Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Margie Lawson's DUH Plan

Good morning all! It's been crazy busy in my neck of the woods, and we're just six short days from the end of NaNoWriMo for this year! I hope writing is going well, I know some people have already achieved their goals and others are still working! At the beginning of November, I attended the North Texas Two Step writer's conference where Margie Lawson lead us through a day long workshop that was just out of this world. Margie graciously accepted my request to guest blog today with tips for you, the writers and more. I encourage you to check it out and to comment for a chance to win one of the lecture packets. I am working my way through one currently, delving deeper into the emotional reactions and the work enriches the writing! So without further ado: Margie Lawson!

DUH Your Way to Success

KUDOS to all the intrepid NaNoWriMo warriors!

If you are writing every day and meeting your goals, I’m impressed.

If you are writing every day and not meeting your goals, I’m still impressed.

If your goals are DOABLE, your motivation is strong, but you are having trouble staying focused, try my DUH Plan.

Margie’s DUH PLAN:

1 -- Do it first -- or as close to first as humanly possible
2 -- Understand that it will be inconvenient and/or difficult and do it anyway
3 – Hurray! Celebrate! You did it!

See? It is a DUH plan. DUH – You will succeed.

Duh – if you exercised first every single morning . . . you’d always exercise. There would not be one day that you went to bed verbally berating yourself because you’d PLANNED to exercise. It had been REALLY important to you to fit exercise in your day. And still . . . you never got around to it.

As basic and “duh” as my DUH Plan is, it works.

If you set a goal of writing X number of pages FIRST THING in the morning and you commit to meeting that goal before you eat lunch, you will write those pages. You’ll have those pages written sometime before dinner, maybe before lunchtime.

You do not let other things fill that time. You do not answer the phone. You do not alphabetize your books. You do not check e-mail. You do not play computer games.


Remember the NIKE slogan? JUST DO IT.

The “DUH Plan” has several advantages over Nike’s JUST DO IT slogan.

1) DUH tells you when to do it. DO IT FIRST.

2) DUH addresses the COGNITIVE and the BEHAVIORAL:

-----Cognitively, it’s understood that the task may be difficult or inconvenient.

-----Behaviorally, there’s no choice but to do it, like it or not.

3) DUH reminds you to Celebrate! To REVEL IN YOUR VICTORY, reinforcing your success.

Celebrate the little wins in little ways and the big wins in big ways. Congratulate yourself on meeting every goal. Set yourself up for success by building on manageable goals.

Celebrate with the meaningful things in life: laugh often, hug more, go to a movie, take a walk, chat with a friend, listen to music, do the Snoopy dance.

A lot of writers have day jobs or other daily life responsibilities – like child care and parent care. They can practice the DUH Plan by shifting it to as soon as they get home from work, after dinner, or after kids are in bed.

If you have a day job and your DO IT FIRST time is later—then it’s later. DUH!

Some writers get up at 4AM – to WRITE FIRST. If you can go to bed early – and you’re a morning person – that’s a fabulous idea. No distractions at 4AM.

If those early morning hours are not your power hours, do not try to write then. Write later.

Take charge of each day, and take charge of meeting your NaNoWriMo goals.

DUH your way to success!


Share how you have set yourself up for success!

Anyone who posts a comment TODAY has a chance to WIN a LECTURE PACKET from one of my on-line classes.

1. Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors

2. Empowering Characters' Emotions

3. Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More

4. Digging Deep Into the EDITS System

5. Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

6. Powering Up Body Language in Real Life: Projecting a Professional Persona When Pitching and Presenting

I’ll post the LECTURE PACKET WINNER tonight, at 8:00PM Mountain Time.

In January, I’m teaching Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors, a power-packed on-line course that helps writers access their strengths—and empower creativity and productivity.

Please visit www.MargieLawson.com and click on Lecture Packets to read the course descriptions.

Margie Lawson—psychotherapist, writer, and international presenter –developed innovative editing systems and dozens of deep editing techniques. Her deep editing tools are used by all writers, from newbie to multi-award winners. She teaches writers how to edit for psychological power, how to hook the reader viscerally, how to write page turners.

