Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NaNoWriMo - and why I don't do it

Yes, I am a writer.

No, I'm not doing National Novel Writing Month or NANOWRIMO.

First off, that abbreviation of it sounds like a really nasty disease or the name of an alien.

Second off, I don't believe in having a daily word goal.

Third off, I believe writing a book is like . . .

painting a great painting,
or creating a magnificent sculpture,

It's not something you squeeze into one month.

Yeah, lots of writers do it, but why?

Doing some research on it, and copied this from wikipedia:
"The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing, no matter how bad the writing is, through the end of a first draft. The idea is that many people are scared to start writing because it won't be any good, and if there's a time to celebrate length, rather than quality, more people will write an entire first draft, which they can then proceed to edit if they wish."

So they're encouraging people to vomit out writing, regardless of quality?  I mean, that's what it says, there in black and white.

Don't know about you, but I have a real problem with that.

Being a writer is an integral part of who I am, like the color of my hair, or my personality.  If being a writer is inside you, then sooner or later you will write.  I don't care for the part where it says to write, no matter how bad.  Makes me wonder if this isn't where Indie authors get such a bad rap?  I mean, how many of these NaNoWriMo people who, when the month is over, will rush to publish their masterpiece without doing little to anything else to it; and then gripe and whine when it doesn't sell or gets bad reviews.

Writing a really great book is like making a fine wine, a great painting, or a beautiful sculpture,
-- It's not really something you squeeze into a month,
-- It takes the time it takes,
-- And it's a work of creation, not a race.

I'm sure there are many who will disagree with my post here, and that's their right.  But this is my blog, and I'm expressing my opinion.

During the 'vomit out a novel' months, here's what I recommend:
Write like you normally do, and write something of quality.  Don't do daily word counts, and don't try to produce a novel in a month.  Let the process take the time it needs, and nurture it.

A great tree doesn't sprout up in a month, from a seedling to a giant redwood.  So it is with a great novel.  It's not going to spring up from nothing to a great book in one month.

Do your writing a favor, and don't do NaNoWriMo.
Be a writer, not a racehorse.
Writing is a process of creation, not a race.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Being social in a not so social world

We live in a day and age when it is easier to communicate with people than ever before.  But we also live in a day and age when people listen to each other the absolute least of ever before.

We live in a day and age when bullying, rudeness, and just plain meanness are more prevalent than ever before.

Sadly, we live in a day and age when people care less and less about others than ever before.

I'm sitting here, playing games, and trying to recover from someone who took it upon themselves to tag me on facebook in a comment for a comment I made.  I tried to reply to her in a comment, and that just escalated it.

I ended up deleting my comments and leaving the group.  It was a writer's group, of all things.

It's getting to where I hate to comment on posts on facebook.  You never know what shitstorm that you may be unleashing into your life.

And this isn't the first time that this has happened to me.

I make a simple comment in passing, and then move on, putting it out of my mind.  Then I get back on facebook and go through my notifications, and then it starts.  But after this latest one, I've come to a conclusion.  I've decided what the best course of action is.

Go and delete the comment that started it.  Then leave the group and find another group to join.  Comment as little as possible, and use facebook groups as no more than sources of information; and not as places for social interaction.

For there are people out there who are looking for someone to get into it with, and the next person they choose might be you.

And take our government leaders.  They are prime examples of people of whom it is very easy to contact them, but really is a waste of your time.  They don't care about you, except for voting time, and they don't care about your opinions on diddly-squat.

Give it a try.  Contact one of your senators or congressmen or even the president.  Express an opinion on something to them, perhaps an opinion that you know conflicts with theirs.  You'll maybe get a nice, polite response from them, wherein they explain why you are wrong and they are right and so much wiser than you.

They're a bunch of smartasses.

In fact, the world is quite filled with smartasses.
Some of the smartasses are violent as well.

So I've come to the conclusion that interacting with people today can not only be upsetting and time consuming, but you never know when you will encounter that one in a million nutcase who will endanger your physical safety.

Sometimes even blogging can incur this.  I've even had to delete a blog post before because of the harassing comments from people.

And you know what group that most of my harassing comments come from lately?
Other writers.

That fact is just so damn sad it defies description.
-- jd --

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This people is disappointed and ashamed

I ran across this picture shared on facebook, and it so totally expressed how I've been feeling about the US government lately.

Let me share a list of words that express my sentiments towards the US government and both parties and the senate and the congress and the president:

  • disappointed
  • ashamed
  • pissed off
  • ticked off
  • just plain angry
  • fed up
  • tired of it
What about you?  Have you been feeling any of these towards the US government?

