My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Lessons from a NaNoWriMo Drop Out

Well, you already knew I was a drop out, so that's old news, but I've been thinking about the value of the whole thing. Even though I didn't finish, I learned a ton, so I'd like to share a few things with you, my faithful readers.

What I Learned:
1. No matter how crazy the day, if you're committed, you CAN write 2000 words a day.
2. 2000 words a day is both harder and easier than you think, but it can be done.
3. Having a word count goal instead of a chapter goal is a good work strategy. Sometimes I'll go back to a rough draft and feel like the end of a chapter or segment is rushed. Since my goal was to write to the end of the chapter, sometimes I was prone to rushing it. But since my goal was sheer numbers, there was no point in rushing it. Actually, the opposite is true. I was so terrified of starting each day without the next thing to write, that I often stopped in the middle of a scene and picked up the next day when I was fresh.
4. I wrote directly on my computer for the first time. In the past I'd always hand written everything first, then edited as I put it into the computer. It took some getting used to, but now I can work directly into the computer.
5. NaNoWriMo forced me to prioritize my 2000 words because I knew if I didn't do it one day, I'd have to do 4000 the next day,etc. On the down side, that's probably why I dropped after having to be with a sick child 24/7 for several days, I suddenly realized I was 8000 words in the hole. No way would I write 10000 words the next day!!!
6. Focusing on one project day after day after day (7 days a week) helped me keep the continuity of the story going as opposed to taking days or even a week off, then coming back to a project.
7. No matter how blank your mind is when you sit down, if you sit long enough, words will come.

So I wanted to lay my NaNo experience to rest with due respect for the process and the experience. I totally plan to do it next year, and I hope even more of you will do it with me.

Now onto new business. Do you think more people shop Black Friday or CyberMonday? It's interesting to consider. The Black Friday advertisements, sales, etc. definitely planted the shopping seed in my head, you know? It reminded me that gifts wouldn't purchase themselves and sales were big this week-end, etc. So will Cyber Monday EVER take the place of Black Friday? What do you think?

Another thing, I need suggestions for healthy breakfast food. My husband got all in a funk this week-end after reading new medical studies on TransFats and Hydrogenated Soybean Oil (which is in a LOT of stuff, let me tell you). I'm already a very healthy cook at dinner and after school snacks, for the most part, but breakfast is hard! Please give me good suggestions. I've been reading labels out the wazoo, and I just don't have that kind of time. ON the upside, I didn't buy much at the grocery store.

Another topic, what are the hot toys this year? I don't even know except, of course, ipods. I'll be doing a gift book recommendation blog here soon to recommend books to purchase for gifts of all ages. Seriously consider giving books this Christmas. In a down economy, what is more wonderful than cuddling up at home with a good book? Okay, I'll tell you what's better, cuddling up at home with a STACK of good books. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.............

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Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

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Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman