2017 Writing Goals

This past year has been one of the worst for sickness, death and sadness.  I think everyone is happy to see 2016 coming to an end.  And praying 2017 is a million times better!

I’d like to write out my 2017 goals for the year now; something I’ve heard many writing Vloggers discuss on their YouTube channels.  I realize that at the beginning of 2016, I said this would be the year I was published.  That simple declaration has held me accountable.  Now I didn’t REACH that goal YET.  But just listing it on my blog had that little nagging voice in the back of my head pushing me this year.  I think that if I write out a list of things I’d like to get done in 2017 with regards to writing, that it may help me STICK to that list.  Even if I don’t reach all my goals, I’d be pretty disappointed in myself come Dec 2017 when I follow up to say…I didn’t reach a single one.  So let’s see what I can accomplish in the upcoming year!

  1. Current manuscript FINALIZED and …either sent to a publisher or self-published.  I have not decided yet how I want to go about doing this.  But the novel I have in my hands right now needs to be finished in one form or fashion in 2017.  This is by far my #1 goal for 2017.
    1. If self-publishing, I’ll need to research CreateSpace far more than I have.
    2. Create a beautiful cover and all that goes with it.
    3. Work on advertising/marketing.
  2. I’d like to post at least 10-20 posts on this blog throughout the year.  I definitely put this on the backburner, which isn’t a bad thing if I’m writing.  But if I want a nice following before the novel is out, I need to actively reach out to all of you fine folks!
  3. Start a Vlog on YouTube….this is up in the air.  I’ve started a channel, but do not have anything posted yet.  I’m going back and forth on this.  We’ll see how I feel next year.
  4. Re-create my author website.  I love playing with my various websites, but I get caught up in it and do not write.  I need to remind myself WRITING and finalizing my novel comes first, THEN I can have fun updating my site so it matches the new novel 🙂  I do, however, already have an active FaceBook page!  Come check it out!

I think this is a good start.  These are simply my WRITING goals, not my life goals.  With the twins starting school this year, writing is probably the only constant in my life right now.

Good luck to all in 2017!!  Let’s reach our goals together!

Best Author Vlog…IMHO

I stumbled onto a vlog while trying to search out something related to writing to listen to during my work day.  Her name is Jenna Moreci and the link will take you to her YouTube Channel.  She’s absolutely hilarious and I’ve had a blast enjoying her writing tips and her personality.

In fact, I’ve enjoyed her so much, I purchased her book:  Eve, The Awakening.  A genre I’ve never even tried in the past, but she’s such a great speaker…I had to support her!

Here is her novel synopsis, straight from her:

Eve is an outcast. A chimera.

After years of abuse and rejection, Evelyn Kingston is ready for a fresh start in a new city. The esteemed Billington University seems like the perfect place to reinvent herself—to live the life of an ordinary human.

But Billington is harboring a secret of its own. Interlopers have infiltrated the university, and their sinister plans are targeted at chimeras—like Eve.

Instantly, Eve’s new life takes a drastic turn. In a time filled with chaos, is the world focusing on the wrong enemy? And when the situation at Billington shifts from hostile to dangerous, will Eve remain in the shadows, or rise up and fight?

Again, I’m more of a romance lover, but I *had* to buy her book after listening so long to her channel on YouTube.

If you’re not interested in this type of novel, you should still give her Vlog a try.  She’s got some fantastic writing tips, mixed with her own personal brand of humor.  It has inspired me to push through writers block and get back to writing!

Check out her website and the first 3 chapters of Eve, The Awakening!!

 

I want to, but I can’t…

My writing process over the past few years can be best described as an out of control roller coaster.  I can sit for an entire month and hash out a first draft without blinking.  Maybe a little blinking.  But then I hit a low point.

Unfortunately, I seem to be at that low point right now.  I finished a first draft, set it aside, tried to go back…set it aside.  Then I thought, maybe starting something new will refresh me and I’ll enjoy going back to write a 2nd draft on the last one.

I fleshed out about half of the next story, I even jumped in with both feet and I’m in the second chapter now.

Hit the wall.

Now I can’t make myself open the rough draft of my finished story or my 2 chapter current draft.  I open it, look at it and shut it again.  This has got to be the most frustrating time in my “process”.  I’m struggling to make myself sit down and focus on writing, I’m irritated with myself because I’m not writing and I’m listen to just about every vlog, pod cast and writing lectures I can.

My current favorite is a vlog by Jenna Moreci.  She’s hilarious.  If you want to listen to writing advice, while laughing?  Check her out here:  Jenna Moreci YouTube Channel

I’ve already listened to her entire set of video’s twice and I’m on the third time.  She has her novel out and you can find that here:  Eve, The Awakening.

I’m trying to keep my head “in the game” with listening to her and also, my all time favorite writing podcast:  The Dead Robots Society.  These guys keep me completely submerged in the writing atmosphere, even if I’m not writing.  Check them out!

All in all, I love writing and have a fantastic time living in “my worlds”, but struggling during this “down” time is rough.  Do I go back to one of the two drafts that are waiting for me?  Do I set them both in a drawer and try something else?  Am I getting bored with the type of writing I’m doing and do I try something completely different?

I’m not sure what the answer is, but hopefully it’ll come to me soon.  I hate waiting 😦

girl waiting

 

 

Meeting Anna DeStefano

This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting author Anna DeStefano at my first GSRWA chapter workshop.  First, let me say that the workshop itself was very well put together.  I enjoyed meeting some of the members and everyone seemed very positive to be there.

