Tag Archives: writing

What can you accomplish in 5 years?

time bloomingHow about 20?

Taking a break from writing my YA Paranormal first draft, I hopped over to see what (one of) my fav YA authors was up to. Laurie Halse Anderson focuses more on writing her books, than blog posts, which I truly admire. But, Here’s a post she shared back in September, 2012 that got me thinking.

Yes, I’ve been struggling with my own creativity doubts, droughts and bouts of frustration. Some bouts and droughts last long. Too long. And then, I start to think… “Am I REALLY a writer? Or am I posing as a writer because that’s what everyone THINKS I am?” Have I been at this writing thing too long with not much to show for it? It’s depressing. It’s defeating. Anyone else with me on this?

So, reading Laurie’s post about giving herself 5 years to make a name for herself in writing gave me an idea. What if I started right now? Like, took it seriously. 5 years from now, I can have a book published. 5 years from now, my oldest son will be a freshman in college, my younger guy will be a freshman in high school. They’d both be pretty independent and not need Mom around as much as they do now. I could go on a book tour! Ha! O.K. One.Thing.At.A.Time.

Finish first draft.

Submit my piece to my crit group TODAY. (eek!)

Meet with said crit group on Wednesday.

Critique one more story on CritiqueCircle.com

Complete first draft for Anthology 7 & post on CritiqueCircle.com

Where will you be in 5 years with your writing? With your life?

Random tidbits…

Written to the musical muse of: A Fine Frenzy – “Almost Lover”

Movie I’m psyched to see: Warm Bodies

Book I’m reading: well, just finished Anne Lamott’s Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

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Some gems found on the web:

Found while randomly trolling the internet….

Any of these sites speak to you? Please share! I love to hear what my readers are thinking.

This blog post was written to the musical muse of: Chasing Cars /Snow Patrol

 

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believe.

Writing is more than creativity. It’s confidence.

{from tumblr.}

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Inspiration, Perseverance, writers, writers block, Year of Nurturing

plant a SARK seed

So, I’ve talked about discovering SARK well after her height of popularity. But still, her concepts and inspiration ring true at any time. The magic of an artist’s spirit soars beyond society. 

Some SARKisms I jotted down in my notebook:

“I believe we need to go to where we want to be, and the resources will follow us.” ~ SARK, Inspiration Sandwich

WRITE IN COLOR…use a sketch book as a journal and my old scrapbooking markers to journal, make lists, collect quotes and draw/doodle little flowers and random patterns.

INVENT NEW WAYS OF BEING…reflect on how my life has changed since practicing The Year of Nurturing

I HAVE A LOT TO SHARE WITH OTHERS…Writing is therapy – without the appointment

WRITE MY BOOK…only I can :)

What do these concepts mean to you? How can each help to bring your creativity to the forefront of your LIFE??

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Filed under procrastination, writers, writers block, writing inspiration, Writing prompts, Year of Nurturing

a.p.a.p.a.d. day 2

(a poem a pic a day)

Writing Buddy

Half pint of dynamite

My Sam

Sass and spice

My Sam

Shake him up – watch him blow

But

His eyes will melt your heart

His words will melt your soul

His giggles will fill you with faith

in beauty and lightness and sprite

He is my writing buddy

He is My Sam <3

*I’m aiming to post a poem and a pic a day for the month of April

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Developing a Business, a Beachbody and Bliss

NaNo for me was a Big. Fat. Fail.

However, I have been busy and no, not just procrastinating…

First off, I said I was working on a big project. That is still in the development phase, soon-to-be implemented. Stay Tuned!   >so excited<

Secondly, I started a little side business.  Yes, it’s legal. Sheesh!  Ever hear of Team Beachbody? A Beachbody, I do not have. Although, I’m working on it, and helping others achieve their goal of fitness, too. As a writer, I sit most days for, well, all day. No longer, people!  I’m up and moving and feeling energetic, positive and sassy (I know, I didn’t help with that last one.) As a Beachbody Coach, I provide motivation, accountability and access to some pretty freakin cool workout programs and nutrition products.  And I walk the talk. Interested in learning more? Come check me out: http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/coachmaryjo

Thirdly, and most excitingly, I have negotiated a 4-day work week. SQUEE! (“Think of all the activities we can do – so many activities!”) That’s right, one day a week, I have the solitude and utter bliss of writing, reading and researching ALL DAY Long, or at least till the Junior High bus returns home.

As we move through this wintry and festive month, let’s begin to recall our accomplishments from 2011 and begin thinking of our Theme Word for 2012. (more on this later…)

In the meantime, hit me up! Tell me how NaNo went (or didn’t) for you, what your holiday plans are and how you’re going to stay faithful to your writing goals.

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O. M. G.

received this in my inbox last night…

“Have you seen the countdown clock on NaNoWriMo lately? The 2011 noveling extravaganza begins in just 13 days!…”

When did that happen?! Fear, panic, regret, excitement, nausea, giddiness, exhaustion, elation…

What are you feeling 13 days out from the BIGGEST. CHALLENGE. You’ll .ever. face?????

*frantically searching for plots, characters, settings, themes, titles – anything, people! Give me something!!*

 

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Wanna follow my wild NaNoWriMo carpet ride for the FOURTH year? Subscribe! I’ll be ranting and raving all month long

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Up, Up and AWay

This my horoscope for today…

Scorpio

This is just the kind of day you like, Scorpio – intense and supercharged, just like you! It seems there’s a deadline coming up, or a time-sensitive project. You’ll have a lot to do and not a lot of time in which to do it. This is when you’re at your most productive. Just remember to drink plenty of water and eat. Even superheroes need fuel in order to accomplish their heroics.

