NaNoWriMo meets Flylady

To understand this new blog there are two key words you need to know: NaNoWriMo and Flylady.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could do Nano all year round?” began the conversation.

Nanowrimo is the website that challenges writers to write a novel in one month. You kill yourself trying to do it, but in the end you’ve got a novel. Last November the three of us dove in. Kitty and Stephanie both completed the challenge with over 50,000 words. I think I came in just under 17,000. Note: That counts as a novel for me since I’m writing children’s books!  Really, it does.  And I’m not even jealous of all the work they managed to do.


However, Nano is too intense. No one could survive 12 months of Nano.


Flylady is the website that helps homemakers set up cleaning routines to make housekeeping automatic. The idea is, once you’ve got your routines down, the house seems to take care of itself. Flylady is famous for “baby steps” and “you can do anything for 15 minutes.”

So, introducing Nano (getting words on paper) to Flylady (setting up routines) you get Routines for Writers! Setting up your writing routines so that the words seem to take care of themselves. Wouldn’t that be great?

The three of us have spent the last two years or so helping each other get more written. My NaNo novel has grown by many thousand words and I’m preparing to send it out to agents.

Some of my background? Well, in my LBK (life before kids) I was a working writer. I wrote computer help files and educational software content. On the side I sold (a small number) of articles to teen mags. My dream has always been novels. Now that my kiddos can keep themselves busy long enough for me to put two coherent thoughts together, I’m working on the dream.

Are you with us? Let’s encourage each other to keep our fingers on the keyboard.





Why Are We Here?

Why are we here? Well, in the beginning, God created… Oops, sorry! We’re talking about the reason for filling up cyberspace with yet more chatter, not the reason we exist as human beings. Right.

Well, actually, for me the two topics are not totally separate. I have the occasionally far-fetched idea that my writing will change the world. I try to remind myself that it’s not that far-fetched when I think of all the things I’ve read that have changed me. That’s what keeps me writing.

And that’s why Stephanie, Shonna and I started this web site. We want to share the synergy we’ve experienced when the three of us talk about our writing, how to get more done, how to improve our work, how to balance writing with the other aspects of our lives in a healthy and mutually beneficial way. Yes, I believe that the act of writing improves other areas of my life, and of course the rest of my life impacts my writing. (I haven’t figured out how to write to lose weight yet, but I did buy Julia Cameron’s The Writing Diet! I think I have to read it first to find out how it works, but I’ll let you know in a later post!)

Synergy works best for me in conversation. I literally can call up a friend, tell them I have a problem, tell them all about it, figure out the solution, then thank them for their help and hang up. (Hmm, actually, I think I just described monologuing!) Over the last year or two, the three of us have used this conversational synergy to discover together new ideas for how to track our accomplishments, create a reward system, spend more quality time writing, and so much more! Every time we talked, we helped each other become a better writer and a better person.

So when we started talking about the next step in our career plan – blogs and web sites – we tried once again to find synergy in working together. We thought up and tossed out several ideas, but the one we liked most had to do with teaching others, sharing information, encouraging other writers in their writing, and encouraging others to help each other.

That’s where you come in.

We’d like to build a community here. If we have to spend time on promotion, time that takes away from our writing, then we might as well try to make it as fun as possible and make some friends along the way. Jump in and share your thoughts. Ask us questions – and get at least three different answers! Tell us what’s working for you. And please feel free to answer each other’s questions! That’s the kind of community we’d love to be a part of. We’re all on this journey together, whether we write or read or live our favorite stories. We want to help you find routines that give you more joy in the process.

So introduce yourself to us – and Welcome!

Stephanie’s Intro

Hi! I’m Stephanie Shackelford, one of the three founders of this blog. I have been creating stories all my life. It wasn’t until high school that I thought to write them down, but once I did, I never stopped. I have hundreds of stories in various stages of completion on my computer, hundreds more from pre-computer days, some stored in boxes, but most lost forever.

While in the midst of raising and homeschooling three children, I made the choice to delay publishing. But I never stopped writing. That’s why there are hundreds of stories on my computer. 🙂 Now it is time to get some of those (and the dozens more I keep conjuring) finished and published.

As I focus on that, I have learned so much about being productive, about how I work best, about how to recognize and minimize distractions and so much more than “just” creating stories. And that’s why I’m here.

Shonna and Kitty (you’ll meet them later this week) and I decided to start this blog for several reasons. I’ll be honest and say that at least a small part of it is self-serving. We want to write. We want people to read what we write. We want people to tell their friends about our writing. But just as much as we want all that, we also want to help other writers get there too. All three of us believe in the principle that when you give, you get.

Zig Ziglar puts it this way: “You can have anything you want if you help enough people get what they want.”

So we invite you into our own adventure toward productivity and publication. We’ll share what works for us, what doesn’t and we’ll try to figure out why.

Hope to see you here often!