On Writing

Update on My 100-book Goal

When you smile because it’s Monday

So, I told you guys a few months ago about this pretty intense writing challenge I’m doing (read about it here), and I’d like to give you an update.

Date Started: Friday 18 January 2019

Date Ended (temporarily): Monday 5th August 2019

Number of books written: 22 (There’s a list near the end of this post)

What I was doing

I was writing (using dictation) for 3 hours a day each morning. My target was (and still is) to be awake by 4.15am. Sometimes I was up well before then. (My 2am days were awesome). But sometimes it could be as late as 6am.

I did not like my 6am days because it meant I wasn’t done with my writing by the time I woke my kids up at 7.30, which meant I had to finish after getting home from taking them to school, which was usually after 8.30. I very much despise writing after 9am.

Once school was out for the summer it actually made things easier as if I had a 6am day, I didn’t have to take a break to do the school run.

Things I didn’t anticipate

Image result for shocked emojiHow draining it would be

Even though it was only three hours I was getting ALOT done. I was averaging 10,000 words in 3 hours and finishing books in like ten days (sometimes more, sometimes less). I was practically giddy from that level of productivity but it was pretty hard to do anything else the rest of the day. Really hard. However, I did get better as time went on.

I needed more detailed book outlines 

They say there are two types of writer:

Plotters need to plan books out before they write.

Pantsers just start writing and see where their words take them.

I am 100% a plotter. I cannot write without an outline, without first knowing what the whole story will be about.

I didn’t think of the fact that if I’m taking only ten days to write a book I have only ten days to also plan and outline the next book so that I can immediately jump into writing it without any break in writing.

One of my book outlines was up to 45,000 words (82 pages) long. This was for a pretty long book of course. My outlines never used to be quite this long and detailed before I started this writing challenge, as I wrote whenever I liked and wasn’t consistent. But I found that in order to really be consistent and be able to keep writing without suffering writers’ block I needed to put more time and effort into planning.

I began to use most of the rest of my day, after writing, to plot new books. But I found that the more I demanded of myself, the more I had to do things that feed my creativity. Which leads me to the next thing I didn’t anticipate.

Ideas in = ideas out

I quickly realized that if I’m going to keep drawing from my creative well, I need to replenish it. I realized that I needed to read more, consume more ideas, and let them spark my creativity. I made reading and watching movies part of my ‘work day’. It was essential.

Something else that helped me massively was continually learning about storytelling/story structure and PRAYING specifically about my work. I don’t just want to bang out books. I want them to be amazing and life-changing.

Why I did it

Obviously, I did this challenge because I have this goal of having 100 books to my name by the time I’m 40 (19 January 2025!!!).

But that isn’t the real reason. The honest truth is that I have so many reasons, but I’ll just share two of them with you.

Image result for too many ideas1. I have so many book ideas

I literally have hundreds of book ideas in a spreadsheet on my laptop. I realized that I was never going to write them all at the pace I was writing at. The thought of reaching the end of my life and still having all these book ideas in me unwritten is pretty sad to me.

2. This is how I worship.

Image result for worshipIt’s my day to day purpose. It’s one of the reasons God put me here. I was created to do this so I ought to do it. Whenever I’ve not been focused on writing I’ve felt out of alignment with what God wants me to do and my purpose in life.

The 22 books I wrote between 18 January and 5 August are:

  1. Irredeemable (Saints and Sinners 4)
  2. Curveball (Saints and Sinners 5)
  3. Justice (Saints and Sinners 6)
  4. Untitled (Salem – The Lincolns 10)
  5. The Magician (Xy –  Lincolns 11)
  6. The Televangelist (Hades – The Lincolns 12)
  7. The Red Robe (Jared – The Lincolns 13)
  8. Crystal 10
  9. Crystal 11
  10. Crystal 12
  11. Crystal 13
  12. Crystal 14
  13. Crystal 15
  14. Crystal 16
  15. Crystal 17
  16. Crystal 18
  17. Crystal 19
  18. Crystal 20
  19. The Fall 1*
  20. The Fall 2
  21. The Fall 3
  22. The Fall 4

*The Fall series is about about the youngest Carter brother, Levi Carter. Hudson Carter’s story is told in my Paradise Lost series and Colby Carter’s in my Saints and Sinners series.