Some days, it’s just creepy-cool how accurate these are! I mentioned last week that I struggled to get my butt back in productive gear with writing and exercising. Well, I’m pleased to say I did not hit snooze this a.m. at 4:55. I completed my TurboJam, drank my lemon water and even jotted down my to-do list for today, which includes:

  1. grocery shopping
  2. write a new novel scene (brainstormed earlier from Writing the Breakout Novel wkbk)
  3. research a martial arts center for my oldest son

I feel supercharged. Maybe it’s a mindset, maybe it’s because the sun is shining and the temps are below 80 degrees. Maybe because school starts this week and that always makes me feel like it’s a brand new year gifting me with a beautiful blank canvas.

Whatever it is…I’m ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

What’s on your agenda today?

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Filed under Believe, books, emotion, goals, Inspiration

Part 3 in the 3-part series to Stop the Chaos

A Recap…

Step One:  Set Your Top 5 Life Priorities: in each area of your life, take stock in whom and what is important to you and fills your soul. Click here to see mine, as an example.

Step Two:  Write down Your Top 10 Goals: Specific Details on what you’d like to accomplish; measurable and with a deadline; that align with your Life Priorities.  Click here to see mine, as an example.

Today, we tackle > >

Step Three:  The Motherlode List: a long, ever-changing list of mini action steps for each of Your Top 10 Goals.

The Motherlode List is a big, hairy, time-consuming step, but absolutely necessary if you want to see results.  How else will you achieve each of those Goals to live the life according to your Priorities? Planning and Action!

The Action Steps on my Motherlode list would be…

 What I need to do and How I’m going to do it

Look at your goals. Some may require a bit of research first. Say, your goal is to publish your novel by x date. How are you going to get there? Well, of course you need to start with the obvious – have a finished novel : )

  1. Write novel
  2. Revise novel
  3. Woo beta readers with chocolate and get their feedback
  4. Revise novel again
  5. Subscribe to agentquery.com or similar Literary Agent search / book
  6. Research blogs, websites and Twitter feeds of authors you admire, and then their agents!
  7. Begin marketing your book
  8. Write Query letter
  9. Revise Query letter
  10. Send Query letter
  11. Continue marketing your book
  12. Upon inquiry, send manuscript – or sample chapters and/or synopsis to agent
  13. Sign book deal : )
  14. Start another round of revisions
  15. Continue marketing your book, go on tour, and make appearances
  16. Begin next novel

These Action Steps are just a rough outline and will be different for everyone.

Since most of these are a big action step in themselves, you’d break it down even further – into mini action steps and set a deadline for each mini action step.

For example, if you’re on the step Woo beta readers with chocolate and get their feedback, you’d probably  …

  • Start by identifying your readership.
  • Next, determine if anyone in your circle of friends or colleagues fit the bill
  • Then, decide of those above, whose opinion do you value? Are they avid readers of your genre? Do they have writing and /or editing skills? Would they provide constructive criticism?
  • Next, reach out to your selected beta readers: ask if they’d be willing to read and provide feedback on your novel. Consider your time line and ask if can they deliver feedback within that frame. (Offer chocolate in form of payment!)
  • Know what kind of feedback you are looking for. Character development? Plot holes? Verb usage, etc.?
  • Send ms in a format they prefer to read – pdf or hard copy, entire book or one chapter at a time, etc.

Get the idea?

Currently, my Motherlode List has 76 Action Steps! Yikes! Quite overwhelming. 

Except, as I review my Top Priorities daily I focus my energy like a laser beam, not a flood light. From my Motherlode List, I’ve prioritized deadlines by this week, this month, this quarter, this year.

Then I take it one week at a time, sometimes broken down by day. That’s it. I’m not looking ahead, I’m not getting buried. Yes, I struggle with distractions, I just have to keep my “eye on the prize!”

You’re up!

Instructions for you: Each week, review your Motherlode List, comparing it to your weekly calendar of commitments. Survey your available time or time you can make for your goals: ) Write down the action steps you can take this week. Feel the exhilaration of crossing.off.each.step. Slowly, you will conquer the chaos!

Don’t let me sweat it alone – share your progress with me!

**If you would like to see my Action List for my #1 Priority of Getting to and Maintaining a healthy size 4, SUBSCRIBE to this blog, and then respond here in the comments! I will email it to you! (Current subscribers, just drop me a line below!)

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Filed under Advice, Believe, Commit to 3, Deadlines, Inspiration, Organization, Perseverance, procrastination, writers

Reader Wednesday

What I'm reading now

Once again, from Write Great Fiction – Plot & Structure (Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish) – James Scott Bell

Stretching the Emotional (tension)

We humans are a circus of doubts and anxieties. Play them up! Give us the whole show.

To stretch the inner tension, ask these questions to get your raw material:

1.    What is the worst thing from the inside that can happen to my character? (This encompasses a whole universe of mental stakes. HINT:  look to the character’s fears.)

2.    What is the worst information my character can receive? (Some secret from the past or fact that rocks her world can be stalking her through the scene.)

3.    Have I sufficiently set up the depth of emotion for readers before the scene? (We need to care about your LEAD characters before we care about their problems.)

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Feel the inspiration reaching out from the screen? Feel it faster – SUBSCRIBE to this blog and rec’v an email every time a new post appears. Poof!

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