Thursday, November 20, 2014

Visualizing Success: My “Door of Victory”

with guest Jennifer Delamere.

Hi, everyone! First, I would like to extend my thanks to the Seekers for having me on the blog today! It’s a pleasure to be here. I’ve brought along some steaming cappuccino from my favorite locally owned coffee shop, so let’s get started!

 Oh, and in honor of the upcoming release of A Bride for the Season, I’ve also brought along this real chicken pie. In the book Gone with the Wind, Scarlett and Rhett feasted on chicken pie and champagne on their wedding night.

Today I want to share how my home office door has been a tremendous help in my writing journey. I don’t mean because I used it to keep people out—although it is indeed useful for cutting down on interruptions. No, what helped me was not so much the door itself, but what I put on it.

It started simply enough, back when I was still fairly new to writing and had yet to complete a manuscript. I’d made several false starts with contemporary romances, but nothing seemed to click. Then I began to seriously consider writing a historical. At about that time, a friend told me about National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with NaNoWriMo. You are perhaps in the midst of it right now, and stealing a few minutes away from your wild typing marathon in order to read this post. (If so, I am extremely grateful!) The goal of NaNoWriMo, of course, is to write 50,000 words in one month. NaNoWriMo is not for everyone. But in my case, it was exactly what I needed, at exactly the right time.

I can still remember the little frisson of excitement when my friend and I met at a café on November 1, 2009, and I sat down to begin that 50K journey. I remember with crystal clarity the first sentence I typed. I remember feeling that I was on the verge of something great. 

(Spoiler alert: That first sentence never changed, right through to the book’s publication as An Heiress at Heart.)


(Another spoiler alert: That line was spoken by James Simpson, a secondary character who went on to become the hero in A Bride for the Season.)

On that day, I felt like I was stepping off the deep end of the pool and hoping that my swimming skills, although shaky, were enough to get me to the other side.

I “won” NaNo that year. I swam across those fifty thousand words, using every trick they teach you: never use one word if two will do; don’t waste a minute second-guessing yourself or trying to rein in those flights of fancy; if you get stuck, skip over that scene and write the next one; write a scene even if you suspect it will later get trimmed as backstory; and above all, never delete whole sentences or paragraphs (just put them in red font and delete after NaNo is over)

Granted, although my lovely mess had a beginning, middle, and end, it was not complete. It was full of gaps and plot holes. Filling in those gaps, not to mention skimming the dross and putting on the spit polish, would take a few more months. But I had something to work with, and I was flush with success. I was also amazed to see that most of that speed writing was actually pretty good. There is a lot to be said for that unbound muse.


But back to the door.

I was so proud of my NaNo success that I posted three souvenirs from the experience on my office door.

Here’s a close-up of the poster, because it contains a quote from Leonard Bernstein that has sustained me time and time again—especially after I had sold a book and got on a deadline: 

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” 


About eight months later (after the above-mentioned polishing), that manuscript earned its first contest final—in the Romance Through the Ages Contest, sponsored by Hearts Through History Romance Writers. It won the prize for Most Memorable Hero in the same contest. I received two lovely certificates, and because my small office does not have a lot of open wall space, I taped them to the door with my NaNoWriMo souvenirs.

Truth be told, even if I’d had tons of wall space, I’d probably have done the same. Many years of constant moving—as both a Navy brat and an adult—have taught me that a manila folder is a lot easier to pack and move than a stack of picture frames. 

But in the end, pasting those items to the door turned out to be a boon, because those reminders of my success were right where I could see them every time I went in to write—not to mention every time I walked down the hall. That door now gave me constant reinforcement that yes, I can do this writing thing—and succeed.

More and more things kept finding their way onto my door: two more contest finals, a screen shot of my agent’s tweet when I signed with her; the welcome letter from my publisher when I sold my first book; and a lovely poster advertising my first book signing. I filled in the gaps with cartoons, bookmarks, postcards, and other things that made me laugh and/or inspired me. By last year, that door had become a wonderful hodge-podge of whimsy and inspiration. It was a visual shot in the arm whenever I needed it. It was also packed full. 


