Tara Lazar, children’s book author, came up with a great way to start every new year. It’s called, “STORYSTORM.” The concept is simple, it’s free and all that is required is that anyone who signs up for “STORYSTORM” comes up with 30 book ideas in 31 days.
Good news, this is stress free, because you are not held accountable for showing anyone your 30 ideas. You are the only one that knows if you did it or not. However, by signing up, you can join the discussions on Facebook, read posts by other authors, agents, editors, etc.
Lazar only does this in January. Last January, I found out about it, but it was at the end of the month, so I missed the boat. This year though, I am right on time.
Let the story ideas BEGIN…
Fellow blogger JoHawk encouraged me to give NaNoWriMo a try, so I joined today. That is the good news. The bad news is that I am already 5,000 words behind schedule!
NaNoWriMo is a free online creative writing program that you join in the month of November to basically push yourself to write your novel. Everyone who joins is attempting to write 50,000 words for a novel. That means 1,666 words a day.
The reason NaNoWriMo is popular is because they have forums where you meet fellow writers. You can connect with buddies, so you encourage each other on a daily basis. They also give advice on character development, plots, endings and more.
It is a bit of a competition. I don’t know much about this as I just joined, but I’ve read that you can upload your novel on a daily basis and/or at the end. Then the novels are judged and they reveal a winner.
NaNoWriMo has been offering this program for 20 years. There is definitely excitement in trying to push ourselves to a new level. Reach goals, finally finish our novels and make dreams come true.
Ok, I’ve got to go, I am already behind on my word count.
Here is my first sentence, “Isabella’s fiancé proposed. She should have been happy, but the ring was a fake.”
To be continued…
Last night I heard thunder and saw lightening. As a child, when a storm came over Lake Michigan, we rushed outside the house to clear the leaves out of the drains, so there wouldn’t be a flood.
For a writer, a storm brings creativeness in a different way. If you write, you know what I mean. We feel the need to hunker down, stay indoors and write whatever comes to mind. A storm allows deep emotions to come out in our characters.
I’m off to write. HOW will my character make it out of the…
You see, there are so many possibilities!
As a writer, we get “writer’s block.” Life becomes overwhelming, ideas are not flowing freely. We need to find a way to open the channels of our creativity.
Comedy – I decided I needed to laugh.
By chance, I found a TV show called, “Miracle Workers,” I gave the first episode a shot, it was SO FUNNY! It just came out 2019. I laughed, because they show God in a corporate office in Heaven, sitting on a sofa switching through TV Channels to see what is happening on Earth. He’s so disappointed with what he sees… like us, God is tired of his job and decides he will just blow up Earth and start a new project.
I laughed AGAIN, because in Heaven there is a department called, “Unanswered Prayers.” They show only two people in charge of that department with piles and piles of requests, they can’t possibly help everyone.
So, that explains it, my “unanswered prayer” has been sitting in God’s slush pile for 7 years collecting dust.
If you take a look at this Youtube trailer for the show, you’ll understand why this comedy is so hilarious. Silly sure, but just what a writer needs to laugh a little and be reminded that God gets tired too and that sometimes we just have to do it ourselves!
Basically, this is a humorous way of comparing Heaven to normal life in a corporation.
Show is based on the novel What’s in God’s Name by Simon Rich.
Write. Stop, Think. Write again. I’ve been writing cover letters. It’s exhausting. I wonder how creative I can get. I’m at a point where I need to start new tactics, change things up, see what happens. Maybe use a bit of humor.
For example, how about this:
Dear Joe, While this isn’t the exact job I am looking for, if it pays well, I’m interested.
Dear Sally, When you say I need to be able to lift 50 lbs, what exactly would I be lifting. I thought this was a desk job.
When I was working for a manufacturing company, they put me in charge of reading cover letters and gathering resumes. I was shocked at how many people sent resumes without cover letters. If they wrote a cover letter, it was 3 sentences at the most saying, “Here is my resume,” and others that had typos.
I have to keep that in mind when I am sending my resume out. It’s all about “timing” too. If there is one job and 150 resumes, we know that HR does not read all of the resumes. We didn’t. We would read them down the line until we found 5-10 good resumes. Call to see if applicant could come in for an interview, if not, back to the resume list.
So, there is some LUCK involved in this job hunting stuff.
Where’s a lucky penny when I need it?
Some days, we are write (I mean right.) on target with our writing goals and other days, it seems we will never find the last piece to the puzzle.
I’m writing my children’s book and my brain is on overload. Too many wires out there and they are not connecting. If you are a writer or a student working on a term paper or thesis, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
We’re trying to focus, so that our writing path is clear, but our mind cannot quiet down and concentrate!
I know this is when we are told to “meditate.” I’ve tried that. My brain does quiet down for 5 minutes, then it is back to brain chaos.
This made me think of inventors. Can you imagine the patience they have to have when they keep reaching a dead end! I’m sure Thomas Edison banged his fist on the table many times when he was inventing the light bulb!
The key is visualizing the end result. Keeping our mind on the prize!
So, TODAY is about finding a break through!
This weekend I wanted to get back into my weekly walking routine. I realized I hadn’t done much exercise in September. So, I dusted off my gym shoes and headed out.
My goal was a 5 mile walk. I scanned my NPR TED Radio Hour podcasts and found one called, “A Hero’s Journey.” This was an outstanding podcast, where I forgot I was exercising. The show started out talking about “Star Wars.” They were discussing how “a hero’s journey” is written. They said there was a 3 ACT formula for writing hero books. First, the hero has a departure (leaves home), then there is an initiation (hero goes on a quest), and then the hero returns (comes back home). Sounds like my life! (grin)
After “Star Wars,” the podcast continued with other stories focused on “a hero’s journey” theme. A woman who wanted to sail around the world and how she did it, a man who became an author/illustrator (his mother was a drug addict, he talks about this), and George Takia from “Star Trek,” talks about his childhood imprisonment in an internment camp during WWII, because he was Japanese.
This leads me to “How To Addict,” a fellow Blogger who writes motivational posts. This week his post, “Shift your focus – fulfillment through work,” was a good one. Like my “hero’s journey” podcast, Doc was sending the message that we should challenge ourselves, not be lazy, instead persevere and feel fulfilled in our work – have a goal.
So, this week is about being on “a hero’s journey!”
Remember: a hero departs, initiates (starts and fulfills his quest) and then returns home.
What QUEST are you on this week?