10/12/2011

Jumping in With Both Feet


My boss wanted me to send her an evaluation of one of our new employees with regard to how well the employee is taking on the responsibilities of the youth services aspect of her job. It was a pleasure to write; I finished the evaluation by saying I thought the young woman was truly “jumping in with both feet.”

After reading the phrase (granted, a cliché), it struck me that in so many things in life, we are not fully committed. We want a writing career, and yet our doubts cause us to stand with one foot in, one foot out. We straddle the fence.

If fully committed, what latent greatness might bloom in us? What might we accomplish?

Since meeting with the new writing group last Monday evening, there’s been a flurry of emails between old group members and new. One of our long-time members has decided to commit to NaNo.

If you haven’t heard of NaNo, it’s the hugely popular NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month, which runs through the month of November. Hundreds of thousands of people attempt to write a novel in November. The web is full of tips for NaNo.

There are also books on it. Back when it was first gaining traction, around 2004, I read: No Plot? No Problem, by Chris Baty. Baty’s book provides tips for writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. He covers challenges that range from how to find time to write; how to silence the internal editor; how to figure out a plot, and other issues. He even gives tips for writing on the job, however unless you work swing shift, in a cubicle, and alone, I cannot imagine writing a novel at work.

If you are interested, check Amazon for other books on NaNo.  

But my point for this post is to comment on the impact that one of our critique group member’s commitment to NaNo has had on the rest of us. It has resulted in us becoming more excited, and more committed, to our own writing than we were before.

I don’t think people appreciate how powerful they are in influencing others.

Jumping in with both feet … How cool is that?

4 comments:

  1. Due dates and deadlines are amazing motivators! Especially when you know others are going to be reading your work. I look forward to following you on your journey.

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  2. I've been toying with the idea of NaNo, but (and the excuses are nothing new!) it will be a busy month anyway, can I see it through, my idea isn't good enough yet...blah, blah, blah. But your idea of jumping in with both feet might just be the push I need. Thanks!

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  3. Thanks, Cathy! I'm so excited about this, and seeing our group's excitement has made me even more excited! Wow--what a sentence. Maybe my NaNo novel could just be variations on the word "excite." ;)

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  4. Tasha, thanks for stopping by ... I'm hopping on over to your blog in a moment.

    Kenda, you go, girl!(Or being from the same generation, do we say, you go, woman?

    Kim, you, of course, were my inspiration.

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