September 21 2017

Writing Ritual Tag

Author Kim Chance had this tag on her YouTube channel.

When do you write? (time of day, day of week)
Mostly on Thursday nights during my writing group.

How do you seclude yourself from the outside world?
I don’t think I seclude myself. If anything, I hang out with other writers more than I ever used to hang out before finding my writer friends.

How do you review what you wrote the previous day?
I don’t.

What song is your go-to when you’re feeling uninspired?
I don’t have one.

What do you always do (i.e. listen to music, read, watch YouTube, etc.) when you find yourself struggling with writer’s block?
Search the web for something to inspire me.

What tools do you use when you’re writing?
My computer, of course, and my writing notebook.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without during a writing session?
My computer.

How do you fuel yourself during your writing session?
Unsweet iced tea, or ice water.

How do you know when you’re done writing?
When my blog post is written or I am falling asleep on my computer.

If you are a writer and you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.

Watch Kim Chance’s video: https://t.co/b0734bqUvh (Published on Aug 11, 2017)

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July 13 2017

2nd Quarter Goal Check-in

Way back in January, I shared my 2017 SMART Goals. Half the year is gone and it is time to see how I am doing on those goals. In the past, I have made goals, written them down, shared them with a group, and then forgotten all about them until the end of the year when it was time to make new goals for the coming year.

That system wasn’t working for me at all. Then only goals I got done were the ones that were accidental, never because I planned to get them done. Usually, when I found the list again, I was pleasantly surprised if I managed to get any of my goals accomplished. This year, I am trying something different and if you are reading this, I could really use your help. I need you to ask me about my goals and check in with me from time to time to see if I am getting them done. This is the piece that was missing in the past.

Here are the goals I set at the beginning of the year:

FAMILY FUN GOALS: (2/3)
1) Do a cabin weekend DONE!
2) April trip DONE!
3) Annual Hockey Trip for the kids’ birthdays (not scheduled yet)

FITNESS GOALS: (meh, but ongoing)
1) Get 6 hours of sleep a night (85/181 = 47%)
2) Drink 6 cups of water a day (142/181 = 78%)
3) Continue using MyFitnessPal app (180 day streak!)

HOUSE GOALS: (1/3)
1) Clean out my home office (Real progress on the parts that show)
2) Declutter the landing DONE!
3) Declutter my clothes (1st pass done)

PERSONAL GOALS: (1/3)
1) Do some genealogy (Does tidying up the paper files count?)
2) Take three writing classes DONE! (6 so far)
3) Read for thirty minutes a day (Consistent)  (47 books so far)

SPIRITUAL/CHARITY GOALS: (1/3)
1) Pray daily (Consistent & Constant)
2) Read 15 inspirational fiction books (9/15)
3) Crochet 26 hats to donate to charity DONE as of 7/8! Do you want to see photos?

WRITING GOALS: (ongoing)
1) Finish one of my previous NaNoWriMo novels (working on edits and revisions again during July)
2) Publish something (see writing goal #1 above)
3) Participate in NaNoWriMo (and hopefully win again)

OK, I know I am making progress. I have finished 5 out of the 18 goals I set! Two of those not done are not able to be done until a future date. Five goals are ongoing and cannot really be considered done as long as there are still days left in the year.

Editing and revisions to my 2016 NaNo Novel continue to be more difficult than I expected. The writing goals have proven to be much more difficult for me to feel like I am making progress on. I should have made a writing goal to write at least one blog post a week or 52 posts in the year would have been better. Becoming a year-round writer was one of my goals for 2014, 2015 and 2016. It took a long time and a concerted effort, but I am finally considering myself a year-round writer thanks to this blog. It gives me a reason to write and a place to post and the feeling of accountability and accomplishment.

I think the crochet goals was easily accomplished because it was reasonable. I think I made 30 hats last year and knew my carpel tunnel is getting worse, so I thought I would back off what I knew I had done last year. I chose 26 because making a hat every other week seemed completely doable. The reason for the early success is because we took driving trips over new years weekend and the trip in April, both of these gave me hours of riding in a car with hubby driving. I have discovered that keeping myself occupied while hubby drives keeps me from gasping in fear while he drives so I get a lot of crocheting done and even some reading. The reading goal is helped along because I take my nook with me to work each day and read for the 30-minute lunch break. It also comes along when we go to restaurants and on all trips. The best part about reading on my nook is that every book can be read with a large font if my eyes are tired and I can even read in the dark.

How are you doing on your goals for 2017? What have you learned about goal setting? I learned that I need to set more measurable goals and goals that are not ongoing. Those ongoing goals are nice enough, but unless you do them every day for the whole year you feel like you failed at least a little.

June 10 2017

Expect (Five Minute Friday)

When you went to bed last night, I bet you expected to wake up this morning. You expect to live a good, long life and don’t think too much about how many more days you have on this earth. We expect things to keep going pretty much the way they have been going. Until they don’t go the way you think they will. Until one day something happens to someone you know and they are no longer able to be a part of your life for whatever reason. Did you get to say what you’d been meaning to say to them, or did you wait just one day too long for the right time to tell them how much they meant to you? If today were the last day you would get to be with someone you really care about, do they know how much you care? If not, why not? What are you waiting for? Don’t leave things unsaid. Don’t go to bed angry take a few minutes and tell that person how much you care about them and that you appreciate the part they play in your life. Don’t wait until it is too late. Expect the unexpected and say what needs to be said. Give the hugs. Resolve the differences.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!

The prompt this week is: Expect

The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write. 

April 5 2017

Writing with Others

Writing with Others

Do you find yourself having trouble staying on task when you are supposed to be writing? Do you write better in a group where everyone is focused on getting words down during a writing sprint?

Sometimes during NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo, I am able to go to in-person writing events with some of our local writers. These are so helpful and tons of fun. At other times, I find myself unable to attend a local event for one reason or another and missing the chance to do writing sprints with other writers. My solution for that is to go to YouTube and find a Virtual Write-In to watch. I found out about Virtual Write-Ins through NaNoWriMo, so I wanted to share some of their events that are on YouTube and available anytime you want to feel less alone in your writing. Here is the National Novel Writing Month YouTube Channel. They have a playlist of 86 different write-ins that you can watch and write along with. Most of these are about an hour-long, but they have several word sprints in each one so you can always jump ahead to find a longer one. Another perk to using these is that many of them include prompts that might help you get your creative juices flowing.



One of my favorite channels on YouTube to watch year-round is the YA Word Nerds. They do live shows every Sunday evening and have done many write-ins especially during the months of April, July, and November when there are NaNo events going on. You can find their live show playlist below and can scroll through looking for their Virtual Write-Ins. Sometimes they have guests with them like the video shown below with guest Kyra and past WordNerd Calyn.

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