Friday, September 7, 2012

Devouring the Elephant by Jordyn Redwood

Have you stood in awe of authors who are able to write not only one book in a short amount of time, but two or three? Sure . . . some people are just more prolific than others. You may even attribute their ability to having no children at home or writing full time. But the truth is, all writers need to decide how they’re going to use available hours. Today, author Jordyn Redwood shares what she learned about writing and meeting deadlines. Enjoy! ~ Dawn

Devouring the Elephant
by Jordyn Redwood

I'll never forget when I got "the call" from my agent that I finally had a book contract. Years of hard work had finally paid off and my baby was going to be published. It wasn't long before my exuberant thoughts were replaced by the fear creeping into my mind that culminated into one thought.

He is going to expect me to do this again!

Yes, I was going to have to write another book. Trouble was, I had the luxury of years to write Proof and not under the pressure of any sort of deadline. If I didn't "feel" like writing a particular day—no one but me really cared.

Now, I had to write another one under a deadline and that worry began to eat away at my self confidence. Am I just a one book wonder? Can I write a 100,000 word novel in six-nine months?

These are some things I found that helped me write a novel in a much shorter time frame than the luxury I had of refining and refining words on my debut novel.

1. Write your first draft with little editing. This at first was hard for me but I have found it truly freeing. Whatever the length of the writing project it is you're writing, the first draft is just about getting words onto the paper. I've even stopped researching small points during the first draft as well. I'll simply make a notation in the ms and know this is an area I'll buffer up during the editing phase.

2. Make a goal and stick to it. I try and work well ahead of my publisher's deadline because real life does happen. But just like a real job, by signing a contract you have made a commitment to produce a product for your publisher. People are depending on you to finish it. Make a goal but definitely reward yourself when you finish it.

3. The BIC technique works—which stands for butt in chair. You have to sit and get the words onto paper. The reality of a professional author is that you will have to write when you don't feel like it. When you might be mildly under the weather. When the plot isn't working...

4. There is a dark point in writing every novel—but there is always light at the end. I've yet to come across an author who doesn't have a point in writing each novel where they doubt their qualifications as an author. Recognize this for what it is—a journey. There is wonderful moment where you get to type "THE END" and release your baby into the world.

5. Take a day off each week. The Lord says to do this for a reason. Spend time with the Lord and your family. No one goes to their death bed wishing they would have worked more.

Above all, enjoy the struggle and the fun. Writing is a wonderful, unique adventure. What about you? How do you make your goals feasible?

Click to reach Amazon.
Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her debut novel, Proof, garnered a starred review from Library Journal and has been endorsed by the likes of Dr. Richard Mabry, Lynette Eason, and Mike Dellosso to name a few. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at  


  1. Lovely post. Esp agree with the last one. I don't write on a Sunday. If the muse kicks in, then I just jot one or two key words down, but Sunday's are for church and family. Mon to Sat are for writing.

  2. Jordyn, thanks for sharing your experiences. It's something every author faces at one time--going from the luxury of working on that first book at your own pace suddenly goes to the stress of meeting the deadline. But it's a nice problem to have, isn't it?
    Dawn, thanks for letting us visit with my fellow medical thriller writer. Nice to get to know her even better.

    1. Richard,

      It is definitely a nice problem to have and I can't wait for your forthcoming novel...Stress Test.

  3. I needed this, esecially "Write your first draft with little editing."

  4. Hi Jordyn! I enjoyed your post. :o) All of your points of advice are great. They really do make a difference.

    I used to have a problem with taking time out of my weekdays to do small errands during times that I could be writing. Those “little” To Do’s can add up to a lot of time. It took me a while to realize just how much time they were adding up to, but now that I am more conscious of it I have found myself putting what I can on hold until the weekend and getting more of my writing done during the week.

    I give myself a writing schedule. I treat writing as if it were a job with set hours. During those hours, I don’t run to Publix, or I don’t decide to finally tackle that “small” task that appears to have taken permanent residence on my “To Do” list… and then 3 hours later I wonder where the time has gone. Just like any other career, one can’t leave the office to run a "quick" errand in the middle of the workday/ writing schedule. Once I committed myself to viewing my writing this way I saw huge results. :o)

    That seems to be what works best for me.

    Thanks for sharing. I am glad I found this blog. I look forward to connecting with more writers. God bless!

    1. Hi Ashley! We're glad you found us too. I hope you return and enjoy future articles.


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