What I’m doing now

I haven’t hit book 100 yet. With the 22 I’ve written this year I’m on book 68, so 32 left to go. But I’ve decided to stop and plot out the remaining 32 books. I’ve given myself a target of taking 2 to 3 days per book plot. I want to finish plotting them all by the end of this year. Then I can get back to writing 10,000 words a day again until I’m done. If all goes to plan I could be done by the end of 2020. That thought makes me giddy 🙂

So, right now half my day is spent plotting and the other half is spent editing so I might be able to publish one or two books before the end of this year. I’m thinking the next Saints and Sinners book and the next Lincoln book (Salem’s) 🙂

So that’s where I’m at right now.

I’m interested: Do you have any goals you’re working on or that you’d like to work on? I love hearing about what other people are doing or want to do someday. I don’t think we talk about such things enough. Tell me about it in the comments below 🙂 😍 😘 

On Writing Personal Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Update: Why I haven’t been publishing anything.

Dear Highly Valued Reader,

Since I wrapped up my Crystal series back in 2016, I’ve been promising a season 2. Alas, I got side-tracked by other ideas and other series.

But I knew it was time to start writing more Crystal books when snippets of banter between Alejandro and Max kept popping into my mind!!!

To make this happen, I decided to hibernate and focus on finishing the two series that I was midway through (Saints and Sinners & The Lincolns). I’ve been pretty quiet since I released Unholy Ground (Saints and Sinners 3) back in January. That’s because I’ve been doing just that: hibernating and writing NONSTOP.

Need proof? The books I’ve written so far this year are:

  1. Irredeemable (Saints and Sinners 4)
  2. Curveball (Saints and Sinners 5)
  3. Justice (Saints and Sinners 6)
  4. Untitled (The Lincolns 10) – Salem Lincoln (it isn’t really untitled but if I mention the title you’ll all guess what’s wrong with him 😃)
  5. The Magician (The Lincolns 11) – Xy Lincoln
  6. The Televangelist (The Lincolns 12) – Hades Lincoln
  7. The Red Robe (The Lincolns 13) – Jared Lincoln
  8. Prophecy (Crystal 10)
  9. Untitled (Crystal 11)
  10. Untitled (Crystal 12)

Currently writing: Untitled (Crystal 13)

Please note: all titles listed are tentative.

You may be wondering how I’ve managed to write that many books this year. Well, I’ve been writing like I’m on drugs. My husband has been sniffing my breath just to make sure I’m sober, ha ha. But guess what? I’m LOVING this level of productivity.

However, writing so fast is hard work. It means I have to plot books in intricate detail so that writing is mindless and I don’t have to stop to think. I have to have each scene outlined and I have to know exactly where the book is going. It also means that in my spare time I’m reading lots of other books as reading awesome literature keeps me fresh and sparks my own creativity. I’m also watching movies, reading books/listening to podcasts about story-structure and storytelling devices/techniques, and other things that only obsessed storytellers bother with.

It also means trying to edit and publish isn’t realistic 😭😭😭

I’ve been trying to edit ‘Untitled’ (Salem’s book) and I’m about 60% through the first edit (2 more rounds of editing to go) and it’s affecting my writing.

Image result for wonder womanI initially thought I’d be able to edit/publish while writing this fast but I always think I’m Wonder Woman. I’m not.

Besides being an author, I’m also supposed to be a wife and a mother to two kids that I should really spend time with. Also, praying and reading my bible are habits that I just have to keep up. I can’t negotiate on that. I’m waking up at 4am each morning as it is. (5.30am is the absolute latest I can allow) or I won’t get everything done that I need to.

Creativity takes time. But don’t feel sorry for me, guys. I’m enjoying this so much. It’s my calling and it energizes rather than drains me. My goal is to publish 100 books before age 40. I’m in my early thirties and decided in January, when I had my birthday, that I don’t have to let this drag out until I’m forty. I’m a motivational video/personal development junkie and I heard a quote that you should take your 10-year goal and see what you can do to achieve it in 6 months!!! I cannot hit book 100 in 6 months. But I could possibly hit it by this time next year. I’m currently writing my 57th book so 43 left. Woohoo!!! 💃💃💃

I gave myself this ‘100 books by 40’ goal because I currently have 180 books on my ‘to be written’ list. The thought of getting to the end of my life and not writing them all troubles me. But I’ve decided that if I can write 100 of them, that’ll be pretty cool.

