Thanks so much for visiting HipWriterMama, my blog about children's books, authors and readergirlz!

It's time for a change. I've decided to focus my attention on my writing blog, www.vivianleemahoney.com. Hope to see you there!


Monday, January 14, 2008

Inspiration Monday: Check In for the 2008 New Year's 30 Day Challenge!

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
-Samuel Johnson

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

The second week of the 2008 New Year's 30 Day Challenge is now over. I'd like to say congratulations to everyone who is working on this Challenge and completed this second week. I know it's hard work, and your momentum may have changed a bit since we've all started. Think of it, we're now at the half-way point. Keep on going, we're all on this journey together, and it will be great to hear all your happy stories!

This past week was definitely challenging for me. I found I needed to do more research to get a better understanding of the political and historical world of my heroine's nineteenth century life. Historical fiction has been quite the undertaking. I thought historical fiction would be easier to write than historical non-fiction, since I could stray from the facts. But I've found myself fascinated and much too persnickety about all the interesting details, that the outlining and figuring out how to put in backstory without being too much of a dull history lesson dominated my time, rather than writing my intended words. Even though I worked daily on my progress, I was disappointed in myself, since I was short on my written goal. But, today starts another week, and another chance to climb up that mountain that is my goal.

There's one thing I want to assure you. If you happen to miss a day or two, it's okay. Remember, we're focusing on building a regular work habit so we can reach our goals. Just join back in and focus on your end goal. Your dream. The short term goal you're working toward is our next check-in day, Monday, January 21st.

The long term goal is something you will benefit from for the duration of your life, if you want. This is something that will help you get to your dream. So keep at it. Pick up if you miss a day or two. Start back in. Remember, consistency is key to making this an automatic part of your life. You can totally do it!

Comment below and let me know how you're doing. If you want some extra support, leave your link in Mr. Linky so people can stop by. Remember...only those who leave comments will be considered for the prize!

Now get back to work! Good luck!


jmprince said...

Don't worry, you're not alone!
This week, I found myself really struggling to stay focused on my goal(s). I procrastinated a lot, using critiques for other people as an excuse not to work on my own writing.
However, the fact that I did sit down do something every day shows progress, and I intend to keep doing just that. Something! Today, I will focus on getting back on track!!!!
I'll let the Newbery/Caldecott/Printz, etc award announcements inspire me!

Christine M said...

I kept writing. And I think I now see the end in sight on my WIP. I didn't send out any queries this week. Family things kept me from researching that too much - but I still intend to send out an average of one a week - which means I need to do two this week to keep up. It will happen.

And Vivian - you may not have written the number of words you wanted - but steeping yourself in your story is a big help to achieving your goal! Keep up the good work.

DS Writer said...

Hi, everybody,

I just want to check in and share that I worked for the most part on getting the book proposal that I want to send to McGraw-Hill. I did a number of things: I wrote down every day in my book log including: finalizing a list of resources for the first two chapters, editing the two chapters, researching potentially competitive books, outlining and writing a third chapter, and starting to work with a second reviewer.

I was able to also do a number of short queries including two to Kar-Ben and one to the local newspaper. I hope I'll get a lot of writing done today. My husband is complaining of lower back pain and I hope I won't get too stressed to become too distracted. It's really scary how he's taking to the pain.

Good luck everybody with your goals

N.A. Nelson said...

This week was a total success for me but not in terms of meeting my set-in-writing-writing-goals. I'm donating a portion of the profits from my first book to the Amazon Conservation Team, so I emailed them to let them know my intention--well before you can say "Is that a crocodile swimming toward u..." they emailed me a thank you letter back, put me on the top of their myspace friends list, featured my book on their myspace and requested to read it! Yay. Other things too, but...the good news is...it was all good news. The better news is...it was all writing related. The not-so-good-but-I'm letting-myself-off-the-hook-news is that I did not get one word written on my WIP. But I thought about it a lot. And I got motivated from all the good news. And I'm excited. And I did stick to my schedule otherwise.

wuggienorple said...

