Friday, January 14, 2011

Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo

A common bemoaning I hear from writers is: I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo. Why would anyone try a writing contest in November? The month is just too busy. That statement is true. November is a busy month but then again, isn’t life in general busy? I think the test of NaNoWriMo is to see if you really DO want to write a novel. Because if you DO want to be a writer and make your deadlines, you need to know that you will be writing through anything and everything like loss of a loved one, loss of a day job, overtime at the day job, illness, family crisis, broken hearts, broken appliances, leaking roofs, flooded basements...not just holiday preparations. Plain and simple the main lesson NaNoWriMo teaches us is that writer’s write.


However, I learned a few other lessons while I participated in the last NaNoWriMo event. All of them surprised me yet they will help me grow as a writer.

Lesson One-I learned I did much better meeting my daily word count goals during the busy work week than I did on the weekends when I had much more free time. What tripped me up on the weekends? No urgency, I felt I had all day to complete the daily word count unlike during the hectic work week yet before I knew it, I was cleaning up from dinner and I still hadn’t sat down to write. So, by mid-month, I changed my weekend mindset and started getting my daily word count written by early afternoon.

Lesson Two-This confirmed seat of the pants writer was surprised to find she could write faster from a loose chapter outline. In October I drew up a rough chapter by chapter synopsis of things I wanted included in the book. Each chapter was comprised of two or three scenes. That made meeting my daily word count so much easier. On days I didn’t feel like writing or really felt “stuck”, this loose outline helped me to keep going. It also aided me to remember where I was in the book chronologically and helped me through that sagging middle syndrome. From this point forward for future books, I will do the extra work ahead of time and write a chapter by chapter outline.

Lesson Three-After reading on Facebook what Cheryl Wyatt and some of her writing buddies were doing during NaNoWriMo, I learned I can write about 725 words per hour. Cheryl and her friends were doing timed writing surges which intrigued me to try it and see what happened. Each time I devoted an hour to constant, never let my fingers take a rest from the keyboard writing, I would log approximately 725 words. This exercise also silenced my internal editor. I didn’t second guess my characters conversations, actions or reactions. I just wrote the scene and emotions. Is it great writing? No, but all writers know that it’s the revisions that make a book not the rough draft which is what the end result of NaNoWriMo is supposed to be, a rough draft not a polished ready for submission manuscript. (Just for the record Cheryl was logging WAY more words in a lot less time than me. She is a powerhouse writer!)

This year I stepped out of my writing comfort zone during NaNoWriMo and tried some new writing methods. The lessons I learned will help me grow as a novelist. But again,the biggest NaNoWriMo lesson to be learned by every inspiring author is writer’s write and if you can write through a month buzzing with holiday activities then you can write through whatever life throws at you.

My new release with Heartsong Presents, Lily of the Field, is a perfect example of writing through anything. I started this book during an ACFW book in a month program. Half way through the month, my forty year old sister-in-law passed away. I contemplated scrapping the project but my Mom, an avid quilter who helped me research the quilt blocks based on Bible verses was so excited about this book, I continued to write, polish and obviously, submit the book because Mom couldn’t wait to read it. However, almost two months to the date that Mom changed her residence from a small town in Iowa to the splendor of Heaven, I received an acceptance from Heartsong Presents with a very tight deadline. So while working a full time day job and closing an estate, with a sad heart I finished my book. Why? Because of lessons learned during previous writing programs-writer’s write through anything life throws at them and I am a writer.

From the back cover:

Caroline is a worrier. She can’t help it. Her husband died and left her with little money and less survival skills. Her son thinks the choices she’s made since then prove her foolish. And every time an opportunity starts to look good, something else makes her second guess her involvement and back off. Why wouldn’t she worry? She can’t depend on anyone else to help her out.

Rodney has always thought life was pretty good-at least until a heart attack laid him out flat. Retired now from his hectic ad executive lifestyle, he begins to realize he wasn’t much more than a workaholic. Family relationships are strained; he has no friend to speak of, certainly no wife or family of his own.

