10 Ways to Find Time to Write Your Novel

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Writers have a difficult time finding time to write sometimes. With the burdens of family obligations, daytime jobs, marriage, and church or other activities, it sometimes seems impossible. It’s easy to make excuses and give up, but if you really want to find the time to write your novel, here a ten things you can do to carve out some writing time.

1. Get up an hour early. When you get up early, nobody is awake. This is prime writing time.

2. Stay up an hour late. This is the same principle. After everyone else has gone to bed, you’ll have the time you need. But be careful. Don’t get so lost in the story that you stay up all night. Set a timer if you have to.

3. Spend your lunch hour writing. If your work won’t let you use their computers for personal use, bring a small laptop or tablet to work and write while you’re eating.

4. Assign a certain time every day that you write. Let your family know that this is your “Do Not Disturb” time. Scientists have proven this will also bolster your creativity. You are training your brain to be creative during your writing time.

5. Get a maid. No, I’m not kidding. Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Hire a maid or someone to do your laundry. This will give you added time to write. Isn’t it worth the money?

6. Hire a babysitter. You could hire someone to take the kids to the park or to McDonalds Playland a couple of times a week. The kids will love it, and you’ll enjoy the writing time.

7. Stop time wasters. Organize your schedule and see where you are wasting time you could be writing. If you can’t figure it out where you’re wasting time, try keeping an activity diary for a couple of weeks.

8. Turn off the TV. Enough said. There isn’t anything good to watch anyway.

9. Take a tablet or small laptop with you  when you go to doctor’s appointments or kids’ soccer practices or everywhere else you go. You can write during waiting time.

10. Quit playing Facebook Games. Facebook and Twitter are great tools for writers, but don’t let them monopolize your time. Writers need to be on social media for advertising, but plan your time there, and set a timer to make sure you don’t get distracted while online.

So quit putting it off and making excuses. Find the time you need to write your novel, and get busy.


10 Ways to Keep Your New Years Resolutions

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by Tamera Lynn Kraft

This is the time of year when everyone is setting forth goals and making resolutions. Many times, they’re the same resolutions that were made last year, and the year before, and the year before that. Making goals to write a novel, get out of debt, lose weight, or get close to God are noble goals. But setting goals is only the first step. The difference between people who make resolutions and who succeed in achieving their goals is that the second group has learned how to finish it.

Here’s some tips to help you finish what you’ve set out to do.

Narrow Down What You Want: Some people set goals they think sound great, but those goals aren’t really what they want. Decide what you want out of life before you set your goals. What are your deepest desires and dreams? People who succeed are the ones who decide what they want most and focus on that. For instance, if your desire is to be healthy and have energy, you will want to set a goal of exercising regularly and eating healthy. So if that’s your goal, don’t make a resolution to join a gym and run five miles everyday. Instead make a goal that works with your desire. Plan healthy meals, and decide on an exercise plan where you work out a half hour every day. Then use the extra time to fulfill other desires you have.

Set Measurable Tasks: If your goal is to write a novel in a year, break it down into chunks. The first month, you might want to do research for your novels. The second month, you could devote to plotting and developing characters. The third month, you might plan to write 3,000 words a day ro write two hours a day. Whatever the case, break down your goal into measurable bite-size pieces and schedule them.

Schedule Your Time: It’s easy to fritter away your time and never accomplish what you want if you don’t schedule your time. Whatever your goals are for this year, schedule time in your calendar to work on those goals. Evaluate what your time wasters are and work on them. For instance, you might want to set a timer when you’re on Facebook to make sure you don’t spend the whole day there. Or you might want to turn off your phone during certain hours.

Evaluate Monthly: Sometimes your desires change, or it may take you longer to fulfill a goal because a major life event gets in the way. Take time a the beginning of each month to evaluate where you are, the progress you’ve made, and reset your goals accordingly.

Plan Your Week: Every week, plan tasks that will fulfill your goals.

