Time to Write with Bonita & Cammi

Bonita: Most of us writers think that writing, like breathing, should come naturally. But in the real world, life happens, and we wrestle with others and ourselves to eke out the time to put the words on the page.

Here are the four tips that I have implemented in my own writing to help me get the work done.

  1. Bathe it in prayer. Before I begin writing, I pray. This is a new discipline for me. Not the praying but doing it right before I begin. It has helped me to keep my focus on the One who called me and made me to write. It also serves to shift the focus from the deadline, the opinion of others, and my own feelings to the quality of the work. Just like you, I always want to do my best for the Lord.
  2. Make a plan, Stan. Yes, we must plan. Bob Hostetler shared with us at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in 2017 that he would plan as far out as forty days. By doing this, his writing was already on the planner before other things could take over. I liked his idea and started planning every six weeks in advance. Using this method, I got several articles and blogs written as well as two books during 2018.
  3. Attitude of Gratitude. Be grateful for the time that the Lord gives you to write. I am terrible about viewing this wonderful opportunity of work as a burden, but the secret is it’s not a burden. It is a gift. So, every minute you are given to use your wordsmithing skills count it as joy.
  4. All grit; no quit. Shirlee McCoy shared this on one of her Facebook posts, and I loved it. In order to write, you must determine this is your calling and nothing is going to stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Sure, there will be times that the Lord puts other things in your life that have to be taken care of, but it’s the getting back to it that makes you a writer.

May God bless all your writing endeavors this year, and remember, if he called you to it, he will equip you for it.


Bonita Y. McCoy hails from the Great State of Alabama where she lives on a five-acre farm with two horses, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who she’s had for over twenty-nine years. She is a mother to three mostly grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law, one who joined the family from Japan. She loves God, and she loves to write. Her blog and novels are an expression of both these passions. Drop by and visit. Facebook Author’s Page or visit her website bonitaymccoy.com .


Cammi: I am a low-tech girl living in a high-tech world, at least when it comes to writing. I keep paper and pen with me at all times. We all have our dedicated writing time, but think about the rest of your day. We have times during the day when we have a minute or two of waiting – at the doctor, at the grocery store, sitting at a restaurant. Those are great times to grab that paper and jot down ideas. Look around you and see what people are wearing, listen to what they are saying, notice what they are doing. I like to tell myself I will remember later but I know I will not!

On my last trip to the grocery store I noticed—

  1. A man checked out with 17 packages of chocolate chip cookies, 2 bags of plant food, and a spatula. I am curious! What was he doing?
  2. A pretty girl was sorting through the tomatoes. She had expensive clothes and jewelry, meticulous makeup, and manicured nails. On her wrist, she had a string of paper clips with a rusted key hanging on it. Did a child make the paper clip bracelet for her? What was the key for?

Will these characters make it into a story later? Maybe, maybe not. But I have this trove of inspiration I can draw from whenever I need it.

You won’t have time to craft paragraphs or even write in complete sentences but that isn’t what these sessions are meant to accomplish. Inspiration can strike at the oddest of times, and always having something to write on will ensure that you do not forget your ideas. You never know when a simple observation might spark a whole novel!


Daughter, sister, friend, huge nerd, procrastinator… All are words Cammi Woodall uses to describe her self. A new one she is using is writer. That is scary! Cammi is a writer. Her hands shake when she says it or writes those words.

After keeping her stories hidden away for decades, she’s decided 2018 is her year to jump out of her comfort zone and get her writing to the public.

Despite darker reading habits, a comic thread weaves its way through her fictional stories. Even in emotional pieces, her characters use humor to cope with everyday tragedies. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying!


Click to Tweet: Will planning ahead keep you on task with your writing? Find out how Bonita Y. McCoy and Cammi Woodall keep their writing energies flowing. Time to Write with Bonita & Cammi via @InspiredPrompt #NewYearResolution #amwriting

Writing Prompt: Using the following words and phrases, create an opening paragraph for a story:

  • One black boot
  • Candelabra
  • Ficus tree
  • Crock Pot

Have fun!

Time to Write with Fay & Jennifer

Finding time to write is our topic of conversation this month and today’s guests are author Fay Lamb, and author and Inspired Prompt co-founder, Jennifer Hallmark.

Fay Lamb

The art of time management has always been a plague for me because I always have five or six balls in the air, and sitting down for an extended period of time has never been my style—except when writing. Yet I still struggle with consistent word count. On occasion, I have been able to pound out my word count for about two days in a row.

Many writers preach that the only way to get the job done is to firmly place the derriere on a chair, hands on a computer or holding a pen, and pounding out an exact number of words per day. Hemingway did it. He even managed to stop daily at a place he found exciting, the act giving him something to look forward to each day. As a seat of the pants author, I want to find out what’s going to happen. No stopping for me. Robert Benson pens exactly 600 words per day. No more. No less. I write more than 600 words in a Facebook post in ten minutes. Too easy.

