My Weekly Update – JuNoWriMo

JuNoWriMo

It is that time of year, again; JuNoWriMo. This writing challenge is very special to me because it was this time last year that I wrote my first full length novel. I also meet some great blogging writers who are actually active in all stages of this writing process and are great resources for any writer. Special shout out to the creators of JuNoWriMo, A.E. Howard and Becca J. Campbell.

And, this year, I was asked to be one of the sprint leader for JuNoWriMo and I am honored because the sprint leaders from last year made all the difference in the world in me not only writing 50,000 words, but writing an additional 25,000 to finish the novel.

We are just on day three, it’s not to late to sign up and join me every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 pm for some writing sprints. #junowrimo #wordsprints

Post to Ponder

Writer Wednesday Blog Hop – Flash Fiction – The Space Stations – Just a short piece I wrote. Hope you like it.

So, You Want to Write a Book? Let Go of the Guilt by Angi Black – Life is always there to get in the way, but no need to feel guilt when your doing what you love.

June is for New Goals & JuNoWriMo by Felicia Scotzig – More JuNoWriMo motivation.

Writing is Best When we Get out of our own Way by Kristen Lamb – Kristen say writing fast helps keep us out of our own way.  Another yea for WriMo.

The Art of Milking a Critique by Jodi Thompson – Great tips if your ready to join a critique group.

Coolest Things

I participated in the coolest blogfest last week, The Whip It Good Blogfest where we shared our WIP.  Here are the ones I would purchase.

  • Nick Wilford – Sci Fi – Man has neurosurgery to increase his confidence.
  • Tina at Life is Good – Worlds Colliding – Space Opera meets Tom Clancy
  • Hunter – Blue Popcorn – Psychological Thriller – nationality and generational clashes.
  • Silver Lining – YA Romance – it was this line in her synopsis that got me, “She buys fries from the McDonald’s on Dover Street; he can buy the McDonald’s on Dover Street.”
  • Kate Larkindale – Stumped – YA Contemporary -It’s American Pie meets The Sessions as a 16-year-old double amputee struggles to dump the burden of his virginity.
  • PK Hrezo – Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. – New Adult light Sci Fi romance – Anxious to attend that relative’s wedding you missed a few years ago? Or curious to see how your children invest their inheritance after you’re gone?
  • JE Fritz – Collapse – YA Dystopian/apocalyptic – Bullies used to be a problem for her. Now she’sslightly more worried about being gunned down by people she once called “neighbor”

Check them out and tell me which one look good to you.

Next Week’s Schedule
Wednesday – The Casual Vacancy Cast of Characters Insecure Writer’s Support Group
Thursday – Heroes & Villans Blogfest
Friday – SQM – Wreck it Ralph

HvsVblogfest

Progressive Book Club – How to Write Good by John Vorhaus

mlswift.blogspot.com“These days I can’t wait to write.”

Aimagess I prep for JuNoWriMo, I found this quote from the book interesting.  This for me is the goal. That feeling you get when you can’t wait to sit down and write.

What concerns me is that I seem to forget this feeling as soon as WriMo is over.  I wrote three books last year during, June, August and November and during those WriMo months, I couldn’t wait to write every day.  I couldn’t wait to sit down and get into that groove, the feeling of pure bliss because you are doing what your supposed to do, what you were meant to do.

I can close my eyes now and imagine the feeling.

Why is this feeling so fleeting when I’m not in the habit of writing?  I’ll write every day in June. I will have a daily goal and most likely will exceed it every day.  I am comfortable in this setting, writing towards a monthly goal where others are paying attention to what I am doing.

How to Write Good by John Vorhaus is all about giving yourself permission to write with no fear and to get the words on the paper. He uses this word whimsy which I love. I picture fairies flying around sprinkling fairy dust on everything and it makes me smile.  That is the feeling I get when I write. I feel like a fairy sprinkling prose on the world and making them smile.

As writer’s we are supposed to write every day, so tell me, how many of you out there are doing it? How do you do it?

I will be helping the JuNoWriMo team this year conducting word sprints on twitter.  These writing sessions made the difference for me. If your looking for a super supportive writing experience, I highly recommend JuNoWriMo. Visit www.junowrimo.com for more information and if you’re joining us, let me know.

junowrimo-book-button

EM, Why Do You Blog?

Back in June of 2012, I found EM’s blog and we met during JuNoWriMo.  I interviewed her back in June and found out she is from England (my favorite country) and lives in a castle (so cool) and a few months later, she asked me to read one of her short stories (talented writer).  She is amazing. 

So, EM, why do you blog? 

Thank you Sydney for inviting me to guest post on your blog!

Sydney and I both started blogging on March 1st, 2012, and I’m thrilled to be part of her first blogiversary celebrations!

Today’s topic is “Why do you blog?”

I’m a writer. I have been writing Fantasy stories for 15 years, and I’ve been thinking about getting one of them published for about 3 years. When I researched how to do this, it was clear from the start Internet was an invaluable information tool. So at first I just used the writing resources I found online to improve my writing and to research the publishing process, without having an online presence myself.

Then I came across – and followed – a couple of writers’ blogs. If you want to check them out, here they are: Elizabeth May, Susan Dennard and Claire Legrand. Month after month, these ladies documented the writing journey that took them from unknown YA writers polishing a manuscript to successful traditionally published authors. About 18 months ago, I wrote them an email, telling them how I found their blogs inspiring.

And they replied. And they wished me good luck with my own writing journey.

That was when I realised I was missing out on something there. I had always thought I wouldn’t need an online presence before getting published (because honestly, who on earth would want to read a blog written by me?!). Then I read Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer by the amazing Kristen Lamb. In her book, Kristen explains how having a blog, when you’re a writer, is as necessary as writing your book itself. Because in this day and age, getting a book published, then read, implies networking with readers, publishers, agents, editors and other writers. And the best way to do this is via Internet.

So I launched my blog. I started a Facebook page. I got on Twitter. At first, I was shy, and obsessed with the quality of my blog content. And in many ways, I still am. But I have also built an amazing network of writerly friends, who have all contributed to making me a better writer, closer to publication than I could ever hope.

I always say my blog is a way of “paying it forward”. I’m still not published, so I have nothing to sell. But I’m hoping all the people who stop by my blog, read my posts and comment on them, follow my blog or my Twitter feed, find something useful there. I relay news from the publishing industry, recommend books I like, share my writing tips and interact with whoever is kind enough to follow me. I cheer other writers on. I promote their books. I discuss trends with book bloggers. I give away books I love.

So why do I blog? Because writing is a solitary business. Sometimes you have to remember there are awesome book lovers out there. And Internet is the best place to find them. 

http://www.elizabethmaywrites.com/

http://susandennard.com/blog-2/

http://claire-legrand.com/blog/

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ (Kristen Lamb’s blog)

http://emcastellan.com/

http://twitter.com/EMCastellan

http://www.facebook.com/EMCastellan

My Weekly Update – Books and Beginnings

Books

I read a book last week. I know what you saying. “Sydney, you are a writer, your supposed to be reading books.” Let me clarify. I read a real book, last week.  No. That’s not the right word. I read a physical book last week.

It had paper, a soft cover on the front and the back and I never had to recharge it.  I read it in bed and didn’t have to worry about breaking my nose.  Am I the only one this has happened to?  (Imagine lying in bed holding your iPad/Kindle over your head and you loose your grip and from that distance it landing smack dab on your face) I can’t be the only one and it hurts.  I read in the tub and didn’t have to worry about dropping my life in the bathtub and loosing all my information.  And, I read on the train and didn’t have to worry about the shady guy eyeing my most prized possession and think, that could easily belong to me.  (Just kidding, there are no shady people on the Hong Kong train).

Regardless, it was quite a thrill.  I didn’t tap it, flick it or swipe it and accidentally turn to many pages.  I read a page and manually turned to the next page. I used an old receipt as a bookmark and there was no question whether I was in the right place.  I spilled some coffee on it and still kept on ready.  It was so much fun.

