On September 11th of this year, I participated in the annual ALS Walk. I had signed up in June and had a goal of $250 for my fundraising. I actually raised $515 in a relatively brief period of time. I then got very busy, as you may remember, working on my book and didn’t do any more work towards raising more money.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow, and breathe. The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis. ALS can strike anyone, and presently there is no known cause or cure.
Both my brother, Fred Mittelman and my first cousin, Lowell Stewart died from this terrible disease. I pray no one else will.
The fundraising effort is continuing, and I would like to encourage all my readers, especially those who are so interested in meths drinking, to donate some money. With your help, we will be able to make a difference in the lives of people affected by this disease. This is the link to my Facebook fundraising page.
I did it. I completed 28 days of my self-initiated NaNoWriMo. I worked every day from August 14 to today, September 10. This last week I worked a total of 1,351 minutes or almost 23 hours which is over three hours a day. For the 28 days I did a total of 3,498 minutes or over 2 hours a day.
The 28 days were very productive as I produced several organizational schemes and finally have settled on one. I have completed a full second draft of two chapters and I am well on my way with a My process is the one I described in Second Week Progress Report.
I plan to continue with this process for the remaining chapters. I have accepted that this is a lengthy process, and I am giving myself until the end of December to complete turning the first draft into a second one.
Although there were days I dreaded going to work and procrastinated about it, the structure that I set up ultimately provided the motivation for me to start working each day. Because the NaNoWriMo structure works so well for me, I plan to continue to use it.
My idea, going forward is to take a few days off and then start another NaNoWriMo, starting September 19 and ending October 15. Because the Jewish holidays will occur during that period, I am going to build in a few days off. The total working time will be 22 days.Since I won’t be posting every day on NaNoWriMo, there are some badges I will not get but I don’t care. I am using it for me and I have to adjust the process to meet my needs.
Although tweeting every day both in July and for this 28-day period has boosted my twitter numbers, for the next round I don’t think I will do that. I also plan to go back to posting about other things besides my book and NaNoWriMo. My first post of that kind will be on September 23. Thanks for sticking with me on this journey.
I have completed six days of my 28 day self-initiated NaNoWriMo. I have worked almost 12 hours or around 2 hours a day. Revising the manuscript is difficult. I have created a new organizational structure for the book which I am hoping will be the last structure I use.
I spent the last two days working on my book proposal, both because this is something I have to do and because it is a break from the tedious revising. Because I changed the structure, I had to change the table of contents in the proposal, and I still need to fix up some of the chapter blurbs. I will continue to work on the book proposal for the next couple of days.
I will post again next Friday when I will have, hopefully, completed 13 days of this round of NaNoWriMo. Have a good week.
This is the second time I have done something connected with NaNoWriMo. This past November I did the official NaNoWriMo, using it to complete the first draft of my manuscript. I started updating again on the NaNoWriMo site in January but did not continue. This time, with summer camp, I was able to complete it. I posted every day, averaging over three hours of work. This was great production because I had set the low bar of 1 hour every day, and I well exceeded that.
I would highly recommend NaNoWriMo for anyone who is looking for a way to both motivate and structure their writing process. Even though most of the materials are oriented towards fiction writing anybody can take the process and make it their own.
I have given a lot of thought to how to maintain the accountability that NaNoWriMo Summer Camp offered. Although this was the third time that I posted every day for a month, that is not something I want to continue. Once a week for my blog posts is usually plenty.
I hope to continue to work on the manuscript every day going forward but I am first going to take a two-week break. After that, starting Aug. 14, I plan to continue to update my progress on the NaNoWriMo site, and tweet about my output every day, using the hash tag #accountabiltiy. On Sundays, I plan to have short posts about my work production for the previous week. So I do not burden myself with overly elevated expectations, I am making a commitment to work one hour every day, a total of 1,680 words in the four week period.
On Fridays, I will have regular weekly post about a variety of subjects. I will resume this on August 19th. My first Sunday blog about revision will be August 21st with a note about my first week of this self-initiated process. I hope to sustain these activities for four weeks, twenty-eight days, ending on Sept. 10 as far as NaNoWriMo updating is concerned and my final Sunday post on September 11.
This is just a plan, and we will see if I can stick to it. Hopefully all the structures I am trying to put in place will keep me focused and motivated.
Today is both the last day of July and the last day of NaNoWriMo Summer Camp. I worked almost 2 hours. A while ago, I had someone read the whole manuscript and they gave me both line level comments and big picture conceptual comments on every chapter.
The last few days I have been going through those comments for one of the chapters. It is a slow process, and I am worried that it will take a long time. Since Summer Camp is over, I will have to figure out how to continue to make progress on the revision of the manuscript.
Tomorrow I will post my reflections about how I feel NaNoWriMo summer camp went and tell you what my plans are for accountability and continued work on my book
One more day to go. I worked for two and a half hours, revising the chapter on activist faculty wives. It is slow going but I do think I am improving the manuscript. Ironically, I am adding as much as I am cutting. That may be an exaggeration, but there are places that need amplification while other parts need shortening or elimination. My revision class teacher, Kate, said that revision is not just cutting, and she was right. Tomorrow, I will continue working on this chapter. I also plan to go swimming. Self-care is important.
There are only three more days until NaNoWriMo Summer Camp will be done. I have ambivalent feelings about it ending. I will say more about that on Sunday – the last day.
I worked for 75 minutes today, putting together one of the new chapters for my new structure. Currently, but it is subject to change, I have three sections with a total of ten chapters. I do like this new organizational scheme but the proof will be in the pudding. (Sorry for the cliche)
I am continuing with my attempts at reorganization. I also attended a Zoom presentation on “Academic Publishing” and virtually met with one of my revision classmates. All of these activities totaled 206 minutes. I have averaged, so far, 110 minutes a day.
Today I did a little bit of everything in two separate spurts. The first hour I looked at two inter-library loan books I have, read some of Tell IT Slant, and wrote a query to the University of Minnesota Press.
The second hour, I continued with my attempts at reorganization, taking two chapters that are about clubs at two separate institutions and reassembling them. The new structure would have one chapter about Dames and their national organization, the National Association of University Dames. The other chapter would be about faculty wives clubs and some of their activities. I also updated my working outline to reflect these changes.
It was a productive day, but I am happy there are only a few days left to NaNoWriMo Summer Camp. This has been a difficult pace to keep up and I am glad I will be being taking a few days off from the project in the beginning of August. I will explain my plans for maintaining accountability as we get a little closer to the end of the moth.
Today is the start of the final week of NaNoWriMo. I procrastinated and I have a doctor’s appointment, so I only worked for the minimum of 60 minutes.
I spent the time working on the new chapter I created yesterday “Choices”. I am trying to keep the chapter tightly focused on providing examples of the different options available to faculty wives in the late 19th and 20th century.
I am pleased with the work I did today and, hopefully, that will continue tomorrow. Wish me luck.