National Novel Writing Month 2009

This is NaNoWriMo’s 11th season of literary abandon. The annual adventure in noveling, held from November 1 – 31, offers participants the chance to be a part of a vibrant, web-connected community as they create 50,000 word works of fiction.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a project of The Office of Letters and Light, the non-profit organization which also hosts Script Frenzy every April. Their programs combine web and real world components to provide encouragement, foster creativity and build community.

Over 100,000 individuals have signed up this year, eager to be  a part of the seat-of-the-pants writing inherent in the program. Everyone who makes it to the 50,000 word finish line — and has their word count validated by the site — by the end of November is a winner. The forced speed and lack of over thinking fostered by 50,000 words in 30 days encourages participants to just write, ignoring that nagging inner critic which normally slows the process.

This is my eighth year to participate in NaNoWriMo. I’m taking a semi-layed back approach this year as I’m already busy with school, a site redesign and Tweetsgiving, but I know I can make it to the 50,000 word mark with a little effort. If you want to join me in my noveling adventure, you can still sign up at the site.

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Writing Goals 2009 Q4

We’ve just passed the Autumnal Equinox, and we’re now (believe it or not) in the fourth quarter of 2009. You know how much I love Spring, especially the time from Passover to Pentecost, but this is also a delightful time of year — Thanksgiving, NaNoWriMo, cool crisp weather.

My writing goals for 2009 were first hampered by my procrastination and then totally derailed by returning to school after an 11 year absence. Those of you new to college: Don’t drop out!

I’ve done okay by four of my nine writing goals for this year. I’m participating in a few online communities, I began a novel, I’m creating a (somewhat) weekly comic strip and I’m still going strong with 12for12k.

I’m on track to at least participate in NaNoWriMo and to complete a rough draft of my inspirational book. The other goals have fallen by the wayside.

It might take some doing, but here are the writing goals I plan to reach during the fourth quarter of ’09:

  • Begin earning a sustainable income from home-based employment.
  • Complete a rough draft of my inspirational book.
  • Redesign the Sky’s the Limit for a 2010 relaunch.
  • Continue building relationships through social media.
  • Continue supporting 12for12k.
  • Continue work on my novel through participation in NaNoWriMo.
  • Continue my weekly comic strip.

I began this year with some lofty writing goals. I haven’t reached them all. That’s okay, except I shouldn’t have put things off like I did. These last three months look to be interesting , and I’m very excited about the things I have planned.

Thanks again for your participation. I couldn’t do what I do without the support of wonderful friends and readers like you.

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Writing Goals 2009 Q3

How time flies! It’s time once again to consider my writing goals for 2009.

I’m afraid I’m largely stuck where I was last time I reviewed my writing goals. I need to finish the first draft of my devotional book, begin a novel, enter three writing contests, write three guest posts for other blogs, script a feature-length movie, create a collectible card game and write a viable commercial ebook.

I’m still holding off on writing an ebook to promote a larger work  and completing National Novel Writing Month, but the time to do these things is quickly approaching. I’ve let slip the creation of weekly comic strips with Stripgenerator, but intend to get back to it this week. My strip blog — a loose interpretation of the book of Ruth — is at Amid the Alien Corn, but I post links here.

I previously changed building an online community around this blog to “Become a vital member of a selection of online communities.” (I should have said valuable, not vital.) This is a process that takes time, but I have made an extra effort to comment on and promote certain blogs. I want to be an encouragement to my fellow bloggers.

I’m still going strong with 12for12k. So far War Child, Stop the Silence, Share Our Strength, Yehu.org and Hospice of Peel have benefited from the efforts of people who believe the power of social media can change lives for the better. It’s been a wonderful experience supporting 12for12k through the incredible month of March (surpassing the $12,000 goal), the menace of Tweetjack and all the other exciting events.