Really Sorry…

Image result for pleadingSoo…I’m asking for your forgiveness if you’re one of the people who has emailed me this year to ask when my next book will be out and I told you it’ll be out in the summer. It won’t. At the moment I’m thinking it’ll be next year. But who knows, I could burn out within a few months and decide to stop writing and start editing/publishing, or I might stay focused and make it to book 100 by this time next year (that’s the target).

If you’re thinking that writing that many books in twelve months is crazy. It is. But it’s not as crazy as you think if you consider the fact that I’m dictating the books (not typing. Typing forty-something books before now has pretty much ruined my wrists). I’m also a full-time author so this is my ‘day job’. Also, none of these books will be the finished article by any stretch of the imagination. Each one of them is a very messy first draft that I will need to later mold into something readable, and they will each have to go through three rounds of editing (It’ll probably take me like five years to actually publish them all). I’m literally just blitzing out my first drafts since the mood to do so has taken me.

Stay in Touch

Image result for stay in touchAnyhow, I need your prayers. Also, I invite you to email me whenever you want and keep me accountable, check on my progress, ask me what book I’m currently writing and how it’s going. I will happily tell you.

If you’ve been dying to know what’s wrong with Salem, let me know and I’ll tell you. It isn’t really a spoiler as the book focuses more on how he gets his freedom, rather than on his problem.

If you’re not on my mailing list, whyever not? Sign up here so that you’ll know the minute I publish a new book. I honestly can’t wait to share all these books I’m writing with you!!!

You’re always on my mind as I write.

In closing, here’s a quick encouragement from me: If you have a goal. Go for it. Even if it means single-minded focus for a season. Even if other people don’t get it and think you’re obsessed (#DedicatedNotObsessed). If you have lots of goals and don’t know which one to focus on first, I encourage you to pick out the goal that will make it easier for you to achieve all your other goals and go after it with so much savage tenacity that people think you’re on drugs 😂😂😂

Thanks for listening and for patiently accepting that I won’t be publishing any books this year (😀😀😀). You’re the best.

Dayo xx

Christian Living Crystal Series On Writing , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Crystal Series: Writing about Jesus, God and Angels


I’ve just hit publish on Legacy (Crystal 9), which is very exciting. It’ll be out by tomorrow. I’m feeling particularly happy and grateful 🙂 You guys have been so amazing. I really didn’t expect the support that the Crystal series has received. This is my final post for the Legacy launch, and what better way to finish than with a discussion about our great and awesome God?

When I first started the Crystal series, I didn’t know that Jesus, God and angels were going to be in it. Neither did I know that God was going to work in me personally in so many awesome ways. I’d like to take you behind the scenes, so step into my office for a moment and let’s talk. Okay, so I don’t actually have an office as of the time I’m writing this. I write in my living room. My husband kindly bought a desk and chair and set it in the second half of the room (it’s a pretty big living room). Please ignore all the toys on the floor, and sorry about how hot the room is. My mum says I roast myself. My husband says I barbecue myself. I just like to be nice and warm. (I don’t know why the saying goes ‘the best thing since sliced bread’. It should be ‘the best thing since central heating’ as heating is my favourite invention; apart from laptops, internet and Indie publishing—but I digress).

So, take a seat in my chair. Don’t worry I’ll just sit on my daughter’s toy car 🙂 Cup of tea? Coffee? Comfortable? Okay, so…

Jesus in Powerful Enemies

I was actually a little reluctant to have Jesus as an on-screen character in Powerful Enemies. I felt kind’a like it might be wrong of me to put Him in a book alongside fictional characters. Another issue I had was ‘what if I don’t do Him justice?’ What if I write Him into a scene but it doesn’t fill readers with any awe? I didn’t want to just toss Him in there just to have Him in the mix, I wanted to get a reaction. I wanted my Jesus scene to be like an artist’s impression, with me as the artist giving you my take on Him. I wanted my interpretation of Him to fill people with awe, illustrate His love and goodness and majesty, and make people love Him more. Obviously, I got over these issues and just went for it. Believe me, my heart was in my mouth as I wrote that scene. The reason I thought it was necessary was, the book is called Powerful Enemies, and every single one of us has powerful enemies (the devil and all his agents) but we have no reason to be afraid because we have a Powerful Friend. Powerful Enemies could have been called Powerful Friend to be honest, but that doesn’t sound as dramatic, ha ha.

