In just a few days Nanowrimo officially begins! The next few weeks will be full of challenging creativity. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. While this a competition, this is not a race against others but with others.
Schedule your writing time. Whether it means getting up earlier . Some days you may have more time to write than others. Honor the time you have set aside.
Join local write ins. This will help you connect to other writers. Don’t forget the online community as well. Join in on the fun on Twitter by following the #Nanowrimo.
Most of all enjoy the process! You may find you have a first draft to polish in December or a head start towards your first draft.
I am learning about this thing called the Purity Movement. This idea that if we just do or do not do certain behaviors then we will therefore be pure. That somehow, because of the way I behave or dress this in turn makes me more pure. It is a concept to wrestle with, this idea of pureness. That somehow we can achieve it if only we do not do this or that.
This shows a belief that what we do outwardly cleanses what we struggle with inwardly. Instead of what God does inwardly working outward. I see this idea becoming more of idol. That one is only worthy because of their actions and not because of who they are in Christ.
But none of us are pure, without sin. In fact, the more Christ like we become, the more our sin is revealed to us. I know this to be my journey as a Christian.
Lauding this concept of purity is in part saying that we have no need for Christ, for the work only He can do in us. That others who perhaps do not dress or abstain from the same things as others are not as worthy of him. Or in turn saying you more worthy because of your outward behavior.
But what of the heart? The deceitful heart? Or the mind or spirit? We can all look put together on the outside. Say all the things, do the right things but still be a mess on the inside.
It does not say we are made pure, but we are made new in Christ. There is a reason for this, for only Christ was pure. We are made new, leaving behind our old selves.
We are to strive for Christ. Always for Him. I think it better to be careful of our use of such words. To perhaps rethink what we are really saying when we say these things. How exclusionary it can seem to others. When Jesus calls us to be inclusionary.
After asking the question What if? And developing your characters. It is now time to decide to plot or not to plot.
Some like to see where the story takes them. Namely without plotting out your novel. This can be fun, adventurous and frustrating. Having done this, I found myself hitting roadblock. Often unsure of what will happen next.
Plotting can give you direction. It is helpful in knowing what will come next, which scenes to focus on. Connecting the dots between those smaller scenes to the larger scenes.
I prefer a happy medium. Enough of an outline and character development to lead the way. However still enough flexibility for those fly the pants moments. On other words a firm Plantser.
This is a repost
Lately, something has been bugging me about praying for the marriages in our churches. Not just because it is yet another reminder of my singleness. A question formed in my mind, Why aren’t singles in the church as specifically prayed for? I don’t believe that this is because we are thought of as less than marrieds. This may have more to do with the mentality towards singleness. Even from those of us in the midst of it. That somehow our lives and struggles are not as important as those who are married. Or that this state of being is more private to be prayed about so publicly.
It is of course important to pray for marriage. It is hard, challenging, full of trials and blessings. It is a beautiful example of Christ’s love for us.
But so is singleness. Being a single in the church today is more of the norm than not. A pew poll from 2012 found that this group is in fact growing. For a number of reasons people are waiting longer to get married. Or are recovering from past relationships. Or like me have never been in a relationship.
In fact most churches are having to adjust how to minister to us.
Which is why it is just as important to remember to pray for us. Singleness can be challenging, full of trials and blessings. Pray not only for our potential, future marriages but also for our lives right now.
The majority of us are searching for our spouse. Pray that we be discerning in pursuing a spouse . Pray for us as we try online dating and get to know new people. Pray for us as we pursue our dreams and establish ourselves. Keep in mind too not necessarily all of us are looking for that in our lives. Marriage, like college may not be for everyone.
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After filling in your question to What if?
Now is time to fill in the blanks.
I usually begin with characters. They are the prism in which your story is told. Who are your main characters? Who are your minor characters?
Knowing who they are makes it easier to plot. That is if choose to do so, more on that in another post.
Fully develop your characters. Really get into their heads. Question both your hero’s and antagonists motivations. Interview them. By understanding who they are, it will help to understand the story you want to tell.
As we rely more on the internet for our information, I think its imperative to be questioning about what we see. A few weeks ago the old Facebook hoax popped up again. My newsfeed was filled with declarations of what and how the site could use their content.
The first thing that occurred to me is this, we have already agreed to terms of service to use it. If these terms had truly changed then we as participants would be sent notice of these changes and would have to agree to them.
The second thing was by declaring such things on your personal page does not negate the previously agreed upon terms of service. Which we all agreed to whether or not we actually read them.
I have been taken by a hoax on social media which is why these type of things are such a pet peeve of mine. We see it shared and repeated enough on our timelines that we believe it to be true.
Whether its a click bait article containing half a story or people thinking it is National whatever day, it’s important to verify information. Especially as the internet as a whole becomes our main source for news.
I grew up in a house where my family not only read the local newspaper, but also subscribed to the Sunday edition of the New York Times. We also watched the nightly news broadcast, discussing the stories during the commercial breaks. This taught me to seek out more than one source for my news.
We must be vigilant in this today. It is easy to Google and verify a story. I like to check out Snopes.com, MiamiHerald.com and NPR. When a story is true the same facts will be present. Dispelling myths and rumors.
This most recent hoax was relatively harmless but it should be alarming to us. In that this was not a new hoax, how quickly will this one be forgotten and our news feeds filled with similar declarations?
Or what if we aide in spreading dangerous misinformation? Once something is believed to be true, it is difficult to convince that it is not. Consider this as we begin the long road for the Presidency. It does not take but a few moments to verify information.
So perhaps you have decided to participate in Nanowrimo. The next thing that your thinking is what now?
This is the time to prepare, outline, characters and plot. You can either plan or you can fly by your pants.
Some will prefer to use detailed outlines. Others not as much.
Maybe right now all you have a vague notion. A sentence beginning with those iconic words What If?
All you need right now is the rest of the question. This is your starting point.
In just a months time will begin Nanowrimo,(National November Writing Month). A chance to write your own story! This takes place during the month of November.
Thirty one days to let go and let your story come to life. You can join a community of writers both online and in real life. Which I highly encourage as it helps to motivate. Seek out local write ups, follow the hashtags #Nanowrimo #nano on Twitter.
It is a month to finally write that first draft that has been waiting to come out. The story you have been waiting to write. Use this month to prepare, plot and think. November first will begin the mad dash of an entire month of writing!
I have participated in years past and while I never “won” (meaning you have a word count of 65,000 to 80,000 word count) . But it did push me.
I learned how to push through those hard days. Close up plot holes .To look at the bigger picture of my story
Gain confidence in my skills.
At the end what you will have is a full first draft, ready for you to work over. Please do not send off your Nanowrimo draft to publishers. It will need polish. And research which agents to send your novel off to. Again Twitter is a great tool for this.
Due to my schedule this year, I will not be able to participate this year. But during this month I will use my Mid Week Motivator posts to give tips and encourage those of you who choose to participate.