I haven’t read a real book in about 6 months.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad with it’s iBook and Kindle app.  But, really there is nothing like reading a real book.

What do you prefer?  Your Kindle or the real deal.

Beginnings

Spring is considered the season of new beginnings, but it appears the end of summer is inspiring me and others to begin new stuff as well.

I began to edit my June novel and at this point it is a lot of work.  But, I found these articles very helpful in getting my head organized to tackle this new writing task.

How to Use Brainstorming to Edit from Ava at Writability
What is It Like to Read a First Draft? from Becca at Inspiration for Creation
 

Roxie’s Blog is beginning a series on effective editing on September 14th. She will feature a weekly post on her editing process.  I can’t wait.  Her post are informative and always funny.

Sevestian Winters began a new blog: The Homeless Gazillionaire.  It you haven’t read it, I would suggest you do.  It is fascinating and sad and inspiring and heartbreaking and life altering all at the same time.

AM has returned to My Weekly Update.  I am sure he is thrilled.  But, this is legitimate. His site had a new beginning last week; a new look and a new focus and I think it is pretty cool.  I also wanted to help him introduce a new feature;  Wired Writers Wednesday, for all those coffee drinking writers out there.  I was inspired to take this lovely photo:

 

 

New Follower – they began following me this week (it works).
Baz McAlister
Tyson Carter at Head in a Vice – Movie Review Site
Meghan Elisabeth at Book Nerd
Patrick Latter at Canadian Hiking Photography
Miranda Hardy – Future New York Times Bestseller! – I love that. 
 
Next Weeks Schedule
Monday – What’s Your Chocolate Bloghop
Tuesday – Tattoo Tuesday
Friday – Sydney Quotes the Movies – The Bourne Legacy
Sunday – My Weekly Update

A Letter to My Pre – JuNoWriMo Self

In the tradition of “A Letter to my Younger Self”, I decided to writer a letter to my pre-JuNoWriMo self.  
Dear Writer in Training,
Congratulation. You did it.  You completed the first draft of your first novel.  I am so very proud of you.
Now I realize that when this month started you were all worried about if you would even be able to write a single page.  And, your brain was focused on getting 50,000 words no matter what, but I am happy to say you learned so many more lessons this month then you even thought possible.    The most important lesson will be that you are going to fall in love with writing.  So, be ready for it and enjoy the process.   
At the beginning, I don’t think you understood how the process of writing was going to make you feel both mentally and physically. It is not going to be easy and it will not be automatic, but over the course of the month you are going to get an idea of what being a writer is all about.  
You will have goals and deadlines and people depending on you and if you are open to that, you writing life is going to be very fulfilling.  
You will get an education in understanding the difference between the craft of writing and the business of writing.  Pay attention, it will be important someday.   
You will dare to put your writing out there for the world to see and you will get some feedback.  Just take in any and all criticism because you can always learn something.  Even if the criticism sounds harsh, suck it up.  It will only make you better.   
In addition, understand that your writing process is very much like your personality.  You are an organized and focused person, but you like to know the answers before the questions are even asked.  It is the lawyer in you.  But, be open for the surprise twist and turns that your characters are going to take.  It is a blast when your MC does something you didn’t expect them to do.  
And, while you may have thought writing was a lonely pursuit, you will be pleasantly surprised that over the course of the month, you will make some great writer friends who are supportive and want you to succeed.  Don’t take that for granted. 
I am really excited about the month you are going to have.  Although you need to get more rest and exercise, in the end your will achieve your goals and most important you will have finished what you have started.  
Enjoy the journey,
New Writer

If you knew then, what you know now, what would you have done different? 

My deepest and heart felt thanks to:

A.E. Howard, Becca J. Campbell, James Eggebeen, EM Castellan, Morgan Hyde, A.M. Schultz, Amanda Fanger, Charlotte Stevens, Juliana Haygert, Felicia Wetzig,  Wendy Lu, Angi Black,  and the other JuNoWriMo participants.  You are all awesome.