Gifts for Writers

It’s that time of year when it’s easy to focus on being thankful and grateful for the people/things/insert-whatever-here in our lives.

And to be sure, I am. It’s been a wonderful holiday season and I can’t take it for granted. Life can be so fleeting. Which lends itself to me being even more thankful.

You may know that now that I’m finished with school, I have more time to focus on stuff outside of the day job. Naturally this includes writing.

[Tweet “You know what I’m thankful for? Gifts conducive to good writing.”]

1. A supportive family.

Hubby’s family and my family support my desire to write. They know I love to learn, that I’m curious, and that I walk around tripping over things because my nose is in a book. Or I have to put eyedrops in my eyes to ward off eyestrain because I do get a lot of screen time on account of my writing and networking habits. That is a gift.

2. A supportive network of friends.

Since November of 2011 I have engaged in serious online writing. It’s looked different at different times: sometimes I focused on HubPages. Sometimes I focused here. Sometimes I focused elsewhere or didn’t even do online writing but journaled offline. Through it all, I have met incredible people from all over the world. Who follow your blog. That is a gift.

robe

3. A warm fuzzy robe.

If you know me at all, then  you know I’m perpetually cold. Gifts that allow me to write in comfort are infinitely appreciated. So, my mom sent me a robe. To sit in comfort and write in. You have no idea how warm and soft the thing is. And it makes for warm writing bliss.

heated mittens
Fingerless for typing.

4. Heated mittens that connect to the computer.

Oh yes, you read that right. Many people’s hands get cold when they type at the computer. My fingers turn into blue sausages that get stiff like they have rigor mortis. So, I have these gloves that plug into the USB port of my computer and heat my hands up. They’re fingerless for typing, but can cover them to make them into outdoor mittens. I could totally be the poster child for heated gloves.

gifts for writers

5. A space heater.

Not only do the fingers get cold, but when you sit in a chair for long periods of time, let’s face it. Those little toed-tootsies get cold, too. Not to mention the fact that I have to sit in a cold part of the house to do my business. It’s just the way it worked out, in terms of the layout of the house. To offset the cold, hubby got me a space heater for Christmas. It’s my new best friend. My other one died. Yes, died. It caught fire inside itself and burned to death. It was really sad. But now I’m glad. I have a new best friend. Don’t turn those things on and leave them unattended, folks!

gifts for writers

6. Lots of tea.

People all over must know that A) I’m not a coffee drinker and B) That I’m perpetually cold. Because other teachers at school, hubby, and Secret Santa pals all brought me tea. It’s incredibly warming and yummy!

7. Electric kettle.

I’ve talked about these before. But electric kettles heat your water up in 90 seconds or less. Except mine is about five years old and it’s starting to die. Perhaps I could solicit an electric kettle company to sponsor me by sending one and I’ll write rave reviews on how they allowed me to change the world – by writing – because their kettles kept me nice and warm. In fact, I should write to all these companies. They have no idea how many writers are out there that want these things. Ha!

gifts for writers

8. Moccasin Slippers.

My mom is a veritable lifesaver. Not only did she send me a robe, but she sent me some slippers that I will use forever and ever. Amen. This is another way I can stay warm as I write. The fur lining envelops my feet like a parka. My feet must stay at a comfortable 97 degrees. Just the way I like them.

gifts for writers

9. Hershey’s Kisses with Almonds.

I came across this article that mentioned how people from other countries think milk chocolate in the US tastes like it has sour cream, or has otherwise gone bad. I make no apologies for my love of milk chocolate. Of course, it’s all in moderation. I don’t eat bags of it or anything. Three or four a day. You know, for brain fuel.

10. Pure Focus.

That’s the name of an mp3 track that I listen to daily as I write from BrainSync.com. It’s 60 minutes of scientifically engineered music. When I put it that way, it sounds horrible, doesn’t it? No, really, it’s actually really wonderful. It’s meditative music that includes binaural beats and gamma waves that improve concentration. Holy moly it makes a difference! On days I don’t listen, in an hour, I might do 1,000 – 1,500 words. When I do listen, I’ve topped 2,000 words in an hour. You can almost feel your brain going giddy with concentration energy.

