Monday, November 29, 2010

I won NaNoWriMo now onto revision nightmare

After many painstaking nights and headaches due to my eyes being fixed to a computer screen, I did it. I won National Novel Writing Month which means that I wrote a book in a month. It was insane but the experience helped me learn much more about myself as a writer. Even though I was working on other deadlines for my freelance contracts I was amazed at how much time I could carve away to work on this new novel. And I love it! Thinking about these characters are my new favorite obsession but will I embark on this writing journey again? My answer is no. It really is about the experience and I've done it but I do not feel that I put out my best work when it is a writing sprint. Now I fear that my revision process will be much longer than usual.

The trick now is too not lose the focus that so many of us thrived on during this month of writing chaos. I've finished a new manuscript but that's really just the beginning for this story. I need to evaluate my characters motivations. Check my facts, grammer check and revise for consistency and so on. Now the hard stuff begins but I know that just like I pushed through this month I know that I can make this manuscript work so that hopefully one day before too long it'll find its way into readers' hands. This group of characters deserve that. And I deserve to experience new ways of working in this craft. Writers lead reclusive, private lives driven by odd hours and insane bursts of creativity. This November has been awakening and I look forward to continuing to grow in this wonderful craft.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family time can also help your writing

The holiday season is upon us and if you're anything like me you are thinking, "how will I finish my draft, meet my deadlines and stay on schedule while spending time with family?" The good news is that you can do both and it may be easier than you think.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning the husband, baby and of course, Oscar our dog will begin the long drive from Little Rock to Houston where we'll have a jam packed week of family time. This involves making time for all family members which are dispersed throughout the large city. The good news is that they all want time with the baby and I'll let them have it. With eager arms wanting to hold baby that means more time for Mommy to write.

Now, as my husband always reminds me, don't be anti-social. I'm not implying for you to lock yourself up in a room and spend Thanksgiving typing away but when you're with family take advantage of their help. Let them play with the kids/pets if you have them. This will easily allow you to carve out a few hours of writing.

Also, don't forget to set your alarm. It's easy to write in a quiet house before everyone wakes up. Plus when the family wakes up you'll be wide awake probably on that second cup of black tea or coffee and ready for a writing break to talk and catch up.

And don't forget to use your family for some brainstorming help. This will let them all know how serious and productive you're being with your writing career and it is always a good idea to bounce ideas off others.

Have fun and enjoy the holiday season while still making time for writing. It can be done. Trust me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November: The perfect month to get re-energized

If you've seen all the Twitter hastags then you know that November is NaNoWriMo. If you don't know what this funny sounding word then I'll fill you in on this crazy month for many writers. November is National Novel Writing Month. Many writers celebrate this month by writing a novel in a month. Sound crazy? It can be but then again what writer isn't crazy? We make up stories in our heads and that's seen as being OK in society.

For those of us that are participating in NaNoWriMo it's this time of the month when you might be thinking the following: What did I sign up for? I've been thinking the same thing. Writing a novel in one month while caring for a four-month-old, meeting my freelance deadlines and trying to revise my current YA manuscript can all be a challenge. And I didn't even mention my dog and personal writing assistant, Oscar who requires lots of love and kisses! But the truth is that writing is hard. The month has nothing to do with the nature of this business. Writing is always hard but this is a great month to reevaluate your writing career and get re-energized.

I attended a two-day writing working shop this weekend. New York Times Best Selling author Bob Mayer was in Houston teaching his Warrior Writer and A-Team workshops. They were both wonderful and very helpful. Now with new drive I'll be continue my quest for NaNoWriMo just after posting this blog.

What are you doing to re-energize in the middle of NaNoWriMo?

Learn more about author and teacher Bob Mayer here. And don't miss his publishing company, Who Dares Wins Publishing's blog where they're posting tips for NaNoWriMo participants. And the advice is good for all writers even if you're not NaNoWriMoing.

Tomorrow, I'll be back on my way home to my family. And it couldn't come soon enough. Evidently Oscar has been stealing pens from my desk and munching them. Apparently since he hasn't been with me to assist on writing that he is taking things over for me in the office. For the sake of my BIC pens I must return soon! Tomorrow night I'll be reevaluating my pen supply and apologizing to Oscar for leaving town.