Sunday, March 1, 2020

Ready...Set... ReFoReMo!

By Cindy Williams Schrauben

Who’s ready to read for research? Getting the most from ReFoReMo requires intentionality, focus, and endurance. So, before we get started, I have a few tips.

READY - Be intentional.

1) Set a routine. When will you be able to benefit the most from the posts? Try to carve out some quiet time for yourself (easier said than done, I know.)  

2) Plan a process for taking notes -. Will you doodle in a notebook? Type up a word doc? Scratch on a sticky note for later review? My biggest mistake is thinking I will remember later - nope! It won’t happen.

3) Where will you get your mentor texts? Have you requested books from your library? The posts are great, but reading for yourself is key. We all see things a bit differently.





SET - Be Focused.

Mission: What do you want to achieve?

1) General knowledge?
2) Help with a specific idea or manuscript?
3) Simple motivation?

Being purposeful will help you get the most out of the process.

Mindset: Make some promises to yourself - after all, this is all about you.

1) Instead of being overwhelmed by the wealth of information, key in on what is relevant to you. Roll with it. 
2) If you get behind, catch up when you can - this isn’t a race (remember that the posts aren’t going anywhere - they will be available later.) 
3) Do your best and don’t stress.

READ - Endure

1) Be open to different viewpoints.
2) Try out a new idea from a mentor text (new format, new characters or setting, etc)
3) Help others by interacting in the comments or on FB
4) Go back and review what you’ve learned throughout the year.

Because there is so much info presented, it can sometimes help to focus on improving a specific MS or two. But, if you’re not there, that’s ok. Hopefully you will be inspired along the way.  Whether you are on heels of Storystorm or just getting started, ReFoReMo is a month of inspiration and shared knowledge. Please share your best strategies in the comments below.

READY...SET… ReFoReMo!

Cindy Schrauben is the ReFoReMo Facebook group list organizer and a blog contributor. As a former educator and magazine editor/writer, Cindy is consumed by a life-long passion for the written word. Her projects range from picture books to young adult novels as well as adult non-fiction. Writing for children provides her with a real excuse for spending so much time in the children's section of the bookstore. Cindy is a member of SCBWI and participates in many online writing communities.

87 comments:

  1. A perfect start! Taking time to think about your approach to the month ahead is the way to get the most from the experience.

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  2. Thank you for kicking this off Cindy!

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  3. Being purposeful, focusing so as not to be overwhelmed, just the clarity I needed for REFOREMO this year. Thanks!

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  4. Great advise, Cindy. I'm ready to go!

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  5. I've been taking notes for the past 2 wks on the mentor texts, writing down what I liked/didn't like (words and art alike). Looking fwd to learning & sharing with you all!

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  6. Thank you for the direction. Ready to learn and establish new habits and skills. :)

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  7. I am now on my 4th year of ReFoReMo. My best strategy began last year, when I started teaming up with another ReFoReMo participant to discuss the books. Having another person to talk about each book really helped in solidifying the structure and the themes.

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    1. This is great advice.

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    2. That's a great strategy, Susan. Thanks for sharing

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    3. That's exactly the way to do it! And in between those visits, you can discuss books in the ReFoReMo FB group, too. :)

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  8. Great advice, Cindy. I so agree that’s it’s important to make promises to yourself …and to keep them. Off we go!

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  9. Thanks for your tips..great review and focus on goal setting process will be .using them to organize my March goals--not just ReForReMo.

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  10. Thanks Cindy- ready to go!

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  11. I love the advice to focus on what each of us is looking to get from this challenge...it can definitely be overwhelming to try to absorb everything! And it's so true that we need to actually do the reading...since, as you point out, we bring our own perceptions to each page we turn. Wonderful kick-off post, Cindy!

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  12. I have the books, a spread sheet, and am all ready! (Kiddo and I have read through a couple piles already ��)

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  13. Great post, Cindy! Thank you for telling us to take time to focus and think about our approach to ReFoReMo. It was the perfect advice to start the off a month of reading & research.

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  14. Great tips! My notebook and mentor texts are ready to go!

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  15. Hi Cindy and team ReFoRe Mo. I'm ready and setting my sites on revision of a few mss w/thes mentor texts this year. Ty for the tips.

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  16. Yay! It must be March. I've got my notebook ready, a bag and a box of books, at least 20 waiting for me at the library...and I'm ready to go! Thanks to all for the hard work!

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  17. Thanks, Cindy! I read most of the books with my kids and we discuss what we liked or didn't like - my kids are older now and the insights I get from them are usually really good!

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  18. Cindy, what a great first post. I always get so much from REFOREMO - including a new bookshelf :-) (cause I fell in love with too many PBs in years past!)
    I have a large binder with previous posts that I recently reorganized by "topics"/ similarity (instead of sequence). I'm ready & excited.

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    1. Very cool, Maria! I love the idea of reorganizing by similar topics. Kind of like our ReFoReMo FB files! (and my Goodreads shelf) :)

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    2. You know Maria, I NEVER thought of using one notebook for each challenge to help keep track of things better. I’m totally eyerolling myself right now. I have a bunch of notebooks with just various stuff in them, but I’m making this move :)

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  19. Can't wait to get started . Have quite a few books ready to go.My notebook is ready as well.

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  20. I'm ready, set, and off and running with ReFoReMo! Thanks for the tips, Cindy!

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  21. I'm ready to FOCUS with intent. This is my 3rd year and I think I'm ready to delve into the how part of reading a mentor text. Thank you for the plan.

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  22. Thanks, Cindy. You present it so clearly here. I'm ready!

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  23. Hi, Cindy! I'M READY, LETS ReFoReMo!

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  24. Thanks for the great start. I'm going to take notes on a legal pad; and I have a specific MS in mind to work on, so I'm looking forward to ideas. I'm also interested in learning about presenting nonfiction material alongside fictional text, so I hope that is covered. See you tomorrow!

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  25. Thanks for the great kickoff, Cindy. First year doing ReFoReMo, and I had my spreadsheet ready to go before I even grabbed (and returned) my first stack of books from the library. The spreadsheet lets me focus on the info I want for all the books, but also lets me expand on details I want for genres I'm drawn to--already writing on my own, or want to try. Looking forward to finding lots of great mentor books this month!

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  26. Thank you, Cindy. This is my first time to participate, so I'm excited to begin!

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  27. I am excited to begin another March with ReFoReMo! Thanks for the great tips and suggestions for having a successful month. I like to take notes on each book as they pertains to things I am working on and to new ideas I glean.

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  28. Thank you for the perfect start to ReFoReMo, Cindy!

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  29. Thank you Cindy! I'm ready with pen and paper to make those notes! I know I won't remember :)

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  30. Looking forward to a great month of reading! -SGentry

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  31. I love everything about your post, Cindy! Thanks for preparing everyone!

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  32. This is my first year. Not sure what to expect or what will work. These tips are great. Thanks.

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  33. I love the idea of using this year's ReFoReMo posts and readings to guide revision on one particular manuscript and I have the perfect one! Thank you!

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  34. I appreciate these helpful suggestions for getting the most out of this year’s ReFoReMo Challenge, Cindy. It will be a fun month of learning together in a very supportive community!

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  35. Juliann (Juli) CavenyMarch 1, 2020 at 11:31 PM

    As a veteran #ReFoReMo participant, I can honestly say, I get the most out of the challenge when I narrow down my focus to PBs that will help me with my current writing. Whether that means reading PB Bios when I'm working on a NF, concept books, or even looking for distinctive use of dialogue or story arc. While I do try to look over the suggested reading list, I often leave the ones that don't fit my "focus" at the library and only take home and study those that do. But most of all, remember to LEAVE REVIEWS/COMMENTS on Goodreads, Twitter etc and SHARE pertinent information about those PBs that you really love. Give the authors/illustrators all the support you can. :)

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  36. 30 on request at the library. Once checked out, can request more! Thanks for doing this!

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  37. Just signed up today. Will visit the library tomorrow. Looking forward to lots of reading.

