November 28, 2014

I'm down with being a winner

So . . . I finished NaNoWriMo (two days early) and I feel pretty good. In the midst of writing those 50,000 words in one month, I also launched my third book. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. BUT - I'm also very happy. I'm happy because I love writing. It brings me so much joy. In my soul. It's painful and grueling work, but there's something so deeply satisfying about finishing a draft. And I actually like what I wrote. However, I'm no dummy, I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. If I'm going to publish this book (a collection of short stories based on the Repatterning, which is inspired from my book series), I will need to spend the next couple months editing and rewriting. And that's where the real magic happens. Or insanity. Whichever you prefer.

For today I will soak in the happiness of being called a winner. It has to be true, the sticker says so:

Keep writing. It saves lives.

November 25, 2014

Why readers make writing so much more fun

I'm down to the last few days prior to the launch of my third book, The Mainframe. I wanted to write a glowing post about how amazing it's been preparing for the launch, but I have to say, it hasn't been pretty -- emotionally speaking. I've been very weird and messy. I'm still eating and showering, most of my friends are still talking to me, and my husband hasn't left me (yet), so that's good.

I've spent the last two months dividing my time between finalizing the production of the book and handling the marketing promotions. At one point I was simultaneously reading four books on book marketing, in addition to ten articles a day. Needless to say, I've done everything in my earthly power to get the word out. Now comes the hardest part: letting go. I have a sticky note on my computer that reads: I am powerless over the outcome. I still find time to debate this point, but I end up reaching the same annoying conclusion -- I am powerless.

My job is to provide my readers with good stories and if I've done my part, they'll do the rest for me. Word of mouth will always be the best form of advertising, and this is something the marketing gurus cannot teach.

Here's why readers make writing so much more fun (I love the outtakes):

Keep writing. It saves lives.

November 10, 2014

It's National Novel Writing Month

Maybe you've noticed some writers talking about NaNoWriMo and wondered what that insane-sounding acronym means. It's basically another method of torture for writers by agreeing to write 50,000 words in 30 days. So if all goes well, I'll have a really shitty first draft by the end of November.

It sounds like a lot (because it is), but it can be done. I've done it before. They weren't good words, but they were words. And I got a sticker!!!

Ten days in and I'm feeling pretty good. Since I write every day, the routine has already been established (and that really is the toughest part), but I'm approaching this writing exercise unlike any previous projects. I didn't do a meticulous outline. I didn't study my characters and dig down deep into their souls to find out what it is they truly desire and what is keeping them from getting it. Nope. This time around I'm going footloose and fancy free. Almost like a hippie. But with better hygiene.

The project I'm working on is a collection of short stories based on an event that takes place in my New Agenda book series. During the 21st century, a group of elites implemented a program called "the Repatterning." They marketed it as a way to restore society, but in reality it was a man-made apocalypse designed to kill off a majority of the population. These are stories about the people who fought against the Repatterning.

If you're a writer and haven't tried NaNoWriMo yet, I highly recommend getting on board. It doesn't take much. Just a willingness to write a bunch of words and not worry how they sound (yet). There's something magical about building momentum and watching it grow over time. I'm sure if Einstein were alive he'd come up with a theory. Something like "the more you write, the more you write."

Also, I'm proclaiming December is National Editing Month!

Keep writing. It saves lives.