And so, on that thrilling day in 2013 when I received a certificate for being a finalist in the RITA® contest, I had no place to put it!

I realized that it was time to take everything down and start again. A clean slate, with fresh inspiration and new victories to mark. But still I keep the mementos from NaNoWriMo. Because being a published author on a deadline means that Leonard Bernstein’s wisdom is as true now as ever.

Recently a friend shared with me that she’s keeping a “blessings diary.” Every evening she sits down and writes something that has blessed her that day. Another friend keeps a prayer journal, where she notes specific things she is praying for and then records when and how the prayer is answered. I have also seen exhortations to keep a pretty box or a big glass jar handy; then write your blessings on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, go back and read through them. 

Over the past few years, I think my door has functioned as a bit of all those things.

So how do you log your victories? Do you have a scrapbook? A journal? A brag wall? Do you get artistic with your mementos, tack them to a corkboard, or simply file them? I’d be curious to know if there are any other compulsive door coverers like me! I’m giving away a copy of A Bride for the Season to two commenters.

 A Bride for the Season
by Jennifer Delamere

London’s most amiable rogue has finally met his match.

Lucinda Cardington doesn’t care that she is close to being “on the shelf.” She has more serious pursuits in mind and is perfectly content to leave dreams of romance to silly young ladies like her sister. Yet when her sister places herself in a compromising situation with London’s most scandalous bachelor, the entire family’s reputation comes perilously close to ruin. Suddenly Lucinda is in the limelight…and in need of a husband.

James Simpson’s rakish ways have finally caught up with him. Snared in a scandal that for once is not his doing, he is forced to do the honorable thing and offer marriage to the lady. But her father won’t agree to a dowry unless James can also find a suitable husband for the lady’s elder sister—quiet, reserved Lucinda Cardington. As James gets to know the vibrant, charming, and passionate woman behind Lucinda’s shy exterior, he comes to the distressing realization that he doesn’t want her in anyone’s arms but his own…

 A history fan, travel lover, and outdoor enthusiast, Jennifer Delamere writes sweet historical romance with plenty of joy and sizzle. Her debut novel An Heiress at Heart was a finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA® award. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Jennifer loves reading histories, biographies, and travelogues, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the people and places in her books. For more information about Jennifer’s books, blog, and mailing list, visit


Terri said...

I love your door and the fact that it got so full you had to take everything off and start again. I have a wall where I have some contest certificates framed and a cover of my book is supposed to be up there. I just never framed one. Shame on me!

Terri said...

Oh, I brought some blueberry, pumpkin, and apple spice muffins along to tide us over until it is time to eat that pot pie.

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Good morning, it is still night here in So. Cal. I used my two glass office doors to post inspirational pictures and phrases on long butcher block paper rolls. I could use a sharpie to determine character aspects dynamically. My kids could write a bit, too, which was fun. Most of all if I had to act out one character, since I'm so visual, it was easy to look over and relate to my evil guy or be willowy like my young heroine. I could easily spot whether I had enough challenges lined up for my characters by watching the good characters vs. evil ones for my MG fantasy. The day I left for ACFW they fell off the wall by themselves, which I saw as a good sign to move on and try to sell the idea! It worked and I'm in edits now hoping to attract an agent soon. Can't wait to fill it with victory memories! Thanks for you great thoughts here.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome back to Jennifer.

So great to see you and congratulations on your recent Maggie Award WIN~!

All these years and I never noticed that NaNoWriMo quote:

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”


Tina Radcliffe said...

Elizabeth! Lovely to see you this am!

Tina Radcliffe said...

This is for sure a muffin time of year, thanks, Terri.

Unless you live in Buffalo. My poor folks live there and my brother and his family and their families.

In Buffalo it's a hot soup time of year and hot chocolate.

Thanking God they are all safe.

Cindy W. said...

Wow! Your door was so full of accomplishments! You have a lot to be proud of. Thank you for all the tips I like the blessings diary and have just the book to start it in.

I would love to be in the drawing to win one of your books.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Well, now I want a door.

For heaven's sake, what a perfect idea!!!! And I have lots of doors, but now I need one I can see... and that small children won't pull down every single stinkin' thing and make a game out of it.