Nothing in life is more enjoyable to me than writing. My mind takes a vacation into its own little world, and I’d love to declare that I write 1,500 words every single day. Even though the goal is clearly a pipe dream, I still hold to the illusion that I need to get those words accomplished, because it creates an urgent need for me to get busy, especially as the days without a word count rack up. When I finally sit down, derriere firmly placed in chair, hands on keyboard, I churn out at least 1,500 words, but most days, the count is a 6,000 to 10,000 word vacation.


Fay Lamb is the only daughter of a rebel genius father and a hard-working, tow-the-line mom. She is not only a fifth-generation Floridian, she has lived her life in Titusville, where her grandmother was born in 1899.
Since an early age, storytelling has been Fay’s greatest desire. She seeks to create memorable characters that touch her readers’ heart. She says of her writing, “If I can’t laugh or cry at the words written on the pages of my manuscript, the story is not ready for the reader.” Fay writes in various genres, including romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary fiction.


Jennifer Hallmark

Finding time to write? Wow. You’ve come to the wrong person. Well, maybe not. I can dial in my analytical side at any time it seems and make time to produce articles, blog posts, anything concerning the business/non-fiction side of writing.

Fiction is more of a struggle. When I’m working out of the creative side, I need focus. Peace. No distractions. Time which, around my home, is hard to find during this season of my life.

I’ve learned two things that help when I just can’t find the time:

  • Write away from home. I never thought I could write at a coffee shop or at a bookstore but low and behold, with home being a bit chaotic, I can. I seem to be able to dial out strangers and crowd noises better than the familiar sounds at my house.
  • I turn to handwriting. I often use the notebook by my bed to write out a scene or even a thought that might go in a book. Sometimes I’m riding in the car, at the doctor’s office, or even at church when inspiration strikes and I find a sticky note and jot it down. Writing like this always translates into time well-spent.

Find out what works for you. Guard your writing time well even if you don’t have deadlines and one day you probably will. 😊


Jennifer Hallmark  

I love writing, reading, and learning. 🙂

But I am so much more: Wife, Mother, Mamaw, friend and family to many,  cookie baker, LOTR marathon watcher, greeting card sender, church bulletin maker, day trip with Hubby and friends taker, snowman and Golden Age of Detective book collector.

Welcome to my world!


[Click to Tweet] “Hemingway…even managed to stop daily at a place he found exciting, the act giving him something to look forward to each day.”–Fay Lamb @FayLamb via @InspiredPrompt #amwriting #AskAuthor #Schedule

FUN Writing Prompt! Schedule five minutes by setting an alarm on your phone (or other timing device). Write everything that pops into your mind until the alarm stops you. GO! (Have Fun!) Extra: If you wrote something especially funny or interesting, share it in the comments. We love hearing from our readers.

Time to Write with Shirley & Harriet

Shirley Crowder, how do you fit writing into your daily schedule?

With all my work, ministry, family, and other responsibilities it can be difficult to carve out time for writing—even though I don’t require a lot of sleep!

I find making a schedule helpful in safeguarding my writing time and I must be disciplined to guard that time.

I schedule early mornings before work and after midnight for writing. Devotional writing works well in these time slots, whether for a blog, newspaper article, or devotional for a book.

I block out four hours of each Friday (when I’m off from my job), sometimes morning and sometimes afternoon, to focus on devotionals for books.

I turn off the TV and the sound on my phone, sit at my desk, and start writing. I keep a sticky note handy to jot down things that come to mind that are not related to my writing.

All my writing deadlines go on my calendar, including my study and research, time to put it aside (a few days for a blog, article, or single devotional; and a couple of weeks for a book manuscript), time for someone else to read the manuscript, and time to do final edits/rewrites.

Admittedly, sometimes it is difficult to carve out time when I need to be at the hospital with a friend, or doing laundry, or any one of a gazillion other things that come along.

Please understand that all of this is the way things SHOULD work!

If my schedule gets interrupted for any reason, I reschedule that time as soon as possible.

I have to remind myself that my time is not my own—it is God’s! It is extremely important that I seek the Lord’s guidance in scheduling my writing time. [Click to Tweet]

Harriet Michael, what’s your secret?

I work three days a week as a substitute middle or high school teacher at a nearby Christian school. This school has block scheduling, so they have only four classes a day with each class an hour and a half long. One of these four blocks for each teacher is a planning period. As a sub, I have no planning to do, nor do I have to grade tests or papers. So, how do I fill this hour and a half three days a week?

You guessed it, I write.

With the school’s permission, I bring my computer with me and use the planning periods to get some writing done. It works out great for me. I can’t leave the school anyway, so I am stuck in a classroom with nothing else to do for ninety minutes. I might as well take advantage of the time.

