Monday, October 27, 2014

To Nano or Not To Nano?

You may have seen a couple of articles floating around the web encouraging writers not to 'Nanowrimo'. Reasons include:  'If you are a serious writer, you would just write anyway', or 'only non-serious writers would participate', or 'expect to write a crappy story in 30 days'.

I'm of the mind-frame that if this is what will motivate you to write, then do it. I know that life gets busy; I certainly struggle at times to find a moment to write between juggling the kids, the household, my job, and my writing clients. Sometimes, we need a group of writers to encourage us and a challenge to motivate us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

However, as Nanowrimo closes in, keep the following in mind:

Your Nano novel will not be ready for publication by December 1. Your novel needs to go through numerous drafts before you self-publish, or send it to a publisher/agent. It needs to be put away for a month, maybe two, and then looked at with fresh eyes.... and then re-written again. If you want to be lauded for your work, then take the time to make it exceptional.

Keep on writing! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Nanowrimo 2014

If you haven't noticed, Nanowrimo is less than two weeks away, and many of you may be wondering how to get 'in the 'zone' to Nano effectively.

There are numerous strategies to help keep you focused---it's all about figuring out what works for you.

Here are some of mine:

1) Free write. This means 'write freely' whatever is on your mind. It could be your grocery list, how you don't want to go to work tomorrow, how uninspired you feel, or whatever is happening in your life. When I'm stuck and I write about 'whatever', 'whatever' turns into something pretty damn good.

2) Meditate. Meditating shuts down the crazy mind chatter and will help you to focus on what's important!

3) Read. Read something you enjoy and something that inspires you. Read a book from the genre you are writing about. Read blogs/articles on writing. Whatever it is, read it.

4) Change locations. Leave your current location and go somewhere completely different. Doing this can offer a whole new perspective.

5) Exercise/Get outside. Go for a walk or run. Get to the park and enjoy nature.

6)Watch your favorite TV show or movie where the writing is exceptional. Joss Whedon is one of my favourites. I appreciate his talent for crafting extraordinary stories.

7) If all else fails, take a nap. A quick nap will recharge your batteries and refresh your mind.

Finally, don't be hard on yourself for not keeping up with your word count. The fact that you are getting out there and taking a chance speaks volumes!

Keep on writing!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pleasantly Surprised or Deeply Disappointed?

What book or story have you read that, at first glance, you didn't think you would enjoy but ended up pleasantly surprised?

What about a book or story that you thought you would like and it sucked?

Reading is a very personal experience. What one person takes away from a book may not be what you experience. I can think of numerous books that I loved and recommended to friends and family thinking they would love them too, only to find out that they didn't like them at all. In contrast, the same emotion that someone else experiences with a book that they recommend may not resonate the same for me. For instance, I like J.K. Rowling, and I find it shocking that other people do not like her work.

That's okay. I'm sure J.K. Rowling isn't concerned about it, and I'm sure she has made peace with the fact that not everyone will like her books.

We all have different perspectives, different likes and dislikes, and enjoy different writing styles.
Think of it this way: Not everyone enjoys eating pie. Fortunately, there are many other desserts in this world to choose from. Try to remember this when you are writing and muddling through your 25th draft and hoping that you can please everyone in the entire world with your book.

It's not going to happen.

There will be people in this world who think your work stinks. My advice to you is: Don't worry about those people; you didn't write for them anyway.

Keep on writing! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When are You a Writer?

I thought I would share something with you about how you determine if you are a writer or not: You are a writer when you say you are a writer.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Check out this blog post by Jeff Goins called The Shocking Truth About Starting a Writing Career. 

Keep on writing!