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A Huge Thanks to Todd Stone and NaNoWriMo

We are coming up to the final days of NaNoWriMo and I’m so happy with my progress.  It has not been easy to keep up with all that life has thrown at me this month.  But knowing that I can work my writing in and still keep the house running smoothly is the best gift I could ever give myself.  I’m still not sure I’ll reach the 50,000 words, but that doesn’t even matter now.  I’ll be thrilled if I do.  But even coming up short on the word count, I will have more writing done than I accomplished in the last four months.   Unbelievable.

Several writers from my local chapter have been trudging along side me and we met at our favorite coffee shop Saturday for a Night of Writing Dangerously.  We even had a few writers from the area who are not associated with our chapter join us.  You could feel the inspiration in the air.  It was awesome.  So much so, that we are hoping to set this up one night a week on a monthly basis.  Could it get any better than this?

Todd Stone, author of “Novelist’s Boot Camp”, held a workshop at our local RWA chapter conference this past October.  I highly recommend him and his book.  I’ve always hated the editing process.  It’s actually what put the breaks on my writing altogether.  But after taking his workshop, I have a new way to look at editing.  A structured guideline on what to do, what to look for and how to improve my story.  Most of what Todd said really struck a cord with me.  He gave us permission to not play by the rules.  This means it’s okay to set your goals as small as you like.  By starting small, like committing to write a paragraph or even one sentence a day, you can build your self confidence.  Before you know it, you find yourself wanting to stretch that writing time more and more because you are actually meeting your goals and walking away each day happy instead of disappointed.  I know I like the happy feeling much better.  It might sound silly, but I’ve heard this strategy used for other things as well.

The biggest impact from Todd’s workshop was his line about “Time passing no matter what I chose to do.” (not his exact words, but you get the meaning)  I can sit back and wish I was writing, or editing, or sending out those queries.  Or I can get my bootie in that chair and write, edit and send out my work like there is no tomorrow and feel wonderful because I’ve accomplished something.  It’s my choice.  Time doesn’t care and most certainly isn’t going to stop and wait for me to make up my mind.  I’m the one who will look back someday and either be happy at what I tried to do or very disappointed in what I should have done.

So as I finish up with NaNo, I have pages and pages to work with.  Somewhat of a schedule to write by everyday.  And lots of backup plans for those times when it’s just not going to happen no matter how much I beg and plead.  🙂

For me, this is a big milestone in my career and I just had to share.  I’m so excited to see how it all plays out.  What has inspired you along the way?  Maybe a class I need to look into or book I should add to my library?  I want to do everything I can to keep this feeling going.  It’s absolutely amazing!

“Take your time and enjoy the ride. Remember, it’s all about the journey, not the destination.”  Quote from Todd Stone’s Website.  www.storytellerroad.com

6 Responses

  1. Having seen first hand the sparks and smoke coming from your laptop, I’ve got all the faith in the world you’ll not only hit 50K, you’ll blow past it like a Ferarri on 59 South…:)

  2. LOL William! You’re not doing so bad yourself! 🙂 Now if only I had that red Ferarri!!

  3. Wow, you’re really inspired. That’s what a workshop is supposed to do.

    And I love that you meet to write. What a gift to yourself!

  4. You are so right, Liz. I’ve been to several over the years, but for some reason this one really hit home with me.

    Don’t know how I did this writing thing before these little get togethers. I’ve been very lucky to find such a wonderful supportive group of friends. They’ve made this journey such an amazing ride. 🙂

  5. It inspires me to see how inspired you are, Melissa. That’s what gives me inspiration. And when I see how fast other writers can get finished with their WIP, it makes me want to get right in there with them!

  6. LOVE the saturday night writing thing. Stuff like that makes me wish I didn’t live in such a small town. I’m so competitive, I could get a lot of words in if I was writing along next to someone else.

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