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    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

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I ain’t got no time for cupcakes!

I’ve written two books for NaNoWriMo. Both were ‘wins’ in the NaNo World. I hit 50K words during the month of November, but neither will ever see the light of day.

I love NaNoWriMo because it gave me a win. As a new writer, still wondering if writing was something I could even do, I needed a win. I needed to accomplish…something…but I knew that I wasn’t going to write a best-seller on my first go-round, or second or even third. I needed a goal. Something to shoot for. NaNoWriMo gave me that goal.

I went into them knowing fully well they were practice books. Little foothills on the climb up the slope. Try/fail cycles if you will. I needed to tell myself that yes, I can sit down, start a story, and finish it. I can see a character or two through a journey. Yes it will suck and no, my wife can’t read them because I’m too embarrassed, but they accomplished the intended purpose that I had laid out for them.

So what about this NaNoWriMo? Being my fifth book I’m still dubious that it will be publishable, but I can see a vast improvement in my own writing over the last four to five years. This might be the one, or the next one might be the one. I don’t know, and I don’t much care right now. I do know that I don’t need the ‘win’ like I did in years past, but I still like this time because it’s my ‘winning’ time. It’s become somewhat of a tradition. It also helps that this year I planned on writing a 50K word book…coincidence? I also outlined a ton, more than I’ve ever done before…but more on that next week.

Some things I keep in mind while doing NaNoWriMo:

First off, realize that this month of furious writing is really just a fun way for a bunch of people to get together and get their Great American Novel written. That’s it. Don’t read into it too much. It’s fun.

It’s a tool, one of many, to help schedule your time and focus your energy. Talk to your loved ones, explain your goals and that, even though you might be missing a lot during this time, you’ll be back in December and life will get back to…more normal.

Write. This, obviously, is important. You carved out that time, you’re missing your loved ones, do them proud by actually completing the project. No wasting time on the internet, playing games, etc. Write. Turn off the damned WiFi if you have to.

Don’t edit. Bar yourself from fixing misspelled words if you have to. Yes, to that extreme. I see you hitting backspace to fix that word! Don’t do it!

Your goal is to finish the book. Not fix words or ‘tweak’ anything. This is a chance to actually complete a book. So complete it.

You will have to edit, probably edit a bunch, but you will edit in December and January. Embrace that and be okay with the fact that you might actually say “I don’t know what to put here.” Into your text. Seriously, type that over and over so you don’t break your rhythm. I have done that. It’s amazing what your mind comes up with after writing that line four or five times.

But most of all, have fun. Enjoy it. Relish in the lack of sleep for a month as you pound out 1000 words an hour…You are writing a thousand words an hour aren’t you? Alright mister, time to take the backspace key off your keyboard…

I’m Finished My Book, Now What?

I went back and forth about whether to go a more traditional publishing route or to self-publish. Just recently, I finally decided what to do… self-publish.

This book is so important to me that I really want to make the right decisions. I honestly dream about having readers who “just can’t wait for my next book.” Maybe that’s silly, but it’s true. And when I weighed all my options, I realized that self-publishing would give me the most control over my book. I won’t just be sending my work out there to maybe get read by an agent or publisher, someday. It will be up to me when my book is available to the world.

But with that control, comes a lot of work. A list of things I needed to do slowly started forming in my head, then got typed up on a paper. I went from feeling like, yay, I’m done, to IT has begun.

These are some of the things I’m working on:

  • Writing my Blurb
  • Getting my Cover Designed
  • Finding a Line Editor
  • Figuring out CreateSpace
  • Figuring out Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Marketing
  • Book Formatting

These things might not seem that complicated, but believe me, they are!

I’ve got this perfectionist inside of me, who has been tied up and gagged for years, because if I let her out, I’ll go nuts. But with something as precious as my book, she’s struggling to assert herself. Just this weekend, I spent two hours looking at the headers and footers for various books, and messing around with my own.

Maybe no one will care whether my page numbers end up on the top of my pages, or the bottom, nor whether my name or the book’s name is included in the headers, but I care!

And that’s just the beginning. Formatting may be the death of me! I swear figuring out my “gutters,” as well as, the indents for lines, pages, and paragraphs is crazy. What seemed perfectly fine when I was typing it, is not the right format for a book being put in actual print. And guess what? The formatting is different for an Ebook! Who could’ve guessed?

But with all this said, this next step of being a writer is so neat… and scary. Just a couple years ago, being almost ready to put a book out there was little more than a dream. Now, it’s almost reality. No matter how stressed I get, I can’t lose sight of that.

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