NaNo Prep

I’ve been thinking about what I really need to do to be prepared for NaNoWriMo and I had just put down to the act of writing but (Mighty) Mur Lafferty is doing a daily NaNoWriMo podcast and has started off with a few podcasts about being prepared and it got me thinking about what I should be doing to be properly prepared for this years NaNoWriMo.

Here’s Mur Lafferty’s website where you can find all things Mur. http://murverse.com/  If you are not already listening to Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing podcast then I’d strongly recommend checking it out.

The first thing that came to mind is lunch. I do write during my lunch breaks during NaNo and I loose ten minutes getting something to eat or microwaving something so this year I’m going to try to do my lunch, i.e. a sandwich, of an evening in that time between getting home and having dinner and a bath (or shower) and cranking the words out.

I need to make sure that my desk is not cluttered up with all the crap that I seem to have migrating across it most of the time. I’m not the most tidy person, which I put down to a lack of space. I will have my own study one day 😀 but until then I need to make sure I keep that little corner clutter free. I also need to keep  my desk chair clear. I have a habit of throwing whatever might not have a home or ironing that is waiting to be put away on my desk chair. So quite often I get home, look at said chair and simply cannot be bothered to clear all the items from it so I can sit down and write. So it needs to be kept clear.

Each year that I have done NaNoWriMo I have ended up going away for a weekend during it. The first year was a disaster on a personal level so no writing got done once myself and my now ex-girlfriend got to where we were going. Last year was a much more enjoyable weekend with Tracie’s sister and her partner for her sisters birthday, but I did not take my laptop. This year we’re off to celebrate Tracie’s sisters birthday again but I’m taking the laptop this time and I’ll be hoping to squeeze in a quiet hour or two of writing during the long weekend.

Thankfully once I get home of an evening I can pretty much get cracking without any real items that need attention. Any little chores around the house that I have to do are done either in the morning or can be done once I’ve finished writing for the night. I do have to be sensible and think about my day job and not write into the wee hours of the morning but there is no reason why I cannot knock out the minimum daily target during the evening. As I said I write during lunch too so I’ll be able to get about a third of the daily goal done then.

At weekends I probably will not be as focused as I am aiming to be of a week night but I’ll have to wait and see. I may be able to get a good couple of hours done on a Saturday as I haven’t been doing much lately on Saturdays due to various reasons, although the first Saturday of the month I’ve got a night out with some close friends from my school days.

Sundays are for me and Tracie. We don’t get much time together, for reasons I’m not going into here, so on Sundays we make the most of our time together. So any writing done on a Sunday will be a bonus.

There are, no doubt, a fair few more little bits and pieces that I need to do in preparation for this years NaNoWriMo but I’ll add them into posts that I’ll be doing in these final days before NaNo starts.

If any one has any tips to share please spread the knowledge 🙂

 

Being Professional

I was talking to a friend who was asked to review a book by a writer and when she gave her honest review the writer had a go at her because it was a glowing one.  If you go over to Cinta Garcia’s web page you will see all about this amazing writer who is not nasty of vicious at all.  Cinta is one of the kindest people I know.  I’ve also read the review and its a well written and direct review.  Heres her website, which is new by the way http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fcintascorner.weebly.com%2F&h=3AQHmYSjH

This got me thinking about something that the Mighty Mur Lafferty says on her podcast I Should Be Writing, basically being professional is the best way to be.  Please go and check out her website because she’ll express it better than I can http://www.murverse.com/ She is of the mindset though that trying to be a professional is the best route because its rare that being rude and unprofessional will just get people’s backs up and put them off you and your work.  I think a good analogy is if you buy a car and its nothing but a pain in the backside you tell people about it and rarely buy another car of that make.  Or a rude staff member at a coffee-house or something.  These things annoy us and we are more than likely to talk about a bad experience then we are a good experience.

Mighty Mur puts forward a lot of good points.  Like not trying to get into a discussion with someone who has left a bad review.  I quite like the sound of this piece of advice.  If the reader did not get what you were trying to say in the book its kind of like explaining why a joke is funny.  If it’s a nasty review then surely it’s not even worth the time to post a reply.  I know in the early stages of our careers we’ll reply to almost anything because we’re building our online presence but its easy to get sucked into a heated exchange and I think that I will probably steer clear of the people leaving nasty comments when I have my work out in the world for people to read and talk about.

Mighty Mur also talks about things like not asking for critiques from editors when they reject your work as they have slush piles to read etc.  Seriously if novice writers have not at least checked out Mur’s I Should Be Writing podcast then I’m surprised as I have learnt a lot from it.

Lets not forget our writing too.  When we submit we have to be sure that what we’ve written is not only good but our spelling, grammar and presentation is also correct.  If it’s a paper submission then make sure that there are no coffee stains or handwritten notes on it.  Follow the submission guidelines, I’d imagine doing research on where we’re submitting is a good idea.  I have a list of websites, some of which were recommended to me and some were even searched out for me (thank you Cinta 🙂 ) This is knowing our audience.  Finding the right places to submit and who the editors are has to help our chances of getting noticed, of course our work has to be good at the same time but from what I can make out slush piles are big so we do have to stand out and or find an editor that loves the genre or type of story that we write.  I wouldn’t send my space opera stuff to an editor or agent who hates space opera, that’s just daft.

Being a writer is not just about what we write, it’s about who we are as well.  How we come across to the people in the industry and most importantly to the people who read our work who one day may become fans of ours.