And now for the news!
This week in the world of self-publishing:
NaNoWriMo. Over the coming weeks, you’ll be seeing the buzz over this annual tradition–National Novel Writing Month–begin to cascade through your literary networks, then build to a crescendo over the month of November. We’ll be following its progress–and your progress–here on Self Publishing Advisor, in hopes that we can provide yet another resource to assist you in reaching your writing goals, even if they have nothing at all to do with NaNoWriMo itself and the nonprofit organization which has brought it to such international acclaim. After all, the same tips and tricks which help NaNoWriMo participants are the same tips and tricks that all authors need to brush up on every now and again!
“As a NaNoWriMo lover and participant for the last six years, I’ve only ever once completed and won the challenge. Even though I went to college for creative writing and try to write every single day, I still find this competition incredibly difficult. It doesn’t matter if you’ve won the contest multiple times or this year will be your first go, it’s always a new experience and one you’ll have to start preparing for.”
Thus, Weiss presents the titular ten tips, which include (but are not limited to): Using a journal, scheduling your writing times, setting a fun weekly goal, joining a local or digital writing club, and creating an inspiration board. Weiss’s article reads in many ways like a cross between a pep talk and a training session on how to bypass the dreaded Writer’s Block, and I definitely recommend taking a look–even if you’re confronting the dreaded beast outside the parameters of NaNoWriMo. Click the link for the full piece!
If you needed any additional motivation to move forward with either your latest writing project or your plans for NaNoWriMo, this article by Crissi Langwell of The Press Democrat a few days ago lays out a more specific groundwork for making good on your inspiration. Like Alex Weiss, Langwell has participated in NaNoWriMo for a number of years, and her recommendations are born out of that experience. With four published books under her belt, writes Langwell, “my writing process has been affected by this fast-paced way of penning a novel.” Her top recommendations? Plan ahead. (“I know there are writers out there that swear by “pantsing” […] But if you are just starting out as a writer, plotting is the way to go.”) Find ways to make writing your priority. (“Whatever time you like for writing, make that time sacred. No TV. No cellphone. No Facebook. No family. Just you and your story, making things happen. And? Never give up. (“If you throw in the towel before the month is over, you’ll only have regrets. Keep plugging away. Trust me, your whole world will be changed once Dec. 1 is here.”) Sounds like good advice to me. For more of it, check out Langwell’s full piece at the link.
Have I mentioned that NaNoWriMo is a global phenomenon? It is. And as this article from the Tri-Cities community section of the Chicago Tribune points out, this event is “not just a funny sounding word” but a bona-fide movement, and one in which otherwise typical “suburbanites will forgo their favorite TV shows, refuse to return phone calls, skip meals, and bypass sleep if they have to; in an effort to sync their brains to the rate in which they type; to free their thoughts from the constraints of their psyche.” This particular article, which points readers to specific “sprints” and other novel-writing workshops taking place in libraries in the Tri-Cities area, is just one of hundreds out there laying out the possibilities for you if you want to write in the company of others this November. As various of these articles point out, writing with others is one great way to keep ourselves accountable and maintain our forward momentum, so it’s well worth taking a moment to hop online and check to see if your local public library is offering NaNo-related events next month. Mine is, my parents’ is, and my siblings’ libraries are too. The larger the city, the more likely they will be involved, but even some tiny rural libraries are getting on board. And remember–your library won’t know they have an interested group of writers nearby if nobody alerts them! You might be the first to reach out, but I guarantee you’re not alone. If you’re an aspiring facilitator, this might even be a great opportunity to offer your services to the community in hosting a writing sprint!
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.