Love Inspired author Margaret Daley writes at least four novels a year for two different lines. She juggles two miniseries, contributes to other projects, and always remains fresh and timely! The emotional tension in her stories of faith and love resonate with her fans. Here she gives some advice about keeping balance….
I write both Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense. While both are romances, each is quite different to plot. One–Love Inspired–is more character driven while the romantic suspense in Love Inspired Suspense is more plot driven. I like to alternate between these two types of books. My favorite to write and read is romantic suspense, but it’s nice to have a break from the fast paced story with one close call after another. It really challenges me in a different way.
For many years I worked a full-time job and wrote for both of these lines. Now I’m retired, but instead of slowing down, I’m filling the time by writing more stories. So how do I keep everything straight? Organization.
Planning two different series at the same time can be confusing if I don’t keep track of what I’m doing and keep it organized. I have several charts I use to keep the stories straight. I also take notes as I write about the stories. When doing a series (or two at the same time), you can’t mix the stories up. The more complex the series the more necessary for me to keep track of the details.
Another thing I do to make sure I get my book in on time is to figure out how many words I need to write in a week’s time. I don’t do a daily word count because we all have crazy days where we don’t get much written. When I set a week’s word count, I can write more one day than another and still make my goal. I also work in time to edit the story before I send it to my editor. This requires discipline—being able to write almost every day to keep the writing schedule.
This doesn’t mean I don’t take breaks, particularly between books. This step is very important to a writer. We can’t write for long seven days a week, week after week. We have to have down time or burn out. If nothing else, take away from this blog post how important it is to get organized in your writing, to become disciplined in your work schedule, and to take time to play and relax.
Thank you, Margaret, for your practical and valuable advice! Whether you’re on your first or fiftieth title, it’s important to keep a balance in your life.
Happy reading–and writing!