Other Cool Blogs: Just Publishing Advice Nov 2, 2016

Cover by Erin Penn

If you were around in November, you may have noticed how my novel for NaNoWritMo went south. All October I thought and thought about Internal Lies based on a dream I had during the 2016 holiday season, carefully not writing a word down. I jumped on the computer on November first and typed up all the notes I had from the original dream – close to 1,000 words.

Then nothing on the second.

On the third my brain said “Let’s write a blog post.”

Now? Really? You haven’t wanted to work on the blog but in bits and pieces all year and you want to do one now. … Oh well, at least it is writing.

Yeah. The result? Nearly “won” NaNoWritMo by catching up on my blog – 35,568 words of blog postings. This was the most productive writing period I have ever done outside of writing Honestly. Actually more so, since Honestly is only 15K.

Anyway, I’ve long been thinking about maybe doing a collection of my flashes or putting the writing exercises together for something I can sell on Amazon. You can even see a cover above made for the Writing Exercises. The challenge is transforming the blog into a coherent how-to. Like taking a novel and changing it to a movie, the mediums of blogging and ebooks are different with different requirements.

How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book” by Julie Petersen (2016) and updated by Derek Haines (2017) on the Just Publishing Advice website gives some excellent advice I plan to use. If you are thinking about going this route with your blog, you might want to review it as well. While focused primarily on non-fiction, the biggest take-aways are reaching new readers, monetize your work without turning your website into advertising central, and hiring professionals for the professional bits.

Look for the four book series on Writing Exercises to come out this year: Write Good a taste, Write Good, Write Gooder, and Write Goodest.

Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words April 1, 2017

Acquired from the internet hive mind

NaNo – Well, This Isn’t Going As Planned

So much for my science fiction thriller I planned in my head all of October and attacked the first day of National Novel Writing Month. The second day I did the “Butt In Chair – Hands on Keyboard” … and I got a blog posting. In fact I got several blog postings. Sunset and sunrise saw me return for the BIC-HOK, and, well, I have a blog for today.

If this keeps up, my blog for 2017 may get completed before the end of the month and 2018 could have a great jump start.

Novel, not so much.

It breaks the rules, and I hate breaking rules. NaNoWritMo is about writing Novels – fictional pieces, long-form. Most of my blogs, and that is what my brain is providing right now, are neither. 

On the other hand after nearly two years of brain-to-keyboard disconnect, I am happy with ANY production. I just would have been happier to have salable production.

The plus side is I will have the basics for the Writing Exercise non-fiction book I have been thinking about.

Writing is a weird thing. The biggest discipline is “Butt in Chair – Hands on Keyboard”. Forcing your mind to stop thinking about writing and actually doing writing requires will-power; depending on the day and how long the habit has been in place, a great deal of will-power. After directing the will-power to the initial task of BIC-HOK, discipline in directing your mind in specific writing tasks can be lacking.

Sometimes it makes magic. Rarely does it meet deadlines.

Melissa Gilbert-McArthur wrote a Magical Words on the combination of BIC and deadlines, and it can be found here: http://www.magicalwords.net/melissa-gilbert/friday-fundamentals-deadlines/. Power to her for having the will power to pull off both at once.

Me, I am going to take the writing bug and get a little more blogging done.

WRITING EXERCISE: Butt-in-chair. Sit in your writer seat for half an hour today and write something. Do it again tomorrow. Do it five days in a row. Half an hour in your writer seat. No internet, no facebook, no twitter. If you live with someone, hand them your phone and walk to your seat and start. BIC-HOK and write. There you go -the first five days of the twenty-one days to create a new habit. The rest is up to you.

Other Cool Blogs: Liana Brooks June 23, 2016

Break thru your writing goals

Writing Meme created by Erin Penn

Getting Ready for NaNoWritMo

Like many writers, I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWritMo) in just a few short days. In preparation I visited the six-day Boot Camp Liana Brooks created in 2014 and republished in 2016 on her new blog, when I asked her if she could because it has been so useful to me.

The first Day concentrated on “Establish a Baseline“. In the thinly veiled co-operative Massive Online Game called NaNoWritMo, word count is king.

I like to point out writing 50 thousand words in a month and the techniques brought to bare to accomplish this are not exactly the professional process writers use, but NaNoWritMo does provide some of the skills, and the chance to test those skills, used by writers. It’s a game with lots of cool graphics, side quests, and companions; fun to play once a year. But if you go to it time and again and learn new “cheats” each time, the play becomes habit and the habit may become a profession.

Anyway, back to word count. Professional writers use metrics to meet deadlines; they learn the amount of pages or words they need to write each day. Establishing a baseline for NaNoWritMo develops the deadline/metric skills. Ms. Brooks provides four exercises to figure out your word count needs.

See the full blog post here: http://www.lianabrooks.com/nanowrimo-boot-camp-day-1-establish-a-base-line/

The upside of playing the NaNoWritMo game? At the end-of-the-month you have more to show for your efforts than the high score on a leader board. Even if you don’t “win”, you have words on paper.

WRITING EXERCISE: Do all four exercises as though you are thinking about participating in NaNoWritMo.


My results

  1. Ten-minute speed. While I type about 50 words per minute, writing speed is much slower as I think things out. Instead of 500 words, it’s more like 100 words if I have the basics in my head or 50 words if I am still sorting things out. Let’s go with 75 per ten minutes.
  2. Until you can’t write anymore. Somewhere between 2 and a half and three hours I need a break, brain feels like it is leaking at that point. I really should set things up so I stop every 2 hours.
  3. Days of writing in November: I have at least four days where I am not going to write, so let’s say 25 days I can write. Calculation – Word count needed is 2,000 per day. A 2-hour block produces 900 words; I need two 2-hour blocks.
  4. What I need: Just need quiet and no other urgent tasks. I can only work on one major project at a time, therefore must complete the tax training before NaNoWritMo.

Blog: NaNo 2017 Announcement

Writer issues – how do you sell your book if it crosses “established genres”? Well, your elevator pitch could be the story is a Inca kung-fu western MM erotica (yeah, got to edit that one for a publisher – a few editing rants may have came out of it). Or say the story is a superhero steampunk mystery (See “Mortar’s Ovation” in A Hero by Any Other Name).

Or what I am going to try for this year’s NaNo – a science fiction political thriller. The working title for the stand-alone manuscript will be: Internal Lies.

Yeah, shelve any of those in a bookstore. I’ll wait.

Mash-ups happen and we love them. Books or Music. I give you a Mongolian – Hard Rock – Folk Band (Hangai) in celebration.