Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I Learned from NaNoWriMo

I first signed up for NaNoWriMo in 2004. The first time I won, I cheated a little and used something I already started, changed it and finished it. I won again in 2008, I think. That was a new story. I don't think I ever finished it. But I had proof that I COULD do it.

I've "grown up" since then and realized that I have what it takes to write a novel. Like really write one. Start to finish. I can proofread. I can edit. I am finally at the point where I can recognize errors and weird little quirks in my writing. My blog posts might not reflect it, but my novels do. It's quite a feeling.

So what I learned, and really came to believe, this November is that I can totally do it. It's hard work, but I CAN DO IT. The one thing I don't like is how they make you believe that you have to hide away in a closet with your computer to make it work. I work 40 hours a week and every other Saturday. I have a husband who refuses to cook his own meals and two kids that require a lot of attention. So my dishes weren't done every day and we ate a lot of leftovers. The floors may have been vacuumed once or twice. I still went to work. I wrote on my breaks and lunches. I wrote when the kids finally went to bed. I stayed up late. If it hadn't been for the extra couple of days off at Thanksgiving, I might not have finished. But I did it.

And I will probably be able to do it again. All I have to do is keep bugeting my time. And coming up with stellar ideas. And it wouldn't hurt to sign with an agent. That's my next goal. Pretty lofty, huh? My head got all big from that NaNo win this year :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to Save the Publishing Industry

So it's November. Pretty much everyone in the writing community has heard of National Novel Writing Month. If you haven't, get out there and join the madness. At least now, I have an excuse for not posting for a month. I'll be busy working on a contemp YA called RURAL ROUTE. This is probably the first thing I've ever written that has a title before the story is written. Awesome.

Anyway, so the title of my post...that's a pretty lofty task, don't you think? I'm sure there's no one way to "save" traditional publishing from the way of the e-book. Not that I'm opposed or partial to one form over the other. I LOVE ALL BOOKS.

I've always been a reader. I had a collection of Babysitter's Club books when I was younger (still have them too). I read some Sweet Valley High (still have those too). My grandma had some Nancy Drew books that I wished I'd held on to when she moved (along with an old typewriter). In high school, for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to read ROOTS. I don't think I finished it, but at least I made the attempt. I wish there was a way to go back and remember EVERY SINGLE book I'd ever read.

Had I been born 10 years later, that might have been possible. The internet was just becoming popular when I was a senior in high school. If Goodreads had been around then...I can't even imagine what my library would look like now.

So that's my solution. Get more people on Goodreads, or similiar book sites. I used to have about 30 books in my house. I bought a couple books a year, maybe. I'm a slow reader, unless I really get into a book.

But since I joined Goodreads, my library has grown to probably 200 books. Plus, I own a Kindle now. So I feel like I've done my part to save the world. Er, I mean, publishing.

I realize not everyone has the ability to buy that many books. I don't have access to a public library. So I have to buy books. I probably don't *have* to buy that many. But I like to. Now my problem is finding the time to read all of them...