Thursday, May 17, 2018

Finding Time to Write by Cindy Regnier

How many words could a writer write, if a writer could just write? Most of us will never know. We have homes, families, jobs and all sorts of other things that keep us from writing all day. The truth is, our writing would be dull and void of excitement if our lives were the same way. If writing all day in a secluded cabin in the mountains (with WIFI of course) Is your daydream, as it is mine, that’s great for dreaming. Reality is much different. God has called us to be writers and to make His voice heard in our world. He also equips us with the means to do so, in spite of all the other things that call for our attention in life.

Most of us would agree that certain things always take precedence over our writing, like our relationship with God and our families. If, like me, you have a regular job with a regular paycheck by necessity, that must also come before writing. So how do we find the time to write all those stories rolling around in our heads, begging to get out? 

I can’t not write. Pardon the double negative, but most of you reading this know what I mean, and share the sentiment. Put another way. A real writer doesn’t just want to write; a real writer has to write. I like the quote from Thomas Mann that says “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” Perhaps, but it is also more rewarding.      

Sit down and write the book God puts on your heart. Give yourself permission to write badly. Done is better than perfect and someone needs to read it. You will want to give up before it’s done. Don’t. It takes a lot more time to not write a book than it takes to actually write one. If you’ve been writing long enough, you understand that rather odd statement. Nothing will get done if you wait until you can do it well.

Set attainable goals. For instance, write just one page. After that you can quit if you want to, but it’s possible, maybe even probable, that you won’t want to. Have you ever written a sentence, then reread it and thought, “Wow - I did not see that coming.” That’s God working in you. Go ahead and let Him amaze you with what flows from your fingertips. God has called you to serve others with your words. Anne Lamott says that very few writers know what they are doing until they’ve done it. 

My personal mantra when I’m finding it difficult to write is “Write like no one is going to read it.” That frees me to write the words in my head without the fear of what someone else might think of them. Find what works for you, then do it.

What about those times when you stare at the blank screen in front of you and can’t come up with one word? Yes, it happens to me too. What I do is seek encouragement from other writers. I belong to a group composed of other writers, some published and some not, who simply encourage each other in the writing process. I can’t even begin to explain how much my writing sisters mean to me, and how much encouragement I draw from this group. I’ve never met most of them in person, but I love them all dearly, and the best part? They love me too and want to see me succeed. Find an encouragement group or start your own. 

And finally, as the saying goes, don’t shine so others can see you, but shine so that through you, others can see Him. It will make all the difference in your writing. No matter how much you want to be published, that it not your main goal. Your goal is writing the words God gives you so He can use them for His purposes. So pursue that dream and remember that when God isn’t changing your circumstances, it’s probably because He’s changing you within those circumstances. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go make a scene.

Scribbling in notebooks has been a habit of Cindy Regnier since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Born and raised in Kansas, she writes stories of historical Kansas, especially the Flint Hills area where she spent much of her childhood. Cindy is married to her husband of 35 years, has two grown sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law and a son residing in heaven. Cindy is a member of RWA and American Christian Fiction writers.

A graduate of Kansas State University with a dual major in Agriculture and Business, Cindy works for her local school district as finance manager and is active in her church and community. She likes to crochet things for her family and collects recipes she’ll probably never actually make. Her experiences with the Flint Hills setting, her natural love for history, farming and animals, along with her interest in genealogical research give her the background and passion to write heart-fluttering historical romance. 

Find me at:
Blog: cindyregnier.blogspot.com
Instagram: cindyregnier1
Twitter: @cindysregnier
Facebook: Cindy Regnier

27 comments:

  1. Cindy, great post!! And so true. I can't not write. And once I start I find I've gone farther than I thought I would. It's getting that first word down. I've gone back and reread something I wrote and wondered how I wrote that. God! He knows what someone needs to read and when. That's your book in His timing. He also can't use words you haven't written. Thanks for the encouragement today, Cindy!

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    1. Hi Sally. We writers get each other when most others don't. Right? Write! Thanks and back at you.

