It’s all about the prep.

Don’t prepare and you might be preparing to fail.
No matter what you’re doing, the job is always easier when you prepare for it ahead of time. Whether you’re cooking a new recipe, planting a garden, building a bookshelf, or writing a book —preparation is the key to success.

There are those that say they are Pantsers and there are those say they are Plotters…

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But, I think, all in all, each of us does a bit of preparation before we sit down to write that first word. We have a general idea of what our book it’s going to be about. Who are main characters will be and the central setting we will create. A Pantser might stop right there and start writing. On the other hand, a plotter (like me) will sit down and do an outline. We want to get as much preparation done before we start making, making the writing process flow.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, there will be changes. Something comes up that makes your story go in a different direction, but if the outline is done and your notes are organized, then it’s easy enough to adjust and move on.
And so tomorrow begins the month of July. This is one of three months that I participate in NaNoWriMo. To me the preparation for this month (as well as April and November) are critical to my success. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days is more than a challenge it’s a conquest!

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Today is June 30th, and I wait with bated breath for midnight. Why? Because I’m ready to go. My outline is complete, I’ve got my first scene is written in my head and I’m just counting the hours to start. Yet, I can also look back and remember when there were times that I wasn’t so prepared. Because of this, I wasted precious time and word counts trying to figure out where I was going.
To all of you who have no preparations set out–there is less than 24 hours to be prepared. Turn off that TV and get ready!
And to all of you who are prepared and are waiting for that stroke of midnight-—good luck. I hope Camp NaNo is a rousing success and at the end of the 30 days you are pleased. Then you will hold a rough draft of your book in your hands, ready to edit and publish.

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Happy Writing!

Pile It On

Is it just me, or does it seem like life is crazy?

We all say there aren’t enough hours in the day, but do we really do anything to less than our daily schedule? I don’t think so. I think we try to pile on more and more. We are trying to be the super person who can get it all done-and with smile on our face.

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We’ve become so overwhelmed with wants and demands in our life, we forget how to simplify things and only deal with our needs. That’s all well and fine to say, but the reality is the American lifestyle demands we go at full trot, resting only when necessary. Whoever coined the phrase 24/7 was setting us up for an exhausting lifestyle.

And I’m as bad as the next person! I just signed up for NaNo camp in April. Am I crazy? I can barely find the time to do my regular work, let alone try to fit in a 50,000-word book on the sidelines. But I’ve been successful at previous camps, now I’ll to do it because I’ve proven to myself it can be done.

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This time, I will go about it a bit differently. With 30 days to prepare, that’s exactly what I will do. I have the outline for the book I had planned on doing it this summer. I’ll move up my timetable so I need not prepare a project for camp. In the meantime, all the little tasks that take extra time, when I could be writing, will be accomplished. The desk will be cleared off, spring cleaning done, and meals made ahead of time-frozen so my hubby won’t go hungry.

Now is the time to concentrate on managing my time. As my husband says; “plan- don’t react” and I’m convinced that’s a good start. Of course, things will come up that I can’t control. But if the nitty-gritty stuff is done and out of the way beforehand, it might not feel so overwhelming.
So, here’s to all the authors who are doing camp this year! Your deadlines are in front of you, be it for writing, or work, or family. Plan ahead, but don’t over react when things don’t go the way you planned. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. It’s okay sleep in an extra hour on a Saturday or take an extra-long shower. Go ahead and sit out on the patio with friends, enjoying a glass of wine and good conversation.

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Because that’s what we’re here for; to enjoy life, not just work life.

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