Oct 2010

Writing vs. the Business of Writing

I recently read Jeff Vandermeer’s Booklife (2009). The book is split into two halves. The first half is dedicated to the external/public book life (goals, platforms, new media, blogs, etc.) with the second half addressing the internal/private book life. The book is based on new media blogging and is in the form of short essays. The information is very useful for writers who are already professionals with publications on their CV. It is less so if you don’t have a contract pending. Once you do, pick up this book and learn how you are required to sell yourself. This used to be done by the publishers but now you get paid $%^& and have to do their jobs too. Read More...

NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo occurs every November. It’s when 200,000 people from all over the world take on the challenge of writing a 50,000 word (175-page) novel in thirty days. It’s an anti-contest writing contest because there are no judges, the prizes are lousy and new and old writers alike bash out surprisingly good books in an absurdly short amount of time.

I have been doing NaNoWriMo since 2003. I have won all seven years and am hoping to make this year number 8! I have been a Municipal Liaison (ML) officially for four years and two unofficially before that. I owe NaNoWriMo so much. I don’t just mean seven bad first drafts and the wonderful camaraderie of my fellow wrimos. I mean the boost in confidence in my ability to write fiction.

The most common fears that hold back would be writers (as highlighted in almost every writing book such as this one by Ralph Keyes) include the fears that you’ll never finish, that you will finish, that you only have one in you, that you will be too lonely doing it, that you will become an alcoholic/drug addict, that you won’t be able to make a living, you’ll run out of ideas, you’ll suck, the rejections will crush you… the list goes on. The advantage with NaNoWriMo is that you blast through most of them in 30-days and you don’t have to pay shipping or handling or have your credit card available. Read More...