Friday, November 22, 2013

Keep Track


I stated, a few weeks ago, that disorganization is one thing that “kills” my writing. So, I wanted to share something I have been using that gives me some control in my chaos. I have started recording my daily writing activities in a diary.
Inspired by my mother, who has kept a diary for over 35 years, I felt it would help me to have a grasp on where I was headed, by what I accomplished.
I use an inexpensive spiral notebook, noting the month and day and then recording my completed tasks for the day: worked on my novel, roughed out idea for devotional, my social media activity, etc. I don’t always use a page per day, but just enough room to record the day’s activities.
I hesitated even mentioning this, it seemed like such a small thing, but it has given me a handle on my writing life. It even encourages me when I look back and see what I have accomplished. In my life, if something isn’t written down, it doesn’t happen, or in this case, it is not remembered.
How about you? Do you use some type of diary or logbook?     

Friday, November 15, 2013

An Amish Bit of Charm

The Winner of, A Little Bit of Charm, is


Thanks for the comments and suggestions for helping me deal with disorganization (see last blog). I think we will return to that subject in the future.

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, I am giving away a book you can take with you if you are travelling, or maybe take a break to read, after cooking or eating.

I am giving away A Little Bit of Charm, Book Three in The New Beginnings Series (Harvest House) by Mary Ellis. The first two books, Love Comes to Paradise and Living in Harmony are set in Missouri and Maine respectively, but Book Three is in Kentucky. Rachel King, has lost both parents, moves to Kentucky, where she gets a job working with horses, one of her loves. But, she wants more as she desires to find a love that will last forever. The one who draws her attention happens to be English and not Amish. 


To be entered in the drawing for A Little Bit of Charm, please leave a comment and list one thing for which you are thankful, before midnight, Thursday, November 21.

Winner will be announced on this blog on Friday, November 22. Please leave an email address. U.S. addresses only.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Is Disorganization Killing Your Writing?

I spent three days this week trying to organize my office (or what used to be our dining room), which hadn't been seriously tackled for a few years. I COURAGEOUSLY took the above picture. I went through boxes and files, moved piles of books, magazines, etc. trying to make my space work for me.

I am not an organized person; I really have to work at it. I ached and was exhausted by bedtime, which came quite late.

I have learned a few things that are holding me back from an ORGANIZED state and may be helpful to you:

CHOOSE AREAS OF WORK. What are the three main areas of work for you? For me it was writing nonfiction, fiction and historical research.
LOOK AT SPACE. Determine what amount of space you have available.
PUT LIKES TOGETHER AND PURGE. Place similar things in piles and see what you have. Put books, notebooks and files in separate stacks. Then purge.
LET GO. You have to say, “let go” at some point. I found magazines and papers I have had for over 25 years. I found a typed outline of notes from a 1996 conference I attended. Many of them have no lasting value and they are taking up space. But, I am a keeper and found it difficult to throw one out even when I had two copies!
TRY SOMETHING. Don’t think that once you put something somewhere it has to stay there. You can remove it and put it somewhere else, if it doesn’t work.


How about you? Do you have one tip of organization that you could share?














Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo: Yes and No

A few weeks ago on this blog, I asked how many were going to participate in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Today is the first day of that monthlong event.

I asked if anyone had participated before and were they going to this year, so that others could benefit from their experience and decide whether to join in.

Since that post, I have decided to not participate to complete a 50,000 word novel, even though I am trying to finish a novel-in-progress. I sat down last week and decided on a deadline of January 31 to complete my rough draft. I felt that if I tried to complete it in November, I would fall behind and then become discouraged and quit, something I have done more than once. I hope to participate in the future.

But, I have come up with some alternative writing exercises that I am going to try. So, if you aren't ready to attempt a novel, maybe try this: 


Write Daily Devotionals. Since I also write daily devotionals, and have an assignment coming to me December 1, I have decided to write some.


Personal Experience Stories. I have a notebook full of ideas and thought maybe I could finally put these ideas on paper.


Write Character or Setting Descriptions. If you have ideas for future stories or novels write about the people or places you would like to bring to life.

What about you? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo?