Tag Archives: Note Project

Call for Submissions: Notes (and Stories!) of Appreciation

by Mike O’Mary

NP-Telesummit-Composite-Photo-copyTwo weeks ago, I gave you a behind-the-scenes look at the Note Project launch and all that a “launch” entails – in this case, a media tour, a blog tour, an “event,” sponsor promotions, etc.

The launch is in full swing now. In fact, the Note Project Telesummit is going on right now – April 18, 19 and 20. if you are reading this on the morning of April 20, there is still time for you to sign up and participate “live” at 2:00 p.m. central time. For more information, click HERE.

If you are reading this after April 20, it’s still not too late to sign up and get access to free replays of the Telesummit, which features ten best-selling authors and experts over three days discussing the Note Project and all aspects of appreciation in our lives.

I mentioned the Note Project and its launch two weeks ago because I believe the project holds special interest for writers. The project is about writing notes of appreciation, the launch is very similar to what authors are doing for book launches these days, and a share of proceeds from optional $1.00 Note Project Starter Kits will go to support literacy projects around the world. But there’s yet another reason for writers to check out the Note Project…

I’m inviting Note Project participants to share their notes and stories on the “Your Notes” section of the Note Project website. I believe sharing them will inspire even more people to write notes – and I plan to publish the best notes and stories in a book about the project. So by writing a note of appreciation, you can accomplish several things: you can let someone in your life know they are appreciated, you can inspire others to write notes, you will be supporting a project that is helping to promote literacy, AND you can get a publishing credit. For more information, visit the Note Project website.

Mike O’Mary is owner and publisher of Dream of Things books, and founder of the Note Project.

Anatomy of a Launch

by Mike O’Mary

NoteProject 72 dpi 200x93For much of the past year, I’ve been laying the groundwork for something called the Note Project. It officially “launches” on April 18, but for all practical purposes, it’s up and running now. If you haven’t already visited the Note Project website at http://NoteProject.com, please take a minute to do so. There are a couple of good reasons for you to take a look if you are a writer.

The first reason is that the Note Project involves writing. In this case, it’s about writing notes of appreciation. It’s a project that was inspired by a note I received from my youngest sister, thanking me for something I did years ago. My goal is to encourage and inspire other people to share notes of appreciation. There’s no cost to participate, so if you want to help the cause (and make someone in your life feel appreciated), please take a moment to pledge to send a note. Your pledge will count toward our goal of 1 million notes, which we believe will “make the world a million times better.” And if you really like the idea of the Note Project, you can support us by purchasing an optional “Note Project Starter eKit” for $1. You’ll get a lot of helpful tips and inspiration for your dollar, and a share of the proceeds will be donated to support literacy projects around the world. You can also donate directly to the literacy projects if you’re not interested in an eKit.

The second reason I recommend that writers check out the Note Project is that this project has much in common with a book launch. In fact, the person who is managing the launch of the Note Project specializes in campaigns aimed at getting new books onto Amazon bestseller lists. Continue reading Anatomy of a Launch

The Note Project

by Mike O’Mary

For much of the past year, I’ve been prepping for something called the Note Project. It’s finally going to launch on March 20, 2011 (the first day of spring!).

The Note Project is about sharing appreciation with others. There is no cost to participate. We ask participants to send at least one note of appreciation to another person. The goal is to collectively send 1 million thank you notes (thus the tagline “making the world a million times better”).

There is a natural fit between literacy and the whole idea of writing notes of appreciation. Accordingly, I plan to donate 10% of the proceeds from Note Project Starter Kits to promote literacy. I’ll announce details as soon as they are finalized.

I’m excited about the opportunity to help promote literacy because it’s been an issue throughout my life, starting with my own family. Dyslexia runs in my family, which makes school more challenging. And we were raised in a single parent home, which also makes things more challenging for kids (not to mention for the parent!). As a result, not all of my seven siblings finished high school, and only two of us went to college.

Later, as the instructor of a course in remedial writing at the University of Montana, I worked with freshmen who had failed the school’s writing entrance exam. I had students who didn’t know that you begin a sentence with a capital letter and end it with a period. I didn’t know how they had gotten through high school without being able to write, and I was genuinely worried about what the future held for them.

Why does that matter? Well, for one thing, literacy affects your standard of living. The unemployment rate is 5% for college graduates and 15% for everybody else. If you want to improve your standard of living, education is the key. And the key to an education is literacy. So I’m looking forward to donating a share of the proceeds from the Note Project to help promote literacy. I’m also looking forward to telling you about the projects of the organization we will be supporting, which reaches millions of people around the world. So plan on being twice rewarded for participating in the Note Project: writing a note will make you and the recipient feel good, and you can also feel good about helping to make the world a million times better. Literally.

Mike O’Mary is founder of the Note Project and of book publisher Dream of Things.

No Resolutions

17 ny resolutions copyby Mike O’Mary

I don’t make resolutions on New Year’s Eve anymore.

Now before you put me in the “Scrooge” category, allow me to add that it’s not because I think resolutions are a bad thing.  For the most part, I think they may be a good thing.  They give people goals, and goals help us live our lives in an orderly fashion.

But we also need hope, and my concern is that too many goals–especially goals in the form of New Year’s resolutions–can have a bad affect on hope.

All too often, we rush blindly from one goal to another or from one project to another without really examining what we’re doing.  I’ve been guilty of this on more than one occasion.  I love to take on household projects–paint the dining room, build some new shelves in the basement, refinish that old table–all of which give me some degree of pleasure and satisfaction, but all of which, if taken on in quick succession, ultimately serve as distractions and diversions from our real purpose here.

