3 chapters (due Nov. 1), and it brought me to a grinding halt. Some harsh words to myself late last night (still not writing yet) did a world of good, but this post did even more. Thankfully, I found at least one fix for one scene after that scolding I gave myself.

Today I write.

Favorite quote? This one used to hang above my computer.

Nobody is born published.

Joan Vincent said...

All of your post is soooo true, Reese! Like Rox I need to, well, just do it. 274 words a day for a 100,000 word manuscript--hmmm, why didn't I ever break it down to that. Since you have, and have informed us of it, today I'll just have to write that first page of the book for which I've been doing research!
My verify word today was "morti" At first I thought it should stand for mortified as in "I'm mortified I haven't started this book already!" but then I thought mortise a better fit. As a noun it means the slot or groove through which other parts fit together. Your blog is a mortise by which all the "parts" leading up to writing this book fit together.

Reese Mobley said...

Thanks for sharing, Rox. You are the WARA cheerleader and we love you for that. Love your quotes too. It's funny how just a simple line or two will motivate us.

Reese Mobley said...

Joan, wow! It's cool to think that I motivated you and Rox today. This makes my day.

Rox Delaney said...

I needed a kick in the rear, Reese. I am beholden of you. :) Or something to that effect. LOL I'm at least 2 weeks behind on my schedule. Or is it 3? Yikes!

Pat Davids said...

Reese, what a great post. Love the title.
When I start seriously working on a book, I keep just such a calendar by my desk. Words per day. That's all I count. I don't worry about pages or chapter. Just words per day.

Rox Delaney said...

Pat, I track both word count and pages. Since H/S switched to word count, I like to compare the old way with the new.

Are you aware that the books aren't any shorter? Except for those that went over "page count". It all comes out as it did before. Strange but true.

"blersice" Is that a blurry (blerry) version of "concise?"

Reese Mobley said...

Pat, how many words per day do you strive for?

Pat Davids said...

I try for 1000 words per day, except when things go wrong like it's done with this book. Now I need 1500 word to finish it by the end of the month.

Life always gets in the way, but it had better behave until the end of this month or I'm gonna be a bitch on wheels.

So speaks the inspirational author. My bad.

My word is graco. Gray coat. Get my graco out of the closet.

Reese Mobley said...

Anyone else have a word count they'd like to share?

Rox Delaney said...

Word count goals? Hmmm, well, no. I still use my 3ppd (3 pages per day) goal when on deadline. But I keep a running total of words to compare with past mss. to see if I'm within range. Maybe I'll give the wpd (no, not the Wichita Police Department) a try. :)

Becky A said...

Big SIGH but ok, I get the message. No more excuses. Does getting off on bunny trails for new books count as writing even though I haven't finished up with the current one? I'm down to the, "Now I gotta find me an agent and get published" part and I'm stalling, again.:)
My word is reled and that's what you've done. Reled us all to the: suckitupandgettoworkmodewithnomoreexcuses.
Thanks, I think!, Becky

Reese Mobley said...

Becky, I'm right beside you in the trenches, sister. I'm on the hunt for an agent again. Good luck to us both.

Rox Delaney said...

We haven't delved into whether to try to acquire an agent or not, but since it's come up, here's a link to Preditors and Editors. Check it out for goods and bads on specific agents.

Becky A said...

How appropriate Rox!

"There's A Snake in My Boot" with a link to Preditors and Editors.

Too funny!!!

Becky :)

Penny Rader said...

I haven't had a snake in my boot, but I once had big, fat, hairy grasshopper in my shoe. Okay, so maybe it wasn't hairy, but the sucker was HUGE and scared the life out of me.

I love quotes, especially quotes that inspire me and/or make me laugh.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.
-- Mary Lou Cook

A writer is like a bag lady going through life with a sack and a pointed stick collecting stuff.
-- Tony Hillerman

I believe the force is within you, so force yourself.
-- Harrison Ford in a Barbara Walters interview

If you get up one time more than you fall, you will make it through.
-- Author Unknown

Spend . . . time each day doing something that makes you feel like you are moving towards your own personal goal. At least as much time as it takes to brush your teeth. That should be a paragraph—typed…. Then in 365 days you would be at least a chapter farther than right now! And that virtuous feeling would last for most of the day...or night.
--Nina Sipes

The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.
-- Robert Cromier

Whatever you can do,
Or dream you can do,
Begin it
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now.

So, my advice to you? Stop being afraid to be different. Stop being afraid to go out there a little and don't just test the waters, dive in and swim to your heart's content. But most important of all, write the book of YOUR heart. Because if it's from your heart, chances are it's going to touch someone else's heart as well. And that someone could very well be an editor.
--Jamie Denton

We can't all be stars, but we can all twinkle.
-- Author Unknown

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.
-- Erma Bombeck

And I don't care anymore what anybody else does or says or thinks...because this is for ME. This is who I am. I write. I write through the crap and the pain and the mess...and it's okay. It doesn't have to be perfect or even good. It just has to be. For me.
-- Diana Ball