 

For all these things I am thankful. These are things that I use daily for my writing addictions. And I’m so incredibly grateful that life is a little sweeter because of all of them. See? It doesn’t take much to make this girl happy.

Ten things of thankful

It’s a November Kind of Post

My thoughts in a thunderbolt
My thoughts in a thunderbolt

I’m one month away from graduating.

…and I have “senioritis” so badly, that I decided to write a blog post instead of working on lesson plans or second-language-acquisition papers.

I think it was because I was on Stumbleupon a little bit ago and came across this fantastic blog post on writing and blogging and his whole thing just compelled me to write.

Not that I don’t write every day.

I journal daily at Penzu.com – it’s great. The things that I don’t have to worry about being public – what I write will stay safely there and every morning I get up and write.

Dammit, I just can’t help it.

I’ll get through this, I know.

But, I’m a loud complainer, a’int I?

For what it’s worth, I have lots of plans for writing after this. I can’t wait to work on some of the writing projects I’ve started but are on hold for lack of time.

Like this here blog.

(I confess I’m wishy-washy about that, too. Should I keep it, should I cancel it? In the end, I always decide to keep it because so much of my life is parked here. So, may this become an online portfolio of all my written minutiae and should people decide they want to read – don’t worry, I’m okay with my seven faithful daily visits; I haven’t been updating at all – maybe what I write here will be interesting. After all this time, I still don’t really know my online niche. Because I’m so prone to changing my mind.)

Oh my god, I’m boring myself.

But I’m also kind of enjoying this splish-splash eccentrically sarcastic post I’m creating.

Let me throw in more randomness:

 

Do you like ghost stories?

Cuz I’m really into those.

I’ve been taking some time to watch a ghost story here and there in the evenings. It’s inspired me to write, too. And I’ve checked out books on ghost stories from the library so that in the twilight between awake and sleep, I read a page or two…that lead to some very interesting dreams.

I guess whatever works, right?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

I have something to confess:

I change my mind a lot about things. I usually finish what I start, though it might take five or even ten years to happen.

So if, say, I’ve started a ghost story, or a romance story, or a chocolate legend story, or a fiction novel that ends up reading like a sad autobiographical sketch on accident, mind you, I intend to finish. Or at least use parts of those for other things…that I finish.

I so wanted to do NaNoWriMo this year, too.

But since I change my mind on things so much – from jobs to books to interests – I have to say: at least in the world of writing, I can create whatever I’d like.

Paint with words onto the blank canvas of a computer screen.

Yep, that’s a quick update, folks. Just surviving until graduation, thankful I really have made it this far, yearning to get back into writing, and constantly changing my mind about things.

They don’t call me Cyndota la loca for nuthin’

Here’s to coming back to blogging, soon, folks. With no regular schedule, but just as a place to park my thoughts.

And wondering if I should just turn my journal posts into blog posts. But then you have to answer comments. I love comments, and all…but right now I have not the time to deal with them. Oy vey. 😛

Guest Post: Bill Holland

I just love guest posts. In fact, I’m so grateful to have met so many wonderful blog friends over the past two (almost three if you count HubPages!) years.

I love finding inspiring friends. I know many writers, bloggers, photographers, and more who make me smile. They have a story, and their backgrounds inspire the rest of us with their power to persuade others with their words, and instill in others a sense of passion.

I asked Bill to do a guest post because from the moment I met him online, he’s been like a mentor to me, a shining example of persistence, and a great friend across all the miles that separate us.

Since I consider myself to be a writer, I look for people who are like-minded and can help in the collective writing journey.

And now, let me introduce Bill, who writes over at William Holland, an author with an incredible story.

