It’s NanoWriMo Time!

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. It’s that time of year again folks. What time? Not gear up for Thanksgiving time. And it’s not Black Friday time. It’s NanoWriMo time!

If you haven’t heard of NanoWriMo – it stands for National Novel Writing Month. From November 1 – 30, you can take on the challenge of writing a novel or manuscript (50, 000 words). No editing; just writing. I myself signed up for NanoWriMo, but ended up quitting after a week and a half due to home and work obligations. Maybe next year, since I’m not up for it this year either.

Freshman Writers, this is a great way to get some fire in your bellies and write that book you have inside of you. It doesn’t matter the topic, genre or language. All that matters is that you get the project out of your brain and on to the page (or computer screen).  You can do this! I believe in you. If my pals on Twitter can do it, so can you.

Go to NanoWriMo and register. Not only will you find online support groups and a buddy system, you’ll also find NanoWriMo meet-up groups that will allow you to connect with other challenge participants in your area. Check it out and good luck! Make sure to report back at the end of the month.

Happy Writing!

Information Overload?

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about information overload. There is no shortage of ways we can get the information we need and even the information we don’t need. According to Brownielocks, October 20th is Information Overload Day.

I know I get very overwhelmed by all of the information out in the world especially that on cyberspace. Here are some tips to keep information from overloading you.

1. Find the one medium that works best for you. These days we can get information from television, radio and online. Figure out which of these is more convenient and practical for you. Stick with the one you use most and chuck the rest.

2. Clean out your inbox. I’m an email junkie. I admit it, I have an email problem. Recently, I went through my inboxes (I have three) and deleted emails that I simply don’t read anymore. I also unsubscribed from any groups or subscription lists that just take up space. If you don’t read it, you don’t need it.

3. Limit the number of email addresses you have. I have one for fun, one for writing and one that I’ve kept for a million years because it was my very first email address. By keeping separate accounts, I’ve found that I can better organize my information.

4. Life is busy, but multi-tasking can make it worse. I read my personal emails on my way to work. I have my emails connected to my Blackberry so I have them organized there. Since I commute to work, it saves me time to read and reply to emails. But, I’ve also learned to put my phone away one stop before I get off. I’ve missed my stop once or twice because of my inbox.

5. Check in on your lunchhour. Lunchtime is a great time to check your email or catch up on your favorite bloggers.

6. Limit your RSS Feeds. I LOVE to read and have subscribed to several blogs. But, I reached the point of hating the number of feeds that I get and don’t have time to read. So as I cleaned out my inbox, I also cleaned out my RSS Feeds. Again, if I don’t read it, I don’t need it.

Hopefully, these tips can keep you from being overloaded. And remember, information helps you write, but too much can keep you from writing. Happy Writing!

 

5 Ways Business Cards help you

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about business cards. October 9 – 15 marks ‘Build your business with business Cards” week.
As writers just starting out, maybe the last thing you Freshman Writers thought of was a business card. ‘What do I need a business card for, I’m just starting to write?’ I had the same thought when I first started writing in 2005. I had a hard time just figuring out what I would write. A couple of years later, I received an offer from VistaPrint for 250 free business cards. (I’ve used them a couple of times since then and it is a great service for writers starting out.) I checked out their website and took them up on the offer. I only paid for shipping and handling.

Business cards are useful for so many things. Here are some ways you can use them:

1. Getting a card helps you find your niche. In a limited space, you only have so many words to describe who you are and the writing you do. Having to write your pitch in a few words can help you find your writing groove.

2. You can list your talents in one place. If you already know what your writing niche is, you can simply transfer it to a card. By putting “writer” on your card (along with your other skills) you let clients know what they can expect from you.
3. You can accept yourself as a writer. One of the biggest challenges that writers face at any level, but more so as beginning writers is acknowledging that you ARE a writer. After receiving my cards, I had something tangible that says I am a writer.
4. You can let others know what you do. Business cards are great for networking especially at events or gatherings. If someone asks for your number or email, pass them a card.
5. Business cards help you showcase your work. By getting a business card, you can list your website or online portfolio. This way, potential clients can view your work and contact you right away.

Business cards can help you grow as a writer. But remember, being a writer is about doing what you do best – writing. Happy Writing!

World Teacher Day

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is a prompt about teachers. According to Brownielocks, today is World Teacher Day. In celebration of teachers (of all kinds and ages), today’s prompt for you is to write about a significant learning moment and who taught you that lesson.

In school or even at home, we are conditioned to think that learning only takes place at school and only for a limited time. I believe that learning can happen anywhere and that it is a life-long process. I hope that I continue learning something new everyday. So, it honor of your favorite teacher, write something. A poem, limerick, story, memory, etc. You get the point. Get to it Freshman Writers!

Happy Writing!

