pencils and flower

I’m almost half-way through writing the book.

(Just between us I cannot even believe I just typed that sentence).

It took me a couple of weeks to figure out a writing system, but once I did everything got so much easier.

Here’s my book writing system.

Are you ready?

craft room before and after

The system that works for me starts with me sitting at the computer.

For me, the computer has to be in the same place at the same desk without any noise around and the same candle burning and a bottle of flavored water next to me at all times.

Then I sit in that spot until I write about 1000 words.  I close the computer, blow out the candle, drink the rest of the water and tell myself I’m amazing.

The next day I repeat the entire process (with a different flavor of bottled water) all over again.


Except I throw out about 821 of yesterday’s words and polish up some new ones.

At first I was trying to write super author-like.  I would try to use big words and long, flowery phrases and sprinkle my sentences with similes and metaphors.

But everything sounded stale.

So I started fresh and pretended like all of you were sitting next to me and I was waving my hands and laughing and giggling and telling story after story.

One right after the other.

And then?  Everything clicked.

wood sign

Yesterday, I was sitting at the gatehouse about to write word 999, when one of the twins opened the door and strolled in.

“What are you doing, Mom?” she asked me.

I held up a finger, closed my eyes to keep my concentration, typed word 1000 and closed the computer.

happy pillow

“I just finished a chapter that’s due today,” I told her. “I have to turn it in and I’m late.”

She glanced across the table at me with laughing eyes and said, “You are just like me.”

And then she grinned and told me, “I put the PRO in procrastination.”

I almost spit out my sip of bottled water and literally threw my head back and laughed out loud.

“You are so funny,” I told her.  “How did you think that up?”

“Oh, Mom,” she said as she rolled her eyes.

“I didn’t think it up.  I didn’t have to.” she laughed.  “It’s one of my brilliant sayings I got off Pinterest.”

Of course.

Pinterest.  I know it well.

It’s where a procrastinator like me spends hours pinning….

….when they should be writing a book. 🙂

Anita Cedar Hill Farmhouse

PS  Thanks so much for all the sweet words about our dining al fresco post (and yes, one should always remove the silk off the corn before we grill it and you learn something new every day). 🙂

Be sure and stop by Cedar Hill Farmhouse tomorrow to see her outdoor dining post.

Happy day rock star. 🙂

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Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Oh my goodness! First of all, writing a book...I couldn't even, but yours will be ah-mazing! I love your stories!! Then your sweet girl - haha. "Put the Pro into procrastination". Yep, that's me too. (Pinterest, guilty). And wonderful photos like always. Now, I've procrastinated long enough. Time to get going on my day! Have a great one! Hugs, Cecilia

  2. Image for Charma Charma

    What a great system! Boundaries with a purpose. I write a blog post, sit and stare at it for a while and then erase the whole thing. It's always better the second time around. That's a song, right? I can't wait to read your book. I'm cheering you on every 1000 words. You go girl, Charma

  3. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    HAHAHA.... I was wondering how many folks would comment about your silks. Silly readers. The silks were just added texture. As in textural.... As in every room needs...... oh you get the idea.

  4. Image for Sue Sondker Sue Sondker

    I hope all of your thoughts in your book are just like your everyday conversations with all of us. You don't know how many hearts you heal with your words! Hugs

  5. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, I knew there was a reason we are friends!! I love that I am also a PRO at procrastinating!! Such a positive description for the story of my life. Deadlines are always the best motivator for great work and endings!! and YES! I have reproduced a duplicate of that methodology, too... Off to start working on my presentation for tomorrow! Hahaha

  6. Image for Debbie Nolker Debbie Nolker

    Good morning Karianne Soooooooooo glad that the book is coming along. With deadlines so that maybe for Christmas this year I will have the coolest gift for my friend. OR maybe by June so that I will have the best birthday present ever. Seriously you are a born writer and your words are a gift. Debbie

  7. Image for Michele Michele

    The apples don't fall far from the tree - that is so something YOU would say. You are the bona fide Original Rock Star! Hugs! Keep it going! Whoo hoo! ♥♥♥

