Archive for the ‘ Writing ’ Category

Just Do It

startingblock

The Nike slogan is all too appropriate when it comes to setting and meeting goals. I’ve recently started writing a new book after several stutter starts with a separate book that I finally decided to set aside for the time being. While it’s sometimes difficult to start over or make changes in your life, sometimes the only way to begin is by just doing it. Instead of waiting until tomorrow or a special occasion or when the mood strikes. So instead of waiting until tomorrow to eat better, exercise more, write that book, mend those fences, begin today! 🙂

 

Fresh Starts

rewritingYou’ve gotta know when to hold and know when to fold…For the past several months I’ve been working on writing a YA novel. I had an idea and ran with it. Then I hit a wall. I wasn’t sure where to go with the plot and the characters I had been developing seemed flat and insincere. So after already writing several thousand words, I scrapped what I had been working on and started over. I made more notes, developed a new plot line that I thought would flow better, and rewrote where I wanted the characters to go and how I hoped they would develop. Then I started fresh.

After writing for a few more months, I hit another wall. Once again I was discontent with how my characters were developing and where my story was headed. I pushed on each time because it’s really hard to throw everything away after spending so much time and thought on what I had already written. I got to a point where I either had to say this isn’t working out and begin again or push forward and hope the issues I was having would sort themselves out. The first time I restarted it was because I was excited about what I was writing, the story and the characters. But now faced with the “do I continue?” dilemma once again, I realized that I’ve stopped looking forward to what I was writing. Writing had become tedious and more work than fun. I had ceased making time for my writing.

So I’ve decided to start over completely from scratch. New genre, new ideas, new characters. While I still have hopes to return to my YA novel, I’m moving on. You may notice that I’ve reset my word count widget to track the progress of my new book. I’m very enthusiastic about this new book and I’m hoping that this fresh start will reinvigorate my writing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write! 🙂

 

Gifts for the Writer in Your Life

While books would be the easiest buy for the writer or reader in your life, below are a few fun gifts for all those budding authors.

 

 

 

Moleskins – These handy little books come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Easy to pack in any bag and with their stylish look they make a great gift for writers to jot down notes as they go through their days.

 

Vintage typewriter braceletTypewriter keys make some great jewelry. From cuff links to bracelets to necklaces, these fashionable accessories are fitting for any writer.

 

 

 

Writing retreat – Okay, this may not be the most economical choice for many gift givers, but it would still be an awesome gift! Any writer looking for more time to spend on their craft would most likely love the chance to get away from distractions if only for a weekend. If spending the money on a retreat isn’t realistic, then create a “Day Away” certificate for your writer to spend a few uninterrupted hours away so they can work in peace and quiet.

 

 

Author pillows – Treat that bibliophile to fun yet utilitarian pillow covers featuring classic authors. Found at uncommongoods.com (which has a ton of really great gifts in general), these would make a perfect holiday gift.

Happy writing! 🙂

KIdLit Cares

My director at work brought this initiative to my attention a couple days ago. Created to help those affected by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, the goal of this program is to auction of things that writers and readers might be interested in with the proceeds going directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. I’ve perused the auction and it’s really amazing what people from all over have donated to help this cause. Anything from Skype visits to editorial critiques to autographed books to school visits. Agents, editors, authors and the like have banded together to give of their time and services in order to help those in need.

I checked out some of the auction items and was blown away both by the generosity of what was being auctioned off as well as how many people are bidding! It’s definitely worth checking out at Joanne Levy’s blog/website. As of today, there are 64 Auction items up for grabs. Stop by and see what cool stuff you can win while you help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

 

It’s Fun to Meet New People

 

On Tuesday night, I had the privilege of meeting a lot of new people through a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators night of networking. Leeza Hernandez, illustrator and new Regional Adviser, did a wonderful job of talking about SCBWI and the benefits of joining, several other members met their agents/editors through various SCBWI events, and ways to effectively network.

Networking is an integral part not only in meeting agents and editors, but building a platform to increase your visibility as a writer. I was able to talk to picture book author Ame Dyckman and debut middle grade author Kit Grindstaff about the benefits of Twitter as a social media site. They both gave me great tips on how to follow librarians, bloggers and other kid lit lovers to both gain followers and find out about trends in children’s literature. Sweet!

Events such as this always make me excited to write. They’re invigorating and inspirational. I’m already looking forward to continuing to connect with all the new great people I met. Can’t wait to meet more friends! 🙂

Getting Geared Up for NaNoWriMo

For the past two years I’ve worked with my library to host a variety of National Novel Writing Month events. For those of you who aren’t familiar, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) writers are invited to sign up on nanowrimo.org (if you want to keep track of your progress and/or get some great support from fellow writers) and pledge to write 50,000 (a short novel) during the month of November. It’s crazy, but very rewarding!

This year we’re featuring a number of local NJ authors like Alissa Grosso, Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman, and Corey Rosen Schwartz, among other talented writers. They will talking about great topics that are pertinent to budding writers like publishing options, how to write successful query letters, and how to go from your first draft to getting an agent.

It’s a great time of year for me not only because I get to meet great authors and writers but it’s a great way to get inspired in my own writings and learn from the wisdom of others.

Good luck on all your writing goals this November! 🙂

Writer’s Dream

One day… *sigh*