The NaMos are Coming! The NaMos are Coming!

I’m getting ready for this!

The WordPress.com Blog

November is one week away, and that means NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo are, too!

If you’ve been thinking about reinvigorating your blogging or are finally ready to stop procrastinating on that book you’ve always wanted to write, these two great events (and communities) can give you the jolt of motivation you need.

NaMo what now?

NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo are short for “National Novel Writing Month” and “National Blog Posting Month,” respectively. In the first, writers commit to writing a 50,000-word novel between November 1 and November 30; in the second, to posting every single day in November.

310,095 participants started the month of November as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

NaNoWriMo 2013 at a Glance

Although the two events are separate, they share a history: NaBloPoMo started in response to NaNoWriMo, when a group of bloggers who lacked the time or inclination to write…

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Dystopian Fiction Story Challenge

Broken Mirrors

The Hunger Games logo Image found on Flickr Creative Commons

Dystopias are all the rage these days. From The Hunger Games and Divergent to Elysium and Transcendence and everything in between, It seems like about half of all summer blockbusters and 95% of all popular young adult novels feature a post-apocalyptic or dystopian society in some form or another. I exaggerate, of course, but not by much.

Some may ask just what exactly it is that makes dystopias so appealing and long-lasting in our society. There could be a lot of answers to this question, but after taking a class on Utopian Literature and incorporating the dystopian trend into my Master’s thesis (currently in progress), I think I’ve learned at least some of the answers.

The great thing about dystopias is not the futuristic sci-fi action or high-tech special effects. In fact, dystopias aren’t necessarily even about the future. Sure, many of them are…

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Remember to Make Time for Yourself, Not Only Work and Family

Live to Write - Write to Live

We talk a lot about managing time here. About setting small goals to realize our big goals. We’ve even chatted about how if you do what you love, it won’t seem like work.

I recently came across Meg Cadoux Hirshberg‘s work-life balance interview with Ari Weinzweig on Inc.com and it touched on all of these things and is definitely worth sharing.

You can find it here: http://www.inc.com/meg-hirshberg/I-never-fight-time-the-way-I-used-to.html.

It’s a short interview, but what particularly caught my interest was her question and his answer about how to make good use of the time you have.

We all have 24 hours in a day.

TryingtoControlTimeWe can schedule our lives down to the minute and feel productive, yet unsatisfied and having a feeling of lack.

We make time for work and family without a second thought.

Making time for ourselves is as important as work and family, yet it’s the first thing sacrificed when…

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The Freelance Life: Revisiting a Writers’ Roundtable

Some really great tips from four successful freelance writers.

The Daily Post

Earlier this year, we talked to four professional writers about the freelance life, getting paid to write, and writing for free and exposure. If you missed it the first time, be sure to read this roundtable, full of great advice for new and aspiring writers in particular.

Here are highlights from the Q&A:

Give us a breakdown of your typical day.

Every day is different. I start by reading the New York Times. I listen to BBC World News or two great WNYC radio shows, The Brian Lehrer Show and The Leonard Lopate Show, from which I get story ideas and learn about the world.

I start work by 10:00 am — I’m not a morning person! If I’m working on a story, and usually several at once, I’m seeking sources, conducting interviews, writing, reading, or revising the pieces and answering questions from my editors.

Like most working…

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Philosophical Story Challenge

This sounds like a fun challenge for the week!

Broken Mirrors

MV5BMTM4NjUzNjQwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDQ4MTUyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_Hello everyone, welcome to Saturday. It’s the weekend which means it’s time for a philosophical story challenge. For this week’s challenge I want us to consider a relatively old children’s movie called “The Swan Princess.” This movie was a big part of my childhood and there is a particular scene from it which stands out in my mind. In this scene one of the characters in the movie is warning the hero that a monster “is not what it seems.” This was important to the story because the monster was in fact a villainous sorcerer, however, I think it also held a deeper symbolism. To those of you who are also familiar with the Disney classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the modern retelling of “Maleficent” I think you may understand the connection I see. I think all of these movies have a theme of characters being vilified because the other characters…

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What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

Great post Jodie. This is very topical for me at the moment as I am having a major life overhaul due to illness and reassessing my priorities. I have just started a Gratitude journal where every day I have to write 3 things I was grateful for that day. It’s actually very easy once you get started. Also, I have done a reverse bucket list – a list of fabulous things that I have done. This is great to look at when you are feeling a bit down or stagnant. Goals are and dreams are incredibly important for the soul – even silly ones like ‘to marry Johnny Depp’ are fun to have on the list – even just for a giggle.

Lists are cool!

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Since a hospital stint in May left me feeling invigorated and inspired to make changes in my life (I know, hospital is kind of a weird place to get inspired), I have commenced an organisational frenzy in my house.

Now I have always been a big believer in the ‘to-do’ list – but I only really ever used it professionally in the office environment. After a couple of sessions with a professional I have had my eyes opened – lists are cool!

I am not good at slowing down. For those of you who don’t know I have a couple of pesty chronic medical conditions – Behcet’s Disease (or Syndrome) and Fibromyalgia. Both these illnesses stink and are the real pain the proverbial, often leaving me exhausted and needing bed rest for days on end. On good days I tend to overdo it – I am so excited that I have some energy that I go crazy with activities, which of course flares symptoms up again. ‘Pacing’ when you have a chronic medical condition is really important, but I often felt guilty ‘resting’ when I felt ok. Stupid I know. It is vital to build up some energy stores and to put them aside for a rainy day, or flarey day 🙂

So here is where the lists come in. As I respond to ‘to-do’s’ so well I schedule rests into my daily planner. If it’s in the planner it is ok! No guilt because it is there in black and white.

It is also important to have some empty spaces on that daily planner. It really is ok. You don’t need to fill up every hour of the day.

Now the other thing you may or may not know is that I am a writer by education and by trade. I have mostly worked in Public Service departments writing speeches and reports but have always tinkered away with little works of fiction and non-fiction on the side. I decreed that 2014 was going to be the year I concentrated on my creative writing – well hey, I’ve started a blog, that counts. As I cannot work at the moment due to my health I am studying a Masters of Literature and Writing via distance education. One subject this semester will hopefully not be too taxing, and I do enjoy the subject matter – Young Adult Fiction.

So what do lists have to do with this outpouring of information you ask?

Firstly – when I was discharged from hospital I made a list of all the things I would like to do with my life – frivolous or not. This was for my eyes only so it didn’t matter if it had ‘marry Johnny Depp’ on it.

Then I made a list of all the fabulous and exciting things I had already done and achieved. That turned out to be a great list and made me feel like I had achieved a lot and had some wonderful experiences. I highly recommend you start a ‘have done’ list – it just might surprise you.

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How would your day look if you were a full-time writer?

This looks really interesting and I am keen to participate in this program down the track. I have been plodding along with bits and pieces for ages and have not treated writing as a ‘career’. Saying you’re a writer somehow seems to invoke a fair bit of eye-rolling and a belief that you sit and watch daytime TV every day. I am in the middle of an organisational frenzy so finding this blog couldn’t have come at a better time! Looking forward to seeing more of these ideas.