What is our real purpose here?  I won’t pretend to be able to answer that question.  But I suspect that our purpose–and whatever meaning there is to our lives–is something we have to discover for ourselves.  Some think meaning comes through the pursuit of knowledge.  Others feel art and self expression hold the meaning of life.  Still others feel that to leave behind a healthy, well-adjusted child is no small feat.

Whatever the meaning of life may be, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have to do with a fresh coat of paint on the dining room wall.  Not, as I said, that there’s anything wrong with doing a little home improvement–I personally find it relaxing at times–but we have to guard against letting such projects take on lives of their own.

So I don’t make resolutions any more.  I’ve got enough things I’m trying to do in my life without putting more pressure on myself.  Instead, what I do is to sit down sometime before the end of the year??and hopefully, a few times during the year, too–and think about why I’m here and what I’m doing with my life.  I figure that if I keep working on home improvements, I’m eventually going to have a pretty nice house.  When that time comes, I want to make sure there’s a pretty nice human being to occupy that house.

Mike O’Mary is founder of Dream of Things and of the Note Project, a campaign to make the world a million times better by inspiring participants to write 1 million notes of appreciation. “No Resolutions” is taken from his books Wise Men and Other Stories.

What’s Your Favorite Writing Instrument?

IBM_5150_PCby Mike O’Mary

Joe Wallace’s FZ post on January 4 (and the Dave Allen post it linked to) offered some good, common sense advice about early adoption of new technology. The consensus was to wait for later versions of new devices like the iPad.

I’m doing my best to wait, but I get a little antsy when I see other people typing on cool little touchscreens while I’m still lugging around my 30-pound Kaypro portable sewing machine computer. (I keep thinking it was a portable sewing machine because that’s how big the case was.)

Actually, the Kaypro is long gone. (Remember the Simpsons episode where Marge recounts how they got their Kaypro after someone threw it off an expressway overpass? That was me up on the overpass.) But I do have a two-year-old laptop that by today’s standards is already considered clunky. I’ll wait to replace it though. In the meantime, I’ve taken to picking up a legal pad and a smooth-flowing pen more often. It brings back fond memories of the times I would sit up late into the night with paper and pen, writing things out in long hand before moving to the typewriter to type them up. Later, I bought one of the first IBM PCs. No hard drive…just two 5.25″ floppy drives. One to run Wordstar, the other to save my files. And one of those lovely green-on-black monochrome monitors. For a whopping $2,500! And that was in 1985 dollars. I used that thing for almost 10 years before finally moving to something with a hard drive. (If nothing else, the original IBM PCs were durable. I still use it to crush rocks.)

Twenty-six years and countless PCs and laptops down the line from that first PC, I now sit here with my wireless keyboard and trackball mouse, creating literary masterpieces (and the occasional blog post) while trying to maintain proper wrist position so I can ward off carpel tunnel syndrome. I also try to look away from my giant color monitor periodically so I can retain just enough eyesight to still see more than a blurry image of myself in the mirror in the morning. More reasons to stick to pen and paper.

So here’s my suggestion for today: Put aside your laptops and iPads for a little while. Try a non-electronic writing instrument for a change of pace. Personally, I’m digging the very economical Signo pen from Uniball and Second Nature recycled legal pads from Tops. Stop by sometime and I’ll give you a preview of next week’s blog post. In long hand.

Mike O’Mary is founder Dream of Things and of the Note Project, a campaign to make the world a million times better by inspiring participants to write 1 million notes of appreciation. Coming March 20, 2011.

Story Circle Network and She Writes

by Mike O’Mary

Writing used to be a solitary profession. You sat in a room by yourself, typing away on your typewriter or computer, sometimes long into the night. If you were lucky, you toiled away in an upstairs room instead of in the basement. And if you were really lucky, maybe you were part of a local community of writers, and you could get together to talk about writing, books and publishing opportunities with other edu-ma-cated types. That’s if you were fortunate enough to have enough writers nearby to form a community. The key word was “local.”

Not anymore. Writing is still a solitary profession when it comes to actually doing the work. But with the Internet, it’s easier than ever to be part of a community of writers. Heck, I think I belong to 40 or 50 online writing communities. Sometimes it seems like there are more writers than readers. (Fortunately, most writers are also capable of reading. Most of them.)

For starters, there’s a great community of writers who frequent Freelance-Zone.com. On top of that, FZ provides you with a pretty comprehensive list of writers groups. Just click on the “‘Writers Groups by State” tab up there on the right. You can also find lots of writers groups on LinkedIn (including Freelance Nation).

Beyond that, there are new communities for writers popping up all the time. Two communities I’ve been recommending to women writers are Story Circle Network and She Writes.

scnlogoThe Story Circle Network is dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives and to raising public awareness of the importance of women’s personal histories. SCN carries out its mission through publications, a website, classes, workshops, writing and reading circles, and woman-focused programs. SCN founder Dr. Susan Albert tells me that they will soon be inviting submissions for the May Sarton Memoir Prize, a new prize to be awarded annually.

50556_175987360307_548556_nShe Writes describes itself as “a community, virtual workplace, and emerging marketplace for women who write.” They currently offer support and advice for novice and experienced writers. Future plans are to connect writers directly to readers “in a marketplace distinguished by its commitment to the production and distribution of high quality content.”

Mike O’Mary is founder of Dream of Things and of the Note Project, a campaign to “make the world a million times better” by inspiring participants to write 1 million notes of appreciation. Coming March 20, 2011.