25 November 2012

Renew Your Spirit Sunday with Discovery

My family and I are definitely renewing our spirits today! After church service this morning, we're spending the day full of discovery and childlike wonder. We've talked to Puck a little about what we're going to do, but he doesn't know what it is, so it's hard for him to really understand and get excited about it. No matter--I've been excited enough to cover his lack of excitement.

I've wanted to take the kids to this place, and it worked out well to be able to today. In fact, Nanny, EddaMae, and Bug are able to go, too! It's sure to be a great family day.

Puck and Tink will be spending the bulk of December (including Christmas) with Monty, so I'm thankful to be able to spend some time on an adventure* with them. Not only will this be a great opportunity for Puck and Tink to play and discover new things, but they'll be getting some quality time with Bug, too. Since I'm not Bug's daycare anymore, Puck and Tink don't get to spend as much time with her as they'd like, so days like today are precious for the cousins.

How are you renewing your spirit today?

*Anytime we do something fun, from going to the park to a big trip like today, Puck calls it an "adventure."

23 November 2012

NaNoWriMo pep talk: the final stretch

We're in the last week of NaNoWriMo, folks. I can hardly believe how quickly the month has gone (for a lot of reasons).

How's your word count looking these days? On target? Ahead? Behind? Keep pushing! There's still lots of time to hit your writing goal before the end of the month.

And, as I've been saying all month, even if you don't hit 50,000 words by the end of the month, whatever word count you have is that much higher than it was on October 31st. That's a success! So keep writing, word by word, until the very end!

While the focus of this month is to hit 50,000+ words in 30 days, I want you to remember that when December 1st arrives, writers don't just quit writing until November 2013. You are a writer. Keep writing. Sure, whatever you write may not "count" for NaNoWriMo anymore, but this month is just a tool to show you that you can make time to write. You may not be able to maintain the crazy hours writers tend to employ to write for NaNo, but even if you spend 15 minutes a day working on whatever active project you have, you'll make progress. The time exists, and November proves it.

The key is to carry the motivation to use your time differently through the rest of the year. Can you stay up just half an hour later? Can you get up half an hour before the rest of your family? Can you spend half of your lunch break with pen and paper?

The time to write already exists. You just have to remember to keep using it the way you have this month.

Keep making time for creativity. Keep telling stories. And happy scribbling.

22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Whether you're spending the day with family and friends, surrounded by food and football, or taking a quiet day to keep on keeping on, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving. May you find reasons to be thankful today and every day.

16 November 2012

NaNoWriMo pep talk: the second leg

I'm sorry I've been absent from the blog. Life has been busy. But whenever I've seen NaNo posts on my Facebook or Twitter feeds, I've thought of you, dear writers, and wished you luck.

We're halfway through the month, if you can believe it! That means you should have about 25,000 words.

If you do, great! That's wonderful! Keep it up!

If you don't, don't worry! Keep writing! You can do it!

Remember that NaNoWriMo is about proving to yourself you can make the time to write. You don't have to prove to anyone else, and it's not a contest. Whether you end the month with 50,000 words or 50 words, you'll have more words on December 1st than you did on October 31st, and that's an accomplishment!

If you're finding yourself slowing down or getting stuck, there are lots of things you can do to jump-start your writing. The folks at NaNoWriMo have been posting prompts on Twitter frequently (for example, add a bottle of vodka to your story with bonus points if one of your characters drinks it). Or jump to another part of the story.

Whatever else you do, just keep writing, one word at a time. You're doing great! Keep it up!

Happy scribbling!

02 November 2012

NaNoWriMo pep talk: starting strong

It's the first weekend of NaNoWriMo, folks! Hooray!

Have you started writing yet? Have you met your word count goal for the first couple of days?

The beginning of the month is usually good, isn't it? We start strong out of excitement, ready to tackle a new, fun project.

I have a traditional job, so the majority of my NaNo-ing will be on the weekends before the kids are up in the mornings, during afternoon quiet time, or after they've gone to bed. This first weekend is key for me to set the stage for the rest of the month. I have to start strong. Not only for the momentum to carry me through the rest of the month, but I know that if I start next week behind, it'll be even harder to catch up as the month progresses.

The good thing is that the first weekend of the month is always exciting. Your story is just starting, the month is just starting, and your eyes and mind are full of nothing but the potential of the story. If you want to write ahead a bit, this first weekend is the one to do it. Take advantage of the motivation you feel (and the energy from caffeine and enough sleep) to push through 2,000+ words a day so you'll be able to start next week in a good place.

This is a fun part of the month for NaNo. Since you're just starting out, setting the scene allows for detailed descriptions. Introducing characters includes descriptions and (can include) lengthy conversations. There are no plot holes or writing yourself into a corner. There's no getting stuck on the next step or whether or not you've got enough story to make 50,000 words. None of that matters right now because it's the beginning of the month. All you have is the beginning of the story, and you can let that propel you forward.

Remember, no matter what happens for the rest of the month, whatever you write this weekend will be more than you had on October 31st. And if you start strong, you can use the momentum through the rest of the month.

Happy writing!