Bill Holland

My Passion for Writing

 First let me thank Cyndi for allowing me to post today.  She and I have known each other now for about two years.  We met on HubPages and formed an instant bond.  We have similar beliefs, likes, and dislikes, and I call her Lil Sis, and she calls me Big Bro, and I just enjoy the heck out of her.

I’ve been freelancing for three years now.  One day I got fed up with some verbal abuse from my principal, and I quit my teaching job and decided I was going to be a writer. 

I laugh when I think back now, but I wasn’t laughing at the time. I had no financial backup plan, no safety net, no nothing…just a desire to write.

Three years later I pay my bills, I’ve written two novels, and I absolutely love writing….and that’s the topic today…my love of and passion for writing.

I have been lucky over the years.

I taught school for eighteen of those years and I loved it.  I enjoyed getting up every day, and the kids were wonderful, and I honestly would have taught for no pay if that was the only option. 

And now I write, and I enjoy getting up every day, and my job is wonderful, and there have been many days when I wrote for no pay.  What has carried me through the tough times in both of those jobs is passion.

Teaching is something I believe I was born to do. 

It came so easily for me, and the challenges were never-ending, and man oh man I loved it. 

The same is true of writing. 

I love knowing that my words will be read 100 years from now. 

Writing is my legacy. 

It is my contribution to society and culture, and I just think that is so cool. 

I have things in common with Hemingway, Steinbeck, Angelou, and Blake.  I rub shoulders daily with Shakespeare, King, Lee, and Thoreau.  I understand what they went through, the voice they heard that drove them forward, and the endless desire they had to write something meaningful that will stand the test of time.

Teaching is what I did.  Writing is what I do. 

But neither of them define me as a human being. 

That story is still being written.

Thank you for reading, and thanks, Lil Sis, for the opportunity.

How’s that for a guest post? Put your hands together for someone who’s mentored me, and shown such persistence in writing, that we all can learn powerful lessons from this novelist.

Big Bro, you’re an inspiration to many. I have so much gratitude in knowing you and seeing you when you started this journey and you’ve been going strong ever since!

It’s Been 4 Months…

It’s been nearly four months since I’ve written.

I chalk it up to grad school. For those of you who have worked while simultaneously attending school, you know how it is. The laundry piles up like heaps of giant leaves. The dishes sit in the sink a day too long. You live in your PJ’s the days you don’t go to work because you have so much coursework that you don’t want to take half an hour to make yourself presentable.

Now, I have something of a life back. I’m still teaching – most schools go until June.

time to walk
I had some time to visit the Botanical Gardens the other day and snapped this image with my phone.

But in those four months, a it feels as though my life has changed like the seasons. When I thought I might be on one path, the winds carried me in another.

First, I must explain that though I’ve been absent from here, believe me, I have written nearly 100,000 words this semester – no joke. Some days I wrote nearly 10,000 words: for minutes, lesson plans, forum posts, journal entries, papers, research. Maybe I wrote more than 100,000 words. I’m not sure. But for the nearly two weeks my coursework has been finished, I have been playing catch up. That and soaking up the sun – it’s like seeing an old friend showering me in illuminated hugs.

A Return to Blogging?

There was a time when I wasn’t sure I’d return to blogging. I’m still not sure: between teaching and tutoring, and writing articles (for my beloved HubPages), I’m not certain I have the time or the energy to devote to being a good blogger. Responding to comments aren’t exactly my cup of tea. I don’t know…I feel like comments are like making small talk at a party or something. I can only do small talk at any party for about 30 minutes. Then my personal energy meter registers “depleted” and I have to go recharge. If I can’t leave said party, I’ll slink into a back room and peruse books while sips of stale boxed wine loosen my lips.

But we were talking about comments, weren’t we? I’ve toyed around with turning comments off entirely. See, I love the people I’ve met and the interactions we’ve forged across the bazillions of fiber optic cables that bond us together. But sometimes I just want to read someone’s blog and if it seems like my groups of friends will be interested, I’ll share across my social networks.

