NaNoWriMo Tips – It Isn’t About Winning. It’s About Writing.

NaNoWriMo is just about over (t-minus two days). At this point every year, I hear many participants say, “Why bother finishing? I’m not going to win.”

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Here’s my answer to anyone contemplating this question: NaNoWriMo isn’t about winning. It’s about writing.

Okay, I can see all of you competitive souls out there rolling your eyes and muttering under your breaths. I know, I get it. I’m competitive too and I despise it when I fail.

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But, let me clarify something: NaNo is a writing challenge, not a writing competition. There are no judges or tangible prizes (besides those offered via third parties). And there’s definitely no waiting on pins and needles after November 30th to see if your slap dash, half-finished manuscript beats hundreds of thousands of other slap dash, half-finished manuscripts. If you want that, then you’ll need to sign up for an actual competition.

Okay, okay. Now I can hear all of you Mr./Ms. I Always Win’s saying, “It’s not about winning a prize. It’s about winning.”

Yep, I totally get it. But…let’s face it. We can’t succeed at everything we try. Failure is part of life, and failing to write 50K words in one month isn’t the end of the world. Not at all! It’s really just the beginning.

Here’s the truth about NaNoWriMo: If you sit down and start writing on November first, you’ve won. If you keep writing beyond November 30th, you’re a star. If you finish your manuscript, you’re a champion.

The whole point of NaNo is to write.

Period.

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So, whether you’re currently at 1K words, 50K words, or 100K words, go ahead and declare yourself a winner (yes, even you, Mr./Ms. I Always Win). Go ahead and give yourself a trophy if you keep writing on December 1st. And give yourself a crown if you don’t stop until you finish your novel.

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I hope you take my words to heart and persevere no matter where you are on the word count scale. And I really hope you don’t shove your manuscript into a drawer on December 1st and say, “Cool, I’m done.”

You’re not done.

Keep going.

Keep writing!

Congrats to everyone who participated in NaNoWriMo 2016. You’re all winners in my book!

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Avoid These 25 Newbie Writer Mistakes

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! I think it’s fair to say that all of us are at different levels with our writing. Some of us have been at it for years, while others of us are just beginning. In my opinion, today’s Twitter gem is a great source for everyone (despite its “newbie” title).

apa-guidelines-for-writing3Even if you know the general do’s and don’ts of writing, it never hurts to brush up on “the rules”. And yes, I put “the rules” in quotations because there’s no right or wrong way to do any of this. But there are basic ways that should be considered. So check out this article by author and speaker, Jody Hedlund:

Avoid These 25 Newbie Writer Mistakes

1. Starts the opening paragraph with flowery, verbose, or elaborate descriptions. (A seasoned writer will try to start with a hook, usually a life-altering situation or action.)

2. Stops the story/plot/action to describe a room or person or scene. (A seasoned writer will try to weave those descriptions in small pieces as the story unfolds.)

3. Describes any and/or everything. (A seasoned writer will pick strategic “props” to bring on “stage” that help convey a deeper meaning, theme, mood, or contribute to the plot.)

To read the entire article, click here!

And for more useful advice, follow Jody Hedlund on Twitter!

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Photo credit: 

http://essaybasics.com/apa-guidelines-for-writing/

5 Things to Know When Pitching to Literary Agents

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! So, today’s gem is a bit broader, and perhaps many of us have heard some of these tips before, but I wanted to share them anyway. When it comes to literary agents, it’s always good to be aware and knowledgable about the big do’s and don’t’s.

literary-agentIf you’re interested in pursuing a literary agent someday, be sure to check out this post from author, Mila Gray:

5 Things to Know When Pitching to Literary Agents.

1. Make sure you’re pitching to the right agent.

Buy the Writers’ and Artists’ Handbook (in the UK). Identify those agents that rep your genre. Google them and find out what their submission guidelines are.

Check out who their clients are. This will give you an idea of how big a player they are — how much influence they have in the publishing world.

An agent with lots of high profile authors might not have as much time for you as an agent with fewer clients. On the upside a bigger agent will have more influence with publishers and be able to get your MS onto desks quicker.

Don’t go overboard with contacting every agent in the book. I contacted 12. I had 7 responses, two of which were very polite no thank yous, three of which were ‘we really think this has potential but we have no room on our list’, and 2 who wanted to sign me immediately.

I signed with the agent who I felt I had the best rapport with but she also happened to be very established with a great client list.

To read the entire article, click here!

And for more useful advice, follow Mila Gray on Twitter!

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Photo credit: http://www.jeffcalloway.com/how-to-land-a-literary-agent.html

13 Tips to New Writers from Experienced Authors

Welcome to Twitter Treasure Thursday! I came across today’s gem while skimming the hashtag #amwriting. Author, Shonda Brock, tweeted “13 Tips to New Writers from Experienced Authors”. It’s a short, quick read, and extremely useful, so take a minute to check it out!

Writing-TipsHere are just a few to get you started:

2. @seanpwallace
Get thick skin, take risks, accept your failures, keep learning, keep reading and connect with other artists. #amwriting

9. @AnnabelleBlume
Everyone needs a critique partner. EVERYONE. Don’t let your ego fool you.

12. @seanpwallace
Expect rejection, failure & heartbreak. This is art. It hurts, is risky. But it’s wonderful, because and in spite of this.

Read all 13 tips here!

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