Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Resolution or a Promise? ~Happy New Year - 2010~

The PromiseImage by vandan desai via Flickr

The promise of a new beginning, a new hope, a new dream. That is what the New year brings to each and everyone of us. Most of us make resolutions that never see the light of day. Or we may give it a heartfelt try, however, by January 15th, our firm decision has crumbled. I know, this isn't news. We've all been there and we all know about losing the "conviction of our resolve". I am going to try something different this year. Instead of New Year "resolutions", I am making New Year "promises". I have always worked much harder at keeping a promise than I ever have at keeping a resolution. I'm not sure why that is, but it may have something to do with the fact that a resolution is something we decide to do for ourselves and is, almost always, expected to be broken. A promise, however, is something we make to another and in doing so, becomes more important. Well, this year I am making myself that important "other" and making promises to me.

I would love to make a promise to bring world peace, feed every starving child out there, and give every homeless person a warm and safe place to live. If I thought I could accomplish those things, well.....maybe next year! But, for this year I have two important promises to make to......me. :-)

The first promise to myself is to take care of my health and this means dropping the excess weight. So, paying more attention to proper nutrition (which may mean giving up my comfort food), starting a consistent walking program (which will give me less time on the internet) and consistency in both are key. I know, it doesn't sound like much fun, but will be worth it in the long run.

The second promise is to spend more time on my writing. I want 2010 to be full of short stories, poetry, and the two novels, of which I have the first drafts completed. My goal is to have one or both of my novels ready for submission by the Spring of 2010 or at the very latest, Summer of 2010. Now, this does sound like a whole lot of fun.

Well there, I said it publicly. How could I possibly not keep my word to myself with the whole world watching. OK! Maybe, not the whole world, but my twitter friends and family, who are the whole world to me.:-)

Wish me luck and let me know what "promises" you've made for the New Year!













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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas to My Twitter Friends

happy christmas everybody!Image by allerleirau via Flickr

I had no idea what Twitter would do for me as an aspiring writer. Soon, though, I found out how welcoming the writing community can be. It was last June or July, (can't remember which) that I began tweeting about my aspirations as a writer. I have met so many wonderful people who share the love of writing and reading and feel that a whole new world has opened up to me.

Something I have always wanted to do and believed that I could do has become a reality. I am now a writer. I have very much work to do in perfecting this craft of writing. I am no where near the writer I would like to be, but I can see the possibilities now, because of my dear Twitter friends. I have never met a more supportive group in my lifetime.

@writingspirit @markdavidgerson @Wisneski @mdemuth @Donna_Carrick @Alex_Carrick @KCBOOKS @AuthorGabrielle @MichaelHyatt @PublishingGuru @RachelleGardner @johannaharness @janineShepherd @gtakamiya @LisaCollierCool @joe_roy @GargoylePhan @MissBeckala @jennienash @AnnArmbrecht @KMWeiland @heidi_stryker @Le_Shack @JaneFriedman @ClaraGillow @kbairokeeffe @christinerose @JodiCleghorn @Ghunibee @kuhlcat @groovymystery @jmstro @Doublelattemama @lauraeno @jonpinnock @Wendell_Howe @dlschubert @smilingwriter @DHeiliman @David_N_Wilson @inkyelbows @thewritermama @Peevish_Penman @lkblackburne @alisonwells @DebraMarrs @BooksByTara @TonyNoland @thehrgoddess @brianrathbone @righter1 @KristanHite @bradshorr @ireadiwrite @merylkevans @DavinaH @WriteSuzanne @JodiWhisenhunt @amysorrells @triciagoyer @AntSteele @Boolawoola @nixdesk @hank_phillippi @whenwelisten @joannayoung @MichaelPokocky @FlowerDust @SuzInIL @CafeNirvana @rightnowcoach @Trishryan @Veroniqque @CynLeitichSmith @bethlayne @MyleneDressler @recreate @Toltecjohn @louiejerome @Derek_Haines @EmApocalyptic @frostdevereaux @Annemazer @CyberDivaVA @rkuang @storyladies @CliveM @VarietyPages @jimsissy @JoeFinder @JohnBOlson @echogarrett @AnneTylerLord @techtigger.

These past six months, you have all touched my life in some way, directly or indirectly. Whether by an article or writing tip or life tip, or just inspirational words that you managed to put in 140 characters. One of you, (you know who you are) even gave me the opportunity to have one of my story's published on his site, www.jimwisneski.com, in a 12 Days of Christmas project on his Writers n' Writers site. And, then, there were those of you, who just made me smile. If I have forgotten to mention anyone, please know that this is my failing, not yours. If we have touched hearts, even for a second, you mean the world to me.