Marriage isn’t on either of their minds…but their minds are not God’s and He is busy taking care of the lilies of the field-and His children.

To celebrate the release of Lily of the Field, I’ve giving away a copy to three commenters today.

Bio: Rose Ross Zediker lives in rural Elk Point, SD with her husband of twenty eight years. She works full time at an investment firm and writes during the evening or weekends.

Drop by her blog: Don't Quit the Day Job
~~~~~
Mary Here:
Rose Zediker, Erica Vetsch and I will be doing a
BOOKSIGNING
February 12th
at
Crossroads Book and Gift
3900 Westport Ave.
Sioux Falls SD
Phone: 605-338-5951
from 1- 3 pm
If you would like a signed book
and
you can't get to Sioux Falls
(I'm going to need to see a doctor's note that says you can't travel)
phone
Crossroads Book and Gift
605-338-5951
and the lovely people there will be glad to take your money
and arrange to have the book signed and shipped

82 comments :

  1. Yay, Rose! I loved your post, and the lessons you learned from NaNo mirrored many of my experiences with that exhilerating, frustrating, crazy writing month. :)

    I'm so sorry to hear about your SIL and Mom. I lost my MIL before my first book came out, and it was bittersweet when those books arrived, knowing she wouldn't get to see them, when she had been a big supporter.

    I am really looking forward to seeing you and Mary again next month. I hope Sioux Falls is ready for us...

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  2. Wow - that is true persistence and answering God's call for your life and book(s). Wonderful to know you'll see your loved ones again too!!!

    Congratulations on your success! I also thought I was a SOTP writer but have concluded that I need to have some sort of outline as well. *sigh*

    Organization.
    NOT my strong suit...

    But I honestly think it will help me on book 2.

    THINK I'm going to try the Snowflake Method software. I bought Writing Fiction for Dummies and learned so much. His website suggested buying it and then he'd give you a discount on the software.

    I'm all for discounts if the product is good, and I hear it is! Will you share your thoughts on how you'll approach the outlines?

    Know the signing will go well. Sounds like fun but a bit far to make it for me. Enjoy!

    Thanks much! may at maythek9spy dot com

    Have a great Friday everybody!

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  3. The coffee pot's set for morning.

    Loved your story, Rose.

    Yeah, I'm one of those who doesn't do NaNoWriMo. I always have a project going, and I never want to put it aside to do something else.

    I'm not one of those who can keep several projects going at one. I have tunnel vision--focused on a single project until it's done before going on to the next one.

    Looking forward to reading your debut book. I'm garnering quite a collection of 'debuts' on my keeper shelf.

    Helen

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  4. Hi Rose! I'm so sorry to hear of your losses and the bittersweetness that goes along with it.

    I've done Nano for 4 years now and you're right about just about everything.

    Okay.

    Everything.

    I find I write best in 15 minute timed blocks. 10 is too short and 20 finds me dawdling. Of course, with a 3yo who insists on being involved with everything and has given up naps, it gets difficult...

    I think my top 15m block this year was about 800 words. Now in the interests of full disclosure: It was a scene I had played through in my head a dozen times and had written in my head at least that many times. Much more common was about 5-550 iirc. In a good hour, I could do 3. More often 2-2.5.

    A dedicated day is great, too, to help boost the word count, especially if you can find a fellow writer to 'race' with. Last year an editor friend and I set aside a '10K day'. We did races and kept each other accountable. She was sick so stayed home in her room. I spent 10 hours at Panera ;). That 800 word burst sure helped!

    The loose outline thing helps too and I'm definitely a pantser as well :).

    Now Novel Track this month is getting the best of me, but I may still be able to pull it out... :p

    Erica - I doubt Sioux Falls [or any town] could be ready for that combination ;).

    Count me in :).
    carol at carolmoncado dot com

    captcha: dened - do hope that's not the editor who has my MS misspelling denied /hand wringing/

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  5. Awww~ Sweet Rose, you just made my day.

    I'm glad for the stuff you learned during NaNo. GREAT JOB!

    We must do another timed writing challenge soon!

    How fun!

    Hugs
    Cheryl

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  6. Many thanks for the interesting blog. I was sorry to read about your Mom and SIL, and feel sad that they didn't get to read your book.

    I was also a NaNoWriMo winner last November and I echo your comments, especially about the need for a loose chapter outline.

