28 Day Writing Challenge – Day 17: Shish Kabob & Cover

Hello everyone! This is day 17 of the 28-day writing challenge. I just wanted to give you a report of what I got done today.

Day 17 vlog

Shish Kabob

I want to talk about the shish kebab. Typically, it’s a skewer with alternating pieces of meat and vegetables or fruit on it and you roast it. When it comes to writing, the things that you have done up to this point, getting the main facts of your book down, serve as the meat. Then the alternating vegetables or fruit come in to spice things up.

Shish kabob your book
Shish kabob your book

So how does that apply to your revisions of your original draft? Well, the vegetables or fruit would be something like interest factors that you would put in. You might want to put in some humorous items or include stories that may not have already come to mind. So I’m beginning to work on that.

Section by Section

I worked on the first 30 pages of the book. The idea is to spend three days on each section of the book, refining it over and over as you go.

When you do that, you will be doing the first section the first day, the second day you will be doing the first section, and the next section, and so forth and it will compound as you go along.

Perk up your book with stories or humor
Now is the time to add items of interest

So the next day you will be working on the first section and the second section and the third section. On the fourth day the first section will drop off and you will keep adding a section a day as you’re working at it.

I’m planning on doing 30 pages a day so that means that within six days I will have gone over and edited those parts of the book.

Cover Design

The other thing I did today was research ideas for book covers. One of the things that have been suggested by many writing coaches is to go to Amazon and look at some of the best-selling books in your category. So I went to the best-sellers list in some of my categories using some keywords and tried to come up with two or three ideas. I’m going to give those to my graphic designer who also happens to be my assistant. She did a good job on the last book so I’m going to let her give us some suggestions as to ideas for this book cover.

Thinking about the cover design.
Thinking about the cover design

Reworking the Title

I also need to come up with a catchier title. “Valuing Your Spouse” is indeed what the book is about. But I need to come up with something that grabs attention better than that. The subtitle will still be comprehensive is about

So that’s what’s going on. This is day 17. If you’re working on your book, I hope it’s coming along well for you. If you would like to make some comments here or in the different places where the videos or blogs are posted, it would be very helpful.

The best place is if you go to CCS Book Encouragers and put all your comments in there. I’ve been trying to get all these videos compiled there and I think I have been successful with that up to this point.

You also can go to Rumble and subscribe to my channel. There you’ll be able to see all the videos. With the exception of weekend sermons put in between the daily videos, the 28-Day Writing Challenge videos are in order fairly well.

I also have a channel on YouTube that some of you may be subscribed to. The videos are all there, as well.

Well, I hope you have a good day and I will see you again tomorrow. Remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 16: All Chapters Transferred

Hello, everyone, this is day 16 of the 28-day writing challenge. I’m excited about today because I put down the last of the blog post that I was going to use as a foundation for this book.

Day 16 vlog.


There were actually six different blog posts that I combined to make three chapters. So I had the four chapters from my original book, three chapters that are composed of blog posts, and eight new chapters that I’ve written during this process. So I’ve come up with 16 chapters.

Page Count

Extra pages mean more room for edits
Extra pages mean more room for edits.

My original goal was to get at least 125 pages. Looking at the document, I see that I have 217 pages at the moment. Now that may sound bad, but it isn’t. A 200-page document is really good; that’s an average size book.

What’s really good about this number of pages is I’m going back through it and I will be able to cut out a lot of things and not worry about the length. I’ll be able to tighten the wording and make it flow better. So that’s exciting.

Next Steps

Making progress
Making progress

Here I am on day 16. Can you write a book in 28 days or less? Well, I wrote one in 16 days. Although technically I’m not quite there because my definition of writing a book is to do the rough draft and a first-round edit on it. So I will go ahead and do the first round edit, but I have almost two extra weeks to do some extra editing and polishing.

I’m going to have to come up with a book cover as well, which I’m going to start working on tomorrow. Today I had to go to work to make up for a day I missed last week, but I’m glad to report that I’ve done I have a rough draft of the book. So that’s pretty exciting.

