Week 2 Pep Talk: It’s Never Too Late

By Jamie W.

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So, one week of NaNoWriMo is in the books. As I look at my buddy list and the forums, I see that there are still some people whose word count reads “0”. This is the point where some people might be tempted to give way to panic and say, “There is no way I’m doing this now.”

I say, “Think again.”

My first NaNo I had an idea very quickly and was writing within the first couple of days. I religiously updated my word count and sometimes wrote more than I needed for those few days here and there where something might come up. Then came CampNaNo June 2012.

One week into the camp, and I still had no idea what I was going to write about. Luckily, a local writing group gave me some inspiration and I started, cranking out several thousand words in no time. I was pumped. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of saving that document directly to my removable drive. When I opened it again, I got a message saying the file was corrupted. The words were gone, and that wasn’t the only road block that month. Still, my stubborn streak refused to admit defeat and, after a ton of grumbling and cursing technology, I opened a new document and tried again. Some days, I really had to push, but I got there. The same thing has happened in other camps/NaNos and I have managed to come out a winner each time (well, except that one camp where I had computer trouble trying to update my word count at the last possible second on the final day).

The point is, if you still have a “0” count today, don’t let that stop you. Sit down now and commit to writing for as long as possible today to see how many words you get. Struggling for an idea? Look up writing prompts. Go into the adoption section of the forums. Post in Fort Writerdale for help. We’re all in this together and we all want to see each participant cross that finish line. It might take a little extra writing time each day, but you’ll be glad you did it when you have that finished novel in your hands.

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Wearing Many Hats

By Jamie W.

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Hello, again. 🙂 I promised you all a post before, but another more timely one came in I wanted to get out. That all said, you may have noticed that these Friday posts I do usually come out a bit later in the day than other posts. Basically? It comes down to one thing: A desperate need of organization and feeling a bit overwhelmed at times.

I’m sure you know what I am talking about. As authors, we usually wear a ton of other hats. We’re also editors. Marketers. Some of us are designers as well. Add in jobs (Stephen King pointed out in On Writing only 5% of authors make enough to live solely on their books alone), and it gets even crazier.

That’s where the need to organize and get on a schedule is so critical. Here are some things I am planning to implement and some resources to help.

  • Make a list. While I fell out of the habit for a little while, I love to-do lists. They bring some structure to my day and it feels great to see things getting checked off.  Put the highest priority stuff at the top and work your way down.
  • Be Realistic. This is related to lists, and a trap I’ve fallen into a few times. I’d start jotting down a ton of things that I needed to get done and only get half of the list completed. I was trying to jam too much in one day, which left me feeling disappointed and even more overwhelmed.

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Surviving NaNoWriMo

By Jamie W.

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So, it just so happens that “Three Books in Three Months” also includes the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. What’s NaNo, you ask? It stands for “National Novel Writing Month” and participants from all over the world sign up to write 50,000 words in one month. Sound crazy? Possibly! lol. Here are some of the things I think are essential for surviving the month of November for anyone who is new to the challenge…

  • Don’t look at the whole. Writing only 1,667 words a day sound much more manageable, doesn’t it?
  • Go to write-ins. These are amazing chances to connect with local writers and exchange ideas. These write-ins have led to friendships with some awesome people.
  • DO NOT procrastinate on backing up your work. I know we all got taught in school about backing up our work regularly, but let’s be honest here: how many of us do it consistently? Well, now is not the time to take risks with your words. Make sure you move the document to a flash drive, e-mail it to yourself, and/or upload it to services like box or dropbox. A little side note: For one of the camps they do, I had about 3,000 words written. I “saved as” onto my flash drive and went to open it a little later. I got “file is corrupt”. A call to my husband’s computer genius friend showed me the error of my ways. If you save a file directly to a flash drive rather than “sending to” or dragging it on there from your computer, it can corrupt the drive and ruin your document.

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