    Please enter me in the draw for your book. Many thanks.

    Ruth Ann
    ruthdell (at) mweb (dot) co (dot) za

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  7. Rose,

    This was a great post. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Blessings!

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  8. One:

    Sioux Falls, is NOT ready. I guarantee it.

    Two:

    Rose, these mixed emotions that follow us, the bittersweet, the laughter through tears. I think that's God's way of honing us to relate to others through his word and our stories. That reflection helps others realize they're not alone, and who (really????) wants to be alone? Wonderful post and I can't wait to read Lily of the Field. Seriously, you have blessed us with this, food for heart and soul.

    I brought a HUGE Friday breakfast because it's, well... Friday. Time to shrug off the diet JUST A LITTLE.

    A smidge.

    So there's meat in the covered dishes, ham, sausage and bacon, scrambled eggs, bagels, Texas Toast, croissants, Danish, fruit tray (and fruit bowls on the table in case you get hungry during the day, aren't those Bosc pears delish???) potatoes O'Brien with melted cheese over the top.

    Yum. ;)

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  9. Great tips, Rose! I loved this post. A lot of my NaNoWriMo experiences were the same as yours!
    Camy

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  10. Interesting post Rose. Cannot wait to read your first book!!

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  11. Rose, Welcome to this side of Seekerville! Your post both inspired and touched me. God bless you for persevering during the loss of your mom and sister.
    Congratulations on the release of Lily of the Field. How fun to have Erica and Mary to share a table at your book signing. Have a blast!

    Thanks for breakfast, Ruthy!

    Janet

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  12. Good Morning, Everyone!

    Thanks for putting up with me in Seekerville today.

    I'm hoping to in and out all day but it is year end reporting time at the day job.

    Rose

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  13. Congrats on your first book, Rose and welcome to Seekerville!

    I also worked through the holidays because of a deadline. In fact I got my edits Dec. 24th. I even worked on Christmas Day. But even on a really busy day I found I had extra time. You can make time when you have to.

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  14. Erica!

    I can't wait for the book signing. Crossroads is a lovely store to work with...believe me I'm finding other stores are not!

    Life throws so much at us and as writer's we have to learn to write through those times, hard as it may be. I'm sorry our 'shared experience' involves the loss of a loved one but I know they are looking down from Heaven, saying "That's my girl!"

    Thanks for visiting me today!

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  15. KC-

    I think a writer needs to be open to trying new methods to get those words on paper. Because like anything else in life what works well for one person isn't always the answer for another.

    The outline I worked with last November I broke out by the number of chapters I thought the book should have and then wrote two or three short paragraphs with the actions and emotions I wanted in the scene. That worked to get me through the month but I know the method still needs tweaking.

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  16. Helen,

    So far, I've only worked on two projects at once. Ususally one is complete just needing revisions and the other is in the planning/draft stage. I know that is something I'll have to work on!

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  17. Carol,

    Keep plugging away at Novel Track!

    Good job on the word count in short periods of time. Sometimes, it's amazing to see how many words you get on paper in such a short amount of time.

    Although I must say, that if I spent 10 hours in Panera, I'd probably gain ten pounds! Love that bakery stuff.

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  18. Cheryl, Camy, Janet, Cara=

    Thanks for the warm welcome and inviting me to guest blog today.

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  19. Ruth Ann,

    Congrats on winning NaNoWriMo. It's a great accomplishment.

    Edwina and Lisa-

    Thanks for stopping by today.

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  20. Ruthy,

    You are so right. We can use our life experiences whether happy or sad to encourage others and let them know that this too shall pass.

    Thanks for breakfast. All I've had time for is coffee today and Carol is talking about Panera and now my mouth is watering for a pecan braid!