“Anna DeStafano is an award-winning, nationally bestselling small town romances spotlight family, friendships and the forgiveness that nurtures her characters’ dreams…as they explore the issues all contemporary families face.  She’s the author of more than 27 novels (in more than 7 different languages, with over half a million copies of her books in print) that have garnered numerous awards including twice winning the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion, the Golden Heart, the Maggie Award for Excellence, and finalling in awards such as the National Readers’ Choice and Book Seller’s Best Awards.”~Read more on her website:  annawrites.com

She’s beautiful, extremely intelligent and positively amazing to listen to for hours.  It was sad when it ended, but I came away with so many great suggestions, tips and tools for making my writing better.  And not only the drafting part of writing, but the rewrite and editing as well!

She has all of her workshop notes up on her site, available to anyone and I suggest you check it out:  Free Workshops

One of the most important and SIMPLE things she teaches that “anyone” can do, is the “Beginning / Middle / End” technique.  Whether you’re a pantser or plotter, if you use this basic tool, you can’t fail in crafting a beautiful, desired story.  The idea is to sit down and, if nothing else before you write, figure out the Fear of your characters and their Goal – at the beginning, middle and end.  And here’s a hint…it should be different at each stage.  For example, she used her novel: Let Me Love You Again (Available at Amazon)

Beginning:  Her hero’s fear at the beginning of the story is attachment to a foster family he left behind years ago.  When he’s forced to come home, his goal is to get out of there as quickly as he can.

Middle:  Her hero learns that he’s a father to a daughter he never knew he had in the same town as his foster family.. ..now what?  Stay?  Go?…

End:  Hero now wants to stay, but…heroine wants him to go.

Notice that at the beginning of the story, he’s fighting against his worst fears and his goal is to stay as far away as possible.  In the middle and highest “arc” of her story, you can easily see how he is about to break and head toward the black moment.  How this “middle” incident can pinpoint his turning point.  At the end, he’s realized that what he wanted all along, wasn’t what he needed and ULTIMATELY wants.  Anna says to think about the beginning as giving your character EXACTLY what he wants, in the worst possible way.

She had so much food for thought on writing, it blew my mind and I’ve been struggling to process it all.  Anna made me think, made me feel larger than what I thought I could be with my writing.  I may still have a long way to go, but with the techniques and handouts (again, available to all on her site), I feel that there’s nothing standing in my way except my willingness to write.

Check out her novels now!  See below for a few, and her site for all available.

Thank you, Anna, for taking your time to speak with us!

mimosaanna

betrayalbellevue

 

 

 

The Year of The Writer…

2016 will mark my year as a Writer.

Well, that’s my goal at least.  After finishing NaNoWriMo a “winner” with my latest manuscript, I decided that if I can do that, I can do anything I put my mind to.  Maybe not anything.  But I’m going to try, nonetheless.

So this year, I’ve thrown myself into the writing community and made myself believe that this year…will be my year.

After revitalizing my writing website, joining Romance Writers of America again, finally signing up for my closest Chapter (GSRWA) and obtaining my first critique partner – I’ve taken it a step further.  I’ve joined the Rose City Romance Writing chapter as a Golden Rose Contest Judge.  I’m excited to judge a writing contest and learn myself what others are doing in the same genre as me (aside from published novels).

I’ve also reached out to my chapter and offered my volunteering services as well as getting ready for the WOTS conference in October.  Aside from all of that, I’m opening myself up and letting some friends read my finished story now, which was always hard for me to try and do.  The fun part is I’m getting a lot of positive feedback.

Hopefully, that will be enough to get me through any bad feedback that comes my way 😉

So February will be rather busy, there are multiple contests coming up besides the one I’ve decided to judge.  I’ve entered the 2016 Great Expectations Contest with my “first draft” which I now wish I’d waited to polish before sending in, but I literally found the contest the day entries closed 🙂  Would be happy with just a little feedback though!

My family has been amazing through January.  I can’t thank my husband enough for all of his help and patience while I’ve submerged myself in writing.

My friends and coworkers, I owe my gratitude as well, since they end up sort of forced to hear me talk about writing 40+ hours a week!

It’s the people that surround you that lift you as a writer, thankfully, I’m surrounded by the best!

Now moving onto working on my synopsis – if anyone has some great advice on how to do these, feel free to contact me!  I’m researching and studied the best I can and so far, I’ve come across a REALLY great site that I think has helped me more than anything so far:

Kathy Carmichael: USA Today Best Selling Author – check out all of her workshops and printable worksheets on synopsis!

I’ll be examining her website today to learn as much as I can!

Alright, off to write I go…thanks for reading today!

writer-wallpaper-1366x768

 

Blushingwriter: Updated Website

I made friends with a lovely new critiquing partner this week. Her author site was so appealing, it made me want to recreate mine from the ground up.

Blushing Writer now offers much more and is only the beginning!

I’m starting several pages for various subjects, including contests, relevant links and fun facts!  I know I’m putting too much time into it, and ignoring my manuscript I should be editing.  But I’m just so excited about how clean it looks now!  If there’s another page of information you can suggest, I’m happy to add it!

Would you like your own author website linked?  Just contact me through the site and I can add it for you!

header