I want to acknowledge each and every one of you and say thank you to all.
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!
And because of who I am, (and though it may not be politically correct) I must say
Merry Christmas!



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Friday, November 27, 2009

I'll Miss You, NaNoWriMo!

I can't wait until next year! Yes, I said it, I can't wait until next year.
When I began the NaNo journey, I had no idea what I was in for. 50,000 words in 30 days. 1667 words a day. How hard can it be?

Well, all I can say is that the people who have have full time careers or are stay-at-home Moms (which is also a full time career), and actually finish NaNoWriMo, are the real heroes. Congrats! to all of you. This is definitely an endeavor, of which to be proud.

Now, that it is over, I am hoping to make sense out of the first draft of my novel and mold it into something that I would be proud to submit to an agent and/or publisher. Or even to self-publish, whatever the case may be. This experience has given me the confidence to work even harder to accomplish my dream of being a novelist.

I must say 'thank you' to my family, who understood what I was trying to accomplish and steered clear of me this month of November, for the most part. :-) My twitter NaNo friends, who were so supportive and helpful with writing tips and inspiration, I thank you.

How many of you will be signing up for the April Script Frenzy? Oops! Maybe, I should let the fingertips heal up a bit, before I ask that question.

If you have a minute, please post some of your NaNo nightmares.
Thank you, my friends,
Cynthia

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meet Mr. Gobble Gobble!

He became my backyard pet. He strolled up one day and has been visiting just about every day, since.
My grandchildren named him Mr. Gobble Gobble. (Go figure) Thanksgiving is and always has been, one of my very favorite holidays. For many reasons, including the scrumptious traditional Thanksgiving meal I cannot, however, eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day if it is presented in it's full form, any longer.

We love you, Mr. Gobble Gobble!

Let's give thanks for the things we have and not dwell on what we may had to give up these past few tumultuous years.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

So Close, But Still So Far..............

I was really beginning to scare myself, wondering how I would ever finish NaNoWriMo. I actually spent five days where I didn't write at all. (Family emergency, but everything going well, now) Falling so far behind, I was sure I would have to give up. Now, that isn't something that sits well with me. My pride gets in the way. I can handle rejection and still persevere, but when I lose, because of my own doing, because I threw in the towel. No, No, that's not happening.
I am still a 1000 words or so behind, and may fall behind again on Thanksgiving Day. However, I am determined to finish; and finish, I will.
This wonderful post from Rochelle Melander, the Write Now! Coach, and my self- determination will take me across the finish line. Thank you, Rochelle!

Pay Yourself First
by Rochelle Melander

You have to pay yourself first. You can’t let other things get in your way.
—James O’Shaughnessy


Nine days and less than 15,000 words away from finishing my first National Novel Writing Month Challenge, I woke startled. In the passion of the race, I had totally forgotten about two editing projects that I needed to finish by the end of the month. And, oh yeah, there was Thanksgiving thrown in there, too. How would I write 15,000 words and edit nearly 40,000 more words in a single week? I sighed, shrugged off the covers, and slunk downstairs for coffee.

Then I remembered the famous financial wisdom that I’d been repeating to writing and life coaching clients for years: “Pay yourself first.” Financial gurus encourage us to sock away a bit of money in savings and retirement accounts before paying the bills. The only way I would succeed at National Novel Writing Month was to follow this wise advice: pay myself first. I would need to give my first or best moments of each day to writing.

The poet William Stafford was known to be an early morning writer. He would write each day between 4 and 7 AM, when the world was quiet. Stafford's daughter Barbara once spoke about getting up early, too, to spend time with her father. The poet did not discourage her but got up earlier and earlier to preserve his writing time. Stafford said this about his morning practice in his essay, A Way of Writing:

When I write, I like to have an interval before me when I am not likely to be interrupted. For me, this means usually the early morning, before others are awake. I get pen and paper, take a glance out of the window (often it is dark out there), and wait. It is like fishing. But I do not wait very long, for there is always a nibble--and this is where receptivity comes in. To get started I will accept anything that occurs to me.

I have also found that the first hours of the day lend themselves best to writing. Before I check email or phone messages, before my children tug at my sleeve for food and lunch money, before the demands of the day come calling, I am at my desk writing. Once I have my time in, I can go about the day without angst.

Counting today, you have seven days left on this writing adventure. But even if you are not doing the NaNoWriMo challenge, you are a writer. You have dreams, goals, and projects waiting to be completed. All I can say to you is this: keep at it. Do not let it go. Hold onto your dream, and pay yourself first. You do not have to write for many hours each day. Just give your first or your best minutes of the day to your creative work.


Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander supports people in writing to transform their lives and businesses. If you’re ready to establish credibility, make more money, and market your work by writing a book, blog, or Web site, get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at http://www.writenowcoach.com

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day Six in NaNoWorld

How is everyone doing out there in NaNoWriMo land?

I think I have experienced just about every emotion you could imagine and sometimes it feels like I'm banging my head against a wall.

What about you?

So, why do we do it? Very good question!

This, being my first year, participating in NaNoWriMo, I have learned so much about myself.

I have learned:

1. I can discipline myself to keep writing without looking back. (no, editing, very hard for me to do)
2. I can develop a writing routine.
3. I can become one with my keyboard.
4. My Muse is there for me.
5. I can live without watching television.

All these things I have learned. And following, are the most important:

6. I am not just going through a phase.
7. I really do want to write.
8. I really do love to write.
9. I will continue to write.

And

10. I am a writer.

All of this in only 6 days. What are some things you have learned?
Good...Bad...Serious or Hilarious!

I would love to know.....please comment.

Happy nanoing, my friends.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NaNoWriMo - 5 Tips To Get You Through It

I have registered for the NaNoWriMo event this year for the very first time. So I am, obviously curious and excited about the whole process. (Huge inhale) I happened across this informative article and now, (Huge exhale) I actually believe I can accomplish 50,000 words in 30 days.

I hope all new NaNoWriMo participants will breathe a little easier after reading these 5 tips by Rochelle Melander.

MAKE A SCHEDULE
by Rochelle Melander

Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day. —Norman Mailer

The NaNoWriMo Challenge: Write a 50,000-word book in 30 days.

The daily goal: Write 1666.66 words.

The project? Most people are writing a novel (thus the name of the month, National Novel Writing Month). YOU can write whatever you choose—a play, a nonfiction book, or a series of poems.

Chris Baty founded NaNoWriMo because he believed that the absence of a deadline keeps most writers from achieving their dreams. NaNoWriMo gives you both a deadline and a goal. Set yourself up for success right now by scheduling your writing time. Here are some tips:

1. Map Your Time. For the next few days, write down everything you do. On Friday, look for the holes in your schedule. These are times when you are doing less-essential activities (like watching television), when you have a chunk of quiet time (it might be 4:30 AM), or when you can sneak away from your work for a little writing.

2. Map Your Energy. Pay attention to when you have that “writing energy.” Basically, that’s whenever you can write without falling asleep. These will be the best times for you to write. (Scientifically speaking, most of us have our best times first thing in the morning and between 5 and 8 PM.)

3. Schedule the When and the Where. Based on the above information, schedule when and where you will write each day. Research has proven that people who write down when and where they will do something are more likely to do it.

4. Honor Your Schedule. This month you get to pretend you are a world-famous writer who cannot shift her schedule for anyone. I don’t care if your children are vomiting. Give them a bucket, rub their sweet little heads, and write with your other hand!

5. Final Random Tips.
• Schedule more time for yourself at the beginning and the end of the month. That way, you can get a good head start AND be prepared to catch up at the end of the month.
• Don’t take off more than two days in a row.
• If you do not have time to write, make sure you do at least a 20-minute dip into the novel each day.
• Don’t fret about taking time off. Plan for it. You can make sure you get to celebrate Thanksgiving by putting in a 3000-word day.

Finally, dear readers: have fun with the month! Writing a novel (or anything) fast is a wild, wonderful adventure. Buckle your seatbelts, hold on tight, and let the ride begin!

Best resource: No Plot? No Problem! by NaNoWriMo founder Chris Baty

Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander supports people in writing to transform their lives and businesses. If you’re ready to establish credibility, make more money, and market your work by writing a book, blog, or Web site, get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at http://www.writenowcoach.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Online Writing Tools

As a new writer, I have been searching the web to find anything I can that will enhance my writing process and technique. Here are a few tools that I have come across that helped me move forward and fuel my passion for writing.

An exercise for procrastinating writers: http://procrastinatingwritersblog.com/write-everyday/

A great source for word origin: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=a

An online utility that will check readability and detects complicated vocabulary within your project: http://www.online-utility.org/

~~~~~~~~

To hone my creativity, I have connected with a wonderful and knowledgeable creativity coach named Julie Isaac. I happened upon her website, www.writingspirit.com while doing a little web surfing one day. Her site has given me the opportunity to learn so much and to be privy to interviews with other writers, authors and publishers.

I have finished the "1st draft" of my novel. Thanks to Julie for taking me (this writer wannabe) and giving me the confidence I needed to accomplish a dream.