Yes, I’m doing it again! Sort of, but this time it’s all about the NEW YEAR.
For the last 11 days I have been taking an online class with author, blogger, 12 x 12 founder, Julie Hedlund. Every day I click on a link, listen to a video, and do homework. Now that I’m almost done, I’d thought I’d share some of my homework with you, and invent a version for you.
Day 1 was an introduction, a quick taste of what Julie will be teaching. Sorry, no song this time, but you can google and play it yourself.
When you write a paper, you start with an intro. You tell what you’re going to write about. In this class, you’re going to be putting ideas together, taking some away, to learn from 2017, and to make 2018 the best year ever. AKA you’ll be writing your own New Year’s resolution. You might even write more than 1. Tip, it’s fun, when you do it Julie’s way! This ends Day 1. See you tomorrow!
For this paper, days 2-11 are the middle. It’s where I’ll tell you about those New Year’s Resolutions, Julie Hedlund style.
Day 2 Surprise! Julie’s video was about surprises, and so was her homework: Writing 3-5 from this year. I had to think back to the unexpected, the good and the bad this year.
1. Cutting words can be easy with the right tool! Michelle Houts taught me how to use Ann Whitford Paul’s, Writing Picture Books.
2. My words are powerful…I had 2 authors look at me with fear because of my story plot. It was too strong for my audience.
3. Nothing more to edit? Shock! Usually I’m bummed with edits, but this time I was bummed without them. I felt like I’d failed, till another author gave me an idea to “weaken “ the plot for my audience.
Now it’s your turn. How were you surprised in 2017?
Day 3 Success! Julie talked today about recognizing and building from your own success Homework: write as many as you can. I had 28. I’ll share 4.
1. Wrote 1st new PB in 5 years. Cut over 700 words from it.
2. My website started with 25 visitors per week. Now I average about 500. My best week was 800.
3. I learned how to use Scrivener, which is a great word processing program for writers.
4. I submitted my safety story to 2 agents. That doubles my submissions up to 4.
Now it’s your turn. What were your successes?. Write down as many as possible. It’s a good thing!
Day 4 Disappointments! Julie said this was the hardest day, and she was right! She asked us to write 3-5 disappointments. Then go deeper by writing a judgement, your inner critic, on why you “failed.” You end on a hopeful note by writing the truth, why your disappointment was unachievable. I did 3. Here are 2.
1. Disappointment: My dog manuscript didn’t get picked up by an agent.
Judgement: It’s not good enough. It will never be good enough.
Truth: She saw potential in the manuscript and gave me ideas to push it. She thought I could handle the criticism and would use it.
2. Disappointment: I only submitted 3 manuscripts this year.
Judgement: I’m too afraid. I’ll never believe in myself. I’ll always be watching the success of others.
Truth: I knew my books weren’t ready yet, and I also know they’re getting closer.
Now it’s your turn to write your disappointments, judgements and truth.
Day 5 Learning! Today was easier! Julie defined learning as the positive knowledge you can take away from the things your heart knows to be true about your challenges, disappointments, and failures. Here are 2.
1. Learning from dog manuscript: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The agent didn’t say delete the manuscript. She gave me ways to improve it. I already have, then had it looked at, and re-edited from feedback. It’s going out this week. May the force be with it!
2. Learning from submissions: I’m finding my community, my tribe, my support group. They’ve helped me with manuscripts. They’ve cheered my baby steps forward.
Your turn...write what you've learned from those challenges, disappointments, and failures.
Day 6 Next Step, Building from Success, Erasing Disappointment.
3 parts today. Let's do one at a time. STEP #1: Look at yesterday’s learning. What’s your next step towards your goal? Here are 2.
STEP 2: Look at your successes. Pick your favorites to build onto. I did 7, but I’m showing you 3.
STEP 3: Delete, shrink, or burn your Disappointments and Judgements.
Truth: The agent saw potential in the manuscript and gave me ideas to push it. She thought I could handle the criticism and would use it.