It can be done. Remember: YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 15: Cloud Convert

cloud convert has proved to be very useful

Welcome, everyone, to day 15 of the 28-day writing challenge. I want to report to you what has been taking place, and to tell you about some new software that I found that has been very helpful.

As you know, I had mentioned that in writing this new book I had a few chapters from a previous book that I wanted to put into this new one. I found the file on an older computer as a PDF file. I tried to send it to the computer that I’m using now. The other computer had an older version of Windows on it that is no longer supported so I was not able to send the file.

Switching it Over

I had an external hard drive, and I plugged it in I got the file put on the external hard drive, came back and put it on my computer. I have Libre Office on my computer. When it opend the file, it opened in Libre Office Draw. In other words, it was just a series of pictures that I could not edit.

reformatting files
Reformatting files

Then I was able to export it as a PDF file and save it on my computer as a PDF instead of an odf. (If you use Libre Office, you’ll know what I’m talking about.) I did I search on how to convert PDF files to Word documents in Libre Office.

Cloud Convert

The first result that came up was a YouTube video about Cloud Convert. It’s free software.

You can convert up to 25 files a day. So I went there, I found the PDF file on my computer, and I clicked on convert. It gave me the choice of doc or docx among other things, so I saved it as a docx file. It worked, and it happened really quickly!

Cloud Convert is a useful tool.
I recommend Cloud Convert

So now I have a new docx file on my computer of the whole book that I had before. I was able to copy and paste from the chapters that I had in the book over into Libre Office. So I’m happy to report that. So I was able to add in four chapters from the earlier book.

I got chapters 15 and 16 completed as well.

The Blog Entries

I had original plans for three more chapters to be put in from previous posts from my blog. So I went to my blog, went to the “marriage” tab, and found the post I wanted to add to the book. It was one about humility. I have been able to copy it and format it. I clicked on the whole document and clicked “default paragraph style” and the program went through and formatted it really well because what I copied over at a different style. So I was really excited about that.

Now all of the new chapters that I planned are completed, the four chapters from the original book are put in, and one blog post. I just need to put in two more, and that will complete the book. tell you a little bit more when we do that,

We’re on day 15! Within the next few days, I have a bit of a challenge. Because of the snow last week, I’m going to have to go into a couple jobs at an extra day this week to be able to make up for the work missed last week. That’s going to take some extra time but I can still work an hour and a half a day and I think that will help.

So I have two more chapters to get copied, pasted, and formatted. I can either plan on getting both of them done tomorrow, depending on formatting issues, or at least the other one by Wednesday. That will mean the entire book will be completed.

I’ll have a couple of extra chapters, like an introduction and conclusion and some things like that. But the book will be done and then I’ll move into the editing process.

Getting to Editing Early!

Normally I wouldn’t be done until day 24, so by being done this early in the process, I can do some of the editing that I ususally do in the second month if I were to do the traditional route of publishing.

You can follow along with me as I go through that process. Again, you can go www.randysblogs.com and click on the “marriage” tab and you can see some of the blog posts that I’ll be adding into the book

Have you started your book? I hope you have. Maybe you’ve been keeping up with me. Maybe you have anywhere from 10 to 15 chapters done. If you do that’s great.

Valuable information inside.
Valuable information inside!

If not, and you’d like to learn more about this process, you can follow this link and get “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” Until the end of the week, (today is 2/7/2022) both the print version and the Kindle version are half-price. I encourage you to take advantage of that deal.

I hope you have a good day and remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 14: New Combination of Typing & Dictation

Welcome, everyone to day 14 of the 28-day writing challenge. I want to tell you about a new combination technique that I actually started using today, and I like it very much.

Day 14 vlog

You know we have been talking about doing things in five-minute writing segments. Well, I have discovered that with the dictation many times you can get as many words in a three-minute dictation segment as you can in a five-minute typing segment.

Start off with typing
Start off with typing.

