Writing Thirty Minutes At A Time by Valerie Twombly

Posted on Feb 10, 2014 by   16 Comments | Posted in Blog · Uncategorized

FFnP-V Twombly

Being an author who also holds a full-time job, I’m often asked how I manage to work, write, and do social media. I willing admit there have been times I wanted to scream, pull my hair, and simply plant my face on the desk and cry. However, that does not get anything accomplished. Therefore, here is what I have found works for me. I hope you gain some valuable information to help you on the wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful journey of being an author. 

I’m lucky to work in an office and have my own desk where I take advantage of my half hour lunch and write while eating. I use a tablet that has a keyboard, but you can use whatever fits your needs. The range of words written in that half hour is anywhere from 300-800. It all depends on how the story is flowing. Imagine though at 800 words a day, that is 4,000 words in a work week. An entire chapter! Maybe you don’t have this option. Find something that works, even if it’s talking into your smart phone for that time. Write, plot or take notes. 

Now comes the weekend. If I can write upwards of 800 words in a half an hour, then what can I do in my spare time? Here comes the social media time suck. You need to block out part of your time for this. Decide up front what you need to do on Facebook and Twitter or your blog. Can you spend a half hour in the evening every night doing something? Perhaps a couple of nights a week you can devote an hour? Without the social media you are not going to sell nearly as many books as you could. Even if you’re not published yet, you still need social media. So what are your options? Can you use your smart phone while waiting to pick up your kids at school or practice? Being a working author is all about making use of free time. Just remember you can’t let social media suck you into its black hole. I willingly admit Facebook sucks me in. I have a free app on my laptop that I can actually block myself from going there and I have. Shut off the email and block anything that tempts you. Get in at least an hour or two, more if you can over the weekend. Take a break and come back later. 

One little trick I use to make sure I’m actually getting something done is I print a paper calendar. You can do this right from Microsoft Word or even the internet. I write down how many words I write each day on this calendar. It is my visual that I need to see what I’m really getting done. I can easily total my word count for a week and a month. This is huge when my editor asks me when I can have a book done by. I can see what my average monthly word count is and go from there. It also shows me when I have been slacking. Last year I wrote a short story, a novella, and a full novel! Maybe you don’t need a paper calendar, use what works, but hold yourself accountable. 

I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy, it’s not. There were times I’d walk into the kitchen and my husband would say, “Who are you?” Thankfully he understands. The point is it can be done. Focus on what you really want and find the time. The words add up whether you write those 10 at a time or 1000 at a time, but if you don’t write them at all you’ll never see your name on that book cover. That my friends is worth every tear we shed. 

Good luck, and just remember. It will never be a best seller if it’s never written. 

More About the Author

As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying “It will give you nightmares.” She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find. 

Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked. 

Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd dogs, in Northern IL. 

Valerie has published a paranormal romance and an erotic paranormal romance with Resplendence Publishing. For more information on these titles, connect with Valerie Twombly at:





16 Responses to "Writing Thirty Minutes At A Time by Valerie Twombly"

  1. Comment by Aubrey Wynne
    February 10, 2014 7:46 am

    Nice post. And I loved Dark Shadows. Scared to death but rushed home after school to watch it every week.

  2. Comment by Tabitha Maine
    February 10, 2014 2:02 pm

    Girrrrrl! I’m right with you. Go five up-high!

    I don’t know how writers do it, but you’ve obviously figured it out. You must be superwoman. You go girl.

  3. Comment by Michaela Miles
    February 10, 2014 6:21 pm

    Fabulous tips Val! I need to do this. I’m a social media sucker too LOL 🙂

  4. Comment by Isabella Harper
    February 10, 2014 7:29 pm

    Love the advice, it’s so true! 🙂 You’re awesome. Keep churning out those awesome books! <3

    And I never saw the show, but I enjoyed the movie, haha! 😉

  5. Comment by Alicia Dean
    February 11, 2014 2:21 pm

    Great advice. I try to tell myself to get into this kind of habit, but when it comes down to it, I’m a sporadic writer. Thanks for the reminder about grabbing chunks of time on a regular basis for writing time.

    I also loved Dark Shadows! 🙂

  6. Comment by Paula Millhouse
    February 11, 2014 2:23 pm

    Thanks for the awesome tips, Valerie.
    I love to set a timer, both for writing sprints, and monitoring social media bursts.

  7. Comment by Valerie Twombly
    February 12, 2014 7:24 pm

    Thanks everyone. I hope the tips were helpful.

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