I’m Sort of Addicted to Writing

And to think…I was sitting here wondering if I had much to write about for this post. Who am I kidding? Words have imprinted themselves into my genome. They’ve become a code for expression just as much as the color of my hair. I have seriously thought about giving up art (and only toying with photography enough to illustrate this blog…once a cornerstone for my menagerie of images…) entirely just so that I can carve out time in my newly busy schedule (more on that in a minute) to savor and hone my craft of literary composition. It’s curiously like artistic composition, I swear. Inspiration comes from similar sources.

But, something happened recently to at least make me reconsider the whole blogging thing: I found a job that requires me to post to a WordPress site.

Sometimes Dream Jobs DO Happen

Actually, it’s the same job I had. I have been part time at the school where I teach. With graduation approaching in December and one graduate course to finish, I needed to find full time employment that would allow me the pleasure (or lack thereof) of paying back student loans. At least it’s not much: I could buy a used car with those loans, but at least the dividends are much greater. The school came up with a solution for me: teach Spanish, become a global education coordinator (based on a semester’s worth of research from one of my graduate courses this spring) and blog for the school and post to its social media networks.

I felt the earth do a seismic shift in the name of dream jobs everywhere. With a wonderful jolt, I’d blurted that yes! I will take and do said job before I had given it a second thought. But because I’ll be doing more “administrative-type” tasks, I’ll be busy working this summer at the school, too.

That’s fine. The Universe knew I would want to do that. Or is it synchronicity? The lining up of discrete wavelengths to all reflect ultraviolet waves? Spirit working within my soul after atoning for past transgressions?

I’m not sure. But I am eternally grateful. Somehow this job encompasses all my skills, all my interests and wraps them up nicely in a shiny package with matching ribbon.

Because of that, I won’t be able to write here or anywhere like I have int the past couple of years, but I can say a few things for sure: there will be teaching and it will be fantastic. There will be travelling. There will be writing – blogging, journaling, articles and maybe, finally a book somewhere  in there. Every time I talk about writing a book, I hear Jack London’s voice (not that I know what it sounded like) in the back of my head: do it every day. Do it without fail.

Ha! I love that I’ve done it without fail. Every single day, since 2011 pretty much. So, I’ll be seeing you all around. I can’t maintain others’ WordPress websites without maintaining my own personal website. How ironic would that be?

 

 

 

Explaining my Absence and Teaching

My first year of teaching, I remember talking with a veteran teacher.

He taught French, and had done so for about 12 years.

I was fresh out of my education program and in my third month of teaching Spanish.

He recalled how he LOVED art, but that he had given it up so that he could be a better teacher.

I didn’t say anything at the time, feeling rather incredulous that he could do such a thing, but though it wise to keep my opinions to myself. ‘You need a hobby’ was my first thought. My second thought was, ‘I can’t imagine my life without painting and being creative.’

And over the next six years, I constantly painted and indulged my creative fantasies. In 2009 I even got an art studio in downtown Marshall, NC. (Don’t get too excited there: Marshall is a town of, like, 700 people.)

Slowly, I pieced together art shows and exhibitions.

At one point I thought, “my teaching is interfering with my life.”

I started looking for ways to do anything BUT teach: more painting, more crafting, more drawing. And in 2011, I added writing to my repertoire of creative things to do and, by default, photography.

Eventually, I would leave the classroom so that I could pursue my creative dreams and fantasies. Money be damned. Reason be damned. I had a passion and a vision, dammit.

But…something happened.

Something that I never anticipated.

I guess you have to experience life – it’s ups, it’s downs – to learn to understand yourself and learn to understand what it is about YOU that makes it worthwhile to get up in the mornings.

a farm in Kansas
A black and white photo of a farm in Kansas. The focus is on the fence…and a very fitting, symbolic image that I snapped a few weeks ago….