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  21. Carol, I've thought about doing the Novel Track. I do far better with a challenge or deadline.

    So I self-impose them when I'm not under a real deadline. LOL!

    I need to get on the ball with Novel Track.

    I think it's the fear of getting innundated with a ton more e-mail that has me hesitant. LOL!

    Any pros and cons to NT?

    Cheryl

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  22. Rose, I also meant to say that I SO admire you for pressing through amid your loss and that you have the hope of Heaven securely in your heart.

    God bless you!

    Hugs
    Cheryl

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  23. Hi Rose, WElcome to Seekerville and thanks for sharing with us.

    I so relate to your first lesson. -I learned I did much better meeting my daily word count goals during the busy work week than I did on the weekends when I had much more free time.

    I find the more time I have the less I write. yikes. Why is that? Your comment is going to help me rethink my writing time. Maybe I need to put it where there is more of a time crunch.

    Thanks Ruthy for the goodies.

    Feb 12th is on my calendar Rose, Erica and Mary. woo hoo. More autograph books for gifts.

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  24. Also forgot to say, Rose, that I can't wait to read your book!

    Hugs
    Cheryl

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  25. Good morning, Rose. So fun to find you here this morning and I'm thrilled to be one of the few that could make the drive to your book signing. (Happy dance!!!)

    I loved your life lessons. I work faster from an outline, too, and I do work better under pressure.

    Congratulations, my friend. I can't wait to read your book!

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  26. Rose, Your mom would have loved the book. I can just see her quilting away in heaven. Your blog today has reminded me that we are never to "old" to try new things and that we are never done growing, not matter what age we are. Keep up the good work.

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  27. Rose, find somewhere weird for us to have lunch before the book signing.

    I've been watching the cooking channel and I'm starting to get hungry for obscure food in odd little piles with squiggles of sauce in bright colors.

    Does Sioux Falls have that?

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  28. Rose you losing your mom and Erica your MIL reminds me of how often I think of my dad dying before I got a book published.

    He knew I was writing but he died before I sold and he was such a sweetie. He'd've been so happy and proud of me.

    It's sad but it's also a wonderful thing to know how he WOULD have felt. That's a great gift to know people well enough to carry their support in your heart even after they're died.

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  29. Cheryl -

    I haven't noticed a ton of email [though I use have been on really really really busy email lists and I use gmail for most of the lists/loops I'm on and it doesn't seem like nearly as much to me that way]. The last days of the month before has everyone setting their goals and the beginning of the month has the rest of the goals being set and everyone jumping in with totals. After that it tapers off though. I think there were 8 or 9 emails yesterday.

    And then several times a month they send out tips.

    At least that's been my experience in Oct and Jan. I didn't finish in Oct b/c I decided to edit another MS instead. That's the one I sent off to an editor a couple weeks ago so it was a good trade. This month I was hoping to do 50K like Nano but while I think I'll make it, about 8K was on that same MS and not on the new ones :P. Ah well ;).

    Holler if you want to ask me anything else... Not that I'm the most experienced with any of it but I'll try =D.

    @Rose - fortunately, the budget doesn't allow for too many pastries ;). And I try to sit way in the back away from all of that [but way too close to the soda machine - but also close to the little author's room which is good when it's that close to drinks ;)]. I've done that several times in the last couple months [the 10K day and then two editing days between Christmas and sending my MS to the editor who requested it the first week of Jan]. It's much comfier than most other places I've tried over the years and much more productive than home ;).

    @Ruthie - breakfast. Yum. I should probably eat some of that...

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  30. Great post, Rose.
    and beautiful testiment to your faithfulness to your 'calling'. What a story!

    And some very important lessons I needed to read.
    I find I'm the same way with 'urgency' writing versus weekend writing. I'm much more productive when I'm insanely busy - which doesn't seem to make logical sense to me.

    Of course, right now I stay insanely busy - so that's a good thing :-)