Jennifer, welcome!!!! I love this idea and the books sound marvelous. That opening line is fun! Congratulations on your successes and may they continue.... But will you share that cappuccino, please? Because I'm totally up for that!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina, I'm glad your family is safe and sound, too. That storm is no laughing matter for folks caught on the thruway or trucking back roads. Once it hit, there was no turning back... and no moving forward. What a wretched position to be in. They closed the thruway from my exit west through Buffalo and almost to Ohio, I believe.... That's a lot of snow-blocked road.

Terri, thank you for muffins! #happy!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Elizabeth! what a great idea! I love the butcher block paper idea, I use that for kid projects all the time, but hadn't thought about it for book lines!

Clever girl!

Heidi Robbins said...

That's a great idea to celebrate! I have a bulletin board in my hallway that I use to pin things I'd like to keep in vision for a while to enjoy :) Please include me in your giveaway! Looking forward to reading your new book!

Jackie said...

Good morning! Welcome to Seekerville, Jennifer. I love you idea of a victory/encouragement door. Great idea.

Congrats on all your success, and what a beautiful cover on your book.

Wilani Wahl said...

I have a box where I saved all my memories from childhood, high school, and college. In it are the stories that were printed in the high school newspaper that I wrote. Since I took up writing again, there have not been any accomplishments yet to celebrate. Hopefully next year there will be. Even if there aren't I love to write and enjoy it.

kaybee said...

What a good idea.
I keep mine in a computer file right now because they're mostly verbal -- and because I don't have a door, LOL. We need to keep the good memories to encourage us when things aren't going so well, which in writing can happen any time to any one.
I am a Gone With the Wind fan! (Or GWTW. Or "goot-woo" if you want to get phonetic about it.) We need a name. How about Wind-iacs? Or Goners?
Thanks for the post,
Kathy Bailey
Glad I'm not in Buffalo but still in NH

karenk said...

Jennifer...I love how you display your 'accomplishments.' thanks for sharing :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Connie Queen said...

I used to have a wall in the guest bedroom that was lined w/my contest finals, but I took them down awhile back and never replaced them.

I'm like Tina, I never noticed the quote at the bottom of Nano. Love that.

I know an author who has all her book covers bordering the wall in her living room and hallways.

Great way to motivate yourself!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks for the warm welcome. I'm just getting here, as I had to spend the first part of my morning preparing a lentil chili for a crock-pot cook-off. I think it's going to turn out pretty well...would love to share some with everyone up in the very cold north today!

Terri - I haven't gotten around to framing anything either! I'm pretty useless when it comes to having to choose frames, mats, etc. That's probably another reason why a door and some scotch tape have worked so well for me!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Terri, thanks for bringing the muffins, too! Apple spice is my favorite.

Elizabeth - The butcher block paper is a great idea. Sometimes ideas can flow so much better when we give them a free-form place to develop. I'm sure you'll fill up that door with more victories soon!

TINA! Thank you so much for having me back. It's always a blast to be on Seekerville.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Yay! So glad you are sharing your inspiration!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi Cindy - Nice to meet you! Definitely start that prayer journal if you can. Like the song says, when you start counting your blessings "It will surprise you what the Lord has done!"

Ruth, it's true that my door idea worked because there were no little ones at home to tear it down. I suppose for those with kids they'd have to put the items high on the door! Or just allow them to write, as Elizabeth did. (Although I'd advise keeping the certificates out of crayons' way.) And I'm happy to share the cappuccino love! They know me well at that coffee shop, and always make the little heart out of foam. It's delicious too.

Tina Radcliffe said...

I actually like the Bing Crosby, White Christmas count your blessings song.

Nice time of year for that too.

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them
As they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them
As they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

Sherri Shackelford said...

Your books are wonderful and I love your door! Thank you for sharing your journey :)

Jennifer Delamere said...

Heidi - The bulletin board is a great idea. I have one of those behind my computer, and it's loaded with lots of fun and inspiring things. Ever since my college dorm room came with a bulletin board over the desk, I've been an obsessive "pinner"!

Jackie - Thanks for the comment on the cover. I have been so thrilled with all the lovely covers my publisher has given me. Makes my heart happy every time I see them.