  8. Image for Terri Terri

    Awesome... !!! That you are about to be a published author!!! Awesome how you determined your strategy ... !! Awesome that you are sharing all this with US!!!!! lololol.... If you write the book the way you write this blog, WELLLL.. I'm just predicting you will have a best seller on your hands!!!!!! :) (PS: Like Mother, Like Daughter!) :)

  9. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I know this is personal and I shouldn't really ask it, but since we're friends I'm hoping that you will. Okay! Here goes. At your desk, when you're concentrating really hard. Boy!! This is difficult. I need to know, I mean I'd really like to know, what flavored water helps you write the best :-) There I asked!! I hope that wasn't too presumptuous of me. Yay!!! for you and almost getting your book done. Do you know that when I'm writing and I'm having a difficult time expressing something I think, "How would KariAnne say it?" You are such an inspiring storyteller. Have a sun-filled day Rock Star!

  10. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Your storytelling is stellar...I chuckle each morning (at my desk at work..shhh..don't tell) when I read your post...keep out will be great!

  11. Image for Pat Pat

    You make my day and I think there is a bit of PRO in all of us at some point in our day!☺ I love the last photo of your post today....wish I could just sit there and procrastinate all morning! Have an awesome day!

  12. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Yes....we are right there by your can always channel your readers. Love the pro in procrastination....I'm a pro too! ;)

  13. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I have all these time-related phrases swimming around in my head that my older family members used to toss out once in a while. You know, things like, "It's better to wear out than rust out," "A stitch in time saves nine," "Make hay while the sun shines,"...and so many others. But my favorite is, "Procrastination is the thief of time." Yes, it's my favorite. But I don't always put it to practice. Like your sweet daughter, I put the 'pro' in procrastination. Usually because I'm stuck on this awful little tidbit of wisdom, "If you can't do it right, don't do it at all." Who's to say what's 'right' in writing?! I love, love, love your idea of writing as though you're telling a story to friends! You've connected with so many people and brightened so many lives because of the way you write this wonderful blog of yours. The best way you can tell your story is the way you've been telling it to us. We're right there with you, Sister, with our own bottle of flavored water, eager to soak up every word.

  14. Image for Nan, Odessa, DE Nan, Odessa, DE

    Your daughter taught us all something today. Your family is fun. Making memories that is more important than any book. Waiting for this book!

  15. Image for Carole @ Garden Up Green Carole @ Garden Up Green

    This was really helpful - Huge - I'm a PRO - crastinator. Last week I started a new writing project and life just seems to be getting in the way. This I like, instead of setting a time you did a word count. Brilliant!!! Thanks so much because the time thing just isn't working..

  16. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    Way to go! Finding a system is the best thing to do and we wouldn't want to read a book filled with fancy sentences. It wouldn't sound like you. If you haven't figured it out by now, YOU are the reason everyone comes back day after day to read this beautiful blog. Now, go get a sweet tea and put your feet up, look around at that incredible porch, and Pin something great. Nancy

  17. Image for Michelle Mortensen Michelle Mortensen

    When you publish the book, I am BUYING it! You make me laugh more consistently than old Seinfeld reruns - and that's saying something! Now, I am off to DMV (I have been PROcrastinating going to get my Driver's License renewal. UGH!). Best and Bisous, Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

  18. Image for Kris Kris

    So many comments ... first--I'm glad you are using your authentic author's voice--it has worked for you on your blog--why wouldn't it work for you in your book? We all love you for your authentic personality. Let it shine! Secondly ... I am swooning over your last picture with the blue wagon. But I'm not breaking any Commandments. No envy or jealousy here. Nopey nope. Thirdly ... for some reason, my cat LOVES the silk from corn on the cob. Seriously. I have to lock up fresh corn cobs when I buy them to keep him from nibbling away at them. Maybe I could send him your way. ;)

  19. Image for Susan Susan

    That is a winning system you have there, KariAnne, and it is obviously working amazingly well for you! I'm just sooooooo excited to hear you have gotten so far with your book! As far as your writing style goes, as long as you are being yourself, everything is going to turn out Rock Star wonderful! hehe...your daughter's aside made me LOL literally...brava!