    Your novel has a lovely cover.

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  31. Rose,

    Thanks for sharing your story and your lessons learned!

    How hard that must have been to lose two such important people in your life.

    I would be interested in how you do your Chapter outlines too, if you care to share.

    Have never tried the NaNo event, because like Helen, I'm usually in the middle of something else. Maybe next year, who knows..

    Would love to win a copy of your book!

    Best of luck,

    Sue

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  32. Oops, forgot my address.

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  33. Congratulations on your debut book, Rose!!! I hope you have a wonderful experience at your first book signing! What fun.

    I tried NaNo once and only once. It seemed to give me writers block, putting all that pressure on myself, but there were other factors at work, as well. But if it motivates you, I say it's wonderful! Whatever works!

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  34. I first met Rose at a book signing in Sioux City, IA.
    She came to my signing and just about saved my life, as I sat there ALONE.

    If ever someone would come up to me, she's sidle away and look through a magazine rack, then they'd leave and we'd go right back to talking.

    I had so much fun (and was so stinking GRATEFUL) that I wanted to shoo the shoppers away (they never bought a book anyway!) and say, "Look, I'm talking to Rose, here, okay? Move along!"

    Anyway, I owe her.

    Then Erica and I had a signing in Sioux Falls, SD. Rose came and hung around with us all day.

    It is just pure THRILLING to get to do a signing now with her.

    YAY ROSE!!!!!

    And the book sounds terrific. I'm a subscriber to Heartsong Presents so I'll be getting it pretty soon. But it's not as fun as getting to buy it in a bookstore.

    And Erica babeeeeeee.

    We are just crazed when we get together, talking FOREVER. We only see each other once or twice a year. You need to move closer to me and Rose, Erica. C'mon.

    Erica and I have perfected teh five hour lunch.

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  35. Now with Rose, we'll need to increase that by...well....let's give her a fair cut of the time, so we need another two and a half hours.

    So, a seven and a half hour lunch.

    I'll bet we'd never quit talking. :)

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  36. WOW, Rose, this post really tempts me to get involved with NaNoWriMo next year because I SOOO need the help, but have been putting it off. Will try it this year based solely on your wonderful blog today.

    Welcome to Seekerville, and thanks for the great info and inspiration.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  37. I didn't participate in NaNo last year but I was involved in a writing challenge wherein I worked on a rough first draft. It was great, my highest ever production in a month. I also wrote and polished the synopsis for my current wip. But I've been very fuzzy brained since the beginning of the year. Thanks for putting me back in touch with the lessons--and the high--of sitting down and getting it done.

    I also think I will plan to have another synopsis done by mid-October, preparation for this year's NaNo.

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  38. Rose, thanks so much for sharing your insights with us today! I confess, I've never had the fortitude to try NaNoWriMo. I just never seem to be in the right place with my current writing project to dive in like that.

    And you brought up another important point--being an SOTP writer, I have NEVER been able to come up with anything close to a complete chapter outline or even a series of coherent scene ideas until I'm sitting at the keyboard living out each scene as it unfolds.

    I guess what really counts, though, is getting the words on the page however we manage to do it. And I so respect and admire you for writing through your heartache. I know your mom and sister-in-law would be so proud.

    Let me just add that I am SOOO jealous that you get to spend time with Erica and Mary! I hope your book signing is a huge success!

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  39. AWESOME post! Have been saying "I'll do NANO next year" for at least three years. Planning for this year to be the year I actually do it!

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  40. For five hour lunches, good tipping is not only expected, it's REQUIRED....

    For 7.5 hours???? You buy the waitress a CAR, honey.

    And I'm so jealous I could SPIT! But I had so much fun the night that Joy, Deb and Julia made it to my book signing. It made it so real and fun! Next time, lunch girls. Or supper. Just time to sit and laugh and talk about Mary.

    Oops, I mean TALK. If Mary happens to come up, well, hey. Then that's all right!