Learning: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The agent didn’t say delete the manuscript. She gave me ways to improve it. I already have, then had it looked at, and re-edited from feedback. It’s going out this week. May the force be with it!
Next step: Keep editing and critiquing Dog story till it’s ready.
Now it's your turn!
Day 7 Gratitude! Julie said this was her favorite day of the whole 12 days because it involves the most sustaining element of all…gratitude. I had a list of 20. Here are 3.
1. For the development of my blog, for those who helped me to build it, and for those who read it.
2. For SCBWI where I found friends and mentors.
3. For the gifts God gave me, the bat, the ability to write, to focus and persevere, to take suggestion.
How about you? What are you grateful for?
Day 8 Book Cover! Julie suggested taking the pages from this class in order and turning them into a book. I did my work on computer pages so I turned this project into this poster. Please do what fits you!
Here’s how I’ll use word power
Keep us going:
Scrivener, My Blog, My Reads
Revise and submit us:
Ant, Safety, and Dog stories
Write something new:
Bat, Duck, and Mary/Martha
Try something new:
12x12, Writing with the Stars, Story Storm
To Julie Hedlund
12 Days of Christmas
Day 9 Fun! After working hard for 8 days, Julie did a video day featuring Rockie Hedlund’s rules for writing. Rockie is the family dog. I can’t share her video, but I can do something similar.
This is a border terrier who looks like my Leia. I matched her favorite things to rules for writing. Enjoy!
1. She always laid at the top of the stairs. Rule: Be observant. You won’t miss a thing.
2. She also loved to sit/lay on my feet. Rule: Stay close to those you love.
3. She loved clothes on the floor. They were perfect to lay on. Rule: Sometimes jobs like laundry can wait.
4. Leia loved walks and would go crazy if she heard our code words. We started with: Time for a walk. Then changed to WALK before our last try, the “W” word. Rule: Always be ready to learn.
5. She’d pull my kids down the street, choking all the way, huge doggy smile on her face. Rule: Don’t forget to have fun!
Day 10 Pause! Julie took today to pause, reflect, and affirm. I’ve been doing that all week with this class. Today’s assignment was to come up with a word or phrase of affirmation. Here’s mine:
Day 11 Writing Prompt! No video! Julie sent writing prompts today. If you want to be a writer, improve as a writer, then you need to write! So I did!
Prompt: It's 1504 in Florence, Italy. You get lost and stumble upon Leonardo da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa. What happens next?
Here are 2 scenes I played around with, just for fun!
I stumbled through the door of the time machine. It worked! I was in an alley, in 16th century Florence, Italy. I looked down at my clothes. They fit the time period. I strolled out of the alleyway and down the street. My research said this neighborhood where I’d find Leonardo da Vinci’s studio.
I followed my map to the studio, opened the door, and tiptoed inside.
Leonardo called, “Sit, watch, and wait.” He continued painting.
A lady sat like a statue. I knew her face, but not her name. I watched Leonardo paint. I wished I could paint like Leonardo.
***skip ahead to art lesson****
After dinner, I sat down beside Leonardo. He said, “Draw.”
Leonardo smiled. “Try, for me.”
I did, a stick figure.
Leonardo said, “That’s how all young artists begin, with lines, with sticks. Watch me.”
Research how by drawing lines, check with an art teacher
Day 12 Conclusion! Time for a finale. In the intro, I gave you the main idea. In the middle, I gave you the details. It’s time for a conclusion, to sum up the post and Julie’s final lesson.
First thank you for taking your time to read this post. I hope it helped you set the stage for the New Year.
Congratulations! You looked back at 2017, and you’re armed with the truth. You know what you learned, and best of all, you set up steps to take towards your goal. Ready, set, go!
Julie’s final piece of advice is from Jane Yolen’s Take Joy. Basically, it’s that simple, take time to take joy. Enjoy the view. Stop and smell the roses. All synonyms, all clichés, and all true. Enjoy your journey through 2018! Here’s to the voyage!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!