This latest government shutdown shows clearly just how messed up our government has become.  Used to be, the party bickering got intense around major election times, when congressmen or senators or a president was being elected.  Then, after the election, they would settle down to the business of running our nation.  

But not any more.  Now the party bickering and maneuvering goes on year round, year in and year out, 24/7.  It's beyond childish and ridiculous.  It's harmful to the people of our nation.  

Another sad thing, we live in a day and age when it is so easy to express your opinions to your political leaders.  That's not the sad thing.  The sad thing is, they pay no attention to what the people say unless they say it in a large group that affects ratings.  Have you ever written to any of them?  I have, several times.  What's telling is the response that you get.  If you request help, you usually don't get much.  If you express your opinion, they send you a letter or email back explaining how you're wrong and they're right.  To me it basically feels like they're telling me I'm stupid, and that I should subjugate my opinions to them, because they're so much wiser than me.  Thing is, they're not.

Lately I've often thought that we need to send a bunch of penny-pinching housewives to Washington to run this nation's government.  I think they'd do a much better job, especially at balancing the budget.  

Let me close with this thought -- 
Those in power in our government now days, don't care about the people or what's best for the nation. They just care about winning the latest argument for their party. And our nation is suffering terribly for it, and the people are too.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Writers selling to writers

Today I'm going to use my blog to comment about something that ticks me off more and more all the time.  And that is writers selling to writers.  They do it a lot on facebook via events and posts in writer's groups.  Their reasoning:

  • writers are readers too,
  • writers will share their link,
  • maybe readers visit these writer's groups trying to find out what writers are up to.
  • ????
But my main question is - do they search for places to reach readers?

I think writer groups should be places for writers to gather and talk about writing, share questions and concerns they have, ask for feedback and advice.  But when I run across a writer's group that is just one promo post after another . . . 
  • check out my new book
  • check out my new cover
  • check out my new blog post (which doesn't discuss one thing helpful to writers)
  • see my free book event
  • check out my contest
  • etc. and etc. and etc.
I have dropped several writer groups that were like that.  I have a few favorites that I have kept, and I enjoy checking out the posts in; and even those sometimes become borderline in their enjoyability factor. 

Yes, I understand that self-published authors have to self-promote their work.  But, I don't think they use particularly good judgment in how they spend their promoting time.  I want to use myself as an example.

I have a bad back and take pain pills.  I don't sleep all that well, and average anywhere from 4-8 hours of sleep at a time.  Usually 6-7 hours.  I'm also menopausal, which greatly affects how I feel.  I also have IBS, which also affects how I feel.  

So my up and about time is limited.  My time to get things done is limited.  And I have become very choosy as to what I spend my time on.  I know that other authors also have limited time as well.  So here is my point to all writers -- Be choosy about what you spend your time on.  Make sure you get the greatest benefit you can out of the time you spend.  

I mean, if you have a new book out, spend your time contacting bloggers who do book reviews.  Spend time in areas where you reach readers, not other writers.  Yes, writers are readers too - but don't rely so much on other writers to help you promote your work.  They have their own list of stuff to do, and helping you promote your work usually isn't going to be high on their list.  

For any of those wondering, no I don't have a book out yet.  But I have been learning, and stockpiling information.  Gathering ideas and info on what to do and what to not do.  When I do have a book out, yes, I will post about it on my timeline; and on my pages.  I will do posts in my blogs about it.  But one thing I won't do is  to go around to all the writer groups posting a link for my new book that is out.

What are some things you can do?
  • promote on goodreads, readers go there;
  • find other similar sites to goodreads and make sure your book is on them;
  • seek out bloggers who do book reviews;
  • seek out readers groups on facebook and become active there;
  • seek out forums where readers can be found;
  • take advantage of any publicity opportunity you are offered such as author interviews;
  • do not repeatedly post in writer's groups, and then be disappointed in your sales;
  • seek out book marketing groups and watch for ideas that you can use.
The bottom lines of this post --

Don't flood writer groups with promo posts.

Be choosy with how you spend your book promoting time.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Redesigned blog

Well, I don't think I had touched the layout or template of this blog in ages, until recently.  I was looking at it one day and decided it needed an overhaul, and a name change.

So I did both.  It's a completely revamped blog, and I think it looks pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself.  Check out the background.  That's a photo that I took, tinkered with on picasa, and it is tiled.  Looks pretty neat, huh!

So welcome to my revamped blog.