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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Valerie Storey's Rule of Twelve Expanded

At Kennesaw State University I had a class under Valerie Storey, who taught me some of the most essential practical information I ever gleaned.  Not that I didn't learn something valuable in all my classes, but Valerie gave very practical insights.  For example, for our final project, we had to prepare a manuscript for submission, Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope and all.  Now there's a lesson for a beginning writer!  If I ever have a writing workshop, I'll do that with all my classes.
Another thing that stuck with me is she said if you send 12 manuscripts out at the same time, you'll get a positive response from at least one of them.  Not necessarily an acceptance, but at least an encouraging rejection that will keep you going.
In a recent blog, she's expanded her rule of 12 to include other things, such as "If you wrote just 12 lines a day..."  I'm appending her blog in toto here so you can see for yourself, but Valerie's approach shows a lot of common sense.  Sometimes when attempting something overwhelming such as, say, writing a novel or losing ten pounds,we think we're supposed to jump into it all at once, swallow the elephant whole, to mix metaphors.  Instead, the best way to eat an elephant is one very thin slice at a time, storing the restin the chest freezer until needed.
Another teacher, Tony Grooms once remarked that if you wrote two hundred words a day, at the end of a year you'd have a seventy-thousand word novel.  Think of that!  A mere two hundred words a day!  You could do that!  I've done it myself.
There's an African proverb that goes, "Little and little wears away the stone," which bears the same message.
Dream big, by all means dream big.  But don't hesitate to start small.
Here's Valerie's post:

1 comment:

  1. So very happy (and grateful) you like the "new and improved" Rule of 12! Thanks so much for sharing this with your readers. There's really no end to the ways it can be used--even something as simple as brainstorming "12 new ways to use 12." It's fun--and ultra-productive. Thanks again!