Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for February 17th, 2012

Persistence: Keep it Going

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Folks, there are many things that I could talk about tonight, but rather than talk politics, sports, or the latest outrageous things going on in Wisconsin, I’d rather talk about something near and dear to my heart: the willingness to persist.

You see, no matter what you do in this life, if you believe in what you do, you must keep trying.  No matter how long it takes, refuse to give up on yourself; do a little bit every day that advances you toward whatever your goal may be, and down the line, not only will you reach your initial goal, you’ll probably reach goals that you’d previously believed insurmountable.

I’m a writer, an editor, a reviewer, a musician, and a composer.  (Many other things, too, but those will do for now.)  I decided long ago that I was going to do something every day that would help me advance toward my goals, and that’s helped me continue despite what would seem to be mighty long odds.

Ultimately, I’m just like anyone else, except for one thing: I am highly motivated, and I refuse to give up.  (Well, that’s two things, albeit two closely-related things.)

Today, what I did to advance me toward my goal(s) was to edit for several hours, then write this blog.  Tomorrow, I plan to write a review, then work on AN ELFY ABROAD and KEISHA’S VOW (both Elfyverse novels); if all goes well, there’s a collaborative project with another writer that I hope to work on as well.

Lazette Gifford, who runs the Forward Motion Writer’s Group (at, has said that all you need to do is to write 100 words a day.  Most writers fiddle around on the Internet, or fiddle around doing something else rather than write; if you write just 100 words a day, at the end of the year, you will have 36,500 words written.  (This would be a novella if completed at the end of a year, or approximately one-third of a full-fledged novel if you’ve decided that your story needs more fleshing out to make sense.)

In my case, I tend to use the little bits of time I have to sketch things out on notepad (which counts, too) rather than open up a file on the computer.  But I do tend to get more than 700 words written in a week, too; most of the time, even in a bad week, I manage to get 4000 words written, or 16,000 average in a month.  If I’m very ill during a week and can’t write, I continue to sketch things out and write notes in prose-form, which also counts as actual work.  Then my next weekly total looks astronomical — something like 10,000 words in a week — as most of the work has already been done; now I just have to flesh things out with dialogue and descriptions and such.

At any rate, please don’t listen to anyone who says you “can’t write” or that your reviews don’t make sense or that your editing leaves a lot to be desired.  This is going to happen to us all (or something similar will); all we can do is persist, persist, persist.  And then persist some more.  Because persistence is the key; without it, you absolutely cannot win.

So keep on keepin’ on, folks.  And I’ll meet you on the flip side.

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Just Reviewed Darlene Craviotto’s “An Agoraphobic’s Guide to Hollywood” at SBR

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Folks, if you like writing, screenwriting, real-life stories about people circumventing their problems, wry humor, and/or Michael Jackson, you will love Darlene Craviotto’s non-fiction memoir AN AGORAPHOBIC’S GUIDE TO HOLLYWOOD: How Michael Jackson Got Me Out of the House.

Don’t let the long title fool you; this is a fun and fast read that packs quite a punch.  (At Shiny Book Review, I called it “moving, insightful, and honest,” which also works for most practical purposes.)

Go take a look!

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 17, 2012 at 12:13 am