Wilani - The box of souvenirs sounds awesome. I wrote a few articles for my high school paper too, but somehow they've gotten lost. The high school paper was also where I learned to develop black-and-white film--knowledge that served me well when writing A BRIDE FOR THE SEASON, because there are scenes of early photography in there. Although the method was different, the principles were the same. And keep at the writing! Soon you may have some AWESOME writing trophies to put into that box.

Jennifer Delamere said...

Kathy - I first learned about the chicken pie/GWTW connection from the cookbook that included the recipe. I love tidbits like that in historical novels. I hope you are staying warm up there in New Hampshire! Growing up, I didn't live where I saw much snow. Then when I was 15 I was able to spend Christmas with a friend and her family in New Hampshire. A white Christmas! It was so beautiful! Still one of my fondest memories.

And speaking of White Christmas, Tina, that is one of my favorite movies!! (I'm a die-hard musicals fan.) And I always get choked up when Bing sings "Count Your Blessings."

Jennifer Delamere said...

Karen - So nice to meet you! Hope you are having an awesome day!

Connie - I do love that quote from NaNo. And someday I really will have to frame my book covers, though I might need to find someone more skilled at framing and decorating to help me do it! Hmm...

Julie! You love framing stuff! Maybe I'll tap you for some help...!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jennifer, Congrats on the accomplishments. I have a wall in my office with all my stuff. yay.

Thanks for joining us today and giving us some inspiration. Have fun here in Seekerville.

Jennifer Delamere said...

Sherri, thank you for the kind words about my books! I'm so glad to be here, and I hope my post has inspired folks to start visualizing and expecting great things.

Elaine Manders said...

Hi Elizabeth

What a remarkable journey, and those books are calling me to read, which I will as soon as I get through NaNoWriMo. I've been writing for years, but this is my first NaNo and I decided to finish an historical novella and complete a contemporary suspense before end of month. My plans often extend beyond my time. Glad you reminded me I'm not crazy.

Julie Lessman said...


LOVED this post because it's sooooo inspirational (especially the door!!), so thanks for the boost today.

I am a die-hard GWTW freak, but I had NO idea that Scarlett and Rhett feasted on chicken pie and champagne on their wedding night. DUH!! I guess I was more enthralled with the idea of a wedding night itself rather than what they were eating prior to ... ;)

Sad to say, I do not log my victories or have a victory wall per se, which I can now see what be a boost rather than mere clutter. I have hung a couple of awards and put several on my shelf over my desk, but the certificates go into a file drawer somewhere, never to be heard from again ... :) Guess I need to drag those certificates out and slap them on my wall. ;)


DebH said...

Hi Jennifer
I've never thought of an inspirational door or wall or anything like that. This is a cool idea and really easy to implement since all you need is a door and some tape. I've a five year old in house, but I can give him a small white board to write on low on the door and all will be well.
I've tried NaNo and have failed miserably, but am attempting to join the Ruthy/MaryC school of thought of writing a little bit each day. Key word: attempting, since there isn't much succeeding of late.
Your post is quite encouraging by reminding me to celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how little or big. COOL!

Myra Johnson said...

JENNIFER, so glad to have you with us in Seekerville today, and I was delighted to meet you in person last month at Moonlight & Magnolias! Congratulations again for winning the Maggie!

I've saved all my contest certificates, too, all framed and hanging in a row over the closet door in my office. Plus, I have a huge picture frame with my 2005 Golden Heart certificate surrounded by photos from this wonderful experience I shared with Janet, Tina, and Julie.

I also have a framed copy of the first check I ever received from a publisher--payment for a YA short story I sold to a Sunday school magazine back in 1985. Boy, I thought I was hot stuff that day!

When my first two novels were published within about a month of each other, I put copies in a shadowbox along with bookmarks, review clippings, etc.

So yes, like you, I keep all those reminders of success out in plain view. Writing is such an up-and-down business that I need all the encouragement I can get!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi, Sandra! It's an honor to be here, for sure. And always fun! I tend to lurk, but I always get so much from the Seekerville posts.

