Mini Writing Update

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I sat down this evening to write an author bio for an anthology my writers group is putting out. I’m pretty excited about it and I will be sharing the writing news and updates in the near future.

Writing an author bio is…weird. At least that’s how I found it. I tried to make mine sound like fun. Tried being the key word here. I didn’t realize how important an author bio is until I hit up Google for tips. I like it when the bio is light and fun, so I aimed to do the same.

I also finished the line edits for my short story, Switched. This is story number five in the Lily and Quinn series and it’s an attempt at writing humor, which is what the theme is of our anthology.

It feels really good getting these two things done, even though it didn’t take long. I’m not prolific but I have reached my goal of being published and not giving up, so that’s what matters to me. However if the hubby and I ever win the lotto I would give up my day job and sit at my desk a little more. 😉

 

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Why I Started Blogging

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I honestly never really thought much of the ‘why’ until recently, believe it or not. When I first started I had a little blog for a year or so called From The Bear Cave. When I started it was because a number of my author friends had blogs too, so I thought, why not?

But it wasn’t going in the direction I really wanted it to. So I put blogging aside for awhile. It was probably a year later (maybe longer, I don’t really remember) that I came back with The Geeky Book Lady. This allowed me to have the freedom I wanted. I am a huge geek who loves to read and write fiction. I felt really good, like I had a do-over.

I blogged the odd time but not as much as I wanted. Life got in the way, and I was dealing with depression and shit in general.

But this year I have gotten back to it, more serious then I have ever been. It isn’t because I am looking for a thrill or validation when I get post likes and a new follow. It isn’t because I am looking to be a popular blog. And it certainly isn’t because I think I have lots of great things to say and everyone should listen.

I think the real reason I started blogging, was to make friends and connections in the writing community. To find other people to nerd out over the newest Marvel movie or bitch about a problem with a current WIP.

I’m from a small place, with not much going on. I love Cape Breton, don’t get me wrong. I just find it hard to find like minded people. One of the reasons I love going to a comic con is because I am totally at home with my peeps. I chat to people everywhere and have even made some friends.

Another reason I started blogging more is because I am trying to be a better writer. That won’t happen if I don’t write. And my mind tends to be one big cluttery mess. So sometimes “word purging” on here helps. It organizes my thoughts or if I have something on my mind, I can get it out and move on.

And one last bonus: it has been helping me keep myself on track with my goals for the year. I love my wrap up at the end of each month because I look at it and think ” fuck yeah I accomplished something.”

We all have our own reasons why we blog. What is yours? 🙂

 

 

Camp Nano: The Road So Far

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I decided to set my sights at being more writing focused this month. Not just writing new projects, but editing old ones, being on top of my blog, reading more articles on writing, etc…

I also set my camp goal for 35 hours, which I thought was a reasonable goal. My husband comes home soon and I know writing and writing related things will go to the side just a bit.

So far, things are going along great. As of writing this, I have put in 16 out of 35 hours so far. But by the time you read this, I will have logged in a bit more at the very least.

I have been writing and scheduling blog posts, edited my last short story, started a new project (not sure yet if it will be a novel or not), read a number of articles on writing that I was putting off and have made pages and pages of notes, for new stories and unfinished projects.

I am really happy with how things are going so far and I will do the same goals for next camp.

How is your writing life going? How is Camp Nano going for those of you taking part?

Hello April! Let’s Go to Camp Nano!

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I’m feeling pretty good today. In just over a week Mr. C will be home after working away for almost six months. Also, March left like a lamb and I am excited about this months writing goals!

Last week I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo. It’s like national novel writing month, only a bit different.

camp nano

Just a cute image I found for camp.

Camp Nano takes places twice a year. Instead of writing fifty thousand words in a month, you can tweak your goals. You can write a new piece, edit an old one, etc… You can also pick your goal of what you put in. Word count, lines, hours, etc… are some of what you can pick from. For more about camp, read about it here.

My goal for the month is to put 35 hours into my writing. A reasonable goal I think. Also, I signed up that I would be editing. But I will be doing a number of writing projects, including writing/planning blog posts, final edits on my latest work in progress, writing a new piece and writing notes on new and old projects.

I’m pretty excited about it and I feel really good about this month. Last year was my first year taking part in Camp Nanowrimo, and I failed my goal. However, I was in a very different mind set last year so I know this year will be different.

Are you taking part in Camp Nano? What are your writing goals for the month? Tell me in the comments! 🙂

Why Every Writer Needs A Writers Group

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No matter if it is an online group or an in-person meeting, being in a writers group can help you out a lot. Joining my group was one of the best things I have ever done. I joined The Story Forge about fifteen years ago.

My group is laid back. We get that life happens and you can’t make it to every meeting or that you can’t get so many chapters written. There are also groups out there with more structure.

