Announcing Jon’s National Novel Writing Month 2015 Project: A Serial Novel You Can Read Here!

Several weeks ago I sat with a group of students and asked them to think about all the things they had going on in their lives. I had a list of my own, which numbered around 28 items (The students actually helped me remember a few things I had left off!). We talked about commitment, overcommitment, and trying to avoid commitment. However as evidenced by the fact that you’re reading this prologue and will be reading the subsequent novel, I suspect you know that I was less than successful in my effort to avoid taking on new projects. At precisely the wrong time in my life (as if there is ever a right time), I’ve decided to devote a good chunk of time toward writing this piece of fiction, to be published serially, during National Novel Writing Month, 2015. While it’s not exactly November yet, I did get up this morning with a great idea, and have my 2,000 word outline ready to go.
As part of the fun this year, I’ve decided to publish my novel serially though the blog you’re reading right now. Starting tomorrow, November 1, I’ll be posting a new chapter a day. I’ve got 30 of them outlined that I just have to… you know… write… and I’m excited to share my story with you (Which, as of now, doesn’t have a name… might look for one later today). So get ready for some original work, starting tomorrow morning!

Actually Keep a Diary / Journal with Day One and Workflow

For years I’ve tried to keep a daily diary / journal and have struggled with two problems: Remembering to write, and finding something to write. Lately I’ve tackled the second, and the first is easily solved when you think about it…

In this exercise, I’m using 2 apps on iOS: Day One, an excellent diary app, and Workflow, an excellent automation app. I’ve created a little Workflow module that does the following:

  • Downloads a daily motivational quote (although you could replace this with any RSS feed item)
  • Looks up my calendar for the day
  • Asks me 2 questions (In my example: What do I plan on doing, and how will I do good that day)
  • Rolls it all together and creates a new entry in Day One.

So with 1 tap of the Workflow shortcut, I have my phone prompting me to create my diary entry (and I can customize the workflow whenever I like). You can get my Morning Journal Workflow here if you’ve already got Workflow installed.

So get Workflow, Get Day One, and get journaling. Having problems with the first issue (i.e. remembering?). Well, just ask Siri to remind you or set a reminder to recur daily. Problems solved!