Accountability: Set up a system of accountability. You might want to ask a friend or family member to ask you how your doing. Or you might set up a system of rewards that you receive when you make progress.

Deadlines: Set up a deadline to finish what you’ve started. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet the deadline. If your late, set another one.

Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Goals: Sometimes our lives change in a way that certain goals don’t make sense any more. You may have made a resolution to finish Spring Cleaning by April, but then a major project comes due. Don’t be afraid to change your goals to meet your present situation.

Learn to Say No: Adopt this motto when you are asked to do something for someone. “When I say yes to something, I’m saying no to something else.”

Pray before Setting Goals: Whatever we do, we should do for the glory of God. God knows what will happen this year and what He wants us to do. Before we set resolutions, we should consult Him.

My 10 Life Resolutions

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

While all of us are deciding what we want our goals and resolutions to be for 2018, I thought I would share 10 of my life resolutions.

Resolution #1: I resolve to obey God without delay and without consideration for the consequences or lack of resources.

Resolution #2: I resolve to be a student of God’s Word and as I read it to apply it to my life. I will be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.

Resolution #3: Because I want to spend time regularly with God and develop an intimacy with Him, I will continually be in prayer even when I don’t “feel” like praying.

Resolution #4: I resolve to be a worshipper because God alone is worth of my worship.

Resolution #5: I will not compromise my faith to become more acceptable to the culture. This would include salvation is only through the blood of Jesus Christ, that there is only one road to Heaven, and that what God calls sin is sin.

Resolution #6: I resolve to constantly learn and read.

Resolution #7: I resolve strive to forgive anyone who I become offended with and to resolve any matter where people are offended by me as far as it is up to me.

Resolution #8: I resolve that when I am stressed by everyday life, to be in joy and peace through Jesus Christ.

Resolution #9: I resolve to be expectant and ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ at any moment and to live my life that way.

Resolution #10: I resolve to repent as soon as I realize I have failed with one of these resolutions and to return to fellowship with Christ.

The Benefits and Selection of a Professional Coach

This article was written by guest poster Zach Prosser, life coach to Tamera Lynn Kraft.

Zach Prosser, ACC, CLC, CBC, founder of Zach Prosser Coaching, is a professional coach with active membership in the International Coach Federation, and is committed to equipping leaders for maximum impact. Zach has served in the non-profit industry for nearly 20 years, and is the President of the ICF Cleveland Chapter. Additionally, Zach serves on the ICF Midwest Regional Advisory Council. His experience and involvement in many organizations, provide clients with a unique opportunity for personal growth and development which results in making greater leadership impacts. Check out www.MaximumImpactLeaders.com

By Zach Prosser, ACC, CLC, CBC

Now is the season where many of us begin reviewing the progress of our year, closing out a past year, and begin goal setting for the coming year. Life in review and goal setting for the future always bring us to the great question, “What’s next?”

What have you learned this past year that you can carry with you into next year for greater fulfillment? Professional coaching is a partnership that equips, motivates, challenges, and brings accountability. I often share with clients that I am “the bridge” that helps them get from where they are today, to their future self. At times, we want someone to just “tell us” what to do. As a coach, I believe you know exactly what you need to do, and even how to do it; coaching is the discovery of these great resources you already possess. Consultants answer the client’s questions; coaches question the client’s answers.

What benefits does a professional coaching relationship have? There have been years of study conducted on this subject. The International Coach Federation (ICF), the world’s largest coaching organization that advances the science and art of coaching, has discovered there are multiple measurable results from a professional coach (the research is available on the ICF website). Some of these include:

  • Improved work performance
  • Improved business management
  • Improved time management
  • Improved team effectiveness
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Improved relationships
  • Improved communication skills
  • Improved life/work balance

Companies with coaches have said they have at least made their investment back (86%) on a professional coach and 99% of companies say they are somewhat or very satisfied with their overall coaching experience. Fast Company has said of coaching: “Coaching is product development and you’re the product.”

Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a coach:

  1. Professional Qualifications

What certification and training does the coach have? There are many who consider themselves to be “coaches” but have no credentialing or certification, and no, or limited training. Someone may have great experience in industries that lend to caring assistance, but the training, and continuing education provided to professional coaches translates into a long-term investment into the client’s life. ICF is the only internationally recognized credentialing organization for coaches. It is well-worth looking for a coach that carries active credentials (ACC, PCC, MCC) with ICF, and is an active member of ICF. Through a coach’s active relationship with ICF, there is professional training, continued education, professional mastermind groups, chapter affiliations, and so many resources that will advance a coach’s skill and professional relationship with their client. There are many other organizations that provider certifications, but the ICF credential is a premium hallmark of a coach with experience, training, and continued education.

  1. Coaching Style

Every coach has their own unique style—no matter their training or credential. A client must be comfortable with the coach’s style, and the only way this is determined is by participating in a coaching session. Most coaches will provide a free initial session in which the coaching relationship is established. Getting to know the coach and his/her style is important. Understanding the coach’s philosophy of coaching, and understanding the coaching agreement will also help the client understand how the coach will approach the partnership. Remember, professional coaching is a partnership—not consulting. A great coach will ask the hard questions, and reflect back to the client, the hard topics to facilitate the most beneficial opportunity for growth. It is also good to know if the coach does in-person sessions, virtual sessions, or both.

  1. Background

Each coach will have a unique background which will influence their style and experience. Is it required to have a coach that shares the same industry background or niche in which a potential client operates? No. If a coach is effective, he/she will be able to coach a client no matter the background differences; however, a coach with a similar industry or niche background will have an expertise and experience they bring to the coaching partnership which may prove beneficial. For example, if the client is a director for a non-profit organization, having a coach with background in non-profit coaching or the non-profit niche could be additionally beneficial.

  1. Connection

Ultimately, a client needs to have a good energy and connection with the coach. This is developed through trust and the coach’s empathy; however, if a client finds it hard to connect, it will be a challenge to grow through the partnership. When a client feels the relationship is not a good connection, it is important to address it with the coach. A continued disconnect or not having a good initial session connection, may mean it is time to search for another coach or speak to the coach about the concern.

  1. Goals

What is the desired outcome of coaching? Every good client has a specific goal to be accomplished through the coaching partnership. Whether developing a personal growth plan, improving business relationships, increasing communication skills, or becoming a better salesperson—the desired outcome should be clearly established with the coach. A great coach will keep that overall goal continually in view as each session is developed. At the end of the coaching relationship, the client will see great steps in the journey of achieving that goal.

A great client is looking for personal growth and is committed to change. The path ahead may seem dimly lit and personal goals may be on life support; however, the ideal client understands and is committed to achieving and succeeding in becoming their future self.


6 Steps to Making Your Bucket List Come True

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Bucket lists of what we want to do in life are fun to make, but they are rarely accomplished. Here are six steps to making a bucket list you can achieve in your lifetime.

Step 1: Write down everything you’ve ever wanted to do in life. Now is not the time to censor the list. Even if something is impossible, write it down. There are three types of things you’ll have on your list.

Experiences: These are things you want to experience in your lifetime. You might want to go on a safari in Africa or see the Grand Canyon. You might have always wanted to parachute out of an airplane or see a ballet.

Goals: Goals are things you want to accomplish in your life. You might want to become a published author or learn to knit. Whatever your goals are, write them down.

Milestones: Milestones are stepping stones to larger goals. A goal might be becoming a published author, and a milestone might be to finish writing a novel.

Step 2: Look through the list and cross out the things that are impossible. It’s important to understand the difference between impossible and improbable while you’re doing this.

