It is that lovely time of the year for NaNoWriMo 2014. I started doing NaNo in 2011 and since have won three straight years. I never really plan to do this month-long frenzy. I tend to decide the last week if I am going to do it.
This year is a bit different. The first six days of the month will be hectic with events where my writing is concern. Normally by day 15 I am done NaNo and I can breathe but this time around that won’t be the case.
I still have my three books I wrote for NaNo needing edits. In fact I am working on the one from 2013 which is entitled “Lost Faith” which is slowing me down. So I asked myself, “Do I really need to write another novel just so I can toss it on a stack of books that need to be edited?”
I’m not sure. The draw of NaNo once you do it is addicting. For me to attempt it and not win is not a thought that enters my brain, I do it to win. Plain and simple. What I did was list 50 topics for 50 possible chapters for a new book that I plan on writing when time permits. I will decide by Wednesday or Thursday if I will enter. Good luck to those who enter.
There are so many opportunities for writers to explore and get their name out. Yes we have the conventional ones that are well-known:
These are the ones that I try to be active in. But how about the ones where you think outside the box? I mentioned this week about the great news of how I will begin a new career as a freelance writer and photographer. This is one avenue. Another is to review books. In fact I have a site set up just for book reviews: www.mainemuse.wordpress.com. I been reviewing for Booksneeze since 2010 and word has gotten out as various authors have reached out to me. And somehow my name and site has been placed on a page that is dedicated for people who need and or do reviews. That gave me an influx of pleas. Which was fine.
Recently the owners of BTS magazine reached out to me an asked if I would be interested in reviewing for them. After checking them out, I thought it would be fun and also a good thing for me as another circle of people who would learn about me. But there is a double win when you review. Not only are you getting your name out, you are learning to critique and grow as an author. Reviewing is an invaluable tool for writers. I have learned so much in doing reviews for others and it has helped me in my own works.
We have NPR, newspapers, book signings and readings just to name a few places we can try to reach out to the public. In February of this year I, along with other authors, did a reading at a local library. It was scary but fun at the same time.
All of this takes hours and effort from an already busy life. And one must try to not over extend oneself for one can hurt one’s health and sanity to boot. Moderation, yes that is something I need to start learning to do as things drop into my lap. Just now a friend called and asked if she could hire me to help with her thesis. I sure as heck didn’t see that coming. I spent eight plus hours working on this for her.
Moderation, hmm maybe one day I will know the true meaning of that word.
I formed a writing group a few years ago called the Wonder Chicks. At first it was just my gal pal Lisa and me. It soon blossomed into a group of five amazing women. Yes I am including myself in that. We have five members and that’s enough. A lot gets done when we are together. We can get kinda of loud. All one has to do is ask anyone at Barnes and Noble who has been seated near us. Our enthusiasm for each other and our own project usually gets us carried away.
Last year we wrote the book, “Dragons in the Attic” which was released last December. It was a lot of work, time and effort as we did what was needed to get this out. Through the ups and downs of getting five authors to work on a project like this together was not easy. There was a lot of laughter, some tiffs and a heck of a lot of smiles. We still remain friends to this day and our group is just as strong.
On March 12th we ran our book up the Amazon Best Sellers List and peaked at number nine which we are very proud off. On March 25th we spoke at a local library. We each read an excerpts from one of our stories. After which we each talked a bit on several topics. Mine was on the differences between self traditional publishing.
I been told by a few people we did a really good job. I’m really proud of my ladies. Not only are they awesome writers, they are also amazing women in their own rights. They are supportive and caring individuals who gets what it means to be a writer. They celebrate my ups and listen to my downs. They are my own personal cheerleaders.
I love how any one of us can contact the others and say, “Hey, let’s get together and write.” Or another might say, “I have a chapter I need help on.” And we circle the wagons as we work on whatever project that is being discussed. It is a great group, one that has truly enhanced me. What started out as writers meeting has turned into really awesome friendships. Lisa, Gina, Robin and Missy I have to say thank you.