Over four thousand writers have been introduced to Margie’s psychologically-based deep editing material. In the last five years, Margie has presented fifty-one full day Master Classes across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. She was also honored at both the Australia and New Zealand conferences to present their Keynote speech.

Visit her web site to read about her newsletter, contests, 3-day Immersion Master Classes, six on-line courses, Deep Editing Analyses, and presentation schedule: www.MargieLawson.com


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  2. Pearls of wisdom!

    I've begun waking early to write before the kids and dogs wreak their havoc on my writing day. I can usually write 1000-2000 words in the wee hours and still be able to watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee. It makes for a great start.

    The DUH system is a no-brainer. Simple success!

  3. I don't think it gets any simpler than that. DUH! Step two, Understand, is the big one. "...it will inconvenient and/or difficult and do it anyway".

  4. Hello Lisa!

    Fun to see you Saturday at Heart of Denver, and here this morning.

    KUDOS TO YOU for being an EMWW -- Early Morning Writing Warrior!

    My DUH Plan is no-brainer success. ;-)

  5. Love the DUH Plan. I'm a NaNoer who is just happy to have gotten the kick in the pants to have started writing. I'm 13k words in so 50k in 6 days won't happen, but I'm just so thankful for every word that does. :) I can only go forward from here!

  6. Hello Patricia!

    Ah. The oft-forgotten middle step, UNDERSTAND, is the big one. Writers can find a city dump of reasons to not follow through with their intentions that guarantee success.

    Definitely some FEAR FACTOR dynamics block those intentions. But -- if writers get in the habit of powering through, honoring their writing session, and writing, writing, writing, the fears fade. The writing validates the writer. The writer wins.

    I developed my DUH Plan for my month-long on-line course, DEFEAT SELF-DEFEATING BEHAVIORS. I teach DSDB every January.

    DSDB has over 300 pages of lectures. The DUH Plan is two of those 300 pages. DSDB is loaded with fresh ways to identify your strengths and use them to boost your writing and your writing career.


    My ECE and Deep Editing grads probably grinned at my phrase above: 'a city dump of reasons.' I avoided a trainload of cliches, LOL, and chose a fresh phrase that was emotion-themed.

    That's my kind of fun!

  7. Hello CheekyGirl!

    Good for you! You gave yourself that kick in the patoot -- and look what you accomplished.

    You learned you can push yourself to write.

    You stretched your previous limits.

    You opened your mind and your schedule to bigger goals.


    I hope you are celebrating your success!

  8. Lisa, you've been rocking NaNo this month, last month, the month before. You're so up to the challenge and I say that with respect and affection.

    Patricia, I agree -- understanding that writing isn't always fun and that sometimes it is work is important; this helps us to avoid the writer's block effect when the going gets tough.

    Sabrina, I think that you are writing is so incredibly awesome. NaNo isn't about crossing the finish line, it's about running the race and you are definitely in the race!

    I love Margie's stuff. She makes you dig deep, think, punching every button the creative elevator -- that way you stop and take in the sights at every level.

  9. I home educate my children. Since starting NaNoWriMo, I get up and go over my writing plan for the day (re-read my notes I left myself, etc. from the night before) with coffee and breakfast. Then we do everything that they need me for first, then they get individual assignments. That leaves me time to write uninterrupted. They are old enough to manage their own lunches (early teens) so I work through lunch. At 2:30 we all stop and go over schoolwork, answer questions, etc. It's been an interesting juggle since their school work MUST come first, but this endeavor has strengthened their research, writing skills and independence within their daily work. By giving them a time later that we would go over problems together, they worked harder to figure things out on their own before comig to Mom. It was a win-win situation! =)
    I *totally* agree with the DUH plan. I think that giving myself permission to make my writing a priority was a big hurdle for me!
    My NaNoWriMo book is finished at about 51K words. =) I am really proud of what both my kids and I learned this month!


  10. Hi Margie,

    I also enjoyed meeting you at the North Texas Two-Step.