I really fizzled out on my goal, but my reason is good: our oldest daughter and her husband had a big, healthy boy on Tuesday! We've spent the week playing Little Ponies with our 3 y/o granddaughter, and watching New Baby make faces. Good luck to all of you as you continue working on the challenge! And thank you, Hip Writer Mama, for inspiring and encouraging all of us! Pam

PJ Hoover said...

Seriously. The research is way as important as the writing. And fun too!
OK, I slacked a couple days on the water drinking. My 6 year old had to remind me. But I'm back at it!

Ms. Mize said...

I have to be honest and say I didn't really make much progress towards my goal last week. I am not enjoying the perspective that this review of American History is written from. However, I still need to do it.

Congrats to all of you on your progress. It is encouraging to hear about the success of others. Good Luck this week!

laurasalas said...

I struggled, too. Now with the actual doing. I logged my time that I said I would. But the honeymoon period was over, that was clear. I spent week 1 analyzing, figuring things out, brainstorming, coming up with solutions--yea! But then week 2 meant I was ready to start actually revising the dang novel. So. As soon as I sat down to work on it, everything I thought I knew/figured out flew right out of my head. Arrghh! But I'm making tiny steps forward, which I wouldn't be doing without this challenge. I have so much else going on that this novel revision would still be on the back burner without this.

Here's to a great Week 3 for everyone. Thanks for sharing all the good news!

beckylevine said...

Wow, everybody is doing so good! Vivian, I didn't realize you were working on a historical--I love those. If I liked research, I'd probably write one! :) But you do have to do it--three books read may end up as one line in your story, but the line will be RIGHT.

Okay, well, forget my goal of being internetless, while I work. It probably has to do with having queries and partials out to agents & just needing to "make sure" there's nothing sitting in the inbox. And I actually did spend several hours just downloading info for my WIP, the one I'm working on for this challenge. We still have dial-up (yes, you can all feel sorry for me!), and trying to go back and forth from that to writing did NOT work, so I just focused on finding the material and then taking the next day to write.
The good news is, despite the web addiction, I made serious progress. I got three chapters first-drafted, basically getting the stuff on the page and in the right order, and research done for the last two I have to draft. This week, I'll finish those and hopefully get started on translating the info into kid-friendly language. I'm actually ahead of where I wanted to be, so that's great! Thanks, again, Vivian, for the challenge.

Dorit, good luck with your husband's back--not only with it healing, but with it not pulling all your focus and energy away from your writing. The only advice I can give is ice, ice, ice (for him, not you!)

Good luck, everyone, this week.


Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Vivian, I would be so tempted to write pseudo-historical fiction in the way Megan Whalen Turner does-- have settings based on city-states of ancient Greece, but not be accountable to facts. Good for you for holding yourself to such a tough standard.

As far as barring chords go, I'm getting better at playing the B minor chord without the "dying cow sound" but I've yet to use it successfully in a song without having to pause for a few seconds. Ditto with the barred F-- I can do it now, but when it comes to playing quick chord changes, I inevitably fall back on the F major 7, which is a quick pivot to a C chord. One of the benefits to this barred chord training is that my fingers are gradually beginning to loosen up more in the tendons, and I can play a blues shuffle in A with my index and ring fingers rather than with index and pinky.
At some point, I will probably blog about the F major 7 chord I use, which will be of interest only to the guitar players out there-- I'm guessing everyone's eyes glazed over as they scanned this check-in comment!

Anonymous said...

Feeling a little blue today. I struggled but did actually get some poem-like pieces written each day. I spent a quiet weekend at home reading other people's poetry, and I'm wondering if I have what it takes. They are sooo good.

HipWriterMama said...

Hi everyone! I'm writing from the library right now. I've got no power, heat or internet service at home right now. Nothing like these winter storms. Sigh.

Minutes after I posted today's post, a huge branch fell down and missed my car by a couple inches. But it successfully knocked down our cable/internet service wire.

Our power has been out for a few hours, so I've got the kids in the library right now.