Elaine - Congrats for giving NaNo a try, and best of luck! I wasn't able to do it this year, but I am definitely aiming to be a part of Seekerville's SpeedBo next spring.

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi, Julie - I totally know what you mean about GWTW! I esp. loved how the wedding night was portrayed in the movie version. Nothing shown, but Scarlett's smile the next morning was plain enough! :)

I love having the stuff out where I can see it. I don't like a lot of clutter in my house, but when it's hanging on a door or corkboard it seems more like a collage than clutter...

Jennifer Delamere said...

Deb, I'm glad I was able to inspire you! I also believe wholeheartedly in the method of "write something each day, even if it's just a little bit." It adds up faster than you'd think. Keep at it!

Myra, I enjoyed meeting you at the Moonlight and Magnolias conference! I'm also in awe that you have all your writing stuff framed. The shadow box idea sounds fabulous. I must try that someday!

Cara Lynn James said...

Welcome back to Seekerville, Jennifer! I love your idea of posting writing accomplishments on your door. What great reminders! We could all use frequent encouragement.

Pam Hillman said...

Oh, what fun! I love the idea of posting your milestones to the door. :)

I keep saying I'd like to hang things on my office walls, but currently, I can't GET TO THE WALLS, so it will have to wait! lol

Some day... :)

Debby Giusti said...

Jennifer, what a delightful post. Love your door and your creative way of celebrating success!

I giggled over your comment: Never use one word if two will do! Not good for the final draft but perfect for getting words on the page. :)

Also loved the Bernstein quote:
“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.”

I'm more productive under a tight deadline. In fact, I have a book due tomorrow so I'm dashing back to the manuscript because I don't have quite enough time. :) But that's a great motivator for me.

I'm a medical technologist by trade and my area of expertise in the clinical laboratory was blood banking. Lots of STAT blood requests that were perfect for a gal who worked well under pressure. I think it's my SOP, so to speak. Glad Bernstein validated my method.

High fives from an Army Brat to a Navy Brat sister! Thanks for being with us today.

Chilly hugs from Georgia!

Pam Hillman said...

Elizabeth... love the butcher block paper rolls. Hmmm, ideas abound.

Pam Hillman said...

Oooh... muffins. Must bake some. My house is in need of the scent of blueberries this morning! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Kaybee, I don't have a door I said, my office is in the breakfast room and there's no door, but I'm thinking.... ;)

Btw, a local fudge factory ... Spoonfudge ... has a framed map of the US on their CEILING with PINS of all the places they sell fudge. It's really cool. So, don't forget the ceiling! :)

Piper Huguley said...

I love the door--what a great idea! I have a place where all of the "nice things" that happen to me go--Julie Hilton Steele told me to have it, so I created it. A door and then possibly the ceiling as Pam suggests seems like a great idea too!

I'm done with the pumpkin muffin now...what about lunch?? :)

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi, Cara! Yes, the door has been a great source of encouragement, especially whenever I began to doubt myself and what I was doing. It gave tangible evidence that I was on the right track.

Pam - I have virtually no open wall space in my office either! I had just enough room for two paintings plus my college diploma--a large, calligraphy-on-parchment affair that happily was framed by my dad, or else it would probably be in a drawer somewhere. It's why I migrated to the door, and I'm glad I did!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Debby, it was great to meet you at the M&M conf. in October! Thanks for taking time to comment, even in the midst of your deadline. I seem to be always racing toward some deadline! I don't think I particularly like working that way--I much prefer the laid-back approach--but it does seem to help me produce some good work. Good luck with your manuscript--I'm sure it will be awesome!!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Pam, the ceiling does seem like a fun idea. I may have to move there next!

Piper, I'm glad Julie talked you into having a place for your happy stuff! I think we all need some way to mark the successes in our writing journey, as well as in the other things in life.

And speaking of lunch, I think my lentil chili is just about ready...

Becky said...

I don't have an office, so no door to put things on. Nothing to put on it yet anyway! I have a 3 ring binder that I'm trying to collect inspiration in, plus Pinterest! I would love to win.

Meghan Carver said...