When I was working for myself: blogging and writing and painting and – gasp – photographing, it was like I was flittering from one creative thing to the next. I wasn’t interacting with people, other than my online friends (who are VERY real and VERY awesome)…but my point is that I wasn’t interacting in my community and forging human relationships that involved conversations over stale beer and greasy french fries.

No, I was climbing the four walls of my house in a desperate attempt to define my life and come to terms with who I thought I was and who I wanted to be.

And, I had to jump off a cliff to find out, you know?

Many of you know this journey: me leaving the classroom and eventually finding my way back.

When I found my way back: part time, teaching Spanish again, it was like I was finally putting pieces to a 1,000-piece puzzle together. I was still missing a few of those elusive pieces, though. Like they had fallen under the table and rolled underneath the nearest couch.

Which brings me to why I haven’t written. Ironic, no? Puzzles…couches…why I’m not writing….

I’m coming to terms with the fact that I had to “try it all” to figure out I can’t do it all. I can’t write and photograph and paint and still be present to my life’s calling: to help people via teaching.

I had to learn that the hard way. I had to go through a labyrinth of doing this and that and having NO focus to finally, finally grabbing my magnifying glass and while looking through, using the light to focus.

It was like my heart KNEW the whole time what it wanted to do. With every blog post I wrote, with every painting I stroked, with every snap of my trusty camera, my heart was, as yet, incomplete.

But it had been burned so badly before. The one-size-fits all of working in a public school, for the state, for the country…a labor of love that grabbed my heart and squeezed until it could bleed no more….

That was before I found the ideal situation, you know? I’m not a “big, public school” kind of person. It came down to finding an atmosphere that was small, liberating, intimate…and giving me the ability to fly.

I still denied it, though. I was mad that I was back in the classroom. I wanted art and writing and insert-creative-endeavor-X here to work. TO REALLY WORK.

All the while, I enrolled in a Master’s program for Spanish. Yet, I was still scheduled for an art show a month later.

I talked to my husband about tutoring and volunteering in my local Latino community to help moms and dads navigate the school system, the medical system, the whatever system that didn’t speak any Spanish and I could translate and feel the joy in opening someone’s world to help them become contributing citizens who could know if they were ever being exploited for their work and lack of English…I kept idealizing these things and had yet to acknowledge that I needed to do them.

To be sure, this blog isn’t going anywhere. I will always need a creative outlet. It’s just that so much of my life is focused on the acknowledgement that, perhaps, a life of teaching chose me (and my heart knew it all along) and I’m trying to answer that call.

I’m doing a lot more tutoring now and still teaching while I finish my graduate work.

Eight years in the classroom and counting….

So, dear readers, if you don’t see me as much, it’s not because I don’t care about the amazing friendships I forged during my tenure as a full-time blogger, writer…creative.

It’s because I have little kids who deserve a teacher that is present to them. It’s because I have a need to be out in my community, interacting and spreading love and cultural understanding.

It’s because I’m over at my Spanish website updating from time to time.

And when I need my creative outlet? I’ll be here. Just not like I had been. I’ll check my friends’ blogs from time to time and though I might not always comment or even interact, I’m proud of all my friends who continue to write and inspire. And some people are TRULY called to write and inspire: they’d do the world a disservice by NOT doing that. So it is with my teaching and tutoring: I must acknowledge that I have to focus on what I’m doing and be present to it.

Perhaps there will come a day when I will spend more time on my Pictimilitude site here…but for the next little while, dear readers, I can’t be here quite as much.

I’m sending everyone *massive hugs* as Lizzi likes to say. White light. Love. Peace. Joy. Health. Happiness. And a true abundance.

And may you come across your own magnifying glass that allows you to focus all the energies, all your talents and tenacity to answering the call for who YOU are supposed to be for and in the world. Because it DOES take all kinds.

YeRoWriteO Update

plain white notecards
I use notecards like I take cups of tea: I’m often at the store buying new packs of both. These cards are notes from my current YeRoWriteO project. I’m doing a lot more research than writing, but once I have all the information I need, I’ll be armed and ready to crank out lots more words.

