For years, I’ve wanted to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. Each time November rolled around, I was busy with something else or in various stages of publishing another novel.
This year I published my last project, Native Lands, on October 29, 2014, which means by November 1, I was ready to embark on my next project, Behind the Bar. I’m one week into writing my second romance and the second in a series. It’s fun. I like having the challenge of meeting a certain word count every day. Every job during my career has involved serious deadlines, so I’m wired to work with that way. I have to set my own arbitrary deadlines for my writing now. That’s why I like Amazon’s new pre-order feature. If I set a publication date, they set the deadline I must have the manuscript uploaded to them.
So I’m a nerd. I admit it. I like looking at my word chart on the NaNoWriMo site. So far I’m ahead of the curve, and if I keep on doing what I’m doing, I’ll have a 50,000 word draft by November 24. We’ll see. I know that I’ll have something by the end of the month, and then I revise before sending out to beta readers.
I get discouraged many days about marketing, sales, and social media. I have no idea what works and what doesn’t. I fumble around in the dark searching for answers on the worst days. But I’ve found several communities of supportive Indie Authors, and I find their experiences helpful and inspiring, most of the time. The braggarts can be more discouraging than not, but I try to remember they’re probably bragging because they need it to boost their own writing egos.
I have many goals for my work in the coming year. I approach 2015 with a renewed commitment to my writing. I believe there’s a purpose to what I do and what I write. A strong premonition came over me today that I have not yet written THE BOOK, but every book I write now is leading me to that one. In a few months, I turn sixty. It’s made me reflective. In all areas of my life, I seek peace with where I am at any given moment. It’s been astounding to do that every time I get worked up about something or other. I stop and look around and see my surroundings. The other thing disappears.
In my writing, I feel a shift. It’s been happening for two years, ever since I finished Trails in the Sand in a hotel in San Antonio. It was there that I realized my success as an author comes from how I feel about what I do. I was in tears at the end of the book because I loved the story. I didn’t need any outside sources to tell me what they thought of it. I was satisfied with what I’d created. It hit me the other day as I formatted my Florida Series Box Set. I was working on Tortoise Stew, a book I wrote in 2005. Again that feeling came over me. I was satisfied with what I wrote. I set out to show a particular slice of life in Florida where land developers and environmentalists constantly clash. I accomplished it in that book, even though it might not be as popular as some of my other novels. It only matters that I embrace what I wrote.
I love it when serendipity comes slipping into my life. While I was in San Antonio, one of my former interns, wrote me that they were moving to San Antonio. She recently published a book of her essays in Naked Salsa. This month I’m accompanying my husband on another business trip to San Antonio. While there Crystal and I are doing a book signing together. “Wining and Signing” is Crystal’s name for the event. I hope the beautiful city on the river survives the craziness that occurs when we get together.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress with NaNoWriMo. Who’s participating this year? Who has participated in the past?