Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanks, NaNoWriMo. You changed me. Now it's time to take a nap.

Thanks, NaNoWriMo. You changed me. Now it's time to take a nap.

A little after six o’clock this morning, I hit the fifty thousand word mark by adding one last sentence to my very rough first draft. The last thing that I expected to do, on the day of “winning” National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) was to sit down and write about it. However, there is some coffee left in the pot, my eyes still burn anyway and I am not quite ready to get up and clean the house.

Late in the summer, with a dream in my heart, I searched for writing tips online and stumbled upon Nanowrimo.org, who challenges participants to compose a rough draft of a novel in thirty days. Specifically, in the month of November.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world compete in the contest and there are as many different approaches as there are plots. There are those who outline, there are “pansters” (a term which means he who writes by the seat of his pants) and there are many hybrids in between. While my September and October preparations of character descriptions and chapter notes helped, I abandoned myself to much pantsing in order to “validate my novel” by finally copying and pasting fifty thousand forty-one words into a little white box online and just in time.

After taking care of the daily tasks which I’ve let slide in order to pretend that I was a real-life novelist, I will edit and revise. They say that characters perform the unexpected as one writes and I had many surprises during these last thirty days. For example, my protagonist underwent her life-changing a-ha moment while in jail. However, if you ever read my novel, you won’t find Francie in the women’s state penitentiary. I may be tired, but I am lucid enough to know to ditch the prison scenes, as I shall prefer to perform research in a lovely location like Tuscany instead.

It was fun, NaNoWriMo. Thank you for the inspiration. This month has changed me and now I I’m going to take a nap.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dear Workway team, family, friends, clients, and staffing industry peers:

I am no longer with Workway and I intend to take this opportunity to spend time with my family, volunteer in the community, write and participate in speaking engagements.  

During my time at Workway, I have had the pleasure of working with a team of dedicated, smart and driven individuals who I will miss. The company has allowed me to develop valued relationships with clients, vendors and industry peers. I am honored to be part of the staffing industry; a community of dynamic thinkers who must constantly evolve with changing laws, trends and economic situations.

I look forward to staying in touch. I can be reached at whatswithdiane@gmail.com and, of course; on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter! Best wishes for a fabulous finish to the year.  


Diane Prince Johnston

Monday, January 31, 2011

Riding twists and turns, dual personae and taking out the trash

I used to not work so much.  First I did, at the start of my career, and when I began having children I went part-time in my own staffing firm, as Chairman on a board which consisted of my husband and myself.  We sold that business and honored non-competes for three years while I had another kid.  After the hiatus, we started up again, much the same as before, and I served as board member and advisor while mostly I chauffeured, volunteered and organized the lives of three little girls.

I kept in touch, however, and stayed involved, balancing personae of  working mother and stay-at-home mom.  2009 brought shifts in business and changes at home, thrusting me full-on into a new role, completely unfamiliar and altogether strange.  Finding myself suddenly a single/co-parent who commutes and cooks, I work more than full time and I try to keep up with what’s going on at school.  

The thing about it is that I love my job and I love my kids.  Flashing back to the early days, my new mommy friends and I debated, at length, the merits of staying at home to nurture and to raise the kids versus the mental stimulation and economic benefits of returning to work.  I now realize that life has twists and turns that we cannot foresee and for which we cannot plan and I do my best to enjoy the ride. Sometimes hectic and manic, often stimulating and fun, and usually warm and fuzzy as I kiss my daughters, “Goodnight.”  Juggling between business woman to mom is fine.  I just don’t like taking out the trash.