Typing vs Talking

When you are typing, there is a different process that goes on. Sometimes when you’re typing, you feel like you do better. Your brain sorts through words and by the time you get to typing a word, you come up with something a little bit more refined than you do by just speaking off the top of your head.

I sometimes feel like typing works better for me in a five-minute writing segment than to be speaking in a three-minute writing segment.

However, today I experimented with something that I like even better. So how it works is I have a question, you know, from the blueprint. I have the three trigger words that can trigger the answer to those questions. That’s not the new part of the techniques that I use.

How I Did It

To implement the new technique, I did something that is a combination of both. Basically, I set the timer for one minute and I type for that one minute. Then when the timer goes off, I set it for three minutes. Then I hit CTRL+D on my computer and that activates the dictation program, and then I begin to dictate. I have found that works very well for me.

Do the dictation next.
Do the dictation next.

Starting off typing kicks a different way of doing things and it sorts through and does a little bit of that self-editing before I start, then I’m on a roll. I’ve found that when I then do the three minutes of dictation, it seems to flow better. It seems to be a little easier getting started on each of the writing segments.

So doing it this way, these are four-minute writing segments and I have enjoyed it very much.

Not Quite Caught Up Yet

I mentioned yesterday that I might be able to get through chapter 16 done today. Well unless I do some more before midnight, I’m not going to finish that. But I did do chapter 14 and I got about two-thirds of the way through chapter 15 as of the video. I may finish chapter 15 before the night is over with, I don’t know.

We are halfway to our goal!
Halfway to our goal!

This weekend is the opportunity for catching up. I’m going to put forth a real concerted effort to have chapter 16 completed by tomorrow at the very latest. I also want to be able to paste in those earlier seven chapters that already have the content for. I’m very confident that I will have the entire rough draft of the book tomorrow.

So that will be catch-up day after day 14 of the 28-day writing challenge. I like that because it’s going to allow me to spend about 10 days doing what I would normally do after having the rough draft done as far as doing editing.

So after next week, I’ll give you the opportunity to be a part of my launch team. We’ll talk more about that when it comes up.

But anyway, there is the new technique: you set the timer for one minute and type, and then set the timer for three minutes and do the dictation.. I found that that works very well and I like it very much for being able to get a rough draft done.

I hope you have a good day and until next time, remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 13: Remaining Chapter Writing Plans & Set-Ups for Headings & Subheadings

There's a lot involved in getting a book published.

Welcome everyone to day 13 of the 28-day writing challenge. I want to report on my progress today. I decided to change course just a little bit.

Day 13 vlog.

You may recall from yesterday, one of the things I had gotten done was create mind maps for the remaining chapters. Today, I have fleshed out more of those writing plans for the three remaining chapters, which are chapters 14, 15, and 16. I then went into the document and I put in headings and subheadings for all three of those chapters. I may write some more today, but I’m not sure.


I really think that by the end of the day tomorrow, unless something unforeseen comes up, I will be caught up and all the new chapters will have been rough drafted. I really think that that’s going to come about.

Steps to getting that book written.
Steps to getting it done.

Then, if my copying and pasting go well, I may have those first seven chapters put in. If not, I will get that done Monday.

Ahead of Schedule

But I want to remind you that tomorrow will be day 14, which will be halfway through the writing challenge, and I will have the rough draft done by then.

Normally I would finish that on day 24 and use the remaining four days to do the editing, so I’m going to have a lot more time for editing. I’ll get my regular first-round edits done next week, which would be through day 19. Then I’ll just get to do more and more polishing.

Next Steps

I will start thinking about having a book launch and a launch team to help me do that. I will also start working on a cover.

Writing a book involves more than just writing.
Writing a book involves more than just writing.

I was really pleased with the last cover that I had made and I’m going to see if Katrina Richmond (my assistant) will give me some ideas again. Hers were so good, I just picked it out last time. I might get some more to look at too as we do it this time but we will just see how it works out.

Anyway, that’s all for today. I hope you’re doing well. Remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 12: New Chapter and Remaining Mind Maps

Hello everyone. It is day 12 of the 28-day writing challenge. I am glad you’re joining me. I want to report on the activities of the day.