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  2. Great post, Cindy - especially loved this, "So pursue that dream and remember that when God isn’t changing your circumstances, it’s probably because He’s changing you within those circumstances." Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement today!

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    1. Hi Laura - and speaking of inspiration and encouragement - thank you, dear friend!

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  3. This is just what I needed to hear today - thank you!

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  4. Wonderful post full of great advice - especially attainable goals. I have trouble with that! Blessings!

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    1. Attainable goals. Two little words that sound so easy - and yet... WHen you figure it out, let me know.

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  5. Great post! It's so true. We MUST write! Great encouragement today.

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    1. Thanks Melinda. Encouragement is one thing we all need and it's so simple to give.

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  6. Cindy, wonderful insights! I'm a huge goal-setter.

    Blessings as you move forward with yours!

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    1. Thanks Cindy! Why is it goals are so easy to set but so hard to attain? It's that feeling of accomplishment, right?

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  7. LOVED your post, Cindy! :) I can relate so well with what you've said today.
    Your statement, "I can't not write" is SO true for me (as well as many others, I'm sure)! I remarked to my husband several years ago that even if I wasn't ever published, I still HAD to write - - it's something I truly love and feel called to do.
    Blessings on your writing journey, sweet friend.
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Thanks Patti Jo. It's not everybody who gets that statement about 'can't not write' Try using that one in a room of non-writers and watch for all the blank stares to appear. Thanks for 'getting me' and your friendship

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  8. Cindy, Ah, I'm about to cry. I loved your post. And I loved what you wrote, "Write like no one is going to read it."

    And you're also absolutely right. I can't not write either. My husband always knows when I haven't written for a few days. In the summer when the kids are out of school and I have to find writing time, he'll sometimes look at me and say, "Go to Panera and write for a few hours."

    Thanks for the words. Hugs, Tanya

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    1. Tanya - hugs back at you, sweet friend. What a sweetheart of a husband you must have. Isn't it wonderful when our families support what we do? He's right - write!

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  9. Cindy, so many great tips for finding ways to keep writing!

    “Write like no one is going to read it.” That’s advice I need to remember to get me started when I’m stuck in my perfectionist mode.

    I completely agree with your thoughts on being with an encouraging group of writers!

    Thanks and blessings to you as you keep finding time to write!

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    1. Hi Sherida. Yes, we perfectionists must continually argue with ourselves over that annoying little character trait. The positive side is, I can write a perfectionist character quite well. Usually nobody likes her, though. lol Hugs to you, my friend.

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  10. Cindy, excellent post, not to mention timely. My day job is a thing of the past in 3 1/2 months and I must improve my time management.

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    1. And Cindy, thank you for guest posting on Seriously Write. I appreciate you spending the day with us.

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    2. Thanks for the invitation, Terri. I had a great time at Seriously Write.

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  11. Cindy, you hit it on the head! Writers must write! Never give up and I agree, let God write through you. Awesome post my friend!!

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    1. Sharee! Personally, I have given up several times, but I always come back. Deep down I know I have to write. Glad you're in it with me!

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  12. Cindy, I’m really late checking in but I’m so blessed by your post! Thank you, especially for the tips on dealing with our persnickety little perfectionist is selves. “Write like no one is going to read it.” That is so freeing! And I often tell myself, usually when I know a migraine is coming “just write one page”. Then I don’t feel like I’ve wasted time being sick. Blessings to you my friend!

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    1. Hi Laurie. I sort of stole that line from that song, you know, Dance Like Nobody's Watching, but it works for writing too. IMHO a migraine isnt a 'waste of time', more like a necessary evil. Hoping that M word leaves you alone and you are blessed with lots of great writing time! Hugs to you!

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  13. I'm late to the party, but I really needed to hear this today. I'm so inspired by how much you get done with everything else on your plate. I live the Flint Hills too. I can see why you're so inspired by them. Thanks so much for your post.

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    1. Hi Yvonne - we all have full plates and those annoyances that keep us away from what we love doing. IMHO, when I can't or don't write as much as I would like, I'm thinking it might just be because what I'm working on is so wonderful, satan doesn't want me doing it. lol. I think the Flint Hills is my favorite place on Earth.

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