Here’s my bit:

I met one of my favorite teachers on March 14, 2001 at 4:32am. He finally showed up after having me wait for several months. He was bright-eyed and curious, staring at me with big, beautiful, brown eyes. That first night we spent together, I learned that I would never sleep normally again. Thanks kiddo for being one of my favorite teachers!

3 Ways to Be Kind to Editors & Writers

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is about being kind to Editors & Writers. September marks Be Kind to Editors & Writers Month. We all know that there’s so much negativity in the world today. This month, I wanted to share my tips for spreading the love. Here are some ways to spread kindness all around and keep the positivity going. Enjoy!

1. Be polite. Remember that good manners (online and off) speak volumes about who you are.

2. Sharing is Caring. Freshman Writers, you have expertise in something. Share what you know if a writer/editor asks. And even if you don’t, pass it along to others in your circle. You never know who you can help.

3. You get more flies with honey than vinegar.  The world of freelance writers is small, even though cyberspace can seem huge. People communicate to one another; especially editors & writers. Stay positive on-line and share negativity offline with trusted friends. When I get upset about something, I talk to friends offline to gain perspective. In this way, I get my feelings out without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Hopefully, these tips will help you keep the positive energy flowing all around you; both online and off.

Happy Writing!

Love Note Day

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. Today’s post is in celebration of National Love Note Day according to BrownieLocks.com. I’m a sucker for a great love note so I thought we could use this as a prompt. Share what you like about love notes and even one of your own! Below is my contribution. Enjoy!

Happy Writing!

 

Dear Son,

Little boy, you’re the center of my world. You’re my motivation to get up everyday to work hard. You’ve pushed me far beyond my limits and even my dreams. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I love you. You’re my favorite kid in the whole, wide world and I live for your smile. Remember that I’ll always be there no matter what.

Love,

Mami

What I think about “How She does it”

After stumbling over this article on celebrities sharing their tips for juggling career and motherhood, I just had to share my thoughts on the subject. Not that anyone could possibly miss this one with the movie coming out and several hundred comments on it. There were many things going on with this article that I had to share my view.

The article simply puts out there how various people (celebrities) juggle career and parenting. I was really blown away, not by the article itself, but by all of the comments.

Some begrudged the fact that celebrities were interviewed and not the general public. For me, celebs are people, too. Yes, they have more money than I do and more resources, but none of that takes away from my raising my own child. People make money in different ways and make different amounts of it. I’m still happy with my career choice and proud to say that I can provide for my son on my own.

Others talked about how hiring nannies or sitters to care for their children is akin to not being a mother. Respectfully, I disagree. I couldn’t have gone back to work without having a sitter. (I had no choice as to whether or not I could stay home.) I also couldn’t continue working with peace of mind if I didn’t have a good sitter. I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child. My village consists of me, my family, friends, sitters, teachers, after-school program staff and kiddo’s father/family. I have no problem in admitting that I cannot do it all alone. It’s impossible and unrealistic.

Still others, criticized Sarah Jessica Parker for being the face of this movie. I feel that SJP has been unfairly targeted for participating (working) on this film, which I am planning to see to find out what all the fuss is about. I read comment after comment about how ugly, lazy, confused and arrogant she is for simply answering the question “how do you do it.” She only responded to a question. (Read above to see how I do it.)

I’m not particularly fond of reading celeb gossip or anything negative really. But, it bothered me that the commentators ripped her apart for sharing her point of view. Whether or not I disagree with someone, I’m not going to pick on that person for speaking his or her point of view. It is every person’s right to their opinion and for that matter, how they choose to raise their children. There is no magic formula for how to do it. All we can do is make our parenting decisions and hope to hell they work out in the long run. No one person has all of the answers. I feel that if we collectively put our heads together, we’d all have something to contribute – celebrity or not.

9/11

Hiya Freshman Writers. Hope this finds you well and writing.

I hadn’t planned on writing today. I planned to rest today. Given the solemnity of the occasion, I really wanted to stay home to rest and reflect. Then a friend of mine over at Mommylink’s asked me to share my 9/11 story. Everyone has one, but as New Yorkers, ours can be very unique.

So, in honor of the many loved ones lost, I encourage you Freshman Writers to write your story. Express your thoughts and feelings about that day. This is how writers live on, through poignant messages and stories. Please come and share them here as well.

9/11 – We will never forget.

Notable Quotable

Hiya Freshman Writers! Hope this finds you well and writing. I’m sharing a quote today since it’s been awhile. And great words always get me going. Enjoy!

Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.

-Miguel de Cervantes

 I love this quote because it puts responsibility of our actions directly on our shoulders. One of my challenges as a writer is wishing (aka begging) to be a successful writer. But, this quote hits me with reality and lets me know that I’m responsible to take the steps to be a successful writer. So, Freshman Writers – you’ve got the power to get published!

Happy Writing!