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  41. Hello Rose,

    First, my utmost condolences for the loss of your SIL and Mom.

    I lost my father try to remind myself that though he wasn't here to read my books, he will.

    Thanks for the post, and the reminder that you can do a lot more than you think you can. Even in a busy/sorrowful time of life.

    Cause, due to the hectic rhythm of life, I pretty much took a break this holiday season. Spent some time weeping for what seemed like no reason, but I guess my soul needed a release somewhere. But now I must get back to writing.

    I can relate to writing through the week and getting more done. Probably because, come the weekend, my family wants to get other things done and during the week I can sit down, alone and think.

    I tried the snowflake method, and a couple others, and I tried the NaNo, and I actually accomplished more than I thought I would doing it.

    Nearly 50,000 words for the months. pert near a book. well, a third of a book given the lengths I write.

    Thanks again for sharing,
    blessings

    Tina P.

    tina_pinson(at)yahoo.com

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  42. Thanks for sharing Rose!

    I've been avoiding NaNo, although my boys that are still at home participated - and one finished. He aspires to be a fantasy/scifi writer someday, so he spends a lot of time writing.

    We're in the process of moving to Rapid City - my dear husband has been there since October and we're waiting to sell the house so we can join him. Long story short (too late?) we drive right through Elk Point on the road between here (Topeka, KS) and there. I'll wave as we go through next time....

    I can tell from your description of how you write that I'm definitely NOT a SOTP writer. I can't imagine doing ANYTHING without an outline! I even use one for cleaning the house!

    Anyway, thanks for breakfast Ruth. It's always fun stopping by here.

    BTW - my address is jandrex@juno.com

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  43. Hi Lorna!

    YAY! that you are coming to the book signing.

    Isn't that odd how "pressure" makes us more productive. It seems to be a common theme in everyone's posts.

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  44. Jan!

    Please do wave because you can see my house from the exit 18 on I29!

    I'm glad you're finally getting to join your husband.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  45. Sandra,

    Thanks for supporting our book signing. I'm so glad to be in good company and not on my own for my very first one.

    I'm glad to learn that I'm not the only one who lets valuable writing time slip away on the weekends.

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  46. Lisa-

    Thanks for stopping in today and always supporting my writing dreams.

    Mary-

    I'm not in the habit of eating little piles of food adorned with squiggles but I'll check into some restaurants before the 12th!

    The signing will be a blast. I already know that one person will show up because I've "strong armed" my friend who lives there into coming!

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  47. Rose this is the time to collect ALL FAVORS OWED.

    Remember that time I let you use my cell phone? Get in here and buy a book.

    Remember that time I babysat your dog for the weekend? BOOK! But it NOW!

    Remember that time I walked in on you insulting my cooking and forgave you?

    (that one may not happen to everyone. As a notoriously bad cook however, I have sold quite a few books on that one.)

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  48. And no one is in the habit of eating squiggley little piles of food. But i've been watching Iron Chef and all their food has squiggles. I'm sure they think it's groovy, but I always want to pull them aside and quietly say, "You're kidding yourself, just steam the lobsters and leave the squiggles off."

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  49. Pepper,

    Thank you for complimenting my cover. I was very pleased with the outcome. Glad you stopped in today.

    Susan,

    I roughed out a chapter by chapter outline with how I thought the book would go...I did stray from it a little bit. I worked on the outline the entire month of October so when November came some of the scenes were pretty clear in my writer's mind which made it easier to get down on paper.

    Melanie-

    Yes, we writer's need to find what motivates us to keep at it and stick with it.

    I suggested your book to two of my friends with Nooks and they both downloaded it. Wishing much success with your debut novel.

    JoAnne-

    I do think planning ahead is key to success with NaNoWriMo as it's easy to get behind in word count and catch back up.

    Patricia-

    We all need a break sometimes but I'm glad you're getting back into the writing mode.

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  50. Julie & Myra-