    My best writing time goes from 2-7PM--no phones, e-mails, or playing ball with the kitties. The kitties are finally learning to sleep then. The darling husband is taking longer to get with the program.

  11. Hi Margie!

    No need to enter me in the packet drawing, but I wanted to say hi. I'm a little over half way through with the ECE pakcet and while my brain feels like mush after a day of lessons and homework I am looking forward to digging into my WIP at the end of the lessons.

    Whoever wins Margie's packet, do yourself the favor of using it. They rock!

  12. Hi Margie,
    Thanks for the fabulous post, reminder to focus. I'm a major plotter, but at times let life crush in on me. Things just happen. I'm in the midst of reclaiming my life. :) I'm ultra determined and am refocusing on my goals, ensuring they're in proper focus. Oh yeah, I'll see you in your Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors class in January. I mentioned it the other day in when I blogged about, "Congratulations on Achieving Your Dream - Now What?" Take care, thanks for being a continual inspiration, and I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season!
    Diana Cosby
    Romance Edged With Danger

  13. Loved this post. I do my writing once the kids are in bed and continue till late at night. I love the idea of the DUH plan.

  14. Hello Heather!

    Woohoo! You WOW'ed me with your creative elevator analogy. Do I have your permission to use it on my WHAT'S THE BUZZ? page on my web site?

    It's so fresh -- and so me. ;-)

    Thank you!


    I love Margie's stuff. She makes you dig deep, think, punching every button the creative elevator -- that way you stop and take in the sights at every level.

  15. Hello Janece -

    That's a powerful win/win you set up. I'm impressed!

    Kudos on your NaNoWriMo book too!

    I hope you and your kids celebrate all your WINS!

  16. Hello Ashley!

    I had THE BEST TIME with all the writers at the North Texas Two-Step! What an amazing group! I'd love to come back and present an advanced class, Deep Editing.

    Good for you! You created a schedule that works -- and you're honoring it. Awesome!

    Hmm -- I bet your husband would respond well to rewards. ;-)

  17. Hello Nikki!

    Ah! You're suffering from the first stage of ECE-induced stretch-your-brain syndrome. The second and third stages will make you smile.

    Can't wait to see you and Heather in May!

  18. Hello Diana C!

    You are so sweet to mention me in your blog. Very cool!

    Yay! I'll see you in DSDB in January.

    The happiest of holidays to you, too!

  19. Hello Ally --

    You're smart! You know what works and you keep doing what works. Excellent!

    Glad you liked my DUH Plan. ;-)


    Thanks for chatting today. Great to hear how you all are taking charge of your writing schedule and your writing careers.

    A big THANK YOU to HEATHER for inviting me to guest blog today. :-))

    It's just past 8PM, Mountain Time -- and I literally wrote everyone's name on slips of paper, except Nikki, per her request.

    Since it's Thanksgiving Eve Eve, :-), I drew TWO WINNERS!


    LISA PIETSCH . . . and . . . Ashley Cockerill!

    Lisa and Ashley: Please e-mail me and let me know which of my SIX Lecture Packets you would like.

    1. Empowering Characters' Emotions

    2. Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More

    3. Digging Deep Into the EDITS System

    4. Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

    5. Powering Up Body Language in Real Life:
    Projecting a Professional Persona When Pitching and Presenting

    6. Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors

    NOTE: If you have not taken one of my editing courses, I recommend starting with Empowering Characters' Emotions.


    If you have any questions about my on-line courses or Immersion Master Class sessions, please ask!



    All smiles............Margie

  21. Hi Margie,

    Thank you so much! That is so sweet of you! I'll e-mail you off-line.

    And I'm sure I'll see everyone in your classes in 2010.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    - Ashley

  22. What a wonderful day! Thank you Margie for the fabulous post and comments. You may absolutely use the creative elevator quote! Glad you liked it!

    Congratulations Ashley and Lisa!

  23. What a great surprise to wake up to! I was so engrossed in my story last night that I never made it back. Thank you, Margie and Heather!

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