NaNo by the Numbers

cropped-ramonagravitar.jpgToday I dove into the challenge called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Throughout 2016, I’ve been speaking at libraries on how to create a long term daily writing habit. This is indirectly connected to NaNoWriMo, but one part of my writing habit talk is discussing word count and NaNoWriMo. Every time I do this talk, I notice people scribbling the numbers. Today, on Day 1, I thought I’d share the breakdown. I hope it helps those people who like to play with days and numbers and word count: Continue reading

Guest post at The Insecure Writer’s Support Group

RamonaGravitarToday I have the pleasure of guest blogging for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. This IWSG’s purpose is to encourage writers to discuss their fears and triumphs, challenges and accomplishments. It’s run by working writers and the group welcomes new and experienced writers:

“Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!”

My post is called The Sprint Method of Writing. It offers advice on how to establish a daily writing routine as well as how to use a journal to help with daily writing tasks.

The 10 Task To-Do List

RamonaGravitarOn an otherwise dreary morning, I ventured into an office supply store determined not to buy all of Aisle 9. I get into trouble around shiny pens and pretty pencils, whimsical sticky notes, glossy-paged journals, and fancy scissors. I would say the siren’s call is worse when Mercury is in retrograde, but it doesn’t matter what Mercury is up to when it comes to my weakness about office supplies. I’m thinking about starting a support group. Continue reading

Tell Your Arts Story

RamonaGravitarIn 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, and so created two agencies dedicated to the development and preservation of arts, culture, and history in the U.S.

On September 29, 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities will celebrate their 50th birthdays. If you are an artist or historian, you are invited to be part of this celebration.

The NEA has issued an invitation to artists to share how art influences and inspires you, your family, your community. The project is called Tell Us Your Story. You can submit an essay, audio, video, and photos. In September, the NEA will begin posting stories on their website. Continue reading

A Write Every Day Q&A

RamonaGravitarThis past weekend I offered a workshop on How to Find and Use a Writing Hour. I’ve been banging the Writing Hour drum for a while now, with no plans to stop. This is another drum-banging post.

Why do I promote the one hour a day plan so strenuously?

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How to Use a Sprint Journal

RamonaGravitarLike many writers, I keep a notebook called a book bible. The book bible for my current WIP, a novel written in the episodic style, is a beat-up, bright green notebook with fraying pages, a precarious spiral spine, and an array of Post-its in various shapes and colors poking from the edges.journals

A book bible is used to record ideas, changes, concepts, goals, for a work in progress. It’s a planning aid. This post, however, is not about book bibles; I am introducing the book bible idea to get it out of the way. What I want to discuss today is my Sprint Journal.

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How to Make the Most of a Writing Hour

RamonaGravitarIn October, I participated in a workshop series at the Havre de Grace, MD, public library on preparing for NaNoWriMo. A month of intense writing with a high word count goal can’t be undertaken willy-nilly. My talk covered the range from psychological pep talks, the mid-month slump, and learning to love your crock pot.

Writing for an hour a day may not require the extremes of November, but if you are carving out a new hour in your day, your daily schedule will shift. If you have the hour available without much pain to the rest of your life, great. Either way, today’s post will address how to best use the hour once you’ve found it.

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How to Write an Hour at a Time

RamonaGravitarAt the Pennwriters Conference this past weekend, I gave a workshop on a writing challenge called Sprinting. To Sprint, a writer shuts off all distractions and writes without interruption for an hour. The goal is to get down 1,000 new words in an hour.

Sprinting is simple and hardly enough content for a one hour workshop. Finding an hour a day to write, and incorporating it into an otherwise busy life, may not be so simple. Also complicated is how to make the most effective use of a writing hour. Those—finding an hour and using the hour—will make up the content of this mini blog series. Here’s the schedule:

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