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  38. Hi Cindy: THANK YOU for the INSPIRATION to get us off to a GREAT start to a GREAT month of immersed research into the realms of imagination!!! I TRULY APPRECIATE your suggestions on how to make the most of our experience--especially on ways to make the experience work for ourselves.

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  39. Can't wait to get started! It is going to be a wonderful month. Thanks for kicking it off for us.

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  40. I am ready, set and reading! Thanks for kicking it off.

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  41. Thanks for the great advice, especially your SET strategies! Excited for this challenge.

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  42. this year i'll concentrate on getting mentor texts for particular manuscripts. Looking forward to it.

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  43. I've got my ReFoReMo binder ready to go and filled with blank evaluation forms:) Still waiting on some books from the library, but I'm excited to get started!

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  44. Thank you for doing this! It is such a valuable resource.

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  45. Revved up last week by starting my ReFoReMo notebook evaluating structures in a half dozen PBs NOT on the lists, while awaiting my 'holds'. Excited for this month of learning!

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  46. I just found you and registered, so I'm a little behind on gathering books. But, I'm a Librarian, so I don't have far to find them tomorrow! I'm looking forward to the motivation, community, learning, and hope to dust off some manuscripts, and start a new one!

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  47. I'm looking forward to this month!

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  48. I'm looking forward to this month!

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  49. Thank you for doing this for all the people who need help like me!

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  50. Excited to get started! Thanks, Cindy!

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  51. Thanks, Cindy, for sharing your insights on how to make the most of this amazing month!

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  52. I so need to set a routine! Got my notebook ready though, and a space just for this :)

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  53. I am so excited to be doing REFOREMO again. Thanks!

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  54. Thank you for the tips! I'm looking forward to this month! My main strategy is to use my kids as guinea pigs and see what they enjoy reading. :-)

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  55. Great advice!

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  56. This is my second year and I'm loving all the hints on how to read for research and use mentor texts.

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  57. I have that set time! I just NEED to use it! Kids are older, and we’re in walking distance from the HS, so they walk (or bumb rides) often. Then, they’re a whole lot more studious than I and studying at night, as is my wife, so I have NO excuse that I don’t have a set time!

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  58. Cindy, even if I can only manage a few of your ready--set--go suggestions, I'll reap valuable results out of the month! Thanks!

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  59. I’m so stoked for a month of studying! Thanks so much for this; it’s energizing and totally fascinating!

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  60. Thank you for a really helpful post!

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  61. Where is the list of members. I want to be sure I'm in! This is wonderful and besides reading, I don't want to miss out on a chance to win prizes!

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  62. So smart to recommend that participants "key into what is relevant to you". This challenge is LOADED with so much wonderful info -- but don't eat it all! You'll end up with a stomach ache!

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  63. I like the idea - do your best but don't stress. Doing our best is all any of us can do.

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  64. I read this before I got started, but at the time I wasn't sure what I was heading in to. Now that I have gotten a feel for what this process is going to be like, I wanted to revisit and I'm glad I did! I feel more empowered and directed by intentionally answering the questions you posed. Thank you for taking the time to do this!

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  65. I love that you encourage us to focus on what we want to get out of this. I've sat with a friend writing out goals and goal markers for the first part of the year and it was a wonderful reflective exercise. I have now found myself going back to reorient myself to what I identified I would be doing at this point.

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  66. Ready, Set, Go! Well it's Thursday and I'm still thinking about this post. I'm ready to tackle the posts daily and find nuggets of wisdom that speak directly to me. Thank you, Cindy. I'm focused . , , at least for today and hopefully for the rest of the month.

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  67. Thanks for the information and inspiration. I'm ready!

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  68. Requested another batch of books from my library and so excited to see each day's posts with mentor texts. This is what I look forward to now in March and of course some signs of Spring!

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  69. I think I'll be catching up in batches, mostly, but I'm looking forward to using the month's wealth of knowledge to serve several WIPs, and to look at new mentor texts for varied structures! Looking forward to it!

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  70. Just wanted to stop by and say, so far, this has been an excellent list! So grateful for your work putting it together!!

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