July Writers Camp- Goals

I feel fortunate to be part of a closed group on fb that was set up by an author friend, Teresa Weir, who also writes as Anne Frazier. You might have seen her memoir, ‘The Orchard‘, a couple years ago. It was an Oprah pick. Here are just a few examples of her work.

We first tried Writing Camp this last May. Even though we are doing this in July, this is not to be confused with the Nano writer‘s camp. Just a group of writers wanting to accomplish something within the month.  Not too complicated. We set a monthly goal and post daily about whether we met it or not. I don’t know if the rest of that group noticed it or not but it turned into a great way to pick up writing tips from each other. I failed to meet my goal in May but I enjoyed seeing everyone else’s progress and writing process. (I am fascinated with the craft of writing and how everyone accomplishes the same thing in their own unique way.)

We skipped June so I took that month to finish the novel planning work. I feel much more confident about reaching my goal this month.

My goal for July is to write 4000 words a week and one blog post a week. Hopefully I will surpass that.  If it does look like it is too easy, I will tweak it later.

It’s nice to have a cheerleader to motivate you and it is also handy to have someone to hold you accountable without making you feel like giving up.  

I had another writing date tonight with my long distance friend Nicole. Wrote another 750 words in an hour. Plan to do that as often as possible this month. I also plan to develop a habit of writing a little bit each day. It is too easy to get lost in a story if I am away from it too long. I would like to get this first draft done as quickly as possible but still have something worthwhile when I’m finished. I learned a long time ago through Nano that 50,000 words in 30 days doesn’t necessarily make a story.

Do any of you belong to an online writing group? If so, how does it work and do you get much benefit from it? Have you developed on-line writer friendships?

To my fellow campers: May we have a successful month of writing and may we each meet our goals.

Pushing forward.



Writing Dates


This has been a much better week for writing. I’ve managed several writing sessions this week and plan to write more later today. 

I posted on Facebook about my writer date this week. That was initiated by a long distance writer friend Nicole. I admire her so much. She drives to Des Moines once a month from Oelwein a city two hours away for a monthly meeting of Iowa Romance Novelists, the oldest Iowa chapter of RWA. I am lucky enough to live in a city that has several different active writing groups. I participate in two of them but I am just like Nicole. If I had to drive to meet with other writers, I would do it. There is something about the atmosphere in a room full of writers and I am fortunate enough to belong to two groups that really support the members.

That writer date was fun. It was another chance to visit with Nicole but it also gave us someone to create with and made us accountable; even if it was only for an hour. I have always thought that when writers write together there is a synergy. You can feel the vibrations of creativity surrounding you. But with busy lives it is difficult to schedule time to meet and write. I feel like Nicole and I shared a little synergy the other night.

This week we got online a little before 8:00 and set our goals for the session and then we wrote for half an hour. We got back on the Facebook chat to see how we did and then we wrote for another half hour. I was able to finish one scene and begin another. I wrote 700 words that hour. 

This idea is not new. If you have ever read the Writer’s Book of Days,Judy Reeves has had meetings with other writers to write for years. By the way it is a great book for inspiration. Lots of prompts and writing tips.

I’m not saying that this is the only way to get the words on the page. It is an alternative for one writing session a week. I have been trying to write daily anyway. I think it is best if you are friends because that will make you want to show up and not disappoint someone who might call you on it.

I have done this as a group for a monthly meeting before with IRN, Sisters in Crime, and Nano. If you write, I think you would be surprised at how it feels in the room. Everyone together but off in their own writing world clicking away on their laptops or writing with pad and paper. If you have the opportunity to do this, don’t pass it up.

How do you write? Do you always write alone or have you tried writing as a group?

How is your writing going?

Pushing forward, keep writing.



photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jillclardy/2565417359/”>Jill Clardy</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Struggling To Put The Words On The Page…

I hereby apologize for abandoning my blog. I let life get in the way and every day that I was away the harder it was for me to come back.

It is not just my blog I abandoned but also my writing. I struggled trying to write something but the words wouldn’t come. I had ideas but nothing would gel. I worried about too many things I had no control over and I let it keep me from doing the one thing I really wanted to do, write.

I know now that it wasn’t the writing I was avoiding, it was because I have been totally involved in trying to improve my situation with my daytime job. I currently work in a call center. Call centers are open 24/7 so I don’t have a normal work week. I get Saturday and Tuesday off. I have been doing this for 3 1/2 years and I have started to feel as if all I do is work. I finally had both Saturday and Sunday off this weekend because the company had to close the office while they worked on the power in the whole building. It was only two days but because I had that time off all at once, it felt like a vacation.

I have been applying for other jobs in other departments. I had an interview for the most recent one last Monday and am waiting to hear back. if I get it, it will be Monday through Friday.  I came in the week before on my own time to shadow for the job and then I came in again on my own time to interview. I am serious about this change and I hope that it happens. If not I will continue to keep trying. I really am not asking for much, I just want normal.

I had an epiphany and realized that I really can’t control a lot about my day job. I have no real control when it comes to changing jobs other than revising my resume, dressing the part, and convincing the people I interview with that I am the person they need.

I can control my writing. It is the one thing that brings me the most joy and I have been punishing myself by not doing it. I wrote a chapter and a half this weekend on my novel and I made up my mind I would come back to my blog. I really have to finish the novel but I will post something here once a week.

Off to bed. I plan to get up early enough to write before work in the morning. If I can start my day off doing something I really want to do, it makes the rest of the day more bearable.

Hopefully I will get the job and normal weekends will become the norm.

Happy writing…



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