The 12for12k charity for June was UNICEF’s Believe in Zero campaign. I chose to donate to the Pink Cross Foundation instead. Former porn star Shelley Lubben and her charity offer emotional, financial and transitional support to adult industry workers and reach out to those struggling with pornography addiction to offer education and resources for recovery.

My writing goals for 2009:

  1. Finish first draft of inspirational book titled The Sky’s the Limit.
  2. Write an ebook to promote said book.
  3. Promote one charity / non-profit each month.
  4. Become a valuable member of a selection of online communities.
  5. Provide a sustainable income with writing-related employment.
  6. Begin a novel.
  7. Enter three writing contests.
  8. Complete NaNoWriMo.
  9. Write a commercially viable ebook.
  10. Write three guest posts for other blogs.
  11. Create weekly comic strips with Stripgenerator.
  12. Write a feature-length movie script.
  13. Create a collectible card game.

Where are you at on your writing goals for 2009? Do you have any words of wisdom/advice? Is there anything I can do to help you reach your goals?

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Writing Goals 2009 Q2

Not only is Spring a wonderful season of renewal, but I love these weeks from Passover to Pentecost. The early days of the season and the beginning of the second quarter of ’09 seem like a good time to consider my writing goals for the year.

Two of my goals —  writing an ebook to promote a larger work  and completing National Novel Writing Month — can be safely put off until later. However, several goals demand immediate attention if I’m going to get anywhere.

Finishing the first draft of a book tentatively titled The Sky’s the Limit,beginning a novel, entering three writing contests and writing three guest posts for other blogs, a feature-length movie script and a collectible card game are among the goals I’m not doing so well with. I’ve lost all interest in writing an ebook about the U.S. Presidential Inaugural speeches.

I’ve been rethinking priorities and I’ve changed building an online community around this blog to “Become a vital member of a selection of online communities.” I want to be an encouragement to my fellow bloggers. Will my own traffic benefit? Probably. But this is going to be an others-centered goal.

I’m working on providing a sustainable income with writing-related employment. I’ve filed for unemployment and disability because I can’t return to my day job and the worker’s comp carrier has cut me off. I’m looking for something to pay the bills, preferably a writerly job of some sort.

Two goals I’ve stayed on top of — creating weekly comic strips with Stripgenerator and promoting one charity / non-profit each month. My strip blog — a loose interpretation of the book of Ruth — is at Amid the Alien Corn, but I post links here. The 12for12k Challenge has allowed to fulfil the other commitment. War Child, Stop the Silence, Share Our Strength and Yehu.org have benefited from the efforts of 12fo12k. March was the first month to reach (and surpass) the $12,000 goal.

My revised writing goals for 2009:

  1. Finish first draft of inspirational book tentatively titled The Sky’s the Limit.
  2. Write an ebook to promote said book.
  3. Promote one charity / non-profit each month.
  4. Become a vital member of a selection of online communities.
  5. Provide a sustainable income with writing-related employment.
  6. Begin a novel.
  7. Enter three writing contests.
  8. Complete NaNoWriMo.
  9. Write a commercially viable ebook.
  10. Write three guest posts for other blogs.
  11. Create weekly comic strips with Stripgenerator.
  12. Write a feature-length movie script.
  13. Create a collectible card game.

Are you as excited about the second quarter of ’09 as you were the first? Where do you stand on your goals for the year?

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Eight Bloggers I Want to Know Better

proximade_awardShonda of TexasRed Books has awarded The Sky’s the Limit a Proximade Award. The aim of which appears to be the creation of new friendships and stronger ties among the blogging community.

Keeping the spirit of the award, I intend to strengthen ties with my fellow bloggers; but I won’t be passing along the award according to the rules.

Here are eight bloggers I want to know better:

Chris Brogan – chrisbrogan.com

I joined Twitter while I was promoting YUDU Media. One of the first people I followed there, Liz Strauss, introduced me to Chris Brogan. He advises businesses, organizations, and individuals on the use of social media and social networks to build relationships and deliver value.

