The Truth About Vashtai CoverIt has been almost 9 years since I published THE TRUTH ABOUT VASHTAI and I have learned quite a bit about writing, publishing and making money. The one lesson I have learned: I have to keep my day job!

People often come to me for advice about writing. I used to tell them to just write and when you are finished writing decide if you can do it forever; most people never write the first word. I have adjusted my response to: “If you want to write then write but make sure you have a job that will pay your bills.” They still may not write but at least they haven’t quit their day job to pursue a dream.

Technically, writing is my day job but it does not take care of my personal living expenses. I have been an Independent Tax Preparer longer than an author but, that is not enough income. (LOL! Lately, there has no “in” coming!)

If all I did was tax returns and suggest ways for a person or business to invest their money I could have a very good income. But, I have to write, which takes away from what could be a 80 plus hours a week job.

I have learned that I write all day every day, I use up a lot of words on Facebook. As I have gotten to know my writing habits I have determined that I should write at least two thousand words a day. I have also discovered, if I am not in the middle of writing or editing by 10:30AM I cannot write. If I don’t waste my words on Facebook, I can easily write three thousand words which includes a 250 to 1,000 word blog post.

Life is my muse- one of the reasons I love Social Media so much. There is a meme I have seen in various forms that writers post that reads something like this: ‘Don’t make me mad or I may kill you on page 336’. That is because, like me, most writers are inspired by something they have seen or heard. I cannot meet every personality type in my four corners of the earth but YouTube and Facebook allow me to see character traits in real time.

I am not just about words and numbers. I also sew, knit, crochet and garden. I sell: the soy candles that I make, the soap that I make and even the laundry detergent that I make. Recently I entered the world of quilting. Even these activities serve as inspiration as I write.

When a person comes to me and says; “I want to write.” I may say: “If you want to write then write but make sure you have a job that will pay your bills”, this is not what I am thinking. For the most part these people don’t really want to write they just want people to hear their opinion and they want to make a lot of money. When I decided I was going to be a writer I just did it. Looking back I realize I had been writing long before I pursued a career in writing.

Writers write, they talk like they are writing. Writers see and speak in their genre: historical, faith based, romance, action. I am a practical, do it yourself, faith based person and I see and write life application principles from a biblical perspective.
– written by Marsha L F Randolph
The words written above  reflects the opinions of and is the soul property of the author MARSHA L F RANDOLPH. All rights reserved- do not use without permission. Disagreeing with what is written is not offensive to the author a disagreeable comment will be deleted.

NaNoWriMo Day #21

The setup for NaNoWriMo at home, if I need to ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the believability clause! Not that I have to be 100% accurate when I insert historical information into my novel however, when writing about events that occurred in the past it is important that your plot agrees with history as closely as possible. For example: there were no automobiles in 1776.

I wanted the character Moses to come from the city next to the plantation where Horace X the slave lived.   If my goal was to just get the 50,000 words out of the this would not have been a problem.  After doing some research I realized there could not possibly be a bustling city next to a cotton plantation. The graphics I discovered sent me back to the novel I was editing prior to writing this one since it is book one of this series.PICKING COTTON

I am not writing Historical Fiction, it is still important to have some idea of what happened during the era in which you are writing. This is THE BELIEVABILITY CLAUSE.


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NaNoWriMo Day #19

It is to early for a word count, therefore I will not be sharing one today.  However, it is safe to assume that it will probably be less than 500.


I am trying to decide if I have outgrown NaNoWriMo or if my projects are bigger than thirty days. It is the difference between sprinting and marathons, they are both running activities but the training is slightly different and the time it takes to run the race is too. Can a marathon runner sprint? I would think so. Can I write a novel in 30 days? Been there done that.

I wonder if these 105 words can count towards my novel?  Just kidding!


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NaNOWriMo Day #18

……and then I fell in love. I could not help it. I fell in love with one of the characters, he is after all the perfect man for my leading lady! Cup with silver hearts

What does this mean? It means I cannot rush because I want the reader to love him as much as I do thus I must develop his character so that everyone sees what I see. It also means that I have thrown word count out of the window; some things are more important.

More than half way through NaNo and I am going to make a confession (more to come). This book is part of a series and I am still editing Book One.  As with all of my writings there is a purpose to my madness and so every syllable has a purpose.

I realized this morning my biggest struggle with the book was focusing on word counts and not word significance.  I love you NaNoWriMo and I know it is possible for me to write 50 thousand words in 30 days; I have done it before I just might not do it this time.

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NaNoWriMo Day #16

My word count 18,634 to be on target I should have written at least 25,000 words.  No it is not time to give up.


Putting things in perspective I need to write 2,092 words to achieve fifty thousand words by November 30th today I wrote 2,207 words.

All goals need to be evaluated every now and then. Recently I updated my business plan and realized how out of date some of the information was.  If you are trying to loose weight there may come a time in which you decide the program you are on is not for you.  Perhaps you are dating someone and suddenly realize he is a jerk.

Time allows you to adjust your perspective.  Half way through NaNoWriMo I had to step back and look at things differently, this helped me make the necessary adjustments.

Sometimes you don’t need to quit you just need to change your perspective.


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NaNoWriMo Day #14

I am still here!

I admit to having a day of writers block but that was the least of my worries! Writing is a solo sport,  occasionally when I look at what other people are doing it is a distraction causes self doubt.

On day 11 I did not like the direction my plot was going and apparently my characters did not like it either because they stopped talking to me.  So I sat outside on my front porch (away from the laptop) and let them tell me what was wrong.

It is a matter of styles. I was reading other writers concepts and procedures and got bogged down with antagonist and protagonist. Apparently in order to write a good novel you must have both.

Antagonist- the person who causes the problem

Protagonist – the person who solves the problem

The problem is in my books “life” is the antagonist and “faith” is the protagonist.  I could say that when I write I do everything “they” say you should not do except I know I am not the only one.
Perhaps I would have finished writing this novel a long time ago if I had written an outline, created a synopsis of the book and defined my antagonist and protagonist except I write freestyle and so I have to be able to listen to the characters.

My characters are not like other people and neither am I now that I am over that “I have to do it the way they do it” syndrome the words are flowing. What’s my word count? I don’t know I will have to give it to you later.

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NaNoWriMo Day #8

At some point the story begins to tell itself. It is 7pm and I am on target as to word count and I know what is going to happen next.

There are some who may be feeling a bit discouraged as they look at the number of words written.  Because I am not as structured as some writers are it really takes me longer to develop my plot. Counting words becomes irrelevant if I have no idea how I am going to get to the “happily ever after” portion of the story. Thus I am convinced the more confident you are in your plot the easier the words will flow.

Scrivener (software)

If I have not mentioned it before I am using Scrivener to write this novel.  So far it is working out well particularly with character development.  Again their are writers who have things planned to the color of a persons eyes, I don’t. As I write the personality of the character develops. With Scrivener every time I discover something new I am able to write it down so that I can remember.

I am debating if I should write some more today since tomorrow I have a lot to do. I will not be able to personally participate in the planned NaNoWriMo writing Marathon gatherings throughout the country, though I may be able to check out the on-line one. These are the times in which you realize there is more to writing than just buying a laptop.


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