You people.

You people inspire me.

You people have gone and done the unexpected.

I had no idea I was going to get anyone to sign up for YeRoWriteO, let alone a bunch of you.

My cockamamie idea; a moment of “I wonder.”

The result is that I am going to tweak things – especially as I learn to manage YeRoWriteO and create a supportive atmosphere for fellow writers. Because this is a great problem to have. 

Will You Give Me Some Feedback?

I’m considering that instead of people telling me they want to do it in the form of comments, I create a newsletter and people can subscribe to it if they want do to the YeRoWriteO Challenge. That way, the people who really want to do it can get updates, writing tips, support group information, and ideas for staying on with the challenge.

What do you think?

Another idea I’m considering is creating a YeRoWriteO group on either Facebook or G+.

Would you like a supportive forum where you can ask questions? Which platform? Facebook or G+? Or both?

I’ll even admit that at the time of this writing, I’m slightly behind. I had a class last night in the college town of Boone, NC. It’s two hours from where I live. So, after a day of teaching, I drove to class, went to the lecture, and then got back home around 10:30 pm. Needless to say, it was tough to wake up this morning – and I didn’t do my writing before I had to dash off to school to do a Day of the Dead Celebration and a full day of meetings. (But as I update this post, I really did catch up from everything. And I still managed to get in my one hour every day. It was not so easy.)

Come hell or high water, I will get it done. Even if it means I go to bed at 1 am. Though I really hope that doesn’t happen: I do my best writing in the morning, actually.

But that’s it, isn’t it? That’s part of the deep commitment of YeRoWriteO – writing or otherwise working on that novel no matter what happens. I’m thinking of it like showering. I must have a daily shower. I must have time to write. 

I suspect that for many of you, the challenges will be equally difficult: perhaps you have a full time job. Perhaps you have family commitments. Perhaps you’re a little nuts like I am and you’re a student, working, and juggling family obligations.

But, I promise you, at the end of this challenge, making a commitment to a daily writing regimen will pay off in dividends: you’ll have a book that’s ready to go to a publisher! That’s huge!

I was inspired last evening by the Cuban poet José Kozer. As part of my graduate class, we attended a poetry reading and Q&A with him. I’ll write about him more in an upcoming post, but he reminded me of Jack London.

Jack London committed to writing every single day. He made it an absolute requirement to write 1,000 to 1,500 words per day.

Now, YeRoWriteO doesn’t have that requirement – just that you spend one hour writing, researching, or otherwise advancing your work.

However, with that one commitment, London wrote book after book.

Just for fun, check out this link about the habits of writers. Some are “slow” and others are fast – did you see the Greek dude who wrote 3,500 books!??? – but all wrote. Every. Single. Day.

On those harder days, I might just be that “slower” writer and get 300 words in. That’s still 90,000 words after 300 days! That’s good because I want to challenge myself at different points of this journey to write thousands in a day.

So let me know what you’d prefer: subscribing to a newsletter, and using Facebook, G+, etc. Pretty please? With a figurative cherry and a literary French vanilla ice cream scoop?

Your collective wishes are at my command.

And now, I must go write.

YeRoWriteO

YeRoWriteO

NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month. But, if you are participating, or if you have done it in the past, you might have concluded that it’s too much, too fast.

As least, I admit that.

Last year when I participated, I finished with 57,000 words. Not edited. A skeleton of a story. And I was not happy about the idea of editing such a mess of words. It felt like they were all tangled in a literary fish wire and it was going to take a strong pair of scissors to cut out the knots. There might have been some usable pieces, but it was better just to start over, you know?

But that’s the thing. It killed me not being able to edit and think. My brain processes things on a very holistic level: I live the story. I feel the story. It percolates through my subconscious mind. If I can’t digest and munch on my writing, it’s no good. Raw, undigested material is rarely good.

