Challenges 2011….

Well it’s the last day of this year.

A day to reflect on my goals past and future.

Although I did not make all my goals. I did learn a lot this year.

And I am going into 2012 with a lot of support behind me, much more focus and motivation and people rooting for me. In coming up with my goals list for the coming year I had to make sure I balanced my writing life with work, fun, friends and family instead of school. That’s another major change. I’m finished with school and moving into the next stage of my career path outside of writing. You’ll see that reflected in some of my posts.

And I plan on being more accountable, to myself and my goals. You’ll see that more too. I’m going to update my projects page so that what I want to do is out there in black and white.

I also plan on interacting more online. I know I slacked off a bit. But that’s another part of the balance – writing, writing life, life, work, family/friends and everything else.

You know the “rocks, pebbles, sand and water” time management & priorities analogy? I used that too evaluate my goals this years to make sure they were (there’s that word again) balanced. I’ll post some of my goals tomorrow (for accountability) of what projects and goals I want (plan to) accomplish in January. Then I’ll re-evaluate at the end of the month and discuss the hits, misses, deferred and removed.

Did you set goals for 2012? Or make any resolutions? Or targets? Or whatever you choose to call/name them?

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Freebie Web Finds

One of my favorite words besides “The End” (yes I know that it’s technically 2 words but go with me here.) is free.

I mentioned some resources last week. Here are a few free writing resources.

1. AntiBrowser – To help you not waste time on the internet.

2. Online Stickies – a free sticky note and canvas/peg board.

3. Springnote – An online notebook.

4. GenealogyJ – A great way to do a quick character outline.

5. Freeplane – A mind mapping software great for brainstorming and organizing ideas and information. You can check out what CNet has to say about it.

6. AiPlanet – A virtual world for artificial intelligence

7. Freebie Notes – A free sticky note software program and it even has an alarm timer. Great for writing notes for yourself so you don’t get lost in your writing and forget to do something.

8. Wordle – is a word cloud generator.

9. Dropbox –¬†online and backup storage

10. RedNotebook – A diary and journal

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How I Write – Top Tools & Resources

This week’s topic is: What is your top writing tools and resource you utilize as a writer/author?

My Top Writing Tools:

1. Scrivener for Windows – Helps with organizing and outlining

2. Google Docs – And now thanks to an app on my phone. I can upload a WIP and work on it during my break and save the changes and then come back to it when I get home with the new additions.

3. Chat Challenges – Be it 20 minutes or 30 minutes, these challenges help with getting writing done and I’m often surprised how many words(and pages) I turn out during these little writing drives.

My Top Writing Resources:

1. My very active imagination which is never short on ideas, twists and turns for my characters.

2. The internet – It has helped with research

3. The library – Great for getting some quiet writing done and also for doing research (especially those hard to find and interesting tidbits).

If you want to check out how a few of my writing friends write:

* Alexia Reed * Angeleque Ford * Emma G. Delaney * Kimberly Farris *Kristen Koster *

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How I Write – Holiday Edition

So the challenge was: With the holidays’ coming up, what are you holiday plans? What are you cooking? Or planning to/looking forward to eating the most if you’re not cooking? And how are you planning on balancing your writing with your real life obligations? Or are you not writing?

Since I’m the one doing most of the cooking in my house this year for Christmas, I made an executive decision and decided we were going non-traditional.

We’re having a medley of favorite foods.

I’m making 2 lasagna’s, bread with homemade garlic butter, salad, beef brisket, smashed potatoes, 7-up cake and peach cobbler.

I’m going to do what I always do. I write when I get a chance. I’m going to write while everything is in the oven. I plan on doing a lot of prep the day before so that should free me up some. Plus my family are late eaters so I will have a huge chunk of time in the afternoon.

So that’s the plan anyway.

If you want to check out how a few of my writing friends write:

* Alexia Reed * Angeleque Ford * Emma G. Delaney * Kimberly Farris *Kristen Koster *

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How I Write – Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

This year my writer wish list is relatively small.

I would like:

1. Continuous motivation and focus so I can complete my writer’s goal and keep improving in my writing and moving forward on my career path.

2. A dedicated office with a comfortable desk chair that is organized and has all my writing supplies I need such as pens, pencils, colored pens, highlighters, sticky notes, index cards, files, a closet full of blank paper and a closet full of printer ink.

3. A new and bigger MP3 player so I won’t have to do the delete shuffle with my audiobooks and cd’s.

4. A new laptop

5. An extra boost of confidence to silence those negative nagging doubt demons wouldn’t hurt either.

6. And for all my writer’s friends wishes to come true.

7. Oh and a dedicated crafting area would be great too that has all my supplies and tools organized so that when I get frustrated or frozen on a scene I can go and do something crafty to take my mind off of uncooperative characters and nonsensical or crazy or overly complicated plots and story lines.

If you want to check out how a few of my writing friends write:

* Alexia Reed * Angeleque * Emma G. Delaney * Kimberly Farris *Kristen Koster *

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