Jesus is an expression of God’s love (God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus). So, I wanted the whole scene to illustrate Jesus’ love. That’s why I had Him appear to Luke, who is pretty much the most evil person in the book. Yet, he is the one Jesus appears to. Not Crystal, not Pastor Dan, not any of the Christians. It’s easy to love your friends, but Jesus said ‘love your enemies’ so I wanted to show Him loving an enemy. I wanted to show Him seeking a lost soul. By the way, we were all His enemies when He died for us. And He knew that despite Him dying for us, many of us would still reject Him and never become His friends. But He died in our place anyway. Isn’t He awesome?

God in Legacy

In Legacy, God the Father is an on-screen character. That was particularly awesome to write. It was so different to writing about Jesus, because I wrote about Jesus from Luke’s POV. Not from Jesus’ own POV. In Legacy I write from God’s own POV. I had to resist the urge to use ‘thou’ and ‘thy’. It was so cool. When my friend read it, she texted me to say how moved she was at reading that scene. She’s one of my closest friends so I take her opinion seriously and I know she would never just try to flatter me. So mission accomplished. At least I know it had the desired impact on one person :-). I used Isaiah 6 as my guide for that scene. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also present. I was also careful about using ‘I’ preferring ‘we’ and ‘us’ because that was how God spoke in the Creation account and at the Tower of Babel, although there are many other instances in the Bible where He uses ‘I.’

Angel’s POV in Legacy

I was a little worried about writing about angels in Powerful Enemies, but not as worried as I was about writing about Jesus. By Legacy I was totally cool with it. In Legacy, I write from an Angel’s POV, which was a little more challenging than I thought it would be. I read about Daniel’s encounters with angels and tried to base things from that angle. It was fun.


Friends, if you want to go deeper with God I totally recommend writing to you as a means to that end 🙂 (not that there’s ever an end since God is infinite). Writing is cathartic, it encourages introspection, and it makes you dig deep into your own beliefs. I have learned so much through writing the Crystal series. God has taught me a lot about Himself, and He’s challenged me about being real. Not just going to church on Sundays and spouting clichés to my Christian friends. What’s the point of having the form but not the power, being religious but not righteous, or saying I’m a Christian but taking God for granted? I really don’t want to be like that.

I don’t like watching the news because the horrific things going on in this world are disturbing and so depressing. But the news is just a snippet of all the horrors and atrocities. However, God doesn’t get a snippet. He sees it all. Remember Genesis 6 where it says God looked down on the earth and was grieved? Well I would like Him to be happy when He sees me. I want to be like Noah. Faithful, living right, putting a smile on God’s face. Not being a hypocrite or just drifting through life or, God forbid, being part of the problem. Writing the Crystal series has made me think about my attitude to God. Do I love Him no matter what? Do I stand up for Him and refuse to compromise? Is my life a witness? Do I influence others for Him? It’s made me think about what God thinks of me. Is He happy when He looks at me? Am I living out His love?

The Crystal series also made me put the devil in his place, so to speak. I made his human followers very powerful in the Crystal series. Maybe more powerful than they are in real life. But that was because I wanted to show that it doesn’t matter how powerful the devil and his people are. Even the ‘smallest’ of Christians has authority over them, because God is greater.

So, thank you for your support with the Crystal series. I often pray for those who read it to experience God. I definitely experienced God while writing it. I’m much better at worshipping Him now than I used to be. And I’m more conscious of His presence around me (I don’t know if Christians really do have fire around them but I used fire as God’s stamp upon His people in the Crystal series–who knows, maybe we do). I hope you are too.

Whatever am I going to write next???

God bless 🙂

Crystal Series On Writing Upcoming Book , , , , , ,

Crystal Box Set on Sale/Writing Update

Crystal Box Set JPEGHi Guys,

The box set of the first three books in the Crystal Series just went on sale at 99 cents/pence. If you haven’t started the series yet this is your chance to try it at little cost to you.