I should have learned when I wrote my anthropology thesis for my undergrad degree. 120 pages in three weeks.

Brutal.

And my professor dinged the hell out of me for shoddy writing.

It was the best I could do.

That last week, I was hallucinating from doing around three all-nighters. It was a culmination of a year’s worth of work, tape recordings, human review boards, interviews, transcriptions, and book after book of research. And I had a month to put it all together.  That was a rocky road if there ever was one. And there was no chocolate involved.

YeRoWriteO Is Born

See, I need to get a rackin’ frackin’ book published. Between my anthropology thesis, my memoir and my NaNoWriMo novel from last year, that makes not one or two, but three bodies of work that are just sitting there. 

Thousands upon thousands of words. Mocking me on hidden pieces of paper or otherwise imprinted on metal computer chips. They mock me, saying, “Can you even publish? Or will we forever remain the black marks on white, destined for your eyes only?”

More recently, school and teaching take up enough time that finding extra time to do a bit of writing is difficult.

But time trudges on.

I can’t wait to write.

The time is now. 

That idea reinforced by my virtual big brother, of sorts. Señor Bill.

I always think of my incredibly lovely mother-in-law, too, when it comes to stuff like this.

Before she retired, she was a successful pharmacist and raised four children.

She always said that when she retired, she was going to knit blankets, sew, and crochet all day. It was her dream – she loves this hobby.

As soon as she retired, she got macular degeneration, effectively rendering her legally blind. Not too long after, she lost her hearing and is now legally deaf.

Her arthritic fingers won’t allow her to use her hands to do tiny detailed tasks, either. You can imagine how it breaks my heart when she wants to give me fabric and yarn from her collection that she amassed over the years. How many retirees do we know who have similar stories? 

The lesson? Start now. No matter what you have going on.

So I am.

I’m on Day 3 (I only actually thought of the idea on November 1st…which is why I’m not on day 4).

I figured if I needed an impetus to get going, but not the intensity of NaNo, then maybe others felt the same.

So, here’s what I came up with:

YeRoWriteO Guidelines:

  • Go to my YeRoWriteO page to sign up (just leave your name and the date you started.)
  • Write for an hour a day – or more.
  • Don’t worry about a daily word limit: you’re allowed to edit, think, advance the story, research and otherwise write 500 words or 10,000. It’s totally up to you.
  • Aim for an overall goal of 80,000 words – or something like that – or not. That’s around a typical novel length. You have a year to do it.
  • Find a buddy. This person is also someone who’s doing YeRoWriteO. Make a commitment to check in with each other once weekly. You can find a buddy from the people who have signed up on my YeRo page.
  • If you become really good buddies, that person might even serve to be an editor for ya, and vice-versa.
  • Tell people about it, or not. When I tell people, I find I end up not following through. My blog friends can know, because chances are they might be doing a writing project or blog project anyways. My husband knows (mostly so he know’s why the dishes might sit in the sink a little longer than we’d both like).
  • But don’t tell people the specifics of what you’re doing. I might share a line from my writings on my FB page, but I’m not saying what I’m doing, what it’s for, what it is, or any background. People will know I’m trying to write something, maybe, but time will tell if they really do get to find out.
  • Stay tuned for tips and tricks I learn along the way – no matter what I’m doing, I love to read up and study on it. $10 for anyone who can guess as to how many websites I’ve explored regarding writing. (Don’t answer that. I have no idea.) 
  • Grab the button if you so choose – to proudly display on your blog/website.

Here’s my personal message to you:

In this day and age, we’re all short of time. Don’t shortchange yourself.

If you want to write a novel, write one. Little by little. Put one word after another.

It’s no different than putting one foot in front of the other: before you know it, you’ve walked 10,000 steps in one day.

I don’t have much time right now, either: I’m a wife, in grad school, teaching almost full time. But I’m going for it, because if dreams were easy, everyone would have them conquered by now, anyways.

I will be here supporting you in spirit.