I'm pleased to read your reports. Sounds like you're all making some sort of progress. Good luck this week!

HipWriterMama said...

Actually, focusing on critiques for other people is good! It helps you analyze what works and doesn't work, so you can improve your own writing.

And you're right, you did do something everyday. And that means progress. Good luck this week!

Thanks! Glad you kept on writing. Best of luck with your queries this week. Good thoughts.

DS Writer,
Wow! You must feel so wonderful with all you've accomplished this week! Hope your husband's back gets better soon. Good luck with your progress this week.

HipWriterMama said...

n.a. nelson,
Definitely great news! I think it is wonderful you're donating part of your proceeds to the Amazon Conservation Team. Thanks for sharing your good news. Best wishes for another positive week.

Congratulations! How exciting to have another little grandchild to spoil. Hope you get in some inspired writing this week!

Here's to good health! Best of luck this week!

HipWriterMama said...

Ms. Mize,
Is there another book you can study instead? If you're having a hard time because of how the book is written, I'm sure there are other books that will give you the same information with a more agreeable perspective. But if you need to go through this specific book, good thoughts go your way. Best of luck with your progress with week.

I've taken a step away from my usual stuff to try the historical fiction. This should be interesting.

You've made alot of progress! Enough to be ahead of where you wanted to be! Wahoo!

Hope this week keeps you focused and writing.

Thank you. You know, you should do an audio on your blog so we can hear the different chords. Sounds like you're going to be able to play some great songs.

Best of luck this week!

Franki said...

Another fun week--it is feeling more like habit. Still hard and I can't imagine it ever gets easy to get up at 4:45 AM. I haven't lost any weight but I attended boot camp every day, made it through each day and ate healthy 99% of the week. So hopefully by the end of the 30 day challenge, I'll see some results!

Linda said...

Okay, I've tried to leava a comment twice and must be doing something wrong. I just want to congratulate everyone on how well they are doing. So far, so good with my poem a day project. Lots of haikus... but at least that's better than I usually do.

HipWriterMama said...

I think you've echoed so well what most people think when they get to a particular point towards their goal. It's good you're wondering whether you have what it takes. And yes, there are plenty of people who have written beautiful work.

The fact you've recognized your fear, and are still working towards your goal, states your position loud and clear. Here's to your work and your persistence! I have a feeling you will find a way to make your dreams come true. Best of luck this week.

4:45 am! Yowsa. I'm not sure I could do that every day. Boot camp must be doing wonders for your psyche. You must be feeling powerful. Keep going, Franki. Good luck!

Glad you're doing well with your poem a day project. I find haikus very difficult to write, so the fact you've written lots of them, is great in my book. Best of luck for this week!

Kelly said...

Yay, Vivian, for doing so well on your goals. I've seen the first part of the writing, as you know, and your hard work is paying off!!

I've been doing well. I've taken charge of 3 of 4 of my e-mail accounts and it feels so good!! One more to go. This one is more complicated, because it involves my computer that crashed. That is my goal for this week. Go into broken computer, extricate files, reconstitute e-mail program, clean out. All while staying on top of other e-mail. Wish me luck!!

Sara Latta said...

Oops, I meant to post last night (Monday), but got caught up in watching two episodes from season 1 of The Wire. (How did I ever miss it when it first came out?) I didn't achieve my writing goals this week, but I have been making a serious effort to plot out this new book and doing writing everyday, and so far I'm really happy with what I do have.

Congratulations to all of you, and happy writing!

HipWriterMama said...

Four e-mail accounts? I have two and it is hard enough to manage what I have. Good luck with getting everything out of your crashed computer!

I'm glad your plotting is going well. Here's to more writing this week! Good luck!

KB said...

I totally posted comments last night talking about how I made 4 workouts out of six. It was late adn it disappeared! I did it right after I put my link up and you can see that it was around 11 at night. I really, really did!

HipWriterMama said...

No worries, Kathy. Glad you made progress last week. Here's to another good week!