Are you writing your Novel? It’s National Novel Write Month-2017

Oh yes, I am doing it and I have some tips to share to help you if you choose to join me. I finally settled it. I have blogged on Calvin Clark Davis (WW2 soldier) long enough and feel I needed to tell the whole story. My family and readers are missing out on other events of his life. The things I wrote in my blogs or shared for others articles, etc.,  are just the tip of the iceberg. You can join me and my other genie writing buddies. The competition is for one month, November 1 through the 3oth. ( Right now I am on a 10 minute break that I scheduled for Sunday morning. Then it will be back to writing for another 25 to 30 minutes, then another 10 minute break. Then I will take a couple of hours off. In my area the 2017 Heart Walk is today at 2p (Charlottesville area). And yes I am participating. Wow, I am really being focused on what I am doing today. I am so proud of myself! That’s a good thing right? LOL. I will do the one mile walk along side of hundreds. I can and will do this, despite not liking to wear gym shoes (walking  style gym shoes-I would rather  be barefoot).

The twitter name is NaNoWriMo and the goal for is to write 50,000 words during that time which comes out to 1667 words per day. I put it out on Facebook and Twitter that I am doing this and I will. But as you know, we all need a lot of support. I have partnered with Write your Life and have Anita Henderson as a motivational writing coach. You can read more about Ms. Anita at she is just fabulous. She is also one of the instructors at the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute, we call MAAGI (pronounced maggie) in the Writing Track. (

Have you ever thought about writing a novel? I have plenty of thoughts. As the family historian there are so many stories to tell. Each of our ancestors have some interesting stories to tell and stories that should be shared. I have this belief that an individual should be able to pick up a book and begin walking in the shoes of the author telling the experiences and impacts of a story. Did you ever see the movie called the “Color Purple”? Remember the scene where Ms. Celie (played by Whoopie) was reading a letter from her sister Nettie, who was living in Africa? Oh my! While she was reading the book the imagines of what she was reading appeared. Wow, that is what it means to read a book, at least what I look for when reading. You are feeling and experiencing what the author is telling you. (so please parents make sure your young children knows how to pick up a book. Take them to the library. They should  be unplugged on a daily basis from a computer or any electronics). I hope society never leaves the book reading activity.

I always thought writing was hard and stressful to do. But it’s really not. one thing I do is have music that is inspirational for me to write by. So I have have Damien Escobar music playing low while I am writing. Also, I came up with 10 tips for writing. I sure hope these help you as they do me.

  1. Just begin writing about your  topic-WW2 soldier, your grandmother, where you grew up or something you dislike very much and have a personal view to share.
  2. There is no beginning or end, just begin writing, it will be organized later.
  3. Don’t worry about the grammar, you can hire someone to fix all that.
  4. Try to follow the Pomodoro Technique, it will keep you focused and managing your time.
  5. Need support? Ask for it. Tell someone what you need and how you want it.
  6. If you can, hire a writing coach, I say why not?
  7. Do not let others influence you on your topic, it’s yours, own it, write it. What inspires you? (Damien Escobar playing his violin).
  8. Set your goal for how many words you would like to write about each day or every other day.
  9. Reward yourself for you little milestones, don’t wait just for the big ones.
  10. Begin writing!  Just do it!

Good luck and let us hear how you are doing. Okay, it is my time to write some more before I leave for my walk.

On se parle plus tard!


About familytreegirl

Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”, a native of Michigan residing in Central Virginia, Shelley has been an avid genealogist for over 25+ years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, and Murphy family lines. She is a Coordinator and faculty for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), presents Genealogy 101 workshops at the local community college, state and national genealogy conferences. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and works as an adjunct professor for Averett University. Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” Methods and Strategies for genealogy research, “Time and File management” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Shelley currently has 20+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She is an instructor for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Adjunct Professor, Professional Genealogist. Volunteers for American Red Cross as a Disaster Services Instructor, facilitates financial education workshops for the last 8 years, and former licensed Real Estate Broker
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