Archive for January, 2012

Baby Step Writing to Giant Leap with Story Notes


Wildfire Notes - Typed First Draft

Did you manage any progress on your writing yesterday?

My baby step wasn’t on my novel per se, but it involved putting words on paper. AKA writing. An upcoming contest I want to enter has a deadline of Feb. 1, and I can send several entries in different categories for one entry fee. So I took time yesterday to type a first draft from notes of a personal experience from this past summer while caretaking my elderly parents … evacuating them from a wildfire area.

Double-spaced, the piece measures nine pages long, about 2200 words. The sketchy notes I typed from were four sides in a spiral, handwritten, large loopy writing, not tight, small, condensed.

What this taught me?

Wow! A big aha moment.

Lesson learned — If I have notes, even sketchy notes, know where the story is going, and fill in more of the details as I type, I can produce more pages in a short time than I ever dreamed possible for me to accomplish.

I didn’t exactly time how long, but I know it couldn’t have been more than two or three hours tops.

Like I said earlier. Just WOW! A big aha moment for me.

Never have I produced so much writing in such a short time frame. Yes, of course, I’d written using notes before, but not in this manner, not so precisely.  I WILL try this technique again. 


What about you? Have you learned anything from taking baby steps toward your writing dream?

Please share. I’d love to hear from you.

With heart from the heartland ….



Create The Write Habit

Even though 2012 has already begun, it’s not too late to begin work to create the write habit, a writing habit.

Writing is one facet of a writer’s life, our complex lives, and as such, should be incorporated into our daily lives without a second thought. Just like bathing, combing our hair, making the bed, eating meals, and brushing our teeth.

We still have fifteen days left in January.  I’d like to challenge those writers struggling to find time for writing in their busy lives to take at least one baby step daily toward your writing dream. Make writing a daily habit. I’ve often heard that doing something for twenty-one days in a row creates a habit. Let’s work to create the writing habit as a part of our everyday lives. Start today.

City Reservoir

Today’s weather was a surprise of warmth, low seventies. So I drove to the local reservoir with a spiral notebook and pen in hand.  I spent a couple of hours with nature … and a writing friend. I wrote phrases about the environment that included the senses —
what I heard, saw, smelled, tasted, and felt (physically and emotionally).

I thought about my current work in progress, a YA novel, while doing laundry this morning and changing the sheets, mindless repetitive work, that left my mind ample opportunity to wander.  New ideas — possibilities for my story — popped into my head, so I quickly jotted them down before I forgot them. Details from a news story last night and repeated this morning stuck like magnetic filings in my mind and swirled with my story ideas, yielding ideas and situations for a sequel to the novel I’m currently working on. I jotted those notes, too, and quickly researched the topic on the Internet, copied URLs, printed xps files, and bought and downloaded a book on the topic for my e-reader.  All saved for easy access later.

Each of these actions individually comprise baby steps, but clumped together add up to more.

I dare you to accept the challenge to build a daily writing habit. <VBG>


How do you build and strengthen your writing habit?  What small step or steps are you taking that move you closer to your writing dream?

Share your techniques, your baby steps, and how you’re building your daily writing habit.  I want to know.