A Mixed Bag.  Our group has everyone from those who write for fun and for themselves, as well as published authors who are busy in the writing community. (Writers in schools programs, signings, readings etc…) We bounce around ideas and talk about various topics. We all also have different genres that interest us, from poetry to sci-fi and mainstream. Everyone has something to offer.

Support and Encouragement. I have left more than one meeting feeling inspired and ready to concur my current writing project. And on days I have felt like I want to give up, my friends help me realize that I am being crazy. If one of us is in the middle of something big or crazy, like NaNoWrimo, we encourage each other to keep going. Not every one in our daily life understands what a writer is feeling, but your writing friends always do and are there to back you up or give you a kick in the pants if needed.

You Learn A lot. My writing and editing skills have improved immensely since I started going to The Story Forge.  I also feel more confident when I critique someones work. While I am far from perfect, I enjoy helping others and feel I can help.

Brainstorming. Stuck with a plot? Need advice on a topic? Or maybe you are unsure if killing a character will help or hinder your story? Ask your writing buddies. They will give you feedback that you can mull over and help you figure out where to go next. Sometimes more brains are better than one.

Feedback. Finished a piece and need a second pair of eyes? Odds are someone will offer to read your work for you. The great thing about this is that they may see something you missed. When you read your own work umpteen times, you are going to miss the little things, or a problem you didn’t realized you had.

A Night Out. Writers tend to be solitary. Not always, but I am one of them. When I am not at work or out with friends, my favorite night in is curled up with hubby watching tv or with a book. It’s good to get out and talk with people who share your interests.

 

Where to find a group: Check your local library and ask a librarian. That’s how I learned about The Story Forge. You can also find them online like on Facebook. I belong to online groups as well, but meeting up in person gets you out of the house for an evening out, and you can make real life friends you can meet up with in between times. One of my friends is coming over tomorrow, for a coffee and a mini writing session. When all else fails, start your own! Put up a flyer at a local library or start your own online group.

How I have changed and benefited since joining my group: I have been published four times. (Soon to be a fifth…our group is putting an anthology together and the money made will go to our local library.) I have learned a lot about writing and improved so much. I have made some great friends; one of which was my matron of honor. I have become more confident and learned how to turn my inner critic off.

That’s just my take on it. I love my group so much and think every writer can benefit from having one.

Do you belong to a group? What is your favorite thing about it?

 

Nanowrimo Wrap Up

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Hello fellow writers and wrimos!

I had good intentions-as usual- to write a post before Nanowrimo started, and to update during the month.

However, life was a little hectic in October. Mr. C was prepping to go away for work, so we were spending time together, mentally prepping and doing laundry…so much laundry. (We had no clue what he should pack or how much for his six month stint away).

After he left, I jumped right into Nanowrimo mode and was writing and focusing on it as much as I could.

I was a Nano Rebel this year. I decided to write short stories instead of a novel. I haven’t decided yet if that was a good idea or bad, haha.

I failed to hit 50k. However, instead of hating myself for “failing”, I am looking at the positives.

I wrote more in November then I would have if it wasn’t for Nanowrimo. I also have three…maybe four…short stories in progress. One is mostly done. (Although I realized the other day I need to change a lot at the beginning but it is for the best).

I attempted Nano and in my own way, I won. If you didn’t get to 50k, don’t beat yourself up about it. You didn’t fail. You started something, and now have something to work with in the coming months.

It also helped me get back to my writer brain. I have ideas for other stories, plus I want to get back to unfinished works and edit first drafts. I have also been reading articles and tips to write better fiction.

I lost my writing mojo for awhile. I think I might have found it again.

How did you do in November? Did you crack that magic number or fall short of your goal?

Making A Plan And Making Writing A Priority

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It is really easy to put things off. I am the Queen of Procrastination. It isn’t that I don’t want to do certain things, but the phrases “I am going to start this soon” or “I will get on that tomorrow”, become easier to say. And tomorrow turns into the next day and so on.

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about my writing. I am kicking myself for wasted days and being lazy. I’m not as prolific as I used to be. I’m not happy with that, so it is time for a REAL change.

I’m not the type of person to write every day. Some writers are. Even during NaNoWriMo there are days I don’t write. Either because life is simply too hectic that day, or I need to give my brain a little bit of recharge time. (Although I only do that if I am at least a day or two ahead of schedule.)

While I am not a person to write every day, all week, all year, I know I can write some of the week. So I am making myself a schedule of sorts.

I am vowing to write four days a week. If more, bonus! But unless life takes some major curve ball, I know I can write (or edit) even a page or two that much during the week. I have no real excuse right now not to do that.

I have last year’s Nano to work on, plus a new project I have been dying to get at. So I have a great starting point for my work.

Instead of just thinking about writing, I need to get off my ass and start DOING.

Have you made any new changes or goals for your writing? If so, what have you decided to do?