His blog and Twitter stream are consistently full of useful information. I learned how to use Twitter by following Chris. I have attended an e-conference where he presented and watched video of him speaking at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference.

Danny Brown – dannybrown.me

I met Danny Brown through Twitter. Chris Brogan had an idea last December to support a different charity each month of the year. I was already thinking about how I could use my blog to help the Pink Cross Foundation so it seemed like perfect timing.

A few days later Chris tweeted about Danny Brown and the budding 12for12k Challenge. 12fo12k supports a different charity each month, asking 1200 people to donate $10 each. The Challenge started strong in January and February and has exceeded the goal for March.

Danny is the owner of Press Release PR, an agency combining traditional PR and marketing with social media. He provides consultancy services to clients in both the consumer and commercial markets, from small start-ups to Fortune 500 businesses.

Michelle Devon – Freelancing and Fiction

Michelle and I have been connected on Yahoo! 360, MySpace, Twitter and (most recently) Facebook. We have participated in NaNoWriMo together. She has spoken at West Texas Writers and will be our featured speaker for our second annual Celebration of Writers.

Most importantly, I know I can pick up the phone any time and ask writerly questions of Michelle. I can learn so much from her, and she is willing to share her knowledge.

Shonda – TexasRed Books

Shonda currently serves as the Secretary of West Texas Writers. I first met her at one of our meetings. She came to visit, signed up and has been an integral part of our organization since.

On her bookish blog she says, “I moved to a small town in West Texas in early 2008. After moving 11 times in the past 10 years, I’m enjoying putting down roots, the slower pace of life out here, and the ability to indulge in creative interests such as my shameless addiction to fiction.”

Clary Lopez – Moonlit Walks

Clary and I go back to my days on Yahoo! 360. She is kind, spiritual and a fascinating writer. Originally from Puerto Rico she came to live in the United States in 1982.

A fairly active community surrounds her blog. She excells at encouraging reader participation using thought provoking posts and interesting questions.

David Peach – My Thought Spot

David and I went to a Christian school together. He was a few years older, and I looked up to him and his brothers. I think a lot of the kids did.

David keeps a personal blog covering topics such as books, geocaching, running and podcasting. He produces a podcast called Missionary Talks. He has served as a missionary and is currently speaking and preaching in churches in the United States.

Chuck Westbrook – Chuck Westbrook’s Blog

I’ve forgotten how I first heard of Chuck’s plan to bring deserved attention to under-appreciated blogs. I do remember signing on immediately, thinking it would be a benefit to my own traffic. I have seen an increase, but the real value is in the blogs Chuck has exposed to me.

I keep up with his new pick every two weeks and follow him on Twitter. Chuck is always quick to answer my questions, has taught me the value of partnering to achieve big goals and is an all-around nice guy.

Zoe Westhof – Essential Prose

Zoe’s blog was Chuck’s first featured blog. Her posts were fascinating and challenging, and she was happy to answer my nosy questions about her experience as Chuck’s first pick.

Zoe consistently offers well written posts on creativity, balance and writing. It seems like she is always writing about a topic that has been on my mind, and her posts help me develop my thoughts.

I know each of these eight bloggers to some degree. Some are friends. Some I’ve met face to face. Some I know only a little. They are all creative, well written and involved with social media beyond their blogs. (Everyone listed is a Twitter user.)

 I want to know these people better. For that reason I will be strengthening ties with each one, reaching out and offering friendship. I look forward to developing valuable relationships with everyone on this list.

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Update on Writing Goals for 2009

Groundhog Day always sets me to thinking about where I am in life and what changes I need to make. I spent Monday not getting a whole lot accomplished, but I did have a productive trip to the library. I also went to see a doctor about my back. It seems my time with Workers Comp may be coming to a close, but I’m not any better. (Phil saw his shadow, by the way.)