Good afternoon, Jennifer! I adore your door! Too many times I look at Pinterest or a decorating blog where everything is in a pretty frame. You know, those collage walls with how-to's? Then I get discouraged because I'm fairly certain I don't want to spend the time and effort it would take for ME to make it look like that. So in the end, I do nothing when what I really need to do is stick it on the door. :-) Thank you for the inspiration!!!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Piper, it was so cool to hang out with you at the GRW conference! I'm excited about your new book contract. You'll need a bigger space to put those items of the good things that happen to you! :)

Becky, the 3-ring binder sounds like a good idea. I've also begun a Pinterest page, but I admit I'm still learning all the ins and outs of it.

Meghan, I'm with you! I don't really have the patience or artistic ability to put things in gorgeous packages. I just have to go with what works for me.

Lyndee H said...

Hi Jennifer,
I love your door and the encouraging reminder every day when you cross the threshold!

Like Ruthy, I don't have a door either! Maybe someday I'll complete the shadowbox I bought to display my Finally a Bride silver knife and server award. I used to display my framed certificates on my office walls, but since we moved here, I've left them packed away as this office is in my living room also, so I keep the office decor minimal.

Missy Tippens said...

This new story sounds wonderful, Jennifer! Talk about a conflicted situation! Nice setup. :)

We're glad you've joined us again! I love your door. I do the same thing on the mantel--until Christmas where I file everything away when I decorate it. :)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Jennifer,

If only I had a door... (sigh). My dream is to one day have my own office with a door and a bulletin board where I can post all kinds of inspiration!
Right now I have to settle for Pinterest boards!
Love to be in the draw.

Tina Radcliffe said...

All you doorless people. So for my thanks today, I am THANKFUL I HAVE A DOOR!!

Marianne Barkman said... internet is finally up and running. I just had to unplug the two thingys and plug them back in, and theyWORKED. BLESSINGS. Going out for supper last night and lunch today with our 93 year old friend who still lives by herself, Blessings. Books that the postmaster couldn't forward, but didn't return are here for me now, Blessings

Sandy Smith said...

I keep a folder of the acceptance letters I have received for short stories as well as letters that were rejections but had nice comments!

I would love to be entered into the drawing for your book.

Marianne Barkman said...

I'd love to win, thanks for being here today, Jennifer!

Sherida Stewart said...

Jennifer, love your door of success and inspiration!

I have a framed contest win certificate on my writing room means I can do this! NEVER GIVE UP! :) It was for a short story I started with Camp Nano, but it never reached 50K words. I will remember your great advice:
above all, never delete whole sentences or paragraphs (just put them in red font and delete after NaNo is over!

Maybe I would have won if I hadn't deleted. :) Love your idea to highlight in RED!

Thanks for your thoughts and congratulations on your new release!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome back to Seekerville, Jennifer! Thanks for the inspiring post. And for sharing your door. :-) I have saved pins and certificates and plaques, but there's no door to my office so I stick them here and there, but my favorite location is a lovely wooden box. In that box are the photos of Tina, Myra, Julie and me when we were finalists in the GH, along with cards and cards from congratulatory flowers when I made my first sale. On my desk is a silly face vace with silk roses in red, pink and white. Pink for submitting, white for rejection and red for sales. A system my local RWA chapter started and I still continue. One red rose per book. Our writng environments should encourage and celebrate.

Your cover is gorgeous!!


Jennifer Delamere said...

Lyndee- Several people have mentioned shadowboxes. I must look into it, even though it might strain my artistic abilities! Seems like a great way to display stuff that isn't flat certificates.

Hi, Missy! The mantel is a great idea, too. A good way to keep the inspiration out in plain sight.

Sue, maybe you can work in a smaller way, with something near your computer. I have several RWA pins and some pithy quotes taped to my computer that inspire me every day. I do love what I've seen so far of Pinterest--although I found I can spend too much time there, since it's like having everyone else's really cool bulletin boards all in the same room! :)

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi Marianne - Sounds like you are having a full and blessed day!

Sandy - It's good to keep a file with those things--even rejection letters (esp the ones with good comments!). In his book "On Writing" Stephen King said he initially stuck all his rejection letters on a nail in the wall over his desk. I guess that was his way of visualizing that he was nonetheless moving ahead with his writing!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Sherida - I'm pretty sure that highlighting in red is what enabled me to win NaNo too. After all, they were proof that I had, indeed, typed 50K words. And typing those words enabled me to get to the words that I did keep, so I call it a genuine win.