By the way, I’m so grateful to all my readers because I released Allies (Crystal 4) last week and it hit number one in its category and stayed there for three days. I was over the moon. I felt like my name had changed to Karen Kingsbury or something. Right is the picture of when it had the cool bestseller tag on it on Amazon. It’s gone Allies no 1now, as it only says that while the book is number one. Not forever, sadly. The book needs reviews though so if you enjoyed it please do me a favour and review it. If you haven’t read it yet and would like a review copy email me at dayo.benson@ymail.com.

Anyway, I’m on a major high right now because I finished writing the final book of the Crystal Series, Legacy (Crystal 9), last week Wednesday. I’m so happy that the series is all written. Now, I have to do the hard work of editing, looking at structure, consistency of characterization throughout the series, etc. But I’m glad I decided to get all the books written before releasing them all, rather than writing them and releasing as I went along. Before I released Searchlight (Crystal 1) I had already written Surrender (Crystal 2) and Insurrection (Crystal 3). I would recommend this method to any writer. Get the whole series written before you publish the books. There were things I didn’t see coming, and because I have only published books 1-4 I can still go back and amend previous books. But if I had been publishing each book as I wrote them, it would have been almost disastrous. For a trilogy it won’t matter so much, but for a nine book series, it does matter.

cookiesI had white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies as a treat for finishing another book. Honestly, you need to get yourself down to Subway and try them. Life changing! They’re only nice if they’re fresh, though.

You can see that I am motivated by unhealthy goodies 🙂

I’m planning to write a few novellas to support the series and fill in some gaps, and I might also write a few books about Juda’s background, so when I finish those I will be well and truly done with Crystal and her comrades and I’ll get myself a nice big reward, like a meal out with my hubs or a spa day, or something. Maybe both 🙂

Anyway, for those of you who have already read Allies and are eagerly awaiting the next installment of the series, Delirium (Crystal 5) should be out in June. Sign up for my mailing list Here so that you’ll get an email as soon as it comes out. I’ll do a cover reveal soon.

Ciao for now x

Crystal Series On Writing Upcoming Book , , , , ,

Stay Calm/Smile Anyway

Hey guys,

I’ve been busting my butt to get Allies (Crystal 4) ready for publication on 1st of May, and guess what? It still hasn’t been returned by my editor. But you know what? I refuse to go into panic mode. In fact, I’m feeling pretty calm, and I’m smiling–although that may have something to do with the fact that I’m eating Duck Vermicelli from my favourite Chinese Restaurant.

I’m actually feeling all compassionate towards this editor. Who knows, she might have had some kind of tragedy, or she might be unwell, or she might just hate my book so much that she really can’t make herself read and edit it. I have been an editor myself, and sometimes still take on editing work so I know how hard it is, and how tedious it can be. So, honestly, I’m feeling compassionate.

Image result for not stressedAnd I’m not going to stress because if I miss the deadline, at least I’ll know never to tell people what my publication date is anymore.

When I get a book back from an editor, I go through each change they have made one at a time and review it, deciding whether to accept it or reject it. This is a painstaking process and takes a while. I then read the whole book. Doing these two things can easily take two weeks, but these days I limit myself to a week at most, and three days at least. I need the book back by tomorrow (Saturday). If I don’t get it tomorrow, only God knows when it’ll get published.

You know what, the more I think about this the more I’m glad I have my Duck Vermicelli to comfort me.

Please pray for my editor to respond.

Thanks xx

Christian Living Desiring God On Writing Personal , , , , , ,

Putting God First

number_1_godBecause writing is such a time consuming thing to do, I do it every spare moment I get. I have tight (self-inflicted) deadlines this year. I wasn’t going to share what I’m trying to do, but I’ve decided to just say. A book a month. That’s what 2015 is about. Whether I publish a book a month or not is another matter, but I just want to write a book a month.

Anyway, with that kind of schedule I have to push a lot of other things out of my life, but I have to be careful not to push out important things. Something that helped me is not writing on Sundays. I didn’t think this would help, but it was just an idea I had a few weeks ago. I decided that having a day to recuperate each week would be helpful. I figured I’d give it a try and see how it goes, so for a few weeks I’ve not written on Sunday. Instead I’ve spent the time that I would have spent writing praying.

You won’t believe how much this has helped me. I’m the kind of person that finds it hard to get back on track if I take a break, but I’ve been totally fine. In fact, after spending Sunday in prayer, including praying about my word count goals for the week, I’ve surpassed my goals.