    Thanks for hosting my guest blog.

    I've met so many new friends and picked up so much valuable information I can't begin to thank all the Seekerville ladies enough.

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  51. Tina P

    I need to read up on that snowflake method. Many writer's have talked to me about that.

    Glad to see you here today.

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  52. Enjoyed your post and would love to win and read your book! Thanks!!

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  53. Rose, that was really touching. Congratulations on getting that special book published!

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  54. Thanks for inspiring us with your story, Rose, of how God can enable our dreams and maybe even use them as balm to ease the hard things in life. Wishing you well with your book and book signing! Blessings!

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  55. Jackie S, Eva Marie and Renee Ann-

    Thanks for dropping by today and saying hi.

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  56. So oh my stars, I'm reading all these nice comments and thinking who brought lunch?

    I was going to leave it to Mary, but then you'd get three-day-old pizza or butter-bread with old butter.

    Like 'cheese' butter.

    I'm savin' y'all by bringing hearty burgers with or without cheese, french fries, cole slaw, mac salad, hot sauce, and oh my stars....

    Milkshakes.

    Chocolate, vanilla, root beer (to die for, do not laugh) and strawberry or strawberry/banana.

    And nice BIG straws.

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  57. Loved your post, Rose. Congratulations on having your book published. Your words are encouraging. I've used "Book in a Month" that I won here at Seekerville. The resources there helped me write a more solid story. The Writing Time Tracker kept me accountable. I'm thinking of NT, too. Hope your first book signing with Erica and Mary is great fun for all with a big turnout.

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  58. Your book sounds great! Would love to read it. Thanks for giving away a copy.
    plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  59. Loved your post, Rose. I've been an (unpubbed)seat of the pants writer for ages and thought that was me, but now I've begun outlining (which I'm not finding at all easy - it's like sitting a big exam and never having studied, I reckon) I do find my actual writing time is way more productive.
    Congrats on your success!

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  60. I was not big on NaNo. I handled it for a couple of days and then work took center stage. As I've discovered, I can set a goal for daily writing output, but the goal required for Nano is too high. I set a smaller daily writing goal to open this year. So far so good.

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  61. Walt,

    You learned an important lesson from NaNoWriMo...high daily word count doesn't work for you! Really working a full time job it's hard for me to get more than 1300 words per day.

    Thanks for stopping by with a guys point of view!

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  62. Patsy and Jane,

    So glad you joined us today.

    Ruthy...

    I'm ready for that strawberry malt now...I like them thick!

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  63. Rose, your name is my favorite flower. One look at my website will tell you that. I've also used "Rose" as a psuedonym. I'd LOVE, absolutely LOVE to read your book! Especially a signed copy! Please put me in the drawing!!!

    ~Linnette

    lr dot mullin at live dot com

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  64. Rose, thank you for your post. I've considered doing NaNoWriMo, and even read the founder's book, "No Plot? No Problem!." Reading your thoughts makes me want to give it a try.

    And I would love to win a book.

    melaniej_evans AT yahoo DOT com

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  65. Rose you are definintely an inspiration to us all. I'm so excited about your book.

    You're right. You have to learn to work through it all to do this thing called writing, because life doesn't just stop. Great advice!

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  66. Linnette,

    My favorite colored rose is yellow but my favorite flower is lilacs!

    Glad you stopped by today.

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  67. Melanie,

    I have that book too but haven't read it from cover to cover. That is on my to do list before next November.

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  68. Dawn,

    I'm glad you came by today! You are right, life does not stop for anything so if you want to write you have to make time for it.

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  69. Rose I am so excited to read this book.