Day 12 vlog.

Chapter 13

Today, I did get chapter 13 done. Some of you may be wondering why it was taking me so long to complete chapter 13. Basically, it was based on a book that was giving me new information, so it’s having to take some time to digest some of the material from that book.

How is your book progressing?
Are you making progress?

More than likely the book you’re writing will be similar to the rest of my book; information that just comes out of my own experience, background, and study. I have plenty of information. It was just a matter of organizing that information.

Chapter 13 was completely new material to me, While it is very similar to some of the principles that I had studied before, some of the material was new so I wanted to get a better grasp on it before I moved on.

The Importance of Chapter Plans

I did get that chapter plan done. The nice thing is once the plan is done, the writing of the rough draft in the free flow stage becomes much easier. So I just set my timer for five minutes and I wrote nine sections of material in 45 minutes and I got that done.

Since this chapter took me two days longer than usual, I’m playing catch up. But I had already sketched out the number of chapters that were remaining. They started out with chapter eight and ended up with chapter 16. As I mentioned, I just finished chapter 13.

Mind Maps

What I did was come up with a mind map for the remaining three chapters. Those mind maps will be the foundation for the writing plan. It’s not the complete writing plan but it will give me the nine to 12 items that I would want. that and so,

Example of a mind map.
Sample mind map

A mind map is just cartoon bubbles that start with a topic in the middle and related topics coming out to the side. You can see mine in the video above. So out of what I had been planning to do from the beginning, I was able to come up with a mindmap for these chapters. It was relatively easy for me.

Now tomorrow I’ll go ahead and flesh those out to where I have a list of questions and a list of trigger words or phrases that will remind me of the answers to those questions. Then I will just finish writing the book and those five minutes segments.

Extra Help is Available

Writing is fun. My last book is called “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” The key is to get the book plan. Once you have that then the rest of it is fun and easy. Of course, it will not be the final result but you will have something tangible and you will know that you can finish the book.

This book has valuable information.
Valuable information

I’ll spend the rest of the month polishing.

Another thing that I need to do now is to start to consider what I want to cover to look like. That’s something else that I’ll be working on. and so I will be working on

If you haven’t already, you might want to go to Amazon and pick up the book, “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death.” Right now, (2/2/2022) the book is half-price for both the Kindle version and the paperback version. So just click on the link above and check it out!

if you’d like more writing tips, you can go to my blog.

This has been day 12 of the 28-day writing challenge. I hope you’re having a good day. Until next time, I want you to remember YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge-Day 11: More Work on Chapter 13

Welcome everyone to day 11 of the 28-day writing challenge. Today I was called into work. There’s a place where I do some part-time on-call work, so my time today was taken up was more than usual, which happens sometimes.

Day 11 vlog

My time writing today was spent doing more work on the blueprint and the writing plan for chapter 13. I have taken longer on the writing plan for this chapter than usual, so it seems like getting behind.

Actually, I’m just something that I would normally do more of later; after the initial rough draft was done. I do feel that I will be able to get caught up again.

Back and Forth

This seems to be a pattern here. I get a day behind and then get caught up; although now I’m probably a day and a half behind on the writing goals. But on the planning goals, I’m doing well, so I’m confident that I will get caught up again.

There's always time to get caught up.
Don’t get discouraged if you fall behind.

I think that I might have the rough draft of the new chapters for this book done by Thursday. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Then after that, I will put in my older material for chapters one through seven. I may decide to rearrange the order of chapters later, we’ll see.

But that’s pretty exciting! By Thursday, I would have written up to chapter 16, which is the last chapter that I have planned for the book. Then Friday, and perhaps the next writing day, which would be Monday- day 15, I would have all those previous chapters copied over into the new document.

What is a Book?

To be clear, my definition of a “book” in this case is the rough draft and the first round of editing done. After that, it is just however much more polishing you want to do to keep making your book better. But by this point (the 28 days), you have an adequate book. In many cases, you have an excellent book and one that perhaps is ready to be published.