I don’t want to be a spoiled Christian, so I didn’t go into it saying, ‘God if I give Sundays to You, then You have to do this or do that.’ I guess it would have been fine to do that, but I didn’t want to ask for anything in return. I don’t feel like the time I spend with Him on weekdays is really *quality* time, so I wanted to give Him Sundays out of love, out of wanting to be with Him because He’s awesome. So I went into it saying, “God I want to just spend quality time with You whether it helps or harms my word count.” I didn’t even want to care about my word count. But, guess what? I wrote a book in two weeks when I started setting Sunday aside for God.

I’m sure I will write on some Sundays in future, but I’m in the process of letting God change my plans if He wills. If I write a book a month and stray away from God because I’m not spending time with Him, that will be no good. I’d rather spend time with God and not meet my goal. As a Christian author it’s so important to me that I stay connected to God so that I please Him with my writing, and so that we’re just tight.

Life is so busy these days. When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was busy but my time was mine to spend as I pleased so I could plan my day without having anyone else to consider. I could pray, write, study, and sleep when I wanted. Now, time for morning prayers has to be balanced with the time it takes to get kids dressed and fed. Evening prayers have to be balanced with a husband that wants to tell me about his day. Writing used to come after God. Now it comes after God, the husband, and the kids.

But that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Have you ever struggled with putting God first?

On Writing Personal , ,


Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life – Steve Jobs.

This morning I finished writing Unrest (Crystal 5). I managed it in two weeks and two days, although I initially gave myself a deadline of 28th February. I have literally been writing early in the morning and at every spare moment. This morning I asked myself why. Seriously, where does this drive come from? People have all kinds of passions. For some people it’s music, or art, or sports, or acting. But where does the passion come from? What compels us to do it?

Nobody has to tell me to write. I’m completely self motivated and I could do it all day, every day. My husband was talking to a friend last week lamenting about how he didn’t get any work done in the house because of our kids. His friend asked how I manage to write with the kids around, and my husband said ‘my wife can write even if there’s a hurricane tearing the house to bits.’ It made me laugh, but it wasn’t far from the truth. I’d probably hold on to my laptop and let the hurricane take the rest of my possessions.

The only explanation I can give for the overwhelming drive that motivates us and pushes us to do the things we love is that God builds it into us. I feel like writing is as much a part of me as anything else in my make up. God wires us all up for something.

When I was younger my parents tried to get me into science so that I could get a good science job ‘when I grow up’. I studied the sciences in school and did molecular biology with genetics at university, but it was a tug of war. Each day was a struggle. I got to a point where I actually became depressed. I felt like I was drifting. I hated it. To cope I would take a notebook to university with me and write stories while everyone else was taking notes about Nucleic Acids and Ribonuclease.

It wasn’t my passion. I was a square peg in a round hole. Just as you are if you’re making yourself do something you don’t want to do. Yes, we need to be responsible and sometimes we have to do things we don’t enjoy. But if all you do is things you don’t enjoy, you’re wasting your time. Like the Steve Jobs quote above says, your time is limited. Don’t waste it. Use it for what God created you to do.

God has given everyone a passion. Dig deep and explore yours. Writing novels takes time. It means I don’t have time to watch TV. I have to weigh up everything I do. I can write 1500 to 2000 words in an hour, so if I have the option of doing activity A for an hour I weigh it. Would I rather do activity A or add 2000 words to my work in progress? It might sound boring, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s what happens when your passion takes over.

God has a unique purpose for each of us. We just need to find it.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

P.S. Happy Valentines Day!

On Writing Personal , ,

Happy 2015!

2015For some reason I’m really excited about 2015. I’m not quite sure why. I just like 2015 and feel like it’s going to be a great year 🙂

I’ve been thinking about my resolutions and what I want to achieve this year, and as usual I have so many things. I’m pretty private about my goals. I know some authors will write about all their goals on their blogs, but just the thought of doing that gives me chills. I will share a few of my goals though. Not just writing related ones.


Last year, I didn’t do so well. Because I’ve been going to church for as long as I can remember, and I made my personal decision for God when I was nineteen, a day doesn’t pass when I don’t pray in some form. But I also set time aside to have more focused prayer. Last year I had a rough time in the first quarter of the year, even ending up in hospital in March, and after that I got stuck in a rut where my praying was more daily adhoc prayers rather than dedicated time. I felt horrible about this when I was taking stock a few weeks ago. I have to get back on track this year because prayer really is my sustenance. Occasionally I would set a day apart and tell my husband I’m praying, but still, it wasn’t good enough. I think daily dedicated time is best for me.