Janet, the flower idea is lovely! Great to picture that vase growing more and more filled with roses! (The red kind, of course!)

Chill N said...

So much fun to read all the ways everyone keeps their successes visible. It's given me the idea to scan my awards and certificates and make a desktop collage of them for my laptop. Right now they're in a 3-ring binder and I don't look at them nearly as much as I should.

Congratulations on all your successes, Jennifer.

Nancy C
P.S. That bridal gown is gorgeous!

Sherida Stewart said...

Jennifer, of course that counts as a REAL win! I admire EVERYONE who can write 50,000 in a month! Go, Nano-ers!

Janet, love your RED roses!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Nancy - Making a desk top collage is a great idea! A good way to do a lot without taking space. And I agree the gown is gorgeous--so elegant. I'm just thrilled with that cover!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I like the idea of a desktop wallpaper collage too!!!

This is fabulous, Nancy.

Tanya Agler said...

Jennifer, Thank you for this post. I'm inspired by your NaNo story and your door. Thanks.

Natalie Monk said...

Hi, Jennifer! I'm trying to do NaNo this year, not doing very well, but trying!

I love the idea of logging your victories! What a great way to get encouragement for the future by looking back!

Thanks for the post!

CatMom said...

Welcome Jennifer!
I'm super late joining in today--but wanted to say thank you for sharing with us, and I loved reading about your door. :)
I use the little "raising doors" on my desk for the same purpose (at the top of my desk are storage areas, covered by lift-up doors--a great place for me to post inspiration so I'll be sure and SEE it!).
Thanks again for sharing, and btw---your chicken pie was delicious! ;)
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi, Tanya! *waves* It was great to meet you at the GRW conf. last month.

Natalie, every word written during NaNo is a win! It's something you can take and build upon.

Piper Huguley said...

GRW was great fun, especially because you won!!! We must do it again sometime!

Mindy Hardwick said...

I have a wall above my desk that I use as a brag wall. I also use the sides of the bookcases surrounding my desk. I like to look up and see those successes when I'm struggling with the writing. I'm excited to see your third book coming soon. I loved your first two! said...

That's wonderful, Jennifer!

I wish I could stay home and write too. I would take this wonderful challange if I wouldn't have to work full time. I have two children as well.

I'm glad it works for some.

Deanna Stevens said...

Love the door FRAME ! !
I like reading this era :) please enter me.
dkstevensne AT outlook DOTCom

Jennifer Delamere said...

Patti Jo, sounds like you've got a great way of displaying your inspiration. Glad you like the pie! I plan to share that on a blog post next month. I always make it for new year's eve. It's become one of my husband's favorite traditions!

Mindy, I'm so glad to hear you are enjoying my books! Sounds like you've got a great brag wall in place. I like the idea of using the sides of bookcases, too. Now that I think about it, I have a few that could use some sprucing up!

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi Anna, it isn't easy to find time, I know. I have a full-time job in addition to writing. Maybe you could challenge yourself to something more manageable, like 10 minutes a day. I recently started writing on a legal pad for 15 minutes during my lunch break, and I've been amazed at how much ground I can cover. Writing in small increments faithfully can really add up.

Jennifer Delamere said...

Hi, Deanna! I'm glad you like this time period. It's my favorite too, of course! I love reading historicals in lots of different times and settings, but still I find the 19th century the most fun and intriguing.

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Loved your decorated door, Jennifer. I haven't figured out where to put my stuff yet, but I like your idea. :) I completed Nanowrimo in 2008, then tackled Camp Nanowrimo this summer, which is now in the dreaded "filling the plot holes" stage. Lol

Jennifer Delamere said...

Anna, congrats on the writing successes! I personally like the filling-in-plot-holes stage much better than looking at an empty page (or screen). Maybe that's why I like NaNo--it helps me get through the empty page part faster!

Carolyn Chambers Clark said...

Love the door and love the first sentence of your book. Put me in the drawing to get a copy of your book.