This Groundhog Day seemed like a good time to give some thought to the goals for 2009 I set January 1, an opportunity to  see where I’m at in keeping the goals and refine them a little.

Finish inspirational book tentatively titled The Sky’s the Limit.

My intention is to create a workable first draft by Nov 1. I can do better on this; I haven’t worked on it for a couple of weeks.

Write an ebook to promote said book.

I’ll have to have something from the actual book to put in it. I’ll worry about this come June or July.

Promote one charity / non-profit each month.

So far, so good. I’ve joined the 12for12k Challenge for this purpose. January’s charity was War Child. February’s is Stop the Silence.

Build on online community around this blog.

I originally started this blog to promote the book, but spent several months meandering. I’ve done some thinking about my message and target audience, and you can expect to start seeing some changes around the site.

It will, however, continue as a personal blog — allowing me to ramble on about books and comics and memes Shonda gets me into. If you’re a regular here, please drop me a line (either comment here or use the contact addy on the about page). I’d love to have your input.

Provide for my family with a freelance writing income and quit the day job.

It appears I may not be going back to my delivery job for a long time. I’m going to have to find something to pay the bills, and I would prefer a writerly job of some sort.

I’m ammending this one to, “Provide a sustainable income with writing-related employment.” In the mean time, I’m working paying gigs for care2 and Suite101. Although, Suite101 hardly counts as the pay isn’t anything to speak of.

Begin a novel.

And I’ll do just that — begin. I’m good at planning novels. Outlines, character sketches, plot, setting, I got ’em all. Actual words on paper? No. This month I’ll be going over my notes to choose which story I will work on.

Enter three writing contests.

Haven’t done anything here; need to get started.

Complete NaNoWriMo.

National Novel Writing Month happens in November. So I’ve still got plenty of time on this one. I’ll start the early planning Sept 1.

Write an ebook about the U.S. Presidential Inaugural speeches.

This one’s started, but dead in the water. I need to do better.

Write three guest posts for other blogs.

I’m working on the first one this month. Some kind soul offered me the opportunity to write for her professional book blog. I intend to produce a post worthy of her site.

Create weekly comic strips with Stripgenerator.

I’m a little surprised I’ve stayed on top of this one. My strip blog is Amid the Alien Corn, but I post links here. I’m doing a loose interpretation of the book of Ruth.

The Book of Ruth 1.5 features the first big break from the traditional text when it introduces a ninja assassin. You can expect to see him (or her) again.

Write a movie script.

I’m refining this one. I will write a feature-length movie script. I have three ideas for the story and need to decide on one.

I’m currently writing a comedy with a friend who makes short videos to put on YouTube.

Create a collectible card game.

It’s already in head, sorta Chess played with cards. I just have to get it on paper.

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13 Writing Goals for 2009

This is a year of opportunity. (Zoe Westhof calls it The Year of the Swashbuckle.) I foresee amazing things for 2009.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions per se, but the new year is as good a time as any for setting some new goals.

Here are my 13 writing goals for 2009:

  1. Finish inspirational book tentativly titled The Sky’s the Limit.
  2. Write an ebook to promote said book.
  3. Promote one charity / non-profit each month. Chuck Westbrook teaches me the best way to accomplish big things is to partner with someone. I have joined the 12for12k Challenge for this reason.
  4. Build on online community around this blog, something like what Chris Brogan has done with his site.
  5. Provide for my family with a freelance writing income and quit the day job.
  6. Begin a novel.
  7. Enter three writing contests.
  8. Complete NaNoWriMo.
  9. Write an ebook for my YUDU library about the U.S. Presidential Inaugural speeches.
  10. Write three guest posts for other blogs.
  11. Create weekly comic strips with Stripgenerator.
  12. Write a movie script.
  13. Create a collectible card game.

Now, here are two questions for you:

  1. What are your goals for 2009?
  2. How can we help each other achieve our goals?