Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Guard Your Writing Time by Marie Wells Coutu

Marie Wells Coutu
“If God has called you to write, why aren’t you writing?”

That was best-selling author Lauraine Snelling’s challenge a year ago at the ACFW conference. And I’ve been thinking about it lately.

Believe me, I know how easy it is to get sidetracked while on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, and call it “marketing.” And before you know it, an hour—or more—has gone by.

Then there’s research. You’re busily writing away, cranking out the words, when you get to a point where you need to know exactly how a brand new Ferrari sounds and smells. Or some other arcane piece of trivia that will make your novel a best-seller.

Off you go to for the answers. You surface two hours later knowing how to change a tire, how much a Ferrari actually costs, and why marmots can’t see in the dark. But that’s two hours when you could have been crafting the next Christy Award-winning book.

Now I know there are times when life just gets in the way—illness, family crises, that long-planned vacation. I’m not talking about those times. I’m talking about the times you have set aside to write, warned your family to stay away from you at risk of serious injury, and turned on the soundtrack for your novel. You have an entire eight hours of uninterrupted writing time—or maybe only four, or two.

Whatever creative time you have, you need to make the most of it. After all, according to C. McNair Wilson, “No one can do you like you, and if you don’t do you, there will be a hole in the universe.”

In an early episode of the TV series Nashville, one character encourages a hesitant songwriter. Her songs are “a piece of you that you’re obligated to share,” he tells her. That applies to your writing, and mine, too.

So find a method that helps you to stay focused and motivated:
  • Set a timer to limit your time on social media, or use one of several apps available.
  • Or simply turn off the Internet while you’re writing.
  • Do your research first, or put an asterisk at that spot, and do the research later.
  • Post pictures or motivational quotes around your writing space.
  • Set a daily word-count goal.
  • Enlist a trusted friend to hold you accountable.
Most importantly, pray. Ask God to help you stay focused, so the words He gives you can reach those who need them. And remember: if God called you to write, you’d better be writing.

About the Author
Thirsting for More
by Marie Wells Coutu
Marie Wells Coutu began telling stories soon after she learned to talk. At age seven, she convinced neighborhood kids to perform a play she had written. She wrote her first book, “I Came from Venus,” in eighth grade, but studied journalism in college. After a career writing for newspapers, magazines, governments, and nonprofits, she returned to her first love—writing fiction—at the age of fifty-five. Her debut novel, For Such a Moment, won the Books of Hope Contest. Thirsting for More, the second book in the Mended Vessels series, released in April 2015. Books in the series are contemporary re-imaginings of the stories of biblical women, including Esther and the woman at the well. Marie retired after 15 years with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and she and her husband now divide their time between Florida and Iowa.

Thirsting for More
Northern transplant Victoria Russo moves to the charming southern city of Charleston, South Carolina, from cold Connecticut, hoping to renovate her career, her life, and an old house. Instead, she faces animosity, betrayal, and calamity. Will she repeat the pitfalls of her past mistakes, or find the freedom and restoration she seeks?