Impossible is an out of shape eighty-year-old woman who has never been rock climbing to climb Mount Everest. Improbable is a forty-year-old woman who has never been rock climbing to climb Mount Baker in Washington State, a mountain that beginning climbers use to improve their skills.

Don’t let lack of money or resources keep you from crossing out anything. Lack of resources make something improbable, but there is always a chance the resources will come from unexpected sources.

A word of caution – if God has put in your heart to do something impossible, leave it on the list. With God, all things are possible.

Step 3: Circle anything on the list that is very important to you. It might be important for you to travel to Paris, but going to Hawaii isn’t that big of a deal. If this is the case, circle Paris.

Step 4: Narrow down your list to three items, and draw stars beside those items. These items are the things that you wouldn’t feel good about unless you accomplished them in your lifetime. Make sure you don’t only circle goals. You might want to circle one item in each category.

Step 5: This is where you brainstorm. What would you have to do to fulfill these three things on your bucket list.

One or two of them might be easy. If you want to see Paris, and you have the money, all you have to do is plan the trip. Write down everything you need to do to plan the trip.

Others might be more difficult. If Paris is on your bucket list and you have no way to afford it, brainstorm about ideas to make money or determine how much you would have to save out of each paycheck to be able to make the trip.

If you have circled a milestone, write beside it what larger goal you’re going after. That milestone will get you closer to your goal.

If you have circled a goal, it may take time to accomplish it. Write down the milestones you need to get done first.

Step 6: This is the most important part. Write down what you need to do to accomplish your goal or milestone. Break it up into small increments. Then schedule these items on your calendar or daily to do list. For instance, if you are out of shape and want to run a marathon, walking a mile every day or going to the gym three times a week might be your first step.

Before you know, you’ll be able to concentrate on three more items on your bucket list.

A Season to Not Forget

by Carole Brown

During this season, most of us are blest beyond measure, if not in wealth, then in many other ways. Christmas is over, and the new year is rapidly approaching. Let us resolve in our hearts to remember then forge ahead to better things. Let us not forget:


  • The lessons we’ve learned in 2016. Many of us have endured hard times, seemingly hopeless times, and discouragement. But through every mile or inch of it, we, as children of God, learned–again–that God did not forsake us. That he had our backs. That we were made stronger by trusting God, by clinging to his promises and believing all things work together for our good. Hard lessons sometimes? Yes, but valuable and strengthening!



  • Let us  not forget to be true to our values. Regardless of what is being taught today–being your own god, do what feels good, etc.–manners, beliefs and values never go out of style. Kindness, charity, forgiveness, loyalty, faithfulness; these are important items that should always be popular, if not by the majority, then by those who wish to step a little higher, be a better person.


  • Let us not forget to be positive. In all things, look for the good side. In stressful times, try to step back, take a deep breath or a few minutes to relax and think about what truly is important, then begin again. If we fail by speaking harshly or out-of-turn, then do our best to ask forgiveness and resolve to guard our tongues in the future. For every situation, look for the good in it. For every event, resolve to benefit from it. 


  • Let us not forget to look Up! Our redemption draws near as every day passes, and Christ will soon return. Keep your eyes fixed on the skies. WE don’t know the hour nor the day, but it will happen, and we need to be ready and waiting on his return.

Many wonderful blessings wished for you in 2017!

How Big is YOUR Fish?

by Carole Brown

“My Fish was this big. Honest!”

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead,
either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin
What kind of mundane life do you live?
One that flows along with no huge rocks to steer around?
One that avoids any shallows where your boat may get stuck?
Or the rapids where’s there’s a danger around every bend?
Or do you seek every day to find another reason to explore the excitement of living?
Do you gather good and bad things in your life
and those around you as fodder for your writing?
Is life too tame for you?
Do you run toward new adventures with arms wide open?
How big is YOUR fish?
Are all your aims and actions geared toward
what you believe is the right direction–for you?
Can you honestly say you’re doing things worth writing about?