Monday, November 27, 2017

NaNoWriMo, Scrivener Update and 2017 wrap up

NaNoWriMo 2017


It only took 2 weeks this summer to write it and about 15 days this November to complete a full first edit. I am feeling really good about my big WIN!

The story is out to readers (4), one of whom is already giving me great feedback. So, the next edit might actually start today.


I like it.  I am not that comfortable with it, but I can totally see continuing to use it IF, I continue to write novels.  I can see it's potential for Picture Books, but I have a system down now that I really love and no need to change it.

Having lost an entire novel, over 10 years ago to a computer crash, I love that everything is backed up, constantly. I love the chapter break outs, the sticky note/cork board feature.  Moving items around, took a little getting used to, but was doable.

If I were to continue to use Scrivener, I would takes some more tutorials.  I know that it has a lot more to offer.  So yes, it's a great tool and one I would recommend. 

Now, wrapping up for 2017-
A few items.  Please, support literacy.  Make sure to check out EGG at the SCBWI's Book Stop.


2017 Wrap Up

This year my first Picture Book EGG was published.  Here are my take aways from the process.

My first take away- There is huge validation when publisher believes in your work.  It is a major boost to the overall soul crushing day to day life of an author.  I don't think that changes, ever (the soul crushing or validation).

It does not matter if the press is a small press or a large press. Even though,  I am sure having a contract with a large press (with $$$ behind it) is in fact more fun.  But, any time someone out there says, "I love it!  I really get your voice! I want your story!" the world slows down and feels, right.

So, I had that this year.

Working with a small press and being in daily communication with my publisher and illustrator has been a dream.  I love the creative unfolding of styles that organically happens.  And, I love that I was given a voice in the final outcome/product.

And, I can't wait to get to the next phase with the second book.  Hopefully soon.

My second take away- Rejection hits you constantly, be able to roll with it.  Sure, some rejection hurts more than others. Have a good cry, then move on.  Ultimately it is about writing, loving what you are doing and creating joy/emotional connection for your readers.

My third take away- This is HARD work.  Since I have no idea what it's like to go with a bigger publisher only a small one I can tell you that YOU, are going to work your butt off.  It is up to YOU to get your name out there (this includes awards/contests).  So, be prepared to do a ton of marketing.  A TON.

My fourth take away- Don't let marketing your book take over your life.  Make sure you still have time to write.  After all, that is the LOVE part of the process, the creating.

My fifth take away- Even though public speaking is stressful, it can be fun.  School visits are the best.  Even if you have to double up your deodorant (Have I mentioned how hard public speaking is for me?)  It boils down to, Kids are wonderful. Kids are magic and seeing the lights come on in their eyes and faces when you are taking them to a new world-THAT IS THE BEST!

My sixth take away- I am still pining for an agent.  I am waiting, chewing my nails off, to hear from my dream agent.  I emailed her after 4 months of waiting (I sent the coolest "Egg Package" to her). She replied and said she felt so bad about not getting back to me and that she would review my offering quickly... but that was over a month ago.  I figure I have one more shot after the holiday's to connect for another check in. 

In the mean time.  I continue to send out inquiries.

My seventh take away- I still love writing.  I still find it frustrating and challenging and, I am still learning.  This year I was able to loosen of some of my insecurities.  Sure, they are still with me, but they aren't running the show, at least not every day.  I am proud of this growth.

My eight take away- (and no I am not doing a 12 days of Christmas count down here).  No matter what- Keep reading! 

This year some really REALLY fabulous books came out.  I have reviewed some of them here, but remember go to Goodreads and check other's out for yourself!

I will do one last review this year- It will be for Dan Santat's After the Fall

That's it.  That's my 2017 check in.  Now I work, wait and work some more with my fingers and toes crossed for 2018.  I am making my wishes to Santa now.  Stay tuned for more.

AND IF YOU have any questions about anything in this process, please email me. I would love to address questions or comments.

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