You can write a book!
You can write a book!

So anyway, after day 15 I have another 13 days to be able to work more on this book and to keep polishing it and keep planning some things, At some point, I need to start working on a cover, and I will let you follow me along in that process.

Well, it’s always good to talk with you. I hope that you have a good day. Remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 10: Headings & Subheadings

Welcome to day ten of the 28-day writing challenge: Headings and subheadings Today I am working on blueprinting chapter 13 and creating headings and subheadings.

Day 10 Vlog

Today I was writing on something that I had purchased a book for and I hadn’t read the whole book. I was looking through it to refresh my thoughts on what I was talking about, and it has some interesting thoughts in it. So I spent some time doing that.

Generating Interest

Then I came up with headings and subheadings. I spent more time on that than I usually would in a rough draft. I was trying to come up with what I think would be headings that might create some curiosity as to what I’m going to be writing about.

Headings & subheadings can grab attention
Use headings & subheadings to generate interest

What I’ve been doing: up until this point I generally had nine items that I wrote about, and later on, I would put the headings and subheadings between those.

Another way of doing it is to start with the headings and subheadings and that’s what I have started on today.

An Example from My Writing

The title of this chapter is “Valuing Your Spouse Brings Victory Over Fear and Shame: How Every Couple Can Improve Their Marriage Without Talking About It.” Hopefully, that will create some interest.

Heading One: Wives Are In For a Big Surprise When Husbands Apply the Valuing Technique
Subheading One: The Wife’s Secret Fear of Being Alone
Subheading Two: Overcome Mistakes That Contribute to Your Wife’s Fear- Secrets Every Husband Should Discover
Subheading Three: How Being Valued Combats Your Wife’s Fear-The Survival Guide Every Husband Needs
Heading Two: Husbands Are In For A Big Surprise When Wives Apply the Valuing Technique.
Subheading One: The Husband’s Secret Fear of the Shame of Failure.
Heading Two: Overcome Mistakes That Contribute to Your Husband’s Fear of Failure and Shame-Secrets Every Wife Should Discover
Subheading Three: How Being Valued Combats Your Husband’s Fear of Failure and Shame-The Survival Guide Ever Wife Needs
Heading Three: This New Improve-Your-Marriage-Without-Talking-About-It Technique is Almost Too Good To Be True
Subheading One: New Discoveries in How Connectedness Beats Communication.
Subheading Two: Reflections On the Problem of Trying to Improve Your Marriage by Talking
Subheading Three: Secrets to Improving Your Marriage in Four and A Half Minutes A Day

Take time to write every day.
Take time to write daily

Something Different for Today

I don’t just have a rough draft of those like I normally would, I did spend some time on them. Later on I’ll do that for the other chapters that I’ve done, but I just changed things up today. So I haven’t gotten this chapter written yet. But that’s my start on chapter 13.

I hope you have a great day or a great evening. whatever time it is that you see this. Remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 9

Welcome everyone to day nine of the 28-day writing challenge. Over the course of 28 days, I’m writing another book. If you are writing a book yourself, maybe you’re following along with me and you are performing some of the daily tasks yourself. If not, you may just be wanting to see how I’m doing on this journey. I am trying to write a book in 28 days or less, without stressing myself to death. So far I’m succeeding at doing that, although a couple days it started to get a little bit stressful.

Day 9 Vlog

But today, I am happy to report to you that I am caught up! When I was talking to you last, I may have been a little bit mixed up but maybe I was caught up then. Or maybe I wrote another chapter after I got through talking with you. I don’t really remember which way it was. All I know is that today, I am caught up.

I’m making progress.

The only thing is I don’t have the next chapter blueprinted ahead of time, but I am caught up in the writing goals for this week. So I’m excited about that.

More About the Software

I told you yesterday that I was experimenting with using LilySpeech and LibreOffice. I am still really happy with those two pieces of software. The amazing thing is that they are both free. And they have such high quality so I’m quite excited about that.