God is so faithful. He still inspires me even when I haven’t been faithful to Him or given Him priority in my life.


I’m the kind of person who likes to set aside large chunks of time to write. On a Monday and a Tuesday I can write for about eight hours each day. On a Saturday I can probably snatch four hours to myself to write while my husband and my eldest daughter go for the evangelism programme at church (I stay home with our youngest). This year, I’m going to try to write for two hours every day. The reason for this is, if something comes up on one of my heavy writing days I lose all that time and my word count for the week suffers. Also, it’s hard to stay in the ‘flow’ if I’m having a writing binge at the beginning of the week, then not writing again until Saturday. If I just write two hours a day, there’s no need for a binge, and I figure I can write almost a full book each month if I stick to two hours a day. (Although I love my eight hour writing sessions).

So, there are two of my goals. I have more spiritual and writing goals, as well as marriage/family goals and workout/diet goals. I’m not trying to lose weight (I just want to make that clear in case my mum or dad read this, ha ha. Mum thinks I’m too skinny). I’m just trying to be healthy because I eat too much junk i.e. sweets. I’m trying to stick to water and healthy snacks this year. I’m trying to be a good example on this for my kids too. I can’t really tell Rhema off for always eating sweets if she knows I keep a stash of mentos, chewits, haribos and lollipops 🙂

I also have a big birthday coming up this month so I’m evaluating my life and where I’m at. A few months ago I was dreading this birthday, but I’ve come to terms with it now and I’m looking forward to it. Partly because the husband and I have some cool plans. I’ll try to get Insurrection (Crystal 3) published this month. I’ll do a cover reveal soon.

What are your goals for 2015?

Dayo xx

On Writing ,

What l learned from reading a book that I hate!!!

ImageGod has numerous ways of helping us learn certain lessons. Around this time last year I downloaded a book to my Kindle that I’d been eyeing for a while. For me, each Kindle purchase is a struggle because I already have hundreds of books on my Kindle that I haven’t read. But this book looked really good and it had all these five star reviews.

Anyway, the book started off really slowly and was just all over the place but I thought ‘let’s give it a chance to get good.’ I thought I just needed some patience, but what I really needed was to just throw the book away because it got so bad I wish I could just delete it from my memory! Seriously it was that bad. The main character cheats on her husband, which I saw coming, but it was so ridiculous. They could have worked their problems out but it’s like the author had decided that she needed to cheat. The author tried to make the couple’s situation seem desperate but it just didn’t work. There was nothing desperate about their situation. The husband was unreasonable but so was the wife. And the description of the man that the wife cheated with was supposed to be oh so sexy but it was so ridiculous that I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or grab a pen and scribble the words out. But I was reading on Kindle so I couldn’t scribble them out. I had to accept them and move on.

I don’t want to give too much away because I don’t want anyone to ever guess which book I’m talking about as I hate to slam a fellow author’s book. Especially a Christian book. But something terrible happens to the husband and we’re supposed to still hate him anyway because he’d been seeing a white woman. Like the fact that she was white was the unpardonable sin. Seriously, I just felt sorry for the man.

The book was just a horrid mess and had a horrid message. A year later I’m still thinking about what a horrendous experience it was to read such a horrendous mess. And guess what, God taught me so much. I used to get all sensitive about people not loving my books and giving them negative reviews, but after reading a book that angered me I understand. Seriously, if someone hates any of my books, I understand. And I now accept the negative feedback. If one of my books hurts someone the way this awful book hurt me, then the reader is sooooo entitled to their feelings and yes, rant, let it out, I understand how you feel. I’m sorry you had to endure my book if it made you feel the way this book made me feel. That’s why there are millions of writers out there. God has given so many people the ability to write so that everybody will be able to find a book that they enjoy.

I was convinced that all the five star reviews for this awful book were fake, but I felt God telling me off about that. Just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there who loved it.

I’ve never disliked a book so much that I wanted to delete it from my memory, lol. I’m so glad this happened to me. It made me put myself in the shoes of my readers. And it made me mature as a writer.