I’m making progress. Definitely. It’s Day 7 of camp and my word count is now 11,039.
Before I started writing, I set four goals for myself in order to complete this challenge. Some goals are coming along a little better than others:
- I haven’t been able to write first thing in the morning most days; I am going to keep working on it. There’s lots of other stuff going on, but I’m not forgetting that it’s still my goal. I’d love to make that a part of my routine every day of the year.
- I’ve been writing all over the place. Post-Its, notebook pages, at the computer. That’s going well; when I have an idea, I jot it down. Then, I make sure it gets into the document. It does take a little time to catch up on typing what I’ve already written, but I’m happy that the ideas aren’t forgotten.
- I’m also doing a pretty good job at leaving the editing for later. I am very tempted to revise, but I know there will be time for that after the first full draft is complete. Surprisingly, this is the goal I’m having the easiest time with.
- I hadn’t been following the outline very well for the first few days. It was too constricting, and too many things were changing as I wrote. Luckily, I found another solution through a second camp I’m participating in this summer called Teacher’s Write!
- The task from Jo Knowles was “to find a blank page and make a list of what you know about your project, and the reasons this particular one is important to you.” That I can do! I’m hoping that this free-flowing list will continue to serve as my new outline. The other was definitely not working for me.
MORE ABOUT TEACHERS WRITE!
Teachers Write! started yesterday. It’s an online writing program similar to CampNaNoWriMo, but targeted for educators who teach writing and want to become better writers themselves.
I’ve always been a strong believer that teachers of writing should be writers themselves, so I was really excited to join this camp.
My first Teachers Write! assignment was to sit down for a few minutes and list out things that I’m wondering at the moment. Here’s my list:
- If I can grow lavender on my balcony
- How much sun does lavender need to grow
- Why lavender smells so good
- Whats on sale at the grocery store today
- What people are doing in London right now. Australia? Mexico?
- Why I was born in the US and not somewhere else
- What cell phones will be like in two years. Five? Ten?
- How some people can stay so positive all the time and others don’t
- Why certain people can push our buttons despite our best efforts not to let them
- About what it would be like if none of us had the sense of sight? The sense of smell?
- What if everyone lost the same sense at the same time? Or if we all developed a new sense at the same time?
- Why so many people are sick
- Why some people refuse to take better care of themselves
- Why it’s so easy to develop bad habits
- When we are going to find a cure for cancer
- What will things be like when we find a cure
- What the weather is going to be like tomorrow
- What herbs and spices I have in my kitchen to make bread tonight
- If I’ll have any time to do some yoga later
On the second day, our assignment was from author Phil Bildner to: “Find a fresh place to write. People watch. Create characters or character traits based on those you see.”
Because I’m already working on the other project for CampNaNoWriMo (and a good 11,039 words in), I did what I encourage my students to do all the time — connect a new assignment to other assignments. I observed people for a while and the observations I recorded and the ideas they sparked gave me new ideas for the existing characters in my novel. Some of my observations translated into new directions for the story. This is a really excellent exercise because good writers are great observers.
PROOF THAT STUDENTS CAN DO THESE EXERCISES, TOO
After I worked on yesterday’s exercise for Teachers Write!, I came across an old notebook and flipped open to a random entry. You have no idea how many times I blinked and rubbed my eyes at what I saw! Sure enough, there was a very similar journal entry from when I was eight years old in third grade! Talk about kismet.
I always wonder about…
I always wonder about what I would do with one million dollars.
I also wonder what I would look like with my hair cut.
I wonder if I had my own house.
And if I got all A+’s.
What it would be like to be poor.
Or live in Mexico.
Or to be a in an accident.
Be on TV.
Or in my Mom’s and Dad’s shoes.
I wonder what it is like in Texas.
Or fourth grade.
(I find it interesting that I was wondering about Mexico in both lists!)