All posts by NewEngland_Muse

I'm a traditionally and self published author. I write in the genre of children and YA at the moment but working my way up to adults. I'm a sports loving, photo taking gal who loves to sing/dance to my own enjoyment. I love to laugh even at myself. I am also owned by 8 birds and 2 hamsters, and yes they know it. :)

NanoWriMo Time: Reasons to give it a try


This week began the month-long dash to write 50k words for November. This insane event is called NaNoWriMo for National November Writing Month.

It is a challenge like no other. After shying away from this competition, I tried it four times and won it four times.

Have you considered doing this event? I believe it is a win-win situation. In my mind, no such thing as failing at NaNoWriMo.

If you write something, anything, you have won. If you have met with people virtual, now because of the virus, join the forum, hung out with writers, you have won.

If you have exchanged ideas with others to help push the envelope forward toward your project, you have won.

Granted, people might feel if you don’t get the word count, you failed. You will have obsessive people like me who will make it work regardless because that is just how we are. I would not recommend that approach. LOLOL

My friend Robin has the best approach. She calls it NaNoWriMore. Her goal is to write more than she writes any given day. If she makes her goal, it is a win. NaNo is what you make it out to be. So what if your goal is different from completing the 50k words? What works for you is what works for you.

Being a writer is a solitary profession. You might have writing groups online or in real life, may hang out with them from time to time that beats the time when you are writing alone.

Some people like that. Some need the chatter of like-minded people with them a bit more often.

That is where NaNo comes in. It is a great way to hang out, even if it is virtual. It helps feeds us when it comes to writing. I know it does for me.

The buzz and excitement one can feel through the forum meetings. It is palpable.

While I did not compete this year, I am eyeing it for next year.

Are you a pantser or Plotter? : Be proud either or


“Are you a plotter or a pantser?”

To be honest I never knew what those terms meant until I attended a local conference a few years ago. I knew about a fourth of the people in the room.

The speaker of the class I was attending asked our group that question.

Those around me pointed to me. The speaker chuckled.

“Which one is she?”


I was at a lost. I’m a pantser? What the hell is a pantser?

That is when I was educated on the two terms. Plotters are those who make an outline and plot their entire novel. Pantsers are writers who write by the seat of their pants. Also know as we don’t plot.

Yep, that is me. I rarely plot out a book let alone write a full outline for it. I will have in my head the general format of characters, plot lines and sceneries I need to get into. Nothing in great details. Just thoughts. I will generally know the beginning, the middle and the end to some degree.

I just never knew there was a term for people like this. I like it. I like it very much.

I just want to write. I love the feeling of writing without restrictions and rules of engagement that can come with writing. The freedom to take a book in any direction or to let characters decide for you and not be restricted to some outline is freeing. My best books come when the characters take over.

To be perfectly honest I just don’t want to be bothered until I am done the first draft of any novel I am working on. There will be plenty of time for edits, revisions, synopsis, naming the book and the whole kit and caboodle that comes with creating a book.

The pure joy that fills me as I write does not want to be interrupted. It is hard enough to get a novel into shape that it needs to be in. That is not so much joy. Why ruin the moment for me? More importantly why ruin it for my characters?

I’m a pantser. I wave that flag proudly.

Charge what you are worth: Developmental editor


There are a variety of editors such as content and line editing, copy editors, beta reading and more.

I’m a developmental editor. That involves going over a book’s content and structure which can include loopholes, transitional issues, inconsistencies to name a few.

After I became published I started to offer services to fellow writers in my area for free. For four years I nagged the heck out of them. Not one bite. Finally I stopped asking. Offering what I was offering was not only free but a lot of time I would free up for them. I got tired of writers giving me the look. I decided to than charge. I mean after all, why not?

Of course after I assigned a price for my various services is when people remembered my offer and came a knocking. They were surprised that I charged now. But I didn’t back down. At that time I had two or three books under my belt and life was getting busy with my business.

Time was valuable for all of us.

My prices are bottom of the barrel and in some cases clearance sale prices. Still, the writers thought I was too much. I told them to check online to see if they could do better.

Plus, I showed them where the testimonies from previous clients were. How they were happy with how I helped them. People tried to haggle with me. I didn’t bite.

Being a developmental editor takes a lot of time, especially when a person’s novel is 200-300 pages if not more. I am going line by line of your novel

You don’t think that is time I should be compensated for? If you were me would you do this for free like I offered in the beginning?

Not sure what is worse. You have people wanting you to do this for free. Or writers who know what it takes to do what you are doing and still want that for free or as low as possible.

Charge what you are worth even when people in your own field don’t appreciate it.

Don’t back down. Your time is valuable. And if nothing else that is time taken away from your brand and your books. Is that worth it?