Thursday, October 21, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Do You Have It In You?

I have decided this year to take the plunge, dig deep and put my nose to the grindstone this November.  I have officially signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and am meeting the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I might be crazy, but the idea seems like a good one right now and while I'm sure I'll be kicking myself right around November 27th for attempting this feat I feel that the last two months of editing and re-writing my first novel have prepared me for the upcoming 30 day adventure.

I've come up with the basic premise for my second novel, a radical change from the first one I wrote which is based in present-day USA.  The next one will move forward to some unknown time in the future with radical advances in technology and a vengeful return of Mother Earth to make all things right in the world.  I'm looking forward to writing it, and the challenges I know it will bring since the entire novel will be smack-dab in the midst of a genre I've never written before.  Hopefully the results will be award-winning, but even if they aren't I'm excited at the idea of having two novels written by year-end.

Now if I could just find a publisher... ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Keeping On Track With The Re-Write

Now that the editing is done, I have found myself smack-dab in the middle of re-writing my novel.  With deeper dialog, expanded chapters and better descriptions, the novel has grown in length and there's hardly a page of my first draft that hasn't been scratched out and written over.

As life does, it got in the way early in the month and I thought I'd have to scrap my plans for re-writing this month.  Luckily, a good friend of mine offered me her home for the weekend and I was able to type through the first 80 pages of the novel in a weekend.  Now that I'm back on track, I feel much better about being able to complete the project by month-end.  I need to finish the re-write and get some copies printed for another round of editing by my reader friends so that I can move on to my next project.  I'll blog more about it next week, but if you haven't heard about NANOWRIMO (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) and you've been sitting on an idea for a novel, November is the time to grab that bull by the horns and get it down on paper!

I hope that all you other authors are getting through your writing goals this month.  It is a great feeling when you get to cross more things off your list than you add onto it, and it's a sensation that I vow to do more often!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Rewards of Being Your Own Boss

There are a lot of drawbacks to being self-employed (that mortgage payment isn't going to pay itself, you know); but hopefully if you are blessed with a strong work-ethic, a solid idea of who you are and what you stand for, the ability to promote yourself and a healthy dose of luck then you can become successful at whatever you are doing and create a career that is brimming with rewards.

It does take a lot of guts, resolve and door-knocking to make it outside of the "typical" work environment, but the feat is not impossible if you have a plan, keep a steady schedule and give yourself a chance to make it.  I've had an entrepreneurial spirit since I was very young, and I've made many attempts at owning my own businesses with varying degrees of success (and some pretty substantial failures).

I would be lying if I said that I was able to single-handedly solve the world's financial crisis with the earnings coming in from my various blogs and online articles.  That doesn't mean that I don't count myself as one of the few success stories coming out of the recession though.  Even in the pit of our nation's financial downswing I was able to walk away from my desk job and start weaving words for a living.  This is where I would normally say, "And if I can do it, anyone can," but frankly that just isn't the case.  It takes a certain kind of person; someone who is willing to  invest in themselves, gamble on their prospects and grit their teeth as they struggle to stick to a fixed work schedule laced with housework and the distracting gaze of the local Dutch Brothers.

I've made it this far though, and 5 months into the venture I'm meeting my monthly earnings goals, keep coming up with great ideas for articles and have expanded my reader base.  It isn't a fast process, but I know that as long as I stick to my guns then a year from now I'll be gazing back at this blog post with fond nostalgia, and a long list of successes.

Currently Reading:
Streams of Silver: The Icewind Dale Trilogy, Part 2 (Forgotten Realms: The Legend of Drizzt, Book V) (Pt. 2)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Keeping Busy (a.k.a. Trying To Avoid Thinking About Contest Results)

Back in August I entered a writing contest for Glimmer Train, a quarterly publication for short-fiction stories.  Immediately after submitting my entry, I went to work on other projects knowing that the results wouldn't be out until sometime in October.  I was so busy with other goings on that I all but forgot the short story I submitted and the excitement of knowing that somewhere a judge would be reading my words and comparing my story to other new writers.

Surprisingly, that all changed October 1st.  Although I'm still as busy (busier, in fact), I suddenly find myself wondering when I will find out how I did.  I hope that I placed in the top 25 authors... honorable mention would be just fine by me as I could always use another pat on the back to solidify why I walked away from a steady job to begin with.

I'm going to try to forget the contest, and let the results come as a surprise whenever it is that they are announced.  Whether or not I win, the truth is that I know I can break out into the world of literature.  It's just a matter of time and persistence.  On that note, I am going to be spending the next 4 weeks re-writing my novel and hopefully by Halloween I will have the final draft of my first big work.  Contest or no, you can't beat the accomplishment of completing a six year project.

Currently Reading:
Streams of Silver: The Icewind Dale Trilogy, Part 2 (Forgotten Realms: The Legend of Drizzt, Book V) (Pt. 2)