In Your Corner: Preparing for NaNoWriMo!

That’s right, it’s almost #NaNoWriMo time!

For those who’ve seen the acronym around but haven’t yet been read in on what the deal is, National Novel Writing Month is an annual tradition among writers looking to kickstart new projects through a dedicated month of drafting. While you can read more about NaNoWriMo’s origin story on the nonprofit organization’s website (www.nanowrimo.org), suffice it to say this has been a big deal for a very long time. As the NaNoWriMo website puts it, “before there was the Beyhive, or Nerdfighters, there were Wrimos” (participants in NaNoWriMo). The community has built up since the early days of the Internet to create a diverse set of resources for those interested in participating—or maybe in learning from the process even if writing 50,000 words in a single month is a bit much.

nanowrimo

There are two kinds of Wrimos: pantsers and plotters.

Pantsers are those who go through NaNoWriMo “by the seats of their pants” or however that expression goes, and plotters are those who prepare, or plot out their book outline, extensively beforehand. I myself have participated in NaNoWriMo several times, once as a pantser, once as a plotter, and once or twice just casually taking part in the prompts and sprints and group writing sessions without aiming to get to the 50,000 word mark by month’s end. These days I fall somewhere between these Wrimo alignments, as many writers do.

nanowrimo plotter pantser

With only two weeks remaining between now and the beginning of NaNoWriMo (my next post, for context, will arrive on the day before NaNoWriMo begins), I feel as though now is the time to encourage those of you who are plotters or plantsers or otherwise in-betweeners to start digging deep into the resources you will need in the month of November. Even those of you who are pantsers or who are not at all interested in participating in NaNoWriMo on any level might find it valuable to tap into the extensive writing-related resources that Wrimos have compiled over the years. These are the kinds of resources anyone can turn to at any time of year, not just during the official NaNoWriMo period.

First, I want to point you to the NaNo Prep 101 Workshop, which is hosted by the organization that really started it all. It can be completed at any time of year for free and provides tips on the following:

  1. Developing a story idea
  2. Creating complex characters
  3. Constructing detailed plots or outlines
  4. Building a strong world
  5. Organizing your life for and around writing
  6. Finding and managing your time

You can find out more about that workshop here.

I also want to point you to NaNoWriMo’s incredible collection of author pep talks, which include several from self-publishing successes like Andy Weir as well as a number of traditionally published authors whose names you might recognize (James Patterson, anyone? Neil Gaiman? Sue Grafton? No?). Those are all available (again, for free) at the link.

I also really recommend that you spend some time looking into all of the many other excellent resources that writers all over the world have compiled on their own blogs and websites. Every author’s experience is different, and chances are that any author you meet is going to have opinions about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of NaNoWriMo to their own process. It’s pretty definitely proven, though, that there are many amazing books in the world that wouldn’t otherwise have been self-published (or traditionally published for that matter) without that core group of writers and organizers who got together and made NaNoWriMo a thing.

So, will I be participating? I’ll let you know … in two weeks. I honestly haven’t yet made up my mind, and I’m okay with that.

You are not alone. ♣︎

Do you have ideas to share? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments section, and I’ll make sure to feature your thoughts and respond to them in my next post!

Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

2015 Writing Goals: Where Do You Stand?

If you are like many writer’s, publishing a book is probably on your 2015 to-do list. You’re probably feeling inspired, excited, maybe a little scared or overwhelmed, and you’re hoping your dream won’t become another failed resolution that gets pushed to the back burner after the thrill of the new year wears off.

Each week in January I offered tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goal of publishing a book this year. (Be sure to check out the previous weeks’ posts if you missed them.) Now that the end of January is here, I think it’s a good time to look back at the goals you set and evaluate where are you. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you accomplished the goals you set for January?
  • Has your vision for your writing project changed?
  • Do the goals you set still seem realistic?
  • Are you still motivated to accomplish your goal?
  • What obstacles have you faced so far?
  • What excuses have kept you from writing?

Be honest with yourself when answering these questions. Consider what you need to change in order to be successful throughout the year. It’s okay to change your goals to make them more achievable.

I encourage you to do this check at the end of every month throughout the year. Hold yourself accountable, and re-evaluate your goals. Make changes that will help you be successful. Remember, writing is a marathon, not a sprint.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

The One Sentence that Will Help You Become A Professional Author

If you are like many writer’s, publishing a book is probably on your 2015 to-do list. You’re probably feeling inspired, excited, maybe a little scared or overwhelmed, and you’re hoping your dream won’t become another failed resolution that gets pushed to the back burner after the thrill of the new year wears off.

Well, I’m here to help. Each week in January I will offer you tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goal of publishing a book this year, and I encourage you to continue reading my posts every week throughout the year for inspiration, advice, and news that will help you become a successful author. (Be sure to check out the previous week’s post about setting writing goals and writing tips.)

This week, I’d like to share one simple sentence that can help your dreams of publishing come true: I am a writer.

Unfortunately, many people don’t consider themselves “writers.” The reasons are countless:

  • They’re embarrassed.
  • They’ve never published any of their work.
  • They haven’t wrote anything recently.
  • They don’t write materials that most people ever read.
  • They’re afraid of how people will react.
  • And other silly and unjustified reasons.

Chances are, if you are here reading this blog post, you are a writer! It’s time you squashed your fears and excuses and start telling yourself and the world “I am a writer.” Hold yourself accountable for your dreams. Act like the writer you want to be, and you will become that person.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

How to Be a Better Writer in 2015

If you are like many writer’s, publishing a book is probably on your 2015 to-do list. You’re probably feeling inspired, excited, maybe a little scared or overwhelmed, and you’re hoping your dream won’t become another failed resolution that gets pushed to the back burner after the thrill of the new year wears off.

Well, I’m here to help. Each week in January I will offer you tips and tricks to help you accomplish your goal of publishing a book this year, and I encourage you to continue reading my posts every week throughout the year for inspiration, advice, and news that will help you become a successful author. (Be sure to check out last week’s post about setting writing goals.)

This week, I’d like to share some tips that will not only help you achieve your goal of publishing but will also improve your craft. Here are six tips that will make you a better writer this year.

1. Follow your heart.

Don’t worry about what is popular right now or stress over what readers will think of your work. The best writing comes from the heart, and you will be more fulfilled if you write what you are passionate about.

2. Step outside your box.

To learn and grow, you must try new things. Experiment with a new genre. Develop a character that is vastly different from your normal characters. Visit a new place. Try a new food. Listen to a different band. Be willing to take risks in both your life and your writing.

3. Treat it like a job.

Stop waiting for inspiration and start writing every day without excuses. You may not love what you write everyday, but at least you will get words down on paper. You can always rewrite later, and most people find the words start flowing once they just sit down and start writing. You’ll never be a published writer if you never actually write.

4. Read. Read. Read.

Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, for adults or children, the best thing you can do for your career is read! Read everything. Books, magazines, newspapers. Read various genres. Read top sellers as well as indie authors. Read about the subject you write about. Read about things you’ve never heard of. Read books for children. Read the classics. Read as much as you can.

5. Rewrite as many times as you need.

Most first drafts need a rewrite. Many second and even third drafts could use a rewrite. Don’t feel so pressured to complete your manuscript that you settle for less than your best, but be careful not to get so caught up in perfection that you never finish.

6. Unplug.

When you are writing, editing, researching, or brainstorming, unplug. Log out of your social media sites. Turn off the TV and cell phone. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you’ll be by following this simple tip.

I’d love to know, what is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.