I was having to get used to dictating again, that process is different than using your fingers to do the writing. So today I’ve come upon a solution. I found out that I could get the same number of words in three minutes of speaking as I could in five minutes of typing. That was good.

After some experimenting, the dictation is working out great.
The dictation is working out very well.

However, it was a little bit difficult. I found myself pausing a lot, and I wasn’t happy with how that was working. So I figured out that I was doing the dictation within three minutes.

So I tried another experiment. I set the timer for two minutes and practiced what I wanted to talk about. When the two minutes were up. I added another minute to the timer, set it again, and then I actually did the dictation. That worked much better and it was much smoother. I think there will be less editing in the future. Right now, the software is serving me very well and I’m quite pleased with it. (Bonus, I’m not getting carpal tunnel from doing all of that typing.)


Since I was doing some of my typing tonight after regular business hours and I wanted to spend some time with my wife, I did two five-minute segments and then I would take a break. I walked around the house trying to get my 10,000 steps in for the day. I’d go to about 500 steps, and then sit down and try to find a piece of a puzzle that my wife and I are working on. Most of the time I was successful but not always.

Mini breaks can help keep you on track.
Take mini-breaks.

This has been great. It was a way to write a book without stressing myself to death.

Well, I hope you have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday. That will be for day ten of the 28-day writing challenge. I hope you’re enjoying watching the struggles and joys. Thankfully, there have been more joys than struggles so far. Remember, YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!

28-Day Writing Challenge – Day 8

Welcome everyone to day eight of the 28-day writing challenge. Today I’m talking about Libre Office and Lily speech and about getting nearly caught up.

Day 8 Vlog

Today I was able to finish chapters nine and 10 and that’s getting me nearly caught up, I think; at least I’m not further behind. I also blueprinted ahead with chapter 11, so I should be ready to go with that.


I want to tell you about two types of very useful free software. One of them is called LibreOffice. I got a new Dell computer(Optiplex 7010) for Christmas and it has an online version of Microsoft Word. I wasn’t happy with it because it is always saving it to OneDrive, and I had my files organized in other places. So I thought I would download LibreOffice. I did some research on it and I found out that it is made by the same company as openoffice.org which I liked in the past.

A great free alternative to Microsoft Word.
An alternative to Word

Now I have LibreOffice and so far I’m enjoying it just as well as my previous desktop version of Microsoft Word. The word processing program in LibreOffice is called “writer.”

Lily Speech

I also found another piece of free software that is called LilySpeech. I plugged in a microphone and headset, and I’m able to speak my book.

One of the things that’s mentioned in “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” is speaking your book. In that instance, I was referring to having your book transcribed, but this is a great alternative!

I am pleasantly surprised by LilySpeech’s accuracy. It claims to have 95% accuracy, and I would just subjectively say that that’s pretty close.

I have to get used to dictating again, which I have done in the past. I have previously used a very well-known program called Dragon Naturally Speaking and it is a very good voice-to-text program. But I am quite impressed with this free software.

Try dictating your book. It can save time.
Dictating your book can save time

My computer has a Windows-based operating system. I don’t believe LilySpeech is compatible with a Mac. But considering it is free it’s amazing.

So anyway, I’ve done that and did the last chapter that I mentioned, chapter ten, and I did that using the software, I already had the headset and microphone because I had used that for Dragon Naturally Speaking in the past.

In fact, I am able to set my timer for three minutes instead of five minutes now. That’s how quickly you can talk and the LilySpeech can recognize it. In the past, some software t would not recognize the speech fast enough to make it as worthwhile as this is. This program is really worthwhile.

I highly recommend that to you, especially if you get writer’s cramp easily.

In Summary

So those are my recommendations when thinking about writing a book and talking about investing in that software. Although, it’s free so the investment is zero…as long as whatever you’re downloading doesn’t mess up your computer files.

You can write a book!
You can reach your goals.

Anyway, that is day eight of the 28-day writing challenge I hope that you remember that YOU CAN WRITE A BOOK!