I am blessed to have this carved-out scheduled time every week and I realize it is a unique situation. But the point remains—set aside some specific time every week to write. Make it part of your routine. I actually find I get more done in the school year when I am working than I do in the summer when I am off. There are so many distractions pulling at me when I am home. Being forced to sit in a chair, with nothing else to do but write works well for me.

At a writers’ conference once I heard an instructor, whose name I cannot remember, tease that what writers need to do sounds like a dirty word. He called it BICFOK, which he said stands for “butt in chair, fingers on keys”. That truly is the key to getting some much-needed writing accomplished. Just sit down and do it!


Shirley Crowder was born in Nigeria, West Africa, where her parents served as missionaries, Shirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is manifested through a myriad of ministry opportunities that include biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, speaking at conferences, writing, and serving on the national advisory team for The Addiction Connection.

She is a biblical counselor and is commissioned by and serves on the national Advisory Team for The Addiction Connection. Her articles, devotions have appeared in “Paper Pulpit” in The Gadsden Times’ Faith section and Seek magazine—a David C. Cook publication. She has also written articles for Life Bible Study and Woman’s Missionary Union. Six published books were contributed to, authored, or co-authored by Shirley. Four contracted devotional books are due out over the next two years.

Shirley has spiritual children and grandchildren serving the Lord in various ways throughout the world.


Harriet E. Michael is a multi-published author and freelance writer. She has authored five books, with two more coming out this year. Over 200 articles, devotions, and stories penned by her have appeared in various publications by Focus on the Family, Lifeway, David C. Cook, Standard Publishing, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, Judson Press, and more. Harriet has been married for nearly forty years. She is the proud mother of four grown children and “Lala” to two adorable grandchildren.


Click to Tweet: The key to getting some much-needed writing accomplished: just sit down and do it! – Harriet Michael via @InspiredPrompt #amwriting #time

Writing Prompt: Map out a quick, doable writing schedule for tomorrow. Then post it where you will see it. If it worked for you, try it the next day, too. Make changes if necessary. Keep at it until you’ve found a system that works for you. Don’t give up! Even five minutes between daily tasks can add word count to your work-in-progress.

Do you have a question for Shirley, or Harriet? Please feel free to ask in the comments section. We’re here to help.

Time to Write

Welcome to January, 2019 at Inspired Prompt. I’m Betty Thomason Owens, one of the blog’s founders, and I’m so glad you’re here. We’re starting the year with a topic all writers need, whether you’re just starting out or multi-published. In our busy, busy world, how do we make time to write?

Finding time in a compromised world can seem almost impossible. I’ve learned to grab time where I can, be it five minutes, fifteen, or five hours. Grab it and make the most of it. That may mean keeping a notebook and pen handy. I use a note app on my phone. That way, I can even dictate a scene for my work in progress while walking. The best ideas pop into my mind in the midst of my daily exercise.

Plan ahead: It’s a simple idea, but many times our schedules and plans get preempted by…well…life. If you have a family, you’re all too familiar with interruptions. Some moms get up early or stay up late for a few minutes of writing time. I’ve always been an early riser. I’m an empty nester now, but I still have a couple of part-time jobs, household chores, and a husband to factor in. Those things are like the bread of a sandwich. Writing time is the filling. Sometimes it’s thick and juicy. Other times, it’s thin and kind of tasteless. But it’s always there.

It’s there because I create it. I make space and time for the things I care about. I care about finishing what I’ve started. The show must go on.

January is a time of new beginnings. Inspired Prompt’s contributors are all going to chime in as the month goes forward. We’ll be sharing ideas, encouraging thoughts, and a few helpful hints. We’ll share what works for us, doesn’t work for us, and maybe a funny story or two. We’ll dig deep, ask questions, and I hope you will, too.

Help us get to the heart of this timely question: How do you find time to write?

[Click to Tweet] January is a time of new beginnings. Inspired Prompt’s contributors will share ideas, encouraging thoughts, and a few helpful hints to help writers find Time to Write. #NewYear #amwriting

About the author: My friends say I’m creative, loyal, thoughtful and funny. I’m a storyteller. A word-weaver, writing stories that touch the heart. If I was an artist working with oils, I’d want to paint scenes so real, you’d think you were looking at a photograph. They’d include minute details that grab your attention and pull you into the picture. My characters could be your next-door neighbors. They’re open and friendly. They include you in their conversations. My themes include the grace of God, forgiveness, restoration, and redemption, but most of all, love. For years, my tagline has been Love is the Legacy. That’s my desire, to leave a legacy of love. Betty Thomason Owens

I find a lot of my answers in scripture. We can pattern our daily lives after the teachings we find there. Apply a simple principle of living to your writing life. Take what you’re given and live in it.

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!–Colossians 2:6-7 MSG