Victory

V

This post is a day late for a normal update but the letters just worked this way.

The A-to-Z Challenge

There are just a few days left of the A-to-Z Blog Challenge and I am still excited about it. I find myself wondering what I’m going to do when April is over. Looks like it is time for some serious blog planning.

I like the momentum I’ve found in this month of writing six posts a week. However, that is a lot of posts. Its a struggle at times to make sure I have a post each day. Coming up with topics has been challenging but still this has been a positive experience.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo has been a success also. Though I am not done with my novel, I have met my goal. Here is the badge to prove it:

Camp-Winner-2015-Twitter-Profile

No, my novel isn’t done. Most likely just under halfway through. I have a lot of work to do. But it has been fun.

Even though I have still have one more challenge, I’m still going to celebrate my success. My plan is continue with my novel until I finish. Of course there are two more to work on to complete my series. It never ends.

At this moment, victory is sweet.

Opportunities and Updates

O

A few years ago, just when ebooks were becoming popular and book stores were closing in droves, people talked about the difficulties of writing and making a living. The opportunities were drying up. Things were changing and it didn’t look good.

Fast forward those few years and, it seems to me that there has been an explosion in opportunities for writers. As long as you are willing to cut your own path that is.

While traditional publishing is still viable (at least I hope so when my book is ready), there are many other options. E-publishing has grown exponentially as well as self-publishing. Each of these paths comes with their own strengths and weaknesses.

The message I have been hearing over and over is that each writer must be prepared to be their own salesperson. Regardless of the chosen path, if you want your words to sell, it is up to you.

There is help for this. Writing blogs and social media are a huge help as well as just getting out there and meeting people face to face. Community has probably never been more important than it is right now. The networking opportunities within different groups both online and off are a goldmine for getting the word out about your work.

It is not longer just about the writing. Competition is fierce and yet, here I am, writing. I’m grateful to be here at this time. It is exciting to see where this world of writing is going. As long as I am willing to work for it, my success depends on me.

How do you see the opportunities for success in writing today?

Update

I am just past the second full week of my dual challenge and I have to say, I am doing well.

The blogging challenge has been eye-opening and fun. I’m pleasantly surprised by the fact that I’ve been able to keep up. Its been fun coming up with different ideas for each day. Note to self: plan a theme next year and think of these things ahead of time. I have discovered it is a bit of pressure if I don’t have an idea and I need to get things done for posting.

Camp NaNoWriMo is still going, though not as strongly as before. This has been a slow week though I am nearly three-quarters of the way to my goal. Between work and my “regular” life, it has been difficult to find the energy to write. I’m still on track to complete the challenge, though I’d hoped that I would have gotten more of my novel done. We’ll see how the end of the month works out.

April Writing Challenge

Camp-Participant-2015-Web-Banner

Camp NaNoWriMo

I like the idea of goals.  Having specific goals with deadlines can give you the motivation and drive to keep going. This can be a so-so thing for me. I often make goals that end in failure. Either I set my sights too high or, more commonly, I just didn’t stay focused on the goal.

One thing that did work for me was NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing month. This is a month long writing challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel set in November. I decided that this was my year when I signed up in November. And I was right. Yes it was difficult but I learned a lot and found a group of people who shared my goals. Validating my novel and “winning” was the best reward I could have ever asked for. At least until my novel gets published.

According to the NaNoWriMo.org site, April is time for another challenge. Its time for Camp NaNoWriMo.

The rules are the same – 50,000 words in 30 days or whatever your goal is. I had great success in November. Well, by great success, I mean I finished my novel and got it validated. That doesn’t mean I wrote a great novel. There are splashes of greatness in it but they are small and in terrible need of editing. My goal is not to repeat my November success but to edit the words that came out of that endeavor.

The whole point of most writing challenges is to get words down on paper (screen, whatever) and this one is no different. The website touts Camp NaNo as an “idyllic writers retreat smack dab in the middle of your crazy life.” Somewhat less serious and possibly a bit more fun than November but no less effective.

It is easy to sign up. Go to http://campnanowrimo.org/.  If you were a NaNoWriMo participant, Camp NaNo uses the same login information.

Once logged in, its easy to set up your profile, which includes all the usual stuff.

As with the main challenge, the next step is to enter your novel information. Whether you are a planner (light outlining or heavy, it doesn’t matter) or a pantser (one who flies by the seat of their pants while writing a novel), everyone must enter some basic information about your novel. Title, working or actual, word count and a synopsis is all they are asking for. It is required for the validation process.

I was able to change my word count from 50,000 down to 20,000. November was intense and I’m not sure I can handle that much with everything else in my life. Setting a goal that is doable for you is important to reach success.

The last step for set up is to give cabin preferences. The majority of those signing up are separated into cabins of 12 writers. You can chose to opt out of cabins if you prefer to go it alone. The idea is to connect in community for support and the encouragement to get things done.  It is even possible to chose your own cabin if you already have a group of writer friends that are all doing Camp. I chose a random cabin assignment. I like interacting with new people.

Once signed up, novel information entered and cabin assigned (or not), the only thing that needs to be done is to wait for April 1st to begin.

I would encourage anyone who has never participated in this or any of the NaNoWriMo events to find their way to the forums. There are specific Camp forums to answer any of your questions.

The cool thing about these types of challenges is that you are only competing against your self. There are others who are along for the journey but the only one who matters is you. And if you only get 100 words written in April, well, that is 100 words you didn’t have before.

You can do this.