  20. Image for Mary Mary

    Routines are so important and helpful in getting things accomplished.....for me anyway! Love hearing yours.......keep up the good work, you are an inspiration!!!

  21. Image for Loryl Fisher Loryl Fisher

    I too am a procrastinator and love that saying from Pinterest! I'm in awe of you writing everyday! Can't wait to read that book. Just know it will be amazing. Just discovered that the quilt shop in the next town carries your fabrics! That may be dangerous!!!!

  22. Image for Connie Connie are just the cutest! I really enjoy the way you write (and decorate). Your blog always makes me smile! I cannot wait for your book!!!

  23. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne, you already know how much I look forward to seeing this book of yours......what you don't know is, I really LOVE that wagon....sigh. Rock on, Miz Star!

  24. Image for Ellen Ellen

    So very HAPPY that your book is progressing to publication! Use whatever system works for you- but, don't change your amazing style of story telling because you can't improve upon the best. Love the photos and that blue wagon is going to be copied for sure. I've worked very hard at taking the "PRO" out of procrastination with limited success, a work in progress. Thank-you for another delightful post. Now put on more red lipstick and grab another bottle of flavored water on the way to the computer. P.S. My family grills the corn with the husks on and it comes out silk-free.

  25. Image for Zolane Zolane

    I know your book's going to be great and I can hardly wait to see/read it!!! I am so happy for you, KariAnne:) And I hope it has LOTS of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Image for sara sara

    OH MY KARIANNE!! You've just inspired me in the most wonderful and tangible way my friend!! I was asked by my sweet (and brilliant!!) friend months ago to write a paper on the healing power of foods and herbals . You see, she's a rock star holistic doctor with an amazing practice and wanted this info because I've been able to reverse and recover from a ridiculous laundry list of problems/issues/pains and it was ALL so annoying!! I'm 57 and have a bundle of the most precious and adorable grchildren that I wanted to hang with for many years to I started talking to our wonderful and amazing and faithful God about all these things and He showed me the way (of course!) And now, thanks to you my internet friend, I've been given a new confidence and deep desire to write and tweek and write some more! I can't wait to start! YOU ARE A BLESSING beyond measure my "friend in my head" and please do : add me to the PRO in procrastinator list! So FUNNY !! What would we do without our daughters...? (I've got two, 27 and 29, both my best friends now and they just keep reproducing!! #7 on the way... LOVE IT!!) All God's blessings for you and your precious family XO

  27. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    You are my favorite! And I am deliriously proud of you for sticking to your writing plan. And for digging around until you found it. When you're all done, you're gonna look over your shoulder and see that you swam across an ocean a 1000 words at a time. The Other Marian

  28. Image for Rosalie McCreary Rosalie McCreary

    Out of the mouths of babes! (By way of Pinterest). All the comments today certainly expressed my feelings! Have a great rest of your day, Karianne! Rock on!!!!

  29. Image for Judy Judy

    You are a doll, your unique way of writing is what brought me to your blog and what keeps me reading every day. I have never met you but can tell you are one special lady. Just be you!

  30. Image for Jennifer Ross Jennifer Ross

    The best things to read are those written in that authentic writer voice. I'm looking forward to your book. Happy day! P.S. Where did you get that adorable blue wagon?

  31. Image for Alyssa Alyssa

    I love this! Thank you so much for inspiring me. I read your How to start your own blog article and I was able to start my very own...I called it atinywarrior! I am writing a book as well. And I too keep procrastinating and getting on pinterest instead! lol thank you very much for inspiring me!

  32. Image for Lisa at celebrate creativity Lisa at celebrate creativity

    Karianne, I'm so thrilled about your book project. I know it's going to be a wonderful addition to my personal library and I can't wait to add to your book sales. It's fun to read about your process too. Good luck with the next chapter and have a great weekend.

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