Wow! Look at all of the dust on this blog.
My last blog post was 10 months ago just before New Years Eve. Since then I have been quite busy with my occupation (and the killer commute getting there and back every day). I’ve had precious few moments to blog — or to sleep.
Some very talented authors are developing projects for the SleighFarm Publishing Group to release in the upcoming months…and yes I have been remiss about updating that website as well. Some of the works already published by SPG are doing quite well in the electronic book market, and at least one author is receiving recognition for those efforts in the form of interviews, newspaper articles and substantial royalties from book sales.
November is three days old as I write this and many people are feverishly pounding away at their keyboards to write a novel during the National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo). These intrepid (or foolhardy) souls usually try to write the first draft of an original novel between Halloween and December 1. Most set a goal of 50,000 words, and a surprising number of these budding authors exceed their goal.
I participated in a “wrimo” back in the days when I had the energy to write on weeknights rather than collapse into bed at the end of a grueling commute. After a few days writing, the story had a life of its own and I was merely transcribing the action and dialog as it was performed by the characters. That is a marvelous feeling: to be swept away by the creative process. I heartily recommend that anyone try participation in a wrimo.
The best part is that you are not alone. Part of the event is the comradery with others that are under the identical self-imposed deadline. There are forums (or “fora” for the pedantically inclined) where the wrimo participants can seek out others for character or plot advice, or to rant about how one’s own story is becoming overwrought or the plot has wandered from the original outline. Everyone on those message boards knows the joy and anguish of putting a ludicrous number of words together in only 30 days. At the end of it all there is no prize money – merely the recognition from your peers that you tested yourself and were victorious. If you are lucky, you have the first draft of a manuscript you could publish and possibly sell. If not, you have the satisfaction of staring into the abyss and walking away unbroken.
There are other similar writing competitions in other months (JanNoWriMo, JulNoWriMo and others) if you are daunted by starting too late for this one. A web search for “wrimo” will result in links to many good resources for prospective authors. A book by Chris Baty called “No Plot? No Problem! – A Low-Stress High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days” is an excellent resource if you are interested in joining a wrimo. The book does not tell you what to write or teach you how to tell a story but gives encouragement and strategies for maintaining focus on the task over the long-haul.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll dive into the upcoming JanNoWriMo and write a sequel to my first novel…I’ve certainly had enough time to think about it.