    You and Rose and Mary. HOW UNFAIR IS THAT? I want to go on tour with you guys.

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  70. Tina,

    ON TOUR! I never thought of it that way.

    Now appearing, Mary, Erica and Rose

    Or

    Mary, Erica and Rose have left the building!

    We sound like a folk group from the 60's!

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  71. Rose, I'm late getting here, but I loved your post!! What great points, truly inspiring.

    I really need to try the writing surges. I heard a bit about them on Cheryl's page but haven't given it a whirl yet. Thanks for the reminder!

    Your book sounds so sweet. Congrats on the release!

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  72. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraJanuary 14, 2011 at 8:52 PM

    What great lessons you learned from NaNo. I am sorry to hear about your sister in-law and Mom. Good luck with your next project.

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  73. LOL on the 60's folk group name! Y'all be sure to wear your hippie beads and tie dye for the singing. I mean signing. ;)

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  74. I have a Frederick Rose bush back home in Missouri, a gift from my hubby. It's pink and my favorite. It smells so sweet and beautiful. The rose on my website is one from that bush. I also have a mini rose bush that is yellow and they blooms turn pink tipped before as they mature. Very pretty!

    I love lilacs, too! Purple. They smell gorgeous!

    ~Linnette

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  75. Rose,

    I appreciate your post. Your dedication to your task is amazing.

    Do you think your story and/or characters changed in any way after the death of your loved ones?Writing is so personal and even as you kept writing, I just wondered if what you were feeling impacted the work in some way.

    I'd love to read your debut book. Congrats!

    cathy underscore shouse at yahoo

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  76. Sorry im so late today. was so tired last night and was falling asleep watching the cricket but decided just one chapter of Doctors in Petticoats well half a book later at 2am I finished it. Then this today I have been dealing with the branches of the tree that came down after the storms Thursday night.
    Hi Rose Glad you learnt some lessons from NaNo I am not a writer have have heard alot about it.

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  77. Cathy,

    When my SIL passed away at 42 years of age, it really affirmed to me that our time here on earth is limited and if I wanted to write a book to I needed to get busy and get it done.

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  78. Hi Missy and Ausjenny-

    Better late than never!

    So glad you spent sometime here with me today.

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  79. Rose,

    What a lovely and inspiring post.

    I also find that writing (or working) through a crisis is the best medicine...at least for me. I've lost both parents (a month apart) and then because of splitting up the non-willed few things that the parents left behind, my brother barged in, demanded everything and then promptly removed himself from my life. Ugh. I've only recently been able to get back communications with the two nieces who are now married and on their own. Sad.

    Anyway, your book sounds wonderful and I wish you all the best in the future.

    Sandy

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  80. The idea of counting your writing input via words per hour (or session, as the case may be) is very encouraging - I'm going to try it.

    I, too, know about loss and commend you for standing firm.

    Marilyn Mitchell

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  81. It was great to read such a positive post about NaNoWriMo. This was my fourth year taking part, despite facing comments from those who wonder if I'm wasting serious writing time. This year I needed to use the month to finish something already underway, so it wasn't an authentic NaNo effort, but I set personal goals and reached them.

    I love your comment that "writers write through anything life throws at them." That's what hobby writers don't get. Yes, life has its priorities, but when writing is one of them we learn to cope, dodge the obstacles, and still keep writing.

    Congratulations on the release of Lily of the Field. I wish you much success with it.

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  82. HI Rose. I too liked your no-nonsense look at the "writing life." Thanks for your transparent examples of writing no matter WHAT. And I have to ask, what was your mom's little Iowa town? I'm from there, so am curious.

    Thanks so much,

    Gail Kittleson